Xenonauts dev's Paypal account "locked down and closed" for 180 days

Tom Hatfield at

xenonauts tactical

Xenonauts, the indie strategy game inspired by the original X-Com, has recently hit serious funding difficulties. In a post on the Xenonauts blog Goldhawk Interactive explained that they had been forced to stop offering pre-orders after Paypal froze their account. The situation is similar to Indie Stone's problems with Project Zomboid's funding.

Paypal, it seems, object to people selling products that don't actually exist yet. On the basis that they would be liable if the product was never delivered. It's an understandable concern, but one not really compatible with the currently popular model of funding indie games through early pre-orders.

The result is that Xenonaut's Paypal account, which currently contains $4,300, has been put on hold for 180 days to protect Paypal against charges. After this six month period has passed the funds get released to the devs. Without pre-orders they have no incoming money to fund ongoing development.

When Project Zomboid ran into this problem, Indie Stone resorted to selling the world's worst games and bundling in the Project Zomboid license as a free bonus. It wasn't an ideal business plan, but it helped tide them over until a beta version was available, finally giving them a real product to sell.

More realistically, Xenonauts could look to assistance from those who helped Indie Stone after Project Zomboid was taken offline by pirates. Steam, FilePlanet and Desura helped save Project Zomboid by giving them a more official means to distribute their game.

If you're wondering how the game actually plays, check out our Xenonauts preview or read our Xenoanuts developer diary.