Unofficial Minecraft convention disappears with the money

Mineorama, the Minecraft convention scheduled to take place in mid-July that was canceled at the last minute —and with more than $500,000 spent on advance tickets—insisted that it was "not a scam," and that another event would be scheduled to take its place. But many ticket buyers worried that they had indeed been conned, and it's starting to look very much like that's exactly what has happened.

The whole Mineorama situation looked dodgy from the moment organizers announced, "with deep regret," that the event had been postponed and that refunds wouldn't be offered. The sheer amount of money on the table made the likelihood of a scam an alarming prospect, and while the people behind it promised that they were "sincerely attempting to make this right," as Kotaku has noticed, it seems that what they've really done is take a powder.

The Mineorama website has been suspended by its hosting company, while the Mineorama Twitter account has been taken over by a "16 year old kid" who's spent the past few days using it to ridicule the "real" Mineorama. He acknowledged that he'll likely be forced to return the account to the legitimate owners if they request it, but as of roughly 30 minutes ago that hasn't happened.

I suppose it's possible that the rescheduled event could still take place, and that organizers are simply working so hard to make it happen that they just haven't noticed their website and Twitter account have both stopped working. But at this stage, as much as I hate to say it, it doesn't look very likely; Kotaku spoke to one person who was able to get a refund from his financial institution and another who's working on it, and neither had heard a thing from anyone at Mineorama. Mineorama "Executive Producer" Lou Gasco, meanwhile, hasn't tweeted since July 8, when he promised that all questions would be answered on a forthcoming Twitch livestream. That, of course, hasn't happened either.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.