Ellwood Bartlett (Gail Burton/AP)Lottery winner Ellwood "Bunky" Bartlett scored the jackpot of a lifetime when he nabbed $42 million in Maryland's Mega Millions back in 2007. Apparently, that's still not enough to make his video game development dreams come to life.
The aspiring game designer and current millionaire is enraging the internet by taking to Kickstarter in an attempt to get his project funded by, well, you.
"A smart investor has partners," he told Kotaku. "I will be investing as well. This also helps me to see if there is actual interest in the type of game I am proposing."
Bartlett's game idea is called Your World, a massively multiplayer offering in the vein of World of Warcraft. According to the game's lengthy description, it's a pretty ambitious project, sort of a mash-up of WoW, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Second Life.
Bartlett is aiming to raise $1.1 million in 50 days to get his game off the ground. And gamers aren't exactly amused.
"He can clearly fund the $1.1million himself so there must be other, better ways of judging interest," says one forum poster at Eurogamer. "Seems to be misusing the purpose of Kickstarter & jumping on the bandwagon."
"It's reasons like this that Kickstarter could be a joke," agrees another.
While Bartlett's crazy plan indeed seems like a misguided knee-slapper, other video game makers have found amazing success in Kickstarter.
Last month, Double Fine Studios made headlines by taking to the crowd-funding site as a means to help bankroll an upcoming adventure game. The game community immediately rallied around the company, enabling them to reach (and surpass) their $400,000 goal in under 24 hours. Gamers have since ponied up even more -- the 33-day project closed on Tuesday with a stunning $3.3 million in contributions from over 87,000 backers.
As of this writing, Bartlett has raised $296 toward the million-dollar goal, with 49 days left. At that rate, perhaps he should consider buying a few hundred lottery tickets instead.