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Referral program concerns

So another game I was getting excited about a while back ended up having legal issues due to copyright infringement and although I dont have any concerns along those lines with this game there is something else that jumps out at me, the 'getting cash back' aspect of the referral method. It sounds almost pyramid scheme-ish to me and as much hype as I have about this game in the 20 or so hours I have known of its existence, I would hate to have another game brought down by legal issues.

I understand that if there were any legal issues it wouldnt ruin the game itself, just the referral program structure and I almost hate to bring this up in the forums but....somebody with some legal knowledge tell me this isnt going to cause a major bump in the road several months from now when we all are in love with where this game is headed.


  • I can see your concerns, but in what way specificly do you think there'll be problems?
    I'm pretty sure if its a taxation issue, you can just do something along the lines of "the players themself are responsible for paying taxes", otherwise it works just like a steam wallet?
  • I can see the merit in a referral system.
    Especially for those that want to create a living off of streaming while building a fanbase.
    It makes a new kind of employment viable other than advertising and sponsorship.
    It also brings funding and free advertising to the game using the lastest forms of social media.
    So it is a win from several angles.

    But yes, there is the dark side of it too.
    Its it just a scam to cast the net as far and wide as possible to grab funds, before pulling the plug ?
    The typical get rich quick pyramid scheme.

    This is why I suggested subscription + donation model.
    If you want new content, then you donate like kickstarter projects.
    All of the MMO players <ul>'always' </ul>want new content.
    If its modular, costed and paid in advance.....its transparent and pretty much guaranteed.
    The sub pays for daily compulsory upkeep of the infrastructure.
  • This is why I suggested subscription + donation m
  • No Im not worried about taxation, yes any income I or anyone earns from this is subject to that individual being truthful and paying their own taxes, that part I can see.

    The only concern I have is by definition a pyramid scheme is where I invite someone to a business opportunity and if you join I get a part of your sales returned to me. There is a lot more technicality than that, but its the basic idea. So, kinda like the referral system.

    Im seriously not trying to cause trouble here, but I like where this game is headed and have been dying for a good MMO recently and just dont want future legal issues to cause headaches/speed bumps down the road or (somehow) bring this entire venture down. Give me a kickstarter, I will contribute. And yea Im with @Rune_Relic for the sub + donation. I personally like subs and the starting donation (like kickstarter / other crowd funding) at the start is fine with me as well, have done it before will probably do it again.
  • Definition of a Pyramid Scheme:

    A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products or services. As recruiting multiplies, recruiting becomes quickly impossible, and most members are unable to profit; as such, pyramid schemes are unsustainable and often illegal.

    While it may seem like a pyramid scheme, the main difference is that we are not recruiting ppl to work for Intrepid Studios who will then simply do the same thing and recruit more ppl. We are buying a product and paying for a service which we will all use (an online video game) and are simply spreading the word that, the game should be fun, and asking friends to give it a try. Intrepid Studios is rewarding us for every person we bring in that spends money on the game via sub or cash shop. These friends are also buying a product and paying for an online service. Pyramid schemes don't offer any sales of products or services.. they just rely on ppl recruiting more ppl to then recruit more ppl and try to make as much money as quickly as possible from all the ppl who get recruited.. but these ppl are not getting anything.. just the right to go out and recruit others, with the promise of some large payment which usually never comes..

    There should never be any concerns of players not getting their rewards as this is a service that each and every player will be paying continuously on a monthly basis. As a company, Intrepid simply has to budget accordingly and realise that for the most part, they will be making 85% of the money spent on the game, as the other 15% will be paid back to players.
  • Is it pyramid-ish? Yes. The kind of Pyramid scheme that is reckless is when people pay into the scheme with a promise of a greater return. People at the bottom get screwed cause they don't see the return yada yada.

    This is just an out reach program with the possibility of a return and people pay nothing into it.
  • Seriously how do people in 2017 not know how affiliate marketing works....? Pyramid scheme... lol no, you have
    a gross misunderstanding of how pryamid schemes work.

    <img src="" alt="" />

    Pyramid schemes work in a pryamid design, alot of people are involved with each other money is distrinuted to the top in a "Pryamid" like design. Affliate marketing the contact only transfers through 3 parites, the consumer, the affiliate/promoter and the company. Affiliate marketing is literally everywhere now. Amazon does it, google does it, microsoft does it. All large companies do it, its linked to most videos u watch on the internet, its in every blog you read. The fact you havent noticed it is shocking but its there.

    Its shocking the amount of people that dont know the difference.

    And most importantly if it was a pryamid scheme, Steven would of already been sent to jail. Pryamids schemes
    are illegal in the USA, while affiliate marketing powers the modern advertisement industry in the USA through various
    different mediums and is actually very beneficial for the consumer in most regards.
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