Persona 5 fanzine “Phantom Thieves zine” has been derailed after it was revealed that the founder, who goes by the name “Igor”, had spent $20,000 on what they called “necessities” for the zine. These included a new computer, software, and Genshin Impact. The news of this came to light after Igor posted about it on the zine’s Discord server. This led to many people expressing their disbelief and anger, with some even calling for a refund. The situation is still unfolding, but it seems clear that Phantom Thieves zine will not be released any time soon. Igor has yet to comment on the situation.
Persona 5 is one of the most popular JRPGs in recent years, and its fan base is highly active. Recently, a fanzine called Persona 5: The Prestige was crowdfunded on Kickstarter, raising over $11,000. However, the project is now facing financial difficulties after its founder allegedly spent the remainder of its budget on Genshin Impact, a game that has been widely criticized for its microtransactions. One page artist has claimed that an unreported amount was spent on Genshin Impact, and that they have not been paid for their work. The situation is still unfolding, but it highlights the risks associated with crowdfunding. Fans should be aware of these risks before backing any projects.
The moderation team of the zine, ‘Showtime’, has announced that founder and head mod ‘Ree’ has been removed from the project after confessing to spending the remaining $27,600 CAD ($21,286 USD) pot of funds on “personal use”. One of the fanzine’s page artists alleges that an undisclosed amount was reportedly spent on the popular gacha game Genshin Impact, amongst other items. When contacted for comment, Ree confirmed to GamesRadar+ that some of the money was spent on Genshin Impact alongside other “frivolous products” like electronics, plushies, and zines, though necessities like food, rent, clothing, and transportation were also purchased. This news has caused upset amongst the fanzine’s contributors and supporters.