Paprium is a game with a bit of a sordid history, of missed deadlines, people not getting their copies, the creator of the game alienating his customers and then issues where he was failing in his commitments.
But that has been covered a lot by other people in depth, this is my personal journey through that I experienced at the start of 2021. Paprium finally released to its original backers without the massive fanfare but a bit of a whimper as a majority were resigned to the fate that the game wasn’t going to come out and took it as a loss.
It had been 8 years from when the game was originally announced as Project Y do it being stealth shipped at the end of December 2020. The coverage from people who received their copies was mixed some were shocked they got the game others were disappointed… But the look of the game looked like nothing before that was possible on the Sega Mega Drive, It was a spectacle with a banging soundtrack to boot.
I decided to on a whim order a the classic edition version of the game, which at that time watermelon games had raised up the price where it got ludicrous on some editions of the game. Some called me an idiot when I placed my order down, it was supposed to be a belated birthday present… but with a supposed release date for the second run on April 16th 2021… I waited.
And I waited some more, There was little to no information coming from Watermelon games, which seemed to be standard for Fonzie. Except that he kept on sending automated emails ranting against people spamming his email servers and how PayPal were evil for locking his account and his attempt to push his narrative over it on social media and his communique as LOCUSTERY.
The many support tickets I opened and sent were never answered apart from the automated replies which seemed to be mad rantings from a person unhinged at times. What really annoyed me was where information would be drip fed when he would make appearances on YouTube channels where he would usually lambaste PayPal and then complain about customers who were clearly angry while usually insulting them while looking smug as hell while doing it.
April 16th arrived and past then there was rumblings that there was delays with the usual suspect excuses of PayPal are gangsters and aren’t releasing our funds etc. To issues that people were still attacking his website and email servers. But to be honest, a lot of people was getting fed up with his nonsense… Fonzie didn’t even have the decency to tell people of a potential delay, so I contacted him again… No reply then I contacted Paypal to see what my options were because it had been just over 3 months since I originally ordered it.
You would thing after the years of development and lack of communication, he would have learned to be a bit more forth coming with information, instead of just sitting on things like delays, company issues which resulted on staff leaving etc. He even sat on finished copies of the games for 2 years before he finally got round to shipping them out to original backers (they have revision dates on the cartridges).
But what did happen was on the water melon website it would change parts to a splash screen saying they were finishing up working on support tickets which was a lie as I never got any replies to my support requests, or he would change availability to games to sold out while you could literally still order them if you went through a different part of the site, to the constant rick rolling by adding free game links at various parts of the store page… But it got annoying when he would literally remove sections from his website off the servers he had.
In the end I fired off an email an ultimatum, stating I wasn’t happy with the situation and I was considering all of my legal options. I never got a reply to it so I contacted PayPal armed with my evidence, I managed to screen cap parts of the website before it was taken down with dates, copies of my emails etc. Even the bits where he was ranting about them and calling them gangsters and thieves.
Remember how in some old RPGs if you levelled up high enough and you got into a random battle with a lower level enemy it would be an automatic win… that was how it was with my case.
But it also came out during my case the reasons why Fonzie’s account was locked again was because his standards rating he has with PayPal was poor, he wasn’t actually offering refunds to customers and he wasn’t following protocols PayPal repeatedly told him to follow and again a lack of communication.
By this point the market for Paprium was booming for the resale market, partly fuelled by Fonzie’s price increases on his website but also because of the constant issues it was highly unlikely there would be more copies… The prices for limited edition copies and investor editions of the games were had heft price tags on them where it was almost obscene with the prices… So I trawled though online stores and sales sites and marketplace groups. Usually got mugged off by sellers replying to me several months after I originally messaged them to try and hawk the more expensive limited edition versions. Don’t get me wrong they look good but I never liked the fact they were made out of cardboard and the pill blister-pack for the cartridge, didn’t really make for a structurally sound package. That’s an advantage of the classic edition of the game they came in a standard plastic clamshell case.
I was torn on whether to purchase one because prices were going to 3 and a half times of what I would originally have paid at least or higher. So I did a deal for a copy of the classic edition, the seller was helpful and friendly. I did have pangs of doubt on whether I was doing the right thing?
But in the end it’s an actual copy of the Paprium winging it way to me as I type this out where as if I waited for Fonzie it might have been another 12 years. I also made sure I used every trick I know to make sure it would arrived without any issues.
I just hope it works on my Japanese Model 1 Mega Drive as it was mentioned in Fonzies “Manifesto” mentioned incompatibility issues with older models, in-between the self aggrandising, the mad rants and very inappropriate comments. There is still a lot of people who defend him but to be honest you cant defend him any more as he’s literally flipped his wig.
Now I will do a follow up and Review the game Paprium when it finally arrives. Will it live up to the hype of will it’s shattered remains lie broken on a pile of broken promises and potential, like a giant vanquished boxer who has been punched to pieces from the inside, leaving a huge debt of destruction in its wake of being over hyped, with the compound interest of anger and blaming others added onto the tally of poor communication and utter mismanagement?
We shall see…
… Do I think that Water Melon Games and Fonzie is finished? Yes
Written by TigerMacZ