Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock September hasn’t been a great month for PayPal.

The global payment processing giant first froze $45,000 of crowd-contributed funding for secure mail server Mailpile, then released the funds in the face of a great deal of media pressure. When Ars spoke to PayPal about the freeze, the company representative quickly noted that PayPal is a fan of crowdfunding and that the company’s response to Mailpile’s freeze—demanding the Iceland-based company provide PayPal with “an itemized budget” and “developmental goal dates,” presumably to prove it’s a real company—was not the optimal way to proceed when vetting a crowdfunding campaign. PayPal informed Ars that its new president has voiced his support for crowdfunding and committed to ensuring that PayPal’s review processes don’t stand in the way of crowdfunding campaigns. Character art from Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm. Yatagarasu AoC Unfortunately, those words rang a little hollow when just days later, PayPal proceeded to freeze two more high-profile crowdfunding campaigns.

The first was a fighting game called Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm, with $118,243 raised on a $68,000 goal.

The game has an impeccable pedigree, employing three King of Fighters design veterans; nonetheless, PayPal limited the project’s account so that it could not withdraw funds. PayPal’s customer service team reportedly told the Yatagarasu AoC developers that PayPal would keep up to half of their crowdfunded dollars frozen until after the game’s release—a death sentence for a game relying on crowdfunding for its development. Complaints about the freeze quickly picked up steam, and according to the developers, PayPal’s executive escalation team stepped in and unfroze the funds. Character art from Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey. Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey Not even a day later, another, far larger project found itself in the same situation: Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey by developer Red Thread Games fell under PayPal’s baleful gaze. Dreamfall Chapters had raised over $1.5 million on Kickstarter, and the majority of those funds did not come via PayPal, but PayPal still froze the dollars it had processed. Once again, there was a surge of Internet outrage, and once again, PayPal quickly un-froze the funds and apologized.     

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