A story caught a good deal of national attention this month after a sneaky AirBNB guest decided to overstay his welcome by establishing residency in the home thanks to California’s squatter’s rights law. As it turns out, the renter is none other than a notorious Kickstarter scam artist named Maksym Pashanin, and today Kickstarter has cancelled his latest project.
Even without the indie gaming connection, the story itself is quite interesting. Maksym (aka Maxim or Maksim) and his brother Dennis (aka Denis or Denys) “rented” the Palm Springs condo and stopped paying the bill after establishing their 30 day residency requirement under California law. The homeowner is now left with a squatter that refuses to leave, in addition to thousands of dollars in legal fees that she’ll need to pay to file the paperwork needed to evict him sometime in the next 6 months. To add just a bit more insult to the whole situation, the brothers are said to be generating 4x the normal power costs due to their habit of leaving the doors and windows open all day while running the A/C. So much for at least being polite squatters.
The story doesn’t end there though. Thanks to the collective effort of the internet’s best detectives, we now know a lot more about Maksym and his brother. It seems that the Pashanin brothers are the “owners” of indie game developer Kilobite Inc, and they’ve already successfully generated just under $40,000 in Kickstarter funds for their first game, Confederate Express, on top of whatever they’ve pulled in from pre-orders on their website. In addition, as the AirBNB story was breaking, Kilobite was also running a Kickstarter campaign for a second game, Knuckle Club, despite failing to deliver Confederate Express to buyers.
That’s not all though. After the owner threatened to shut off power to the home, Maksym threatened legal action due to the fact that they were actively using the home for game development and claimed to be making between $1,000 – $7,000 in daily sales. Things came to a dramatic head this week after Maksym took to his own Kickstarter page to comment on the situation. His comment “10/10, would squat again” seemingly generated a number of complaints from the Kickstarter community, which possibly drove Kickstarter to take action on his page today.
Kilobite has yet to release another statement on the situation, it’s possible they may not though. Due to ongoing litigation, it’s probably in their best interests to keep quiet. The internet continues to dig up more details about the past dealings of the brothers, including a 2009 lawsuit for, you guessed it, squatting. As the Pashanin brothers are still squatting in the home, we likely haven’t heard the last of this story. With all the horrible media attention these two are getting, it’s tough to imagine a positive outcome for the duo after this insane series of events.
If you’d like to leave the good brothers a message, we’ve left links to their various sites within the article. At the time of writing, Steam users seem to be having a field day in the comments section of their Greenlight page