ZX Spectrum Vega+ console in peril as Indiegogo calls in heavies

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld console is in serious trouble, two years after it received significant crowdfunding backing from retro gaming fans.

Indiegogo is now going after London-based Retro Computers Ltd. seeking refunds for the thousands of backers who chipped in over half-a-million pounds to fund the project, but are yet to receive their product.

The US site says Retro Computers (RCL) failed to live up to the terms of an extension, which involved refunding backers on request and getting sample units into Indiegogo hands.

The intervention came less than a week after the manufacturer announced it was ready to ship out the first batch of Vega+ consoles by June 15.

Today RCL said it was still planning to deliver the product and called the move by the Indiegogo Trust & Safety team is “highly destabilising.”

Dr. David Levy, RCL’s chairman, told the BBC the company was “still determined to deliver to backers and have this morning received a number of messages from backers asking us not to give up.”

He says Indiegogo’s latest intervention makes meeting those goals difficult. Levy said RCL had made every effort to comply with Indiegogo’s terms. A spokesman for the crowdfunding site, which prevented the company from accepting new funds in March 2017, said the conditions of the extension haven’t been met.

“Our Trust & Safety team is now continuing the process of sending this campaign to collections in an effort to return funds to backers,” the spokesperson said.

“During this time, the campaign owners are still able to pursue fulfilment of the project and they are not prevented from shipping any units that are ready to be sent out to backers.”

If it eventually arrives, the UK-made system will arrive with 1,000 licensed games from a golden era in gaming.

Are you a Vega+ backer left high and dry by the wrangling between RCL and Indiegogo? Are you requesting a refund or holding out hope? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.