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Kickstarter-funded game developer at heart of Airbnb squatter scandal


Reports from multiple sources identify the culprit behind a recent high-profile Airbnb squatting case as Maksym Pashanin, a game developer who turned to Kickstarter last year to fund the courier-themed roguelike RPG Confederate Express.

Airbnb is an online service that allows travelers to seek out low-cost temporary lodging provided by independent homeowners. According to CNN Travel, Pashanin is taking advantage of a California law that protects squatter's rights. After using Airbnb to negotiate a 30-day stay at a privately owned condominium in Palm Springs, Pashanin and his brother refused to move out afterward, claiming that tenants who occupy a living space for more than 30 consecutive days are automatically granted a month-to-month lease under state law.

Pashanin's crowdfunded game Confederate Express exceeded its $10,000 funding goal in November of last year, but a finished product has not yet surfaced. Initially committing to a release by June 2014, Pashanin recently claimed that an investment firm offered to fund Confederate Express' stretch goals in return for licensing his pixel art engine technology, resulting in significant project delays.

Confronted with an eviction notice, Pashanin reportedly threatened to press charges against condominium owner Cory Tschogl for "blackmail and damages caused by your negligence and malicious misconduct, including $3,800 PID Espresso machine as well as medical bills for my brother's hospital visit after he got sick here drinking unfiltered tap water," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

While USA Today reports that Airbnb is offering Tschogl financial compensation and legal support, Pashanin and his brother continue to reside at the condominium, and the situation remains unresolved.

[Image: Maksym Pashanin]

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