This update thread doesn't have much meaning at this point, if the argument is all about whether ZIdware is out of business, or is John still working on games. Everyone can place odds on bankruptcy, another angel investor, or what decade John might ship a game - but why go any further?
I'm going to get downposted before you even read the next sentence. But I don't see any grounds for a case, nor grounds for granting bankruptcy. Unless 3 creditors, who have firm terms in invoices that have been violated, that can be taken to a judge, or unless 3 pre-order buyers have invoice/purchase agreements that has terms that were broken, where's the claim?
The Judge Judy script doesn't look good for buyers:
Was there a contract? Yes.
Was there a deadline to perform on the contract? Yes
Could the deadline be moved? Yes
So a deadline was missed, and moved, but there was no explicit performance penalty? correct
So you are disappointed its taking longer than you want, but there was no agreement on timing... doesn't make it a crime
Is the product being worked on? Yes, well, it appears to be, but we haven't seen a fully completed one, just some partially done "Master prototype" and none shipped.
A simple yes or no please, is the product being designed and worked on? Yes
But you say your case is that there is fraud, b/c there is no product completed and deadlines were missed? Yes
Yet, you say there is a product, just not finished nor when you wanted it? Yes
Your opinion is that it will never be finished and delivered to you? Yes
Yet you saw something that was played, but obvious to all not done, but more finished than anything up to that point? Yes
Regardless of your satisfaction with how complete it is, Can you prove it will never be delivered? well, it hasn't been, he's been playing arts and crafts, with pictures, but no playable game.
Can you prove it will never be delivered? Well, this guy with a lot of money, paid to get it to a show, paid some overdue bills to get some parts put on the game before the show - but the game wasn't done, some stuff was missing, etc.
The game isn't what you consider finished, but they claim its still being designed and worked on? Yes
Was the product described with a list of features, that would be defined as finish and deliverable? No
So, your claim is based on confusion of what "completed" and "finished" means? Yes
But you say features, completed, or finished were not defined in the written contract or purchase agreement?, nor were the deadline dates firmly committed, with penalties of non-performance? No... well there were dates
Were those dates estimates, or performance dates with some defined features or penalties to fail to deliver? Not sure.
My reading of the documents, is date estimates were given for a "game" that had undefined, non-listed features - so the vague terms are just that... vague. I see no facts supporting fraud of there being no product, or not delivered as agreed, but a work in progress with some poorly defined attributes, deliverables and dates.
My judgment therefore, is that you agreed to buy a game, that would be designed and shipped to you at some point, but on terms that are so vague, that no terms have been violated - case dismissed.
I suggest in the future, you agree to better contract terms, with performance penalties on due dates missed, and clearly define "completed","finished", "due dates", consequences of missed due dates.