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Kickstarter's payment system experiences downtime, some backers unable to contribute

Amazon Payments, the payment processing system Kickstarter uses for its United States-based projects, experienced an outage yesterday for approximately four hours, raising concerns from project runners about the overall success of their campaigns.

The outage was site-wide, but especially prompted responses from those campaigns entering their final hours. According to an update from City State Entertainment's Camelot Unchained, the project was "set back a bit."

"During one of our busiest times and best runs of this campaign, the vast majority of backers weren't able to pledge for our, or any other, game on Kickstarter," the update reads. "While they finally did come back online, it did set our campaign back a bit ... While we will make it, the loss of those four hours and possible additional momentum (we had a promotion with XFire kicking off at the same time) hurts a bit, especially with the KS stretch goals."

Despite downtime, Camelot Unchained achieved its goal earlier this afternoon.

"We might pull this off still since we have a few days to recoup but its going to be close."

Smaller campaigns, too, felt a blow during the outage. Francisco Branco, creator of Underground Lasers tabletop game terrain, told Polygon that as a small company with low traffic, it was "a big hit."

"We were on track to hit $9,000 at the end of our run but now it looks like we took a nose dive after last night's issue and we are now just above our goal of $8,000," Branco told Polygon. "We might pull this off still since we have a few days to recoup but its going to be close. So far we have not received any communications for Kickstarter and they have not replied to our emails."

When contacted by Polygon, a Kickstarter PR rep confirmed the outage with the following statement:

"Yesterday afternoon Amazon Payments, Kickstarter's payments processor for U.S. projects, experienced intermittent downtime between 2:49pm and 7:16pm EST when the issue was resolved. For much of that time, backers were unable to pledge to U.S. based projects. For future reference you can review our status blog for such updates. We are working with Amazon Payments to better understand what happened and how it might be prevented in the future."

Kickstarter did not address Polygon's questions of how it will respond to those who lost funding time or whether it will offer any kind of time compensation to those on-the-edge Kickstarters affected. We have followed up once again and will update accordingly.