Multiple Copies Of Terminally Delayed Mega Drive Game Paprium Discovered In French Warehouse 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Update [Sun 19th May, 2024 10:30 BST]: It has been revealed that the haul of multiple copies of Paprium discovered in a French warehouse was faked.

A site set up to expose the crowdfunding campaign behind the controversial Mega Drive game made the announcement a few days ago:

Paravec staged a hoax by filming itself in a warehouse full of Paprium game boxes, making the public believe that a hidden stock had finally been discovered. This video ignites the powder by reigniting the anger of empty-handed buyers.

Time Extension was warned that this might be the case soon after we posted our original story, which we amended with a note to that effect. We have now updated this story to reflect this new information, and apologise for any confusion caused.

The site Paprium Case has been started to try and get some accountability from Watermelon Games, and show the displeasure of the customers who purchased the game and have yet to receive their copy:

Considering these elements, we hope that this initiative will result in an “awakening” of Fonzie, and invite WaterMelon Games to contact us through our board before September 2024 to discuss the current situation. If he does not wish to do so, he is recommended to return to work, and to honor his commitments to those who have placed their trust in him.

Our goal is to understand all aspects of this matter to arrive at a fair and balanced conclusion, and that customers are respected, i.e. reimbursed, or served.

We also want to contribute to the fight currently being waged in the United States to reduce fraud and reestablish more ethical crowdfunding.

Original Story [Wed 8th May, 2024 10:30 BST]: The long-running Paprium saga has taken yet another bizarre turn due to the discovery of multiple boxes containing copies of the game in a French warehouse.

The video shows someone opening a box to show off multiple pristine copies of the game, even going as far as to open them up to show the manual and cartridge – complete with its unique "Mega Wire" connector, seemingly proving their authenticity.

Paprium's life began back in 2012 as part of WaterMelon Games' 'Magical Game Factory' crowdfunding campaign, and it went up for pre-order back in 2017. We ordered a copy and still don't have it – the unit we do have in our possession was kindly donated to us by Paprium artist and art director Luis Martins (who has voiced his own displeasure with how the game's release has been handled) in 2021.

In 2019, it was revealed that development was back on track following a truly disastrous 'launch party' at the close of 2018, but the silence fell again until, in 2020, a small number of people actually started receiving their copies of Paprium.

In early 2021, WaterMelon boss Gwénaël Godde (better known as Fonzie) sent out a rather troubling email that did little to inspire confidence; he claimed that the game was being developed 'for free' due to the lack of access to funds and that WaterMelon was going to sell its IP or order to raise cash.

We covered the game back in 2021 thanks to Martins' generosity, but nothing has been heard of it since then.

"I'm making this video for information purposes," says paravec, the YouTube account behind the video of the Paprium stock.

"I had to make this video to show you that, in fact, a significant quantity of Sega Mega Drive games of the title Paprium and indeed in this warehouse in this box of imported products. Obviously, I am taking a certain risk in making this video, but afterwards, having become aware of the subject, I had to provide answers to all these people who have already paid for this game and who have been waiting for months and years."

So, what are all those copies doing there? Perhaps they're about to be sent out to customers? Or have they been sitting there for longer than we think?