IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: PLEASE DO NOT PRE-ORDER THE GAME AT THIS POINT.
It gives me no pleasure to announce this, but it's important we are honest with the community. As of an hour ago we are having trouble with our Paypal account. I think it's the same issue that Project Zomboid and Minecraft have had in the past regarding pre-orders and Paypal being a bit strange about it; currently our Paypal account has been locked down and closed, so we don't have access to any of the new money coming in or any access to the funds currently in the account. As a result of this, we've temporarily disabled the pre-order page.
I'll speak to Paypal tomorrow to see if there's a way back from this - perhaps it's just an administrative issue somewhere along the line that can be rectified, although the tone of the email sent to me and the past history suggests this is not likely. Thankfully, in business terms this is not the end of the world for us. There's about $4,100 sitting in the account, with a payment of another $2,000 initiated a few days ago that may or may not make it out into our corporate account. Apparently Paypal policy is just to sit on this money for 180 days and then either give it to us or return it to the people who pre-ordered the game. Hopefully they'll elaborate on this in some more detail when I ring them tomorrow, but the long and short of it is that we're probably not going to have access to that money for a while.
This is a decent amount of cash, but losing it would not be terminal to the project. The total revenue recieved is in the region of about $54,000, which is 1,900 pre-orders net of Paypal charges. The majority of this has already been cashed out and is available for development; much has already been spent but there's enough left in our corporate bank account to get the game finished. Whether we'll be able to implement all the 'nice-to-have' features on that budget (such as our new UI style) remains to be seen, but we'll be able to complete it to the original spec on the funds we currently have. So, no need to worry about the future of the project.
However, losing our only source of income is obviously going to be disruptive to the project, as we were getting a good source of income from pre-orders up to this point. It's also not the ideal way to mark the start of my full-time work on the project. However, I'll keep you guys posted on how things turn out.
EDIT - having spoken to Paypal, there appears to be no way back from this. The funds in the account are being held for 180 days to protect them against chargebacks, but we will recieve them after that (which is spectacularly generous of them). We'll see what other possibilities are out there for us, but Google Checkout have the same Terms of Service and it appears our site payment module doesn't accept Amazon Marketplace. We'll keep you posted on what we decide to do - sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
EDIT #2 - it appears the $2,000 in progress payment has cleared, so that's some good news. I initially didn't disable the pre-order page properly, so we've now got about $4,300 sitting in the Paypal account for the next 180 days under lock and key (we'll obviously honour those pre-orders though).
Acording to Lemmy of Project Zomboid fame told me the best way to get paypal to fly right is to rattle the cage over at reddit but I figured I'd let you guys know as well because you guys kick ass.