Persona 5 fanzine derailed after founder allegedly spends $20k on Genshin Impact

A Persona 5 fanzine is facing financial difficulties after its founder allegedly spent the remainder of its budget, with one page artist claiming that an unreported amount was spent on Genshin Impact.

The moderation team of the zine, dubbed ‘Showtime’, explains on Twitter (opens in new tab)that founder and now former head mod ‘Ree’ has been entirely removed from the project after confessing to spending the remaining $27,600 CAD ($21,286 USD) pot of funds on “personal use”, with one the fanzine’s page artists alleging (opens in new tab) that an undisclosed amount was reportedly spent on the popular gacha game. When contacted for comment, Ree confirmed to GamesRadar+ that some of the money was spent on Genshin Impact alongside other “frivolous products” like electronics, plushies, and zines, though necessities like food, rent, clothing, and transportation were also purchased. 

We’ve also reached out to Showtime for more information, and will update this story if we hear back. 

In a separate statement (opens in new tab), the team adds that the founder returned $3,000 CAD through a loan, though the remaining sum remains gone.

“Ree lied to the mod team about the funds for months and provided misleading and out-of-date banking screenshots to suggest the zine funds were untouched,” a statement from the fanzine reads. “Needless to say, Ree has been removed from the project and will have no further affiliation with Showtime.”

As a result of the alleged swindle, the Showtime team is holding a fundraiser to try and claw back money so they can fulfil remaining customer pre-orders on the fanzine. At the time of writing, 857 Etsy pre-orders have reportedly been fulfilled, though 676 pre-orders remain. The team also say that a zine reprint has been ordered, though there are no more funds left for postage or refunds.

“Proceeds will be used to fulfil fundraiser orders/all outstanding Etsy pre-orders, to reimburse project expenses mods have paid out-of-pocket (pro-rata), and any other necessary project expenses,” the team say. “Any remaining funds will be divided among contributors as originally intended.”

As for the Persona 5 magazine itself, Showtime (opens in new tab) is a fan anthology that focuses on the narrative of  Joker and Akechi’s rivalry, both “platonically or romantically”. Each issue comes with illustrations, comics, and fanfiction alongside other titbits such as prints, sticker sheets, and more.

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