What gaming fan hasn’t heard of Kickstarter? The crowdfunding platform gives people the chance to fund things they wouldn’t be able to on their own: it’s like, the perfect democratic system! All you need is a good idea and some great presentation, and you could be well on your way to creating a game that a lot of people are excited about.
Unfortunately, sometimes creators don’t deliver, even if they make well over their goal. And that makes us sad because if they got funded, there must have been a lot of people who would have loved to play the game! But for whatever reason, it never got past the drawing board. On top of that, our money is gone!
Let’s take a look at five of the most disappointing game Kickstarters that failed to deliver on their promises.
#1: Project Phoenix
Project Phoenix was supposed to be a mix of JRPGs and WRPGs–a real-time strategy RPG. You could play in squads and was supposedly being created by some of the best talents in the industry. When a project says that it’s being worked on by developers that also helped Final Fantasy, Skyrim, and Diablo III come to life, of course, you’re going to be excited! And reportedly, Nobuo Uematsu, the composer of Final Fantasy fame, was going to be working on the game too.
In 2013 the Kickstarter raised over a million dollars and was supposed to be released in March 2015. Well… It’s August 2017 now, and there’s still no word as to when it’s going to be released!
#2: Fur Fun / Kewpie-Jazzy
In late 2016 (so, last year), Spanish developer DokyCamp launched a Kickstarter for the game Fur Fun. At the time it wasn’t actually called Fur Fun. It was called Kewpie-Jazzy and was inspired by Banjo-Kazooie and DK64. The Kickstarter page didn’t look so great, so it didn’t get many backers. It eventually released on Steam as Fur Fun. That’s where the real problems started.
When people played the game, they started realizing that were way too many similarities with…that’s right, Banjo-Kazooie. The developers took sound files from other games and inserted them into their own. On top of that, one of the levels is a very similar copy of the world LOGBOX 720, which is in the game Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Disappointing? Shameful? You bet.
#3: Shadow of the Eternals
Some retro gamers might be familiar with the title Eternal Darkness, which was a little-known hit on the Nintendo GameCube. It was an M-rated horror game similar to Resident Evil. Since it was geared for adults, it didn’t make a lot of money. In 2013 a Kickstarter was launched to create a sequel to the game, titled Shadow of the Eternals. This game failed to meet its goal (of about $1 million) three times in a row.
How could this happen? Some people say that the developers were shrouded in controversy: namely, Denis Dyack, the former president of the company who made the game. It’s been stated that he misused funds and acted as a dictator at work. As if that weren’t enough, another developer was arrested because of “adult” depictions of children. Yeah… that is not okay. It’s not much of a surprise that the funding failed.
If you spend time on Youtube, you might have heard of the Youtube channel Yogscast. They started a Kickstarter in 2012 to create a game based on themselves: it was going to be an open world, sandbox adventure game similar to Minecraft. This Kickstarter failed for a lot of reasons, but mainly because of their choice of developer, Winterkewl Games. They were first-time developers and were consistently missing deadlines, creating poor-quality work, underestimating costs across the board, and early on they even lost an important artist. In the end, it never did get made, but they tried to compensate backers with a beta copy of TUG, another open-world game that was funded on Kickstarter but, unlike Yogventures, actually succeeded.
#5: Unsung Story
A lot of these Kickstarter horror stories have one thing in common: a famous designer announces that he or she is working on a new game, and loyal fans flock to fund it together. Then, for some reason, the game just… never happens. The fans lose their money, the game designer… well, what does the game designer do? Unsung Story was slated to be released by the end of 2015 and posted by the former director of Square Enix, Yasumi Matsuno. He helped design Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, so theoretically any games that he creates should be amazing!
It definitely didn’t turn out that way. The company, Playdek, crowdfunded more than $660,000 to create this game. Unfortunately, they just announced 2 days ago that it was going to hand over the rights to another company. It was plagued by an absolute lack of updates for months at a time. In fact, before their announcement on August 1st, they hadn’t given any updates for eight months. That’s right: eight months of limbo. No news, no nothing. And where did the $660,000 go?
No one knows…
Do you have any similar stories to share? Let us know in the comments section or Tweet us @essjay_ent!