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Rins Room 5 Five of the Saddest Kickstarter Failures

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.

#4: Yogventures

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!

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31 thoughts on “Rin’s Room #5: Five of the Saddest Kickstarter Failures

  1. If not for this article I would not know that these games existed. This is a sad news but stuff like this happens but they lost big time here.

  2. skydragonwendymarvell says:

    I have seen a kick starter campaign before. Somebody mentioned cons I am sure there is. However, How about the legit ones with quality games? I feel sorry for them.

  3. pattyindi says:

    This is such an interesting article. One the worst failures was that of the Unsung Story. It’s one of the most controversial issues in the gaming industry in the past two years.

  4. patpat22 says:

    I’ve heard about the Eternal Darkness and it was really unfortunate. Denis Dyack did some awful decisions. Thanks for this list, Rin! It’s a great read.

  5. wolfbro92 says:

    It’s quite obvious that the game developers never expected that much money being funded in, and got carried away with that amount of money. I’m sure they used it for themselves, cause in the end, game-making is just about making more money.

  6. JansenS says:

    I haven’t heard of the Kickstarter before until i read this blog. I felt sad for those promising games that didn’t go through maybe because of several reasons. After all, i hope more games will soon to be funded for the benefit of the creators.

  7. kadoyatsukasa123 says:

    Or can turn out into flames he he. Diamonds in the rough are okay and I understand being bold but not for this one. Then again there is no way of knowing if a game will be a hit or a miss.

  8. luffyzorro2012 says:

    Well it really is a gamble if you ask me. For all you know that game can be the next big thing. That is how innovation started is it not?

  9. androw449 says:

    It sounds and looks like Kickstarter offers crooks an alternative way to con people of their money. Sad, sad thing for such a noble and powerful social platform!

  10. mur13l says:

    And to think that I almost threw my money into games like these on Kickstarter! You could say I dodged the bullet lots of times!

  11. mur13l says:

    The lesson here? Just because some big name or popular game developer jumps into the fray, it doesn’t mean the game is gonna be a success. Absolute shame to the brains behind these Kickstarters games.

  12. titanierza says:

    Luck plays a part in this admit it or not. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

  13. grayicemake says:

    Well for me better fail trying than none at all. Sure this is sad but on the bright side it is also admirable.

  14. darkkvader says:

    Thanks for sharing. Never heard of it but looks like I learned something. There has to be a good game there in Kickstarters but eventually and sadly didnt make it.

  15. valine13 says:

    It’s more of like really going to risk on to this. Sadly didnt work.

  16. amaterasu123 says:

    This is why I always say that we need more off the chain games. There might be a good gae in there but due to lack of funding it s just scrapped.

  17. alexsummers123 says:

    In my case I tried investing at a kick starter project not in gaming but in film but my team and I was caught in a budget constraint that the project was scrapped. I know film and gaming are different but I imagine we had the same issues.

  18. I took a long break from gaming so this is just sad. However, it is not unusual some games do really end up failing. Sad but true.

  19. It is a gamble and they lost, Steps must be taken if anyone would wanna revive these games. Learn from past mistakes I would say.

  20. sansnomph says:

    Yep, this article said it right. Tried investing in Kickstarter before and nothing happened. Not gonna go back!

  21. anu says:

    Yes, I have read and heard about these games. I was looking forward to Fur Fun but it was a disappointment. I liked reading your review. Thanks.

  22. micorobin says:

    This just shows that like in life not everything goes as planned. I feel sorry for the men and women behind these though. Imagine all that effort just went in flames.

  23. Albeneth says:

    So sad to know about the failures of the mentioned game Kickstarters. Anyway, hope they still have the chance to cope things up and recreate their project agreeable to play soon.

  24. Mau says:

    Aww, Project Phoenix seems especially promising. I’m sure a lot of people will be disappointed or mad (or both) if a project they supported did not push through.

  25. This was truly a rare article. Usually they feature only the good stuff but not you. You gained a fan for that. Cheers.

  26. kaka135 says:

    It’s sad to know that these kickstarters do not deliver their promises. They have gathered the fund, they should really be responsible to their supporters. I wonder if the site will take any actions to these kickstarters, especially those who didn’t even launch the project/product after so many years.

  27. unvrso says:

    I was tempted to start a project on kicstarter, but didn´t due that even though I had an idea, the plan was a little vague so I just closed the account. It would be wonderful to implement the idea from start to finish. It´s a pity to just mention the project but never fulfill it

  28. I never tried investing in kickstarters but, I guess it’s like a bet – you either get something back or none.

  29. Thanks for a great review like always. I always follow your site for great gaming reviews…

  30. Yogventures, yes, of course, heard their name but didn’t know this. cool!

  31. This is honestly the reason why I’m scared to invest in kickstarters. I actually did one time and I never got the game at all. After that I just chucked it to experience. 🙁

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