Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 16-08-2022
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Untamed Isles, an open world MMO game, which was funded by users of Kickstarter, just went into hiatus after 2 years of development. The project got 4 times the money the developers asked for, so... of course it is another huge fail.
Untamed Isles was suppose to be open world MMO game, in which you can tame or hunt monsters on the set of islands. The project was developed by Phat Loot Studios, a New Zealand independent developer and publisher (according to their website) and Untamed Isles was suppose to be their flagship title after raising over $580,000 USD on Kickstarter. Just side note: the studio was established in 2020, so it would be fair to say it was their first and only game so far.
The developer just informed the backers that Untamed Isles went into hiatus (which is fancy way of saying it is cancelled, otherwise they would have to return the money to backers). After over 2 years of development and (according to Phat Loot Studios) involving about 70 staff members they just had to hold the further development. Of course they run out of money (like dozens of similar projects funded on Kickstarter), although there is one, stupid, stupid, twist in that story.
While during campaign developer was telling backers that they have money to make the game, the Kickstarter money would be used just to add features to the title. It might have been true, but the last post on their website suggest otherwise:
We leaned into the crypto market and expanded rapidly off the back of the positive interest. When the crash came, we ended up heavily exposed with too short of a runway. The game remains game-first, crypto-second in design, but crypto funds have become, and remain, essential in getting us to the release. Unlike many of the projects that have foundered in the storm, we actually have a great game design that could stand on its own two feet. But until the crypto situation is resolved – and we’re confident it will be at some stage – then we have to hibernate development on this project.
Yes boys and girls, the idiot in charge of the studio put the money in highly unstable cryptocurrency market, which was collapsing for last 5-6 months, so... pretty much the money is gone. But, just like in case of every other similar project, he is convinced that when situation on the market will get better (which will never happen), they will return to the project. He might as well say "I was unlucky in casino, but once my winning streak kicks in I will right back at my desk working hard"...
I said it before and I will say it again - every month some schmuck with no experience in gaming industry or no experience in running business (or in most cases both) starts a campaign on Kickstarter that will produce the "open-world MMO that will be the ultimate of the genre" and after some time it fails completely due to incompetence, lack of experience, lack of staff, being foolish with spendings or being completely out of touch with reality. MMO is one of the hardest types of games to build, so of course someone, who never published ANY game will do just fine.
Of course there are exceptions on Kickstarter, games that were funded and delivered what was promised, but you have to remember they actually are exceptions and most of the time you will lose your money because you believe someone, who you never met that he or she knows how to build a game, they have the experience, they have the finances, they have the right people.
So before you pledge money to a project imagine the same scenario, but without Kickstarter: someone you never met comes to you on the street and asks you for money to create this amazing project he has idea for. Would you just just give him the money? Would you expect him to show you at least that he is actually working on this project? Would you expect him to show you what he has done so far or what his credentials are? Just imagine that before you will put your money where somebody else’s mouth is...
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