After raising over $500,000 on Kickstarter and more than doubling its campaign goals, the Yogscast-inspired indie game Yogventures has been cancelled, leaving many supporters feeling cheated out of their money.
The Kickstarter-funded game Yogventures, made in collaboration with YouTube and podcast celebrities Yogscast, has been cancelled by its indie developer, Winterkewl Games. The game raised $570,000 in crowd-funded money during its Kickstarter campaign, and its cancellation has many backers crying foul. Yogscast has offered Steam codes for an open-world survival game called TUG to compensate for the cancellation.
In an official statement reported by Eurogamer, the Yogscast crew expressed their regrets, claiming "the failure of Yogventures is a matter of deep regret for the Yogscast, we put a lot of faith in the developer Winterkewl, including allowing them to use our likenesses and brand. However the project was too vast in scope to be realised and despite a huge amount of hard work from Winterkewl they have had to abandon it."
Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley addressed the matter in an email to the 16,347 backers of the game, saying "As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures - but this is actually a good thing. The project was proving too ambitious and difficult for them to complete with their six-man team."
How is cancelling a game funded by nearly 16,500 people that more than doubled its maximum campaign goal a good thing? This leaves us wondering what the backers who already own TUG, or have no care for it, should do.
This event is a shining example of the inherent dangers of Kickstarter. By backing a project, you're giving money to an idea in its earliest stages, pre-production or something still in concept. The game could be shelved at any time, but once Kickstarter pays the money out, its job as intermediary is done.
There are plenty of superb Kickstarter success stories. Broken Age, Shovel Knight and other great games have come to pass because of crowdfunding efforts like this, but there's literally no recompense for backers unless the creator of the backed project offers something in return. Unfortunately, this is a grim reminder that there needs to be an additional backup program in place for Kickstarter projects that succeed in their campaigns but fail to deliver its final product to help those who were generous enough to help.