Yogscast’s kickstarter game is dead, and backers are screwed

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I’m rather wary of Kickstarter. I’ve always been afraid of the recipient of all of that delicious crowd-funding to take the money and run, or run out of funding and end up not being able to deliver the product. Nobody imagined that would happen with Yogventures, the Yogscast game. Those YouTubers have become a a beloved media empire  – so this is inconceivable! Only that’s what’s happened – and backers are now out of pocket.

Riding on the Yogscast name, The Yogventure project raised $570,000 on Kickstarter, with the game being developed by indie outfit Winterkewl Games. It was set for release in 2013, but that’s not happening. In fact, the developer is now very much under threat of bankruptcy, and the entire project has now been disowned by Yogscast.

“As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures – but this is actually a good thing,” Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley wrote in an email to the game’s (via Eurogamer) “The project was proving too ambitious and difficult for them to complete with their six-man team.

“While this was Winterkewl’s project, we put a lot of time, energy and effort into trying to help them realise their dream. Since we heard the news, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that you still get awesome stuff and cool experiences.

Those who have backed are getting close to nothing back; all they’re getting for funding the now cancelled project is a Steam key for another game. Five backers put in over $10 000 of their own money – and now they’re getting a Steam key in reciprocation. Brilliant.

“Although we’re under no obligation to do anything, instead we’re going to do our best to make this right, and make you really glad you backed the project!

“So to begin with we’re very lucky to have met a team of really smart guys at Nerd Kingdom who ran their own Kickstarter for a very similar game called TUG (http://www.nerdkingdom.com/game/). They have a larger team of engineers and programmers who are creating a game that is much further along in development.

“In many ways TUG is the game we were hoping Winterkewl would create – and it has huge potential for the future. We’ve been playing the Early Access version on Steam and you’ll soon be able to see us playing the game on Yogscast channels.

“So – as a backer or early-access purchaser of Yogventures, we are delighted to be able to deliver a steam key to redeem a full copy of TUG as soon as we can.

“Because Yogventures was never completed it’s going to be impossible to deliver the rewards relating the finished game. However we’ll do everything we can to find cool things to take their place.”

That;s poor form on Yogscast’s part, if you ask me. Many people want an actual refund – but this is unlikely to happen. Lead developer Kris Vale says That Winterkewl may have to shut its doors and file for bankruptcy.

“The Yogscast have been given full ownership of all things Yogventures including all work that’s been done up to this point, code, art, project files etc,” he said.

“My company Winterkewl Games will unfortunately, probably need to go out of business and possibly file for bankruptcy if things get much worse.

“I can’t speak for the Yogscast and I make no claims that I do, for their own reasons they decided the game wasn’t up to the quality they needed it to be to make videos supporting our pre-order business model. That was and is their prerogative and we had no way of influencing that decision other than making the game as best we could with what we had to work with.

“We missed milestone after milestone and continued to come up short of the quality expectations and thus the Yogscast didn’t want to advertise the pre-orders until it did meet those expectations.

“I wish more than anything I would have had this fore-knowledge before we ever began this project,” he concluded. “If we would have limited the scope and made a solid plan for working more closely with the Yogscast I have every faith this project would have been a real stand-out achievement in the indie game world.”

I’ve always been hesitant to back Kickstarter projects – and now I’m even more so.

Last Updated: July 17, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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