Kickstarter game stops betting on crypto, can't refund backers

Kickstarter game stops betting on crypto, can’t refund backers

Pristine Islands

Image: Pristine Islands

In 2021, at the height of the world’s collective blockchain craze, a video game called Untamed Islands – Pokemon, but with crypto stuffover $500,000 earned on Kickstarter. A year later, the game is practically dead and so broken that it can’t even repay its backers.

In a message on the game’s Steam pagehave the developers said “we need to pause development on Untamed Isles and put the project on hold”, which only sounds temporary until you read the rest of what they have to say:

There have been numerous factors that have caused the build-up to this moment, but the bottom line is that we are financially unable to meet the demands of what we set out to do.

Untamed Isles is a very ambitious title as an open-world monster-catching MMORPG. To work on this project, we brought in more than 70 employees and worked tirelessly for over 2 years to build the game we all dreamed of. The truth is that development costs are high and there have been many bumps along the way to this point. Since we embarked on the journey in 2020, the economic landscape has changed dramatically, both in general and for cryptocurrency specifically, and we are not confident in the current market. We ran out of financial resources and we cannot continue the development at the moment.

When they say the “economic landscape has changed dramatically,” they mean “the ass has fallen out of the crypto marketwhat we bet your money on”:

We leaned on the crypto market and expanded rapidly thanks to the positive interest. When the crash came, we ended up heavily exposed with a runway that was too short. The game remains game-first, crypto-second in design, but crypto funds are and will continue to be essential to get us through to release. Unlike many of the projects that have been stranded in the storm, we actually have a great game design that can stand on its own two feet. But until the crypto situation is resolved – and we are confident it will be at some point – we must put the development of this project on hibernation.

And that ass has fallen so far that say the developers in a separate post “Because our cash reserves are depleted, we are unable to repay our initial lenders. We are truly sorry and wish this scenario were different.”

While this could be the part of the story where I say everyone who supported this game got exactly what they deserved, the fact is that Untamed Isles crypto elements were optional, and it’s clear from backer feedback under the “pause” announcement on Kickstarter that many people were only interested in the game itself, not the speculative elements:

Image for article titled Kickstarter Game Goes Bust Gambling on Crypto, Can't Refund Backers

Image: Pristine Islands

Untamed Isles “gap” is especially strange it was only two weeks ago that the team confirmed a launch date of October 6, 2022, and that one of their key promises at the time of the Kickstarter campaign was, “We are fortunate to have funding that will allow us to securely deliver core functionality and gameplay.”

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