A game called Haunts: The Manse Macabre from Mob Rules Games has officially stopped production. This is not an out of the ordinary occurrence in the video game industry, but this time, there’s a bit of twist.
The game received $28,739 of funding from Kickstarter. What does this mean for the 1,214 backers of the project? They may never get their hands on the game they wanted enough to help fund. Mob Rules Games boss Rick Dakan says in a blog post he’ll give you your money back right out of his pocket if you want.
“We have spent all the money we raised, but I will personally refund out of my own pocket anyone who wants to withdraw their support, no questions asked,” he said.
The Kickstarter for Haunts opened May 7 and continued until July 6. The project proved to be popular as it eclipsed its funding goal of $25,000. Before the Kickstarter even went up, $42,500 was spent building the basics. It seemed as if all was well for Mob Rules Games. That was until their two head programmers left.
According to Dakan’s blog post, “the principal cause for our dire condition is that there are no longer any programmers working on the game”. The lead programmer had only been contracted for a year, but Dakan hoped he could continue to work on the game in his free time after returning to Google. He simply doesn’t have enough time. The second lead programmer left entirely because he did not want to work on the game anymore and hoped to pursue other opportunities.
Dakan hopes to get the project started again, but understands how difficult the task at hand may be. Haunts has been written in the Go programming language, which is pretty uncommon. It’s going to be difficult to find someone able to help finish production.
Though the future looks bleak, Dakan is not giving up hope just yet.
“What then, to do? We are not giving up! I am currently in talks with another game company owned by some old friends and coworkers of mine, Blue Mammoth Games. They have expressed an interest in taking on Haunts,” he said.
Dakan promises that if another studio were to take on the task of finishing Haunts he would gladly “turn over my share of any future revenue from the game to whoever manages to get it finished.”
Haunts exemplifies the harsh reality of Kickstarter. Even though goals may be reached, there are still a multitude of factors that can halt production. Just because a game on Kickstarter meets its monetary mark doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will ever be completed.