Crowdfunding is a good way to get risky games made, but it's also an increasingly risky proposition for backers. The most recent example is prehistoric survival sim The Stomping Land, which made headlines last week after backers complained of radio silence from studio SuperCrit. The silence follows more than $115,000 pledged for development of the title, which is currently in Early Access, as well as the promise of regular community correspondence and weekly updates. The last anyone heard from SuperCrit was May 30.
Until now. In a statement provided to Kotaku UK , SuperCrit founder Alex 'Jig' Fundora said the reason for the extended silence was a move to Unreal Engine 4. "It has been quiet in The Stomping Land community but that is certainly not the case behind the scenes," Fundora wrote.
"The game is being moved to Unreal Engine 4 to take advantage of technical and creative opportunities, and while the game was so early in development, I didn't want to keep working for years with a game engine (UDK) that had officially lost support by Epic.
"The move has put a bit of more work on my plate, but the already discovered opportunities using UE4 are exciting, and I'm confident fans will be satisfied with the long-run decision."
Kotaku reports that further queries regarding the studio's silence have gone unanswered, while past collaborators have claimed it's not unusual for Fundora to go silent for long periods. But therein lay one of the biggest perils of crowdfunding: studios acquire thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars before a game is made, so the pressure is emphatically on. Silence can be catastrophic to a project, especially when it prompts users to start petitions demanding a refund . Here's hoping it's all smooth sailing from here.