It's been an interesting week for YouTube outfit Yogscast. Over the weekend, their "YogDiscovery" revenue share program kicked off a discussion about the ethics and legality of YouTube promotion and disclosure. Now they've announced that Yogventures, a Kickstarter project in development by Winterkewl Games, has been cancelled.
"As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures - but this is actually a good thing," wrote Yogscast's Lewis Brindley in an email to the 13,647 people who collectively raised $567,665 for a game they now won't get. "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.
"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!"
In the email, Brindley tells backers that they will instead be given a key for TUG —a Kickstarted open-world survival game that Brindley calls, "the game we were hoping Winterkewl would make."
Yogscast further clarified their decision, and their involvement with Winterkewl, in a statement made to Eurogamer .
"The failure of Yogventures is a matter of deep regret for the Yogscast," the statement said, "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.
"The game as it stands it is not capable of being released and certainly wouldn't live up to the expectations of the people that backed the Kickstarter or pre-ordered the game."
The statement goes on to say that Yogscast are "intent on finding them some awesome stuff and cool experiences" for backers of the project. "We also hope to be able to announce other games and fun stuff for the backers and buyers of Yogventures over the summer," it finishes.
From Winterkewl's perspective , it seems like development of Yogventures was troubled. "We missed milestone after milestone, and continued to come up short of the quality expectations," wrote developer Kris Vale, "and thus the Yogscast didn't want to advertise the pre-orders until it did meet those expectations." Vale claims to have invested $25,000 of his personal funds into the project.
From the statements of both parties, the project seems much less of a collaboration than the original Kickstarter pitch suggested . If so, that's unfortunate for fans, as Yogscast's initial involvement may have given the project a legitimacy and security that we now know wasn't warranted. For fans now looking for a refund Yogscast suggest contacting Winterkewl Games.