Crowdfunding has become an effective solution for the smaller developers who don't have the time or resources to pitch themselves to publishers. We love to hear about the success stories , but unfortunately, plans can sometimes go awry. Subutai's dueling simulator, Clang , has fallen into the latter category.
The developer posted an update to Kickstarter confirming that it's out of money, and development on Clang has been temporarily suspended until it can find additional financing.
For those who aren't privy to all things dueling-related, Clang is a 1v1 arena-based sword-fighting game where players use various styles of swordsmanship to best their opponent (think Bushido Blade). However, Subutai was also developing a motion controller to simulate what it's like to actually swing a sword—until someone else beat them to it.
Subutai Corporation is currently promoting a different Kickstarter project called “STEM,” a new kind of controller that's built to be used with virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift. Subutai argues in its post that Clang's success is dependent on STEM's success. It's worth mentioning that a different company called Sixense is kickstarting STEM. Luckily for Subutai, Sixense's Kickstarter has more than doubled its original goal.
Clang's developers didn't come out and say Clang was dead. Most of them took temporary jobs to pay the bills while they work on Clang during nights and weekends until they find a suitable investor to breathe new life into the project. As such, it's safe to expect Clang won't come out anytime soon.
Most of the post makes Subutai come across as a company that didn't have a solid plan or timeline. Here's a particularly baffling and hair-pulling quote in the “lessons learned” section of their post:
“Kickstarter is amazing, but one of the hidden catches is that once you have taken a bunch of people's money to do a thing, you have to actually do that thing, and not some other thing that you thought up in the meantime.”
That line makes me question whether or not Subutai takes the project and its Kickstarter investment seriously. It comes off as a sarcastic joke about its inability to focus on and deliver what it promised.
Downright colossal paragraphs follow that statement and basically say, “It turns out we needed more money than we asked for.” Subutai also said there's not much people can do other than be patient.
Obviously this is a bummer, especially if you invested any kind of money into Clang, but Subutai also isn't the first developer to underestimate how much its project would cost. Subutai certainly isn't blameless (it considers the basic definition of modern commerce a “hidden catch”), but hopefully the developer can pick itself back up and make the game it always wanted—one evening at a time.