Jump to content
rllmuk

Little Devil Inside and the Kickstarter fallout


Recommended Posts

Little Devil Inside is a 3D action RPG from Korean developer Neostream. The game originally came to light back in 2015 as a 'successful' Kickstarter project funded by over 5000 various backers for a total of over £250k. These backers funded a combination of Steam, PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game with an expected digital release of June 2016. A Wii U stretch goal was also reached.

 

Three years go by with little in terms of updates and then yesterday the game appears at the PS5 event and the developers post an update saying the game is now a PS5 exclusive and they are delighted to be partnering with SIE. As you can imagine the response to this has been quite incredible and the backers reckon 70% of the people who now invested in this game five years ago will now be unable to claim the game on their requested format.

 

What an absolutely disgusting move from the developers and showing zero consideration for the people that made the game possible in the first instance. Thankfully most Kickstarters don't end up like this but it's made me think twice about what to support, It's a shame as the game looks good but I can't support the dev team when they screw over their early investors.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Wii-U stretch goal" must be nightmare fuel to so many game developers. And yeah, this is a shitty move by the developers, but at least the game is getting made. Hopefully they'll give refunds to the Wii-U owners though.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Although details of the deal cannot be disclosed at this stage, Little Devil Inside will be coming to PS5 on a PlayStation "Timed" Exclusive basis and it will also come to the existing PS4 system.

 

This does not affect our plans to release for PC concurrently.

Looks like Sony bought it up and slapped a big no xbox sticker on it. Unlike Microsoft who had no problems letting the studios they bought release the titles they were working on for other platforms.

 

Kind of a dick move buying up a kickstarter funded title and axing a version promised and paid for.

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

At least it's only "timed" exclusive - wonder how long Sony have paid for?

 

Really, really shitty for backers though - if Sony have now paid, some of that cash should be refunding backers that wanted other platforms.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Broker said:

Obviously the developer has been a dick here, but surely people weren’t expecting a Wii U release in 2020?

 

I would have LOVED to see a Wii-U vs PS5 comparison video at launch.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, PC Master Race said:

Looks like Sony bought it up and slapped a big no xbox sticker on it. Unlike Microsoft who had no problems letting the studios they bought release the titles they were working on for other platforms.

 

Kind of a dick move buying up a kickstarter funded title and axing a version promised and paid for.


those studios were contractually obligated to, and Microsoft inherited the obligation. These devs were perhaps only morally obligated to, and Sony hasn’t bought them: they’ll just think the bad press is the devs problem.

 

its probably the difference between anything being released and nothing being released anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, footle said:


those studios were contractually obligated to, and Microsoft inherited the obligation. These devs were perhaps only morally obligated to, and Sony hasn’t bought them: they’ll just think the bad press is the devs problem.

Every single one? Wow that's unlucky. I wonder how long the contract to support the worlds highest selling game, on PS hardware has left to run.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I backed the game in 2016 for $25AU (16 quid!). I'm intending to get a PS5 at launch but even so, if I didn't I don't think I would complain at only 16 quid. Looking at the campaign again now, it only made $306K AU! (167,000 sterling) , that's nothing. This isn't like Shenmue3 etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I think that’s the main issue really, people felt like the money those kickstarters all made when it was popular was loads, but even the most successful kickstarter ever is a tiny fraction of a normal game budget, and backers seem to expect games of the quality and polish of other games they could buy, but even cheaper and indie games generally cost far more than a successful kickstarter can generate. Now there are loads of developers trying desperately to meet player expectations and honour their agreements with backers using a fraction of the budget that would normally cost.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people just expect that their cash isn't going to get used to flutter eyelashes at a platform holder and then, on securing a likely fat exclusivity cheque, be totally forgotten about.

 

If the sums were so tiny, the good PR move here would have been to just say "if you backed for anything other than PS, have a refund". It wouldn't have cost much.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Revival said:

Little Devil Inside is a 3D action RPG from Korean developer Neostream. The game originally came to light back in 2015 as a 'successful' Kickstarter project funded by over 5000 various backers for a total of over £250k. These backers funded a combination of Steam, PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game with an expected digital release of June 2016. A Wii U stretch goal was also reached.

 

Three years go by with little in terms of updates and then yesterday the game appears at the PS5 event and the developers post an update saying the game is now a PS5 exclusive and they are delighted to be partnering with SIE. As you can imagine the response to this has been quite incredible and the backers reckon 70% of the people who now invested in this game five years ago will now be unable to claim the game on their requested format.

 

What an absolutely disgusting move from the developers and showing zero consideration for the people that made the game possible in the first instance. Thankfully most Kickstarters don't end up like this but it's made me think twice about what to support, It's a shame as the game looks good but I can't support the dev team when they screw over their early investors.

 

 

 

 

 

It does look really good, doesn't it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, PC Master Race said:

Every single one? Wow that's unlucky. I wonder how long the contract to support the worlds highest selling game, on PS hardware has left to run.

 

Ok. The ones they recently bought - such as Double Fine, Obsidian etc. have contracts with other publishers that they're honouring.

 

Minecraft is an interesting case, but they consider that a platform rather than a game...

Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, footle said:

 

Ok. The ones they recently bought - such as Double Fine, Obsidian etc. have contracts with other publishers that they're honouring.

 

Minecraft is an interesting case, but they consider that a platform rather than a game...

Lets see here. A previously crowd funded game, being published by the new owner but still being released on all platforms promised. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychonauts_2

:sherlock:

Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Broker said:

Yeah I think that’s the main issue really, people felt like the money those kickstarters all made when it was popular was loads, but even the most successful kickstarter ever is a tiny fraction of a normal game budget, and backers seem to expect games of the quality and polish of other games they could buy, but even cheaper and indie games generally cost far more than a successful kickstarter can generate. Now there are loads of developers trying desperately to meet player expectations and honour their agreements with backers using a fraction of the budget that would normally cost.

 

I don't blaming the backers is the answer here, after all, is was up to the developers to set a target for the KS (and I know there's lots of politics involved in what you ask for vs what you actually need). But, again, that's not the backers' problem so it's still poor form to bait-and-switch like they have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, there a thread on ResetEra with a screenshot showing a pretty bad African caricature in it, plus somebody is claiming that the UI has ripped-off elements from Below (for which a screenshot is given) and 'many other things quite similar in the UI'. The example shown does look very much the same (bar a single addition), to be fair.

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, rgraves said:

I think people just expect that their cash isn't going to get used to flutter eyelashes at a platform holder and then, on securing a likely fat exclusivity cheque, be totally forgotten about.

 

If the sums were so tiny, the good PR move here would have been to just say "if you backed for anything other than PS, have a refund". It wouldn't have cost much.


It’s been years, they’ve spent the donations they got on wages but they’re nowhere near enough to cover actually finishing the game. Their choices are likely take some money from Sony or go bust. If they’d done this immediately after the kickstarter your scenario might feel realistic, but years down the line they won’t have any resources left to issue mass refunds.

 

2 minutes ago, Gabe said:

 

I don't blaming the backers is the answer here, after all, is was up to the developers to set a target for the KS (and I know there's lots of politics involved in what you ask for vs what you actually need). But, again, that's not the backers' problem so it's still poor form to bait-and-switch like they have.

 

I’m not really blaming the backers, more kickstarter as a platform and the gaming media’s obsession with it, which lead to a perception amongst potential backers and developers that these games were possible on their tiny budgets, and wasn’t helped by people like double fine raking in millions and not really clarifying that it was only a fraction of their privately funded budget for their game and that for them kickstarter was more of a marketing tool than a source of realistic funding.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Broker said:

I’m not really blaming the backers, more kickstarter as a platform and the gaming media’s obsession with it, which lead to a perception amongst potential backers and developers that these games were possible on their tiny budgets, and wasn’t helped by people like double fine raking in millions and not really clarifying that it was only a fraction of their privately funded budget for their game and that for them kickstarter was more of a marketing tool than a source of realistic funding.

 

Yeah, I can agree with that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Broker said:

they won’t have any resources left to issue mass refunds.

 

"mass refunds" lol - we've already established they only raised about £170k - so if even 80% of those folks were not backing for PS, we're not talking a huge number here.

 

If c.£100k is going to cause serious trouble to the developer of an exclusive PS5 title that's just been featured in that showcase, they've got big issues.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s more likely that they had big issues before they became the featured developer in a Sony showcase. Sony absolutely have the resources to pay the refunds, but if all they’ve offered is enough money to keep the lights on that isn’t an option. Most studios are constantly on the verge of bankruptcy, and kickstarter and the media acting like a few million is enough to make a decent looking game on modern hardware is the problem, not one struggling developer who aimed too high. There was never any point at which backers were guaranteed refunds and everybody got into backing things knowing they might lose that money. The problem is that kickstarter purposefully fuelled the idea that it was some golden ticket to game funding, rather than a good community building tool that might pay for your vertical slice. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.