Industry veteran Brenda Brathwaite and her team at Loot Drop have officially cancelled crowdfunding efforts for their ambitious “old school RPG”, Shaker, after the game had already seen more than 7,600 backers pledge nearly $250,000 to the project. (Remember, as soon as the project is officially cancelled on Kickstarter, all that money will be refunded to fans.)
With the world so overwhelmed by crowdfunding projects, it was inevitable that – at some point – things were going to start failing. We’re not talking about games that don’t reach their funding targets – that sort of thing is to be expected. Instead, we’re talking about games that do get fully funded but then the developers realise just how much work is involved in the project, or – in cases like Shaker – where the devs realise they may have jumped onto the bandwagon a little early.
Shaker was roughly half way through its campaign, and had raised nearly a quarter of the money it needed to be successful. Brathwaite and business partner Tom Hall explain the difficult decision had to be made – and it was in part based on a lot of audience feedback the team had received throughout the project.
Ultimately, our pitch just wasn’t strong enough to get the traction we felt it needed to thrive. Sure, it may have made it. We could have fought our way to a possibly successful end. In reading your feedback and talking it over internally, however, we decided that it made more sense to kill it and come back with something stronger.
In game design, mercy killing is the law.
So, please accept our thanks and apologies in equal order. Expect something more soon.
Brathwaite and Hall have been in the industry for a long time, and had enlisted the help of another old-school gaming icons – Doom creator John Romero. However, even these big names – and the credibility they bring with them – wasn’t enough to survive the fact that Shaker had (excuse me) a shaky pitch, without enough solid information and detailing to back it up.
At this stage, it is unclear what “Something stronger” will involve, or what timeframe Loot Drop is working towards. While some fans are applauding the team’s decision to step down, there are plenty of others who consider Shaker to have been a flash in the pan, never to be seen again – or are now simply more wary of pledging money to games that are little more than a concept.