News Article

Kickstarter For Ecco The Dolphin Successor Sinks Beneath The Waves

Posted by Damien McFerran

Only $55,000 raised of a $665,000 target

We reported recently that the man behind Ecco the Dolphin had launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a spiritual sequel to the game, with a Wii U edition being a distinct possibility.

Sadly for Ed Annunziata, the campaign for The Big Blue wasn't a success, only managing to raise $55,764 of its lofty $665,000 target.

Annunziata remains positive however, and has stated that he will continue to work on the project - albeit on a much smaller scale than before:

I am absolutely certain that if you could try the game and see how beautiful and unique it will be, most people would not hesitate to back it, and will want to be involved in it's creation.

Were you one of the people who supported this campaign? If so, are you disappointed that it didn't reach its funding goal? Perhaps you feel The Big Blue just wasn't exciting enough to support, or that Annunziata's target was simply too high? Post a comment to tell us your opinion.

[via eurogamer.net, kickstarter.com]

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User Comments (57)

PhillaLoup

#2

PhillaLoup said:

The kickstarter video for the project was just too indefinite. And the short parts of actual gameplay footage (?), where they actually showed the game, looked like Fish Frenzy for the iPad...

Gregor

#7

Gregor said:

Just watched the video and I can already tell that the devs are SO bluffing on this one. They're pulling a GearBox sham.

SuperKMx

#8

SuperKMx said:

I'll be honest and say that I thought that the game looked like it would end up being mediocre at best. It isn't $650,000 worth, as far as I can see.

Plus, Ecco was massively overhyped back in the day. The game was incredibly dull at times, and somewhat average. A nice experiment, but should be left to die - as the Dreamcast "reboot" proved.

Meaty-cheeky

#10

Meaty-cheeky said:

When I tried out Ecco the Dolphin on the SEGA Genesis when I was a little kid, I had no clue what I was doing in that game lol.

DerpSandwich

#11

DerpSandwich said:

Can't say I'm surprised. Maybe it might have been more successful if it hadn't appeared to be first and foremost an iPad game. Actual gamers are the ones who kickstart projects, and they want their games on actual systems.

OptometristLime

#12

OptometristLime said:

Ambiguous in theme and design, overly ambitious; in a word the game looked bad.

I'm a huge fan of Kickstarter for the excitement their projects bring to the game community, but at a glance this campaign seems misguided.

tsm7

#17

tsm7 said:

I, also, could not get into ecco the dolphin. Here's a tip: if you ever have a six figure goal, don't show it off on an ipad.

SirQuincealot

#18

SirQuincealot said:

i always liked the ecco games, im not sure how much they could do with them, but i would love to see one on a virtule console

Realgamer4life

#20

Realgamer4life said:

Why oh why did they pick that game to make. If I ever get off my arse and make a game I promise you guys it won't be about a fish. I saw the video and they kept talking about the game and showing what gameplay they showed I fell asleep. Woke up and they were still talking I looked at the game and thought what is this game trying to accomplish.

AcesHigh

#21

AcesHigh said:

Wow... think about it guys. i think of all the kickstarters that have been covered in these game sites, this is the only one I can remember that failed. LOL! Well... I always thought the Eco games were boring. Never got into them. I guess I'm not the only one!

Someone needs to start a Phantasy Star kickstarter with the original dev team. a full-fledged, single player, top-down, 2D adventure in HD like I - IV. I'd pay big kickstarter bucks for that!

HeatBombastic

#23

HeatBombastic said:

Even though I think it could've brought several unique gameplay elements, 665,000 is a little too ambitious.

DarkKirby

#25

DarkKirby said:

I played Ecco The Dolphin when I was a kid. Despite how ecstatic I was to be playing it back then, I know now what a truly terrible game it was.

C7_

#27

C7_ said:

To those who say $665,000 is ambitious: You clearly have no idea how much it takes to make a game like that. Art alone will take a lot of time and effort, not to mention research on references.

Let's pretend this game will only take a year to create, and that only the four people mentioned on the kickstarter page will work on it full-time for 50k a year. That's already 200k, and that is optimistic at best, as they said ON THE PAGE that they hope to keep it in a permanent state of updating, meaning they HAVE to keep pumping out that money. They have to get the proper development kits and licenses for their consoles, with 5 different OS's for PC and mobile, AND the big 3 consoles, that is a lot of porting that needs to be done. That's going to require some massive help from professionals who deal with porting. They need cash too.

Office expenses? They need very nice rigs to build this kind of thing, and the space to do it, which means rent. The certification process for a lot of these platforms is time-consuming, and employees are still on their paycheck during the waiting period. Beta testing? You bet they need a bunch of random and experienced people to play this. How about localization? Plenty of cash down the drain for that alone. Music and Sound? A lot of people underestimate how difficult it can be to make both of those work within the context of the game, and the equipment it needs to be done.

And what about when the game is actually finished? Marketing something like this is going to be a massive chore, especially since even most of you were uninterested after watching the video. (although yes, showing off what little you had on an ipad is a joke)

If anything you should be happy to see a realistic price; gaming projects that only cost $20,000 should raise a lot of questions. I still think Kickstarter campaigns need an outline as to how this money is going to be spent instead of just saying "We need this much kthx." I'm not going to give to a project with a severely under-priced goal, the odds of them running out of money is really high, ESPECIALLY if it's an indie title. On this case, they started with a realistic goal and put it out there, along with a detailed list of what is going into the game itself that would imply such a high price goal.

Dpullam

#29

Dpullam said:

It's too bad it failed to reach its kickstarter though I have never even played the Ecco the Dolphin series so I can't say I am disappointed.

EvisceratorX

#30

EvisceratorX said:

Well, their first mistake was making it an iPad game. Nobody is going to take an iPad game like this seriously and that's a terrible platform to be releasing such an "ambitious" game as this. Also, they're simply asking for too much. Doubtless the Ecco series has its devoted followers, but I definitely wouldn't chalk it up as a well known series.

Squid

#31

Squid said:

Anyone wanna go to SeaWorld...
that sounds more fun than playing this game

Jukilum

#32

Jukilum said:

@SirQuincealot Kickstarter project creators don't get any money at all until and if the project reaches its goal. They never saw any of that 50k.

aaronsullivan

#33

aaronsullivan said:

Kickstarter got it right. :) Maybe he'll come back with something appealing this time. I kept looking for the fun in that video. How would I have fun during the play? Never saw it.

buttle

#34

buttle said:

I only support projects that guarantee a Wii U or 3ds version. And the video wasn't all that convincing that they had any great ideas. But I loved the 3 ecco games and would have definitely given this a shot.

andrea987

#36

andrea987 said:

@nameusage Don't think it would be enough money for it, but yeah, that's something I'd love to see. Hopefully already in the works.

OptometristLime

#38

OptometristLime said:

@SirQuincealot
"When is my card charged?

If the project you’re backing is successfully funded, your card will be charged when the project reaches its funding deadline. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged. That's why we call them pledges."

Source: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/backer+questions#BackAProj

@JogurtTheYogurt 's wording was a little unclear, but in actuality Kickstarter makes a distinction between a pledge and the final transaction. The latter will not take place unless the project is funded in total. For this reason backers can donate with confidence; the creator is responsible for achieving their goals based on that budget.

KnightRider666

#40

KnightRider666 said:

The Ecco games were so bleeding boring. Who would want to waste that much money resurrecting such an abomination in the first place? As in the words of the AVGN: What were they thinking???

CapnKael

#42

CapnKael said:

That's a bit of a blow. I hope this doesn't make him feel like a man without porpoise.

Garo

#43

Garo said:

So much negativity. Opinions are opinions, but many of these comments make me sick.

Shame that it didn't reach it's goal, but I'm happy that Annunziata doesn't abandon the project. The guy's a visionary and I'm sure he'll create something good out of this.

XCWarrior

#44

XCWarrior said:

No shock there. He was asking for a lot of money for a game that I'm not sure why was super popular in the first place back on the SNES. No real loss.

Wheels2050

#45

Wheels2050 said:

@DashDG: Really? You didn't like the look of a game, so you hope it never gets released? Never mind that other people may quite enjoy it, you find the idea of a game you might want to play so offensive that you actively wish it never gets made?

Anyway, I'm not all that surprised that the funding didn't get there. It was a slick pitch, but with little substance - it wasn't made clear to me, either through the video or on the front page, what the game would involve. There were some vague concepts listed, but no information on what the minute-to-minute gameplay would involve.

Still, it seems like they had some interesting ideas buried there. Hopefully they can come back with a more descriptive campaign so it's clearer exactly what the finished product will be like.

AJWolfTill

#47

AJWolfTill said:

The stuff he was talking about sounded really impressive, if what he was showing on the Ipad was an actual demonstration of what they were doing then I'm not too upset.

TheXboxHero

#49

TheXboxHero said:

Ecco the dolphin looks super boring in my opinion. No wonder it couldnt reach its Kickstarter goal. $650,000 is a big price.

ecco6t9

#50

ecco6t9 said:

A nice 2D sprite based remake of the first two Ecco's on the 3DS would of been nice.

DashDG

#51

DashDG said:

@Wheels2050: Dont take it so seriously... have you seen theres a "-.-" at the end of my comment meaning some sarcasm??? Im just being honest, there are many great games on Kickstarter asking for less money to help their creations. If this one didnt reach the goal perhaps is becuse not so many people want it released... -.-

DashDG

#52

DashDG said:

@Wheels2050: Dont take it so seriously... have you seen theres a "-.-" at the end of my comment meaning some sarcasm??? Im just being honest, there are many great games on Kickstarter asking for less money to help their creations. If this one didnt reach the goal perhaps is becuse not so many people want it released... -.-

Ultra64

#54

Ultra64 said:

I liked Ecco: Tides of Time. yes it was slow and boring at first, but after you get passed a few levels the game gets fun and i remember a crazy boss fight with a giant squid in the sky~ Trippy! Plus i really liked the soundtracks from the games...BUT, I'm going to agree with everyone on this because the game looked boring and being on an Ipad is just a mistake. Glad it didn't meet it's goal and maybe they'll re-evaluate their platform, ideas, etc.

Pod

#55

Pod said:

I didn't hear about this until way too late.

I'm sad to see some of the old timers make interesting projects, great pitch videos, but then not doing the leg-work to get the word out there during the Kickstarter run.

Particularly when they ask for amounts of this caliber.

Pod

#56

Pod said:

@Sabrewing

I wouldn't count it out. The typical curve for Kickstarter backing always has a huge rise during the last four to five days. They are more than close enough to make it when they hit that time, as I see it.

What happens is typically that the existing backers will throw off the last inhibitions and ask EVERYONE they know, if they really want the project to succeed, and most gaming sites don't pick up a Kickstarter until it is ALMOST funded. Of course, when that happens, there's an influx of pledges from gamers who never heard of it before.
During the last week is also typically when local media in the creators' area will pick up a story, generating pledges out of sheer interest from the community.

Lobster

#57

Lobster said:

This is a good idea for a book, not a game. Write your NOVEL about how the humans went away and the Earth is a living thing and something something sound is alive... it sounded kinda cool... for a BOOK. Not a game.

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