News Article

Shadow of the Eternals Developer Double-Dips With Kickstarter Campaign

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Now there are two significant targets to hit

We've given some coverage recently to Shadow of the Eternals, mainly due to its role as a "spiritual successor" to highly-regarded GameCube title Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. The presence of Denis Dyack on the team, and claims of "constant communication with Nintendo", have earned the crowdfunded endeavour plenty of attention.

One area that's perhaps not been covered in detail is the scale of the developer's ambition with the money that it's trying to secure. It's attempting to raise a whopping $1.5 million in its own campaign, yet with 24 days remaining has only reached just over 10% of that goal. Despite that fundraiser having a long way to go, Precursor Games has now launched a Kickstarter campaign, which has 36 days to raise a further $1.35 million; in the case of Kickstarter, failure to hit the target means that no money is received.

The interesting point is that, as it stands, Precursor Games may not receive a dollar if the campaigns both fail, and yet now potential backers are distracted between them. In a blog post the developer has stated that "Kickstarter will run in parallel with our existing website crowdfunding campaign", yet in an earlier entry made clear that its own campaign would also be liable to the rule of raising a significant amount, or the studio would keep nothing.

It was quickly pointed out to us that our boilerplate terms of service said we would keep all contributions. That is not our intention. If we find that we cannot raise enough funds to create this project, we will refund all donations. We have updated our Terms Of Use to reflect this.

It shows serious ambition to attempt to raise, essentially, $2.85 million. At the very least, there's surely a danger of neither ambitious target being hit if backers are split between two campaigns. Even if the wording above has wiggle-room to progress with less than the full $1.5 million in the studio's own campaign, it's still an interesting state of affairs.

Is this admirable ambition, over-confidence or simply a messy structure? We'll let you decide.

[via nintendo-insider.com, precursorgames.com, kickstarter.com]

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User Comments (28)

Jonny

#1

Jonny said:

Messy structure, I personally wasn't up for the original paypal crowdfunding because I dislike the idea of giving money for a target that may not be hit, which quickstarter thankfully goes around, but I can't see this approach working at all.

AcridSkull

#2

AcridSkull said:

This is the sort of paddle-less project management that helped Silicon Knights on its way up the proverbial creek.
Neither of these will be seeing a penny from me.

Dpullam

#3

Dpullam said:

They just raised the bar on getting this game funded that much higher. I also really don't like the idea of kickstarters in the first place. It can help some developers have their dream game realized, but it seems like there are many kickstarter programs that ask for more money than they actually need. As some people have mentioned in previous articles, I have to wonder how much of this money is going to benefit the video game and how much will benefit the developers themselves. I do believe that most developers aren't shady though. I just wouldn't want to put money towards kickstarters myself.

Nintex

#4

Nintex said:

wow, this all but tells me that this game will never see the light of a dark basement tv... something fishy going on with these canadians

Gen0neD

#5

Gen0neD said:

They're not gonna make it. Mr Dyack and the Silicon Knights names are no longer synonymous with quality. They should've tackled this project back when there was more interest and Too Human/X-Men didn't exist. The damage is done. Personally, i hope they do make it, but the word "longshot" keeps coming to mind

NINTENBOY

#7

NINTENBOY said:

I really want this game but the money and the deadline their asking for is just leaps and bounds above this community's ability. Point blank their crazy!

Pod

#8

Pod said:

As I see it, it is quite clever of them to run their own campaign alongside the Kickstarter, in which you can pay with PayPal, which is typically quite a concern for many people.

And for those who don't like Kickstarter in general, like @Dpullam, you can go the route of that page as well.

The game looks like it will be made one way or another, unlike @Nintex I don't believe there's anything fishy going on.

These guys a simply opting for the smarter way to get around the limitations of Kickstarter.

@Gen0neD, well it's a good thing they don't mention Silicon Knights at all then. Dyack is still quality to me, as long as no suits are weighing in with focus group results every fortnight.

@Pit_96
I quite obviously isn't.

Dpullam

#9

Dpullam said:

@Pod Oh trust me, I follow some kickstarters quite closely. I don't fund them myself but I do support some as a whole. I just think the amount of money they are asking for is quite high considering Eternal Darkness was considered a cult classic that didn't sell incredibly well. I certainly would like to see if this game turned out to be worth the wait though.

MeddlingIdiotStaff

#10

MeddlingIdiot said:

This guy is just making a messy campaign even messier. If Nintendo don't snap it up, I don't see this thing getting off the ground.

Sabrewing

#11

Sabrewing said:

The situation is not quite so pie-in-the-sky as how this article is making it sound. In the developer forums, the company heads offered a poll on whether the PrecursorGames.com PayPal pledging should be "turned off" — that is, only set to a goal of $150,000 and thereby considered complete — or remain in place while both the goal and the timeframe are deleted, so it that it exists purely as an indefinite "chip in if you feel like it" structure. The KickStarter is considered the official route now either way, and it is the topmost link on their home page; the $150,000 baseline from the Paypal, plus the $1.35M goal on KS, is still the original goal of $1.5M.

SilentHunter382

#12

SilentHunter382 said:

I like that they were doing the there own kickstarter but not I don't think I will be backing them with having 2 kickstarters since it will both confuse and anger people.

So sorry guys I don't think I will be back you now since you decided to double dip at the same time. Why not have done one kickstarter but double the time of it.

robbleshague

#13

robbleshague said:

My guess is that there's a lot riding on this getting funded, so they've panicked and launched a Kickstarter too.

Just feels off to me. "Constant communication with Nintendo" doesn't add up with two separate, and massively massive donation goals.

DAaaMan64

#14

DAaaMan64 said:

They could just take the crowd funding and by proxy put it on the Kickstarter in order to still get the money from Kickstarter.

Pod

#15

Pod said:

@robbleshague
Neither are really massively massive, though, in terms of game budgets, and I could see why they would "switch" to kickstarter when everybody started calling them frauds.

Kickstarter seems to be the "legit" way of doing things, somehow, even if nothing is guaranteed on that site as well, and project creators have to deal with the fact that about 10% of pledged donations won't make it through when a campaign ends.

Peach64

#16

Peach64 said:

I've said this whole set up was dodgy from the start, and that's just looking more and more true. This game will never come out.

Pod

#17

Pod said:

@Peach64

C'mon, there's no reasoning for that.

They've deliberately made this change in their campaign method because people thought they were being dishonest.

If anything they're showing every bit of reliability they possibly can.

Peach64

#18

Peach64 said:

@Pod If they were 'changing' to Kickstarter they'd refund all original donators. They're not changing, they're just creating another campaign on the side.

Pod

#19

Pod said:

@Peach64

But the new campaign starts with the amount already gathered on their own site deducted, and they're still refunding everybody's pledges if they ultimately deem it impossible to finance the making of the game.

How's that dodgy?

On their own site, they never said nobody would get their rewards if they don't reach their 1.5 million goal, only Kickstarter works that way.

So if the kickstarter finishes, but their own campaign doesn't everyone who pledged there originally still receives their promised rewards.

As they're billing it now, only people who have no other payment option than PayPal should use their proprietary option.

Which ever way you turn it, they seem clean to me.

MagicEmperor

#20

MagicEmperor said:

I just still can't understand how they thought they could raise 1.5 million from fans in only 30 days. Months, sure, but 30 days? Eternal Darkness , as big of a cult classic as it is, isn't enough to make every other guy and their mother crack open their wallets upon hearing the name. But, hey, we'll see! I don't mean to be a Negative Nancy.

Edit: Or, in this case, 2.8 million. Is there a sanity meter going down in this thing? I'm starting to see naked women in bloody bathtubs! AHH!!

Pod

#21

Pod said:

@MagicEmperor
It's not an insanity effect. :)
The campaign on their own website is shut down for anyone but the ones who need to use PayPal or just don't like Kickstarter, and the Kickstarter has taken over, with the goal having the already collected amount deducted.

Nothing much has changed. And they still seem sort of likely to make it.

sinalefa

#22

sinalefa said:

This Dyack guy is obviously depending on nostalgia to back this thing up. Judging by their recent disasters, I am not giving Precursor a penny.

Ren

#23

Ren said:

this is a weird way of doing it. I don't have a problem with Kickstarter but people need to be realistic with their goals. It is still essentially a form of donation. You can't start producing massive products where you expect to pay a team of employees like its a full time job with kickstarter. the point of kickstarter is to raise money by contributors because you are passionate about something and you have no other means of finding that money. I do cool artwork that I love for a living but I can't ask people to pay me full time through kickstarter for every weird art project I do, it gets kind of old.
I love Eternal D but this campaign is a little ridiculous. They need to just find some real investors like the rest of us for a product that big. It's not like it's saving starving kids or something.

WesGrogan

#24

WesGrogan said:

Honestly, it's the idea of the game being episodic that really turns me off on that. Telltale does a good job with their episodes, but has Dyack proven the same record? I get nervous putting the money into a Kickstarter or other crowdsource system when things are delivered all or nothing up front. Probably just me being paranoid, but it does make me concerned enough to not want to invest any significant money.

AJWolfTill

#26

AJWolfTill said:

If this game was worth it, I fail to see why Nintendo wouldn't produce it themselves. I can't bring myself to fund this despite an ED sequel being in my top 3 Wii U wishlist. I just don't trust Dyack to deliver anything if he is in a position of power.
If an Eternal Darkness game is going to be released it will be able to use the Eternal Darkness name, rather than riding off it's fanbase.

GamerWho

#28

GamerWho said:

This article is missing a lot of information.

The Kickstarter is now the only way to contribute. The reason this wasn't their at first was because Kickstarter wasn't originally available to Precursor because they were not in the US.

The amount raised directly in the first few days, around $150,000, has been deducted from their original target for their Kickstarter target, leaving $1,350,000.

They managed to get a Kickstarter, because they felt they could reach more people, with better trust in the KS platform.

They waited for their pledgers to vote on what we wanted doing with our pledge money via the dev forum that pledges are give access to.

Posting this kind of article just adds to the confusion to potential backers.

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