News Article

Darkness Falls Early For Shadow Of The Eternals

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Crowdfunding campaigns closing, relaunch promised

Percursor Games’ journey to crowdfund Shadow of the Eternals, the episodic spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness, has faced its share of stumbling blocks, including split campaigns and doubts cast upon former studio Silicon Knights and its founder.

Now, three days after Precursor Games COO Shawn Jackson discussed the possibility of the game not being funded with fans on Reddit, an announcement on Shadow of the Eternals’ Kickstarter page states the effort will be closing up shop before its 19th June deadline — but will come back with some tweaks:

Since we announced this Kickstarter campaign we have seen more support from our community than we had ever hoped for. Along with this support has come a host of a new exciting opportunities that will make the game better than we envisioned. As a result, we have chosen to temporarily take down the Shadow of the Eternals crowdfunding campaigns on both Kickstarter and our own website on Thursday, June 6.

This doesn’t mean we are going away — far from it. We’ll be re-launching the Kickstarter in just a few short weeks with a reveal of these exciting new developments.

According to the remainder of the announcement, current Kickstarter pledges for the project will not be taken and those who donated to the additional website campaign will receive full refunds through PayPal, as promised by Jackson.

At the time of this writing, the Shadows of the Eternal Kickstarter campaign had collected $127,241 or 9 percent of its goal. The campaign site had collected $157,545.

Regrouping may be the best option for Precursor Games at this point in time. New incentives and more clarification may inspire more financial confidence in donors. Do you think Precursor Games can right their crowdfunding ship, or was this voyage doomed by the elder gods before it ever set sail?


From the web

User Comments (62)



SkywardCrowbar said:

I can see high donor output if they reveal more about the game, but I don't think that will be able to make up 90% of the cost... They will need to look for some other options.

I really, REALLY want this game to come to Wii U as part of what I see as the console becoming the home for survival horror (my favorite genre) in this next console cycle.



Kirk said:

If Nintendo has suddenly had a revelation and decided to back this game and make it a Wii U exclusive then I'll be impressed...



Damo said:

@Kirk Who knows? Perhaps that has happened - maybe not Nintendo, but another publisher.




Screw this guy asking for 1.5 MILLION and this is just for one episode he was gonna ask for the same amount AGAIN for each episode!!



Pikachupwnage said:

@NINTENBOY I don't think you know what your talking about here....this was for the first few episodes and after that they would be funded by the profits from the other episodes.



MAN1AC said:

I didn't expect this game to hit its goal, but 9 percent is kind of crazy. I guess the legal issues and all the other controversy surrounding it was just too much.



Melkaticox said:

...Wait, I just realized...the E3...'a few weeks'...


...Maybe? Well, they said they're relaunching the kickstarter...sigh hope this doesn't means it's coming to other consoles, it will sell like crap on the Wii U if it does...



Einherjar said:

Maybe a exclusive deal with nintendo could save them. It would be quite logical, since its spiritual predecessor was a nintendo exclusive as well. Since the image blow is already done, i dont think that many people will have the faith to invest in starting to play / buy an episodic game when the first episode already had so much problems.
So, things that could save it:
-Drop the episodic idea. People already lost trust in an Ep.1 release, nothing can convince them now that youll bring out every other episode. Take more time to make one full game.
-Nintendo is looking for new exclusive deals. Thats the way Bayonetta 2 came to live, since no one else wanted to invest into it and platinum didnt have the money to make it on their own. Make a deal with nintendo, get the money, tie in the ED licence a bit more (maybe a subtle undertitle ?) and save your dream.
-Give the fans more insight of the game. Having these kind of problems already causes some distrust. If they also dont know much about the game, they will turn away even further. Regular progress updates, insights and feature highlights to get people excited. Otherwise everyone will think that it will never come out in the first place.

Other than that, i dont see this game survive. 9% is pretty abyssmal if you ask me. This isnt a "goal not met" this is a sign of disinterest in the whole project, considering what other stuff gets funded pretty quickly. Lower your expectations, narrow in your target (single console rather than every system available) and get a strong, interested partner and THEN try it again. If you come out of a crowdfunding campaign with just 9%, "a few short weeks" wont make a difference. This calles for a much more drastic change from the ground up.



TheHunter said:

Kickstarter is a great way for consumers to vote on what they want by contributing funds. I think they need to take this severe lack of the support they needed as a sign that consumers don't want this game.



MagicEmperor said:

I'm not surprised. This was probably the worst-handled crowdfunding campaign I've ever witnessed. [/Not being a troll, being honest.]



MrWalkieTalkie said:

@TheHunter I kinda agree, but at the same time I feel it hasn't been supported well because of their own lack of promoting and advertising on getting their name out there, and the discouraging thought of actually trying to help something that requires over a million dollars to succeed.



Melkaticox said:

@MagicEmperor I agree, actually. I remember there was some sort of hype for this game, and then people were like "...Oh, it's for the Wii U? ...Nevermind"



b23cdq said:

@SkywardCrowbar If I was a good visual artist I would already be in the process of putting Gordon Freeman on the cover of Skyward Sword. Thank you for the mental image.



Ralizah said:

If a proper sequel to Eternal Darkness is released for Wii U, I will buy the console this year. Already considering getting it due to new 3D Mario that will be released.



evanescent_hero said:

Pretty sure it's not a lack of interest so much as, as @TysonOfTime said, Dyack's involvement. Nintendo is the only reason ED was good in the first place.

So hopefully they're just handing it off to Nintendo (or Retro) so they can make the real ED2.



Dpullam said:

I already anticipated this would happen. Perhaps the second time's the charm?



XCWarrior said:

No shock. You can't ask for $1.5 million for a game that about 250 very vocal minority fans wanted. It was a good game for it's time... but doesn't need a sequel. Best to just be rereleased on like the Wii U VC or something.



jon45030 said:

oh no please dont let this get cancalled i allready had this game on my top wii u games to buy list!!!!!!!



polynomer said:

@evanescent_hero Well, it's obviously failed because of all the unproven rumors about Dyack. And how do you know that the "only reason ED was good" is because of Nintendo. It's as if Dyack, who was the director and producer of that game, had no input, and therefore the ONLY possible reason it was good, must be because of Nintendo.



Hordak said:

@polynomer Since you say it "obviously failed because of all the unproven rumors about Dyack," I would like to take a page out your book and ask for PROOF! It's a little hypocritical to blast everyone else on previous comments for voicing their opinions and demanding proof while throwing your own around as though it is fact.



WesGrogan said:

@Einherjar It's a nice thought, but their pride is going to continue to prevent them from seeking out a publisher that could provide the needed funds.



citizenerased said:

Without Nintendo, this is going to be a mediocre game like all their other games — if it somehow gets funded. Calling it now.

I hope Nintendo gives the Eternal Darkness IP to a different development team instead.



Einherjar said:

@WesGrogan Then it comes down to the old question: burry your pride or burry your dreams.

The least standalone dev studios kickstarted (i do not mean the crowdfunding site) on their own and instantly became famous and well known. Most of them started as hired guns, prooved themself and later, went on on their own. Thats the only way this thing can be saved, They need someone else to back them up. Making your project dependent on a "give me money so i can make money" system is iffy at best. Either they get a strong publisher or collaborate with a good dev team. Either way, they need help, since they clearly cant do this thing on their own now. And to be honest, another go at crowdfunding with a blemished image like that screams for just another failure.

This project needs drastic changes, not to the game per se, but to the general handling of the project. You need to get people excited and not worried that they only get to play one or maybe two episodes of a game and grieve that they spend money on an unsolved story. Thats why oh so many people on here (inclusing me) said, that they only going to buy this game when all of its parts are released. And since they are planning on using the profit from the released episode sales...there wont be enough. A concept like that is doomed from the get go.
Look at hollywood. The first movie of that kind that comes to my mind is "the golden compass". It was said from the beginning, that hey will only continue the story, if the sales and revenue are high enough. People got instantly uninterested and the film flopped lika a magikarp. Its the exact same problem here.



polynomer said:

@Einherjar "The Golden Compass" most likely flopped because of the books atheist and anti-religion themes, and the protest of various Christian groups. The movie also didn't get much critical acclaim. It was also a result of New Line Cinema's deal to fund the cost of the movie in a way which required it to do well domestically in order to make it profitable. Ironically, the movie did not do well domestically because of the controversy related to religion, although it made a ton of money internationally. I suggest you read up on this, because you've misplaced the blame:

Also, it's a great set of books, I highly recommend them.

I fail to see how stating a TV show or a film series will only continue if it is financially viable should make any difference. It's obvious. Everyone already knows it. And since people have forward-looking expectations, they would have already taken this obvious fact into account. So whether or not it's said should be irrelevant and make no difference at all.



Einherjar said:

@polynomer But you do not need to pay for a TV episode...thats the simple difference. Here, youll pay for a fraction of a game which is, up to this point, uncertain to be finished anytime soon.
And im not the only one who thinks like that, so making the release of Ep.2 depending on the sales of Ep.1 is a disaster recipe for the game.
Like i said before, i wont spent money on episodic games until they are completely released. Simple as that.



polynomer said:

@Einherjar Now you changed your argument. Originally you said that the problem was their messaging--that it would only continue if it's successful: "It was said from the beginning, that hey will only continue the story, if the sales and revenue are high enough. People got instantly uninterested and the film flopped lika a magikarp."

I debunked that. And now the argument is the fact that they can't guarantee that all the episodes will be made.

You mention TV as being free, watching TV is not really free. It has an opportunity cost, and time is sometimes more valuable than money. Game of Thrones is not free. It's on cable TV. Are people watching that show dumb for paying for something that may not finish?

Nothing can be guaranteed, there was no guarantee that the Hunger Games movies would continue, yet people still watched the first movie.



Einherjar said:

@polynomer How did i change the point im trying to make ? And you compare the "time spent watching TV" wich "money paid for an episode"...really ?
Also, regarding the "Hunger Games" movie: First: If your interested in the story and the films arent the books, simple as that. Second, it costs me roughly 5-7€ to watch the movie, way less than a game costs.
Sure people saw this movie and quite a lot of people saw "the golden compass" but it simply wasnt enough. And you, as a consumer a) do not know what is "enough" and b) have no controll over it.
Also, if a movie uses that kind of system, flopps in cinema, nobody will invest into buying it on DVD / BluRay, reducing the income even further. So, investing into a "to be continued" story where the progress is dependent on a factor you cannot controll or have any insight of, is a big turnoff to people. And not many are willing to partake in that gamble.

And please, spare me another "i debunked everything youve said because you changed this and that and now cheese tastes like chocolate" reply. Thanks in advance...



polynomer said:

@Einherjar So you say The Hunger Games is fine because it's a book series, but hypocritically somehow that argument doesn't apply to The Golden Compass (which is also a book series)? Then you mentioned that the cost of the first Hunger Games movie is 5 Euros. Well, the cost of the first SotE episode is $5 (3.82 Euros).

And I did debunk what you wrote. You made a claim about The Golden Compass that was wrong. I didn't just compare time with money, I also mentioned Game of Thrones (which costs money to watch), but on the point of time vs money, I point you to this

Your argument is illogical. If we all took your view, no one would have ever bought the Harry Potter books until all 7 of them were released (all 7 of them would have never been released if no one bought them before they were all released). After all, there was a chance that JK Rowling could have died in a car crash before she had the chance to finish the series.



Einherjar said:

@polynomer Like i already said last time: You REALY go on my nerves, geeze.
You are the king of all nitpickers. To write a post that you do not take apart would take more words than any book series ever made.
And again: Harry Potter was a hit, because it became a hit. If only a few people had bought the book and the sudden hype hadnt started, the series wouldnt have been completed. But i wont go into any detail here, since you will certainly pull another BS argument out of thin air to "debunk everything and anything anybode has ever said" You know, time is more prescious than money, and im not going to waste it on endlessly replying to someone like you Change your tone, cool off and maybe ill change my mind, but discussions like that lead to nowhere, so consider yourself ignored by me in the future



alLabouTandroiD said:

Wow, i just pledged yesterday.
I hope they do something about the facial expressions and show combat gameplay this time. Aside from that it looked mighty promising.



Araknie said:

Nintendo has to fund them, it will become a Nintendo Wii U esclusive and they have to fund back the backers but i sense it's they only what to have an Eternal Darkness sequel big at least as the originale.



polynomer said:

@Einherjar "Harry Potter was a hit, because it became a hit. If only a few people had bought the book and the sudden hype hadnt started, the series wouldnt have been completed."

Oh really? So you admit that Harry Potter was successful because people gave it a chance before it could be completed. Yet you refuse to give that chance to Shadow of the Eternals because it's not completed yet.

Nice circular logic you have there.



Hordak said:

@polynomer Ummmm...not a single link you provided contained a "fact" that stated Dyack was the reason it was pulled. There have been a lot of "opinions" (strong ones, at that) about Dyack, but no "facts" to support your "proof." Just because you gave an example doesn't mean you have proof. I can give examples of things too that most hold to be proof that actually aren't. It only takes one counterexample to debunk a proof. Stop the circular reasoning (that circle does not begin and end with you), use logic, and accept that people have opinions and they have the right to their opinions whether right or wrong. A "gut feeling" is what many of those who do not wish to support this type of business plan might be going on.



Einherjar said:

@polynomer One defenitly last time: No, thats NOT the point i made. Some people bought the book, like some people will buy any game, hyped or not. If its awesome, word of mouth spreads and hype starts. And since the hype around HP simply exploded, bringing in tons and tons of money, a sequel was ensured. I do not see this game getting the same reaction from the audience. HP started as an underground child book, that fascinated a few people that spread the word and made it an instant hit.
This game on the other hand, started with a bunch of problems already that everybody knew of. If people knew that the author of HP was practically bankrupt and knee deep in debts, and knew that the story of that book isnt a one parter, rather then a series, already planned out by her if she managed to fund them (which was unlikely, if not impossible at that point) people might have reacted differently. For the same reason, many people i know hesitate to get too deeply into "the game of thrones / song of ice and fire" because it is to be feared, that the story may not be concluded. The difference between the HP books and this game is simple: first impression. People didnt know about the crisis rowling went through until way later but people know exactly whats up with the game, that it has major trouble getting even the first part up and running. And like i said many comments before: Only achieving 9% of your goal ist NOT just "not met the mark" but a definite statement of desinterest and / or uncertainte of the consumers. Many people just arent up to invest in a project, that i so unstable and poorly planned / executed. Thats why i suggested getting a partner, an experienced publisher of some sorts, to give people the certainty of the game beeing backed up, supported and released, so their money doesnt simply go down the drain into a single episode and a discontinued story of a supposed much larger game.

But that was realy the last time i replyed to you. I realy cant stand your "Im always right, must have the last word, everyone else is wrong, the universe circles around me" attitude. Sorry for beeing so harsch, but your constant "I debunked your opinion with proof that does not exist" realy gets on my nerves.
@SuperMario2099 is absolutely right. We know your opinion on the matter, you know ours, lets leave it at that. If the game gets released completely and is decent enough, we can all laugh about our doom and gloom gibberish, but there is the chance that we were right, and not you, so prepare for the case that all of this might also turn around and bite you. If you can laugh about you the way i can laugh about myself, be my guest and lets all have a great time when all this shananigans is over. Until then, please overthink your attitude towards others.
I for my part just want to disguss gaming news, not fight about them as if my life would depend on it like you seem to do.



element187 said:

@SkywardCrowbar Its still being released.. Sounds like Precursor found a publisher.... Which makes sense, they hit 10% of their goal in a couple of days, which means there is a decent amount of interest. Publishers HATE taking risks, and these pledges pretty much guarantees they will at least make their money back.

I Hope the publisher is Nintendo.



element187 said:

Precursor games made another comment. Wii U daily reported that Precursor is calling a "good decision" ... They found another publisher people.



polynomer said:

@SuperMario2099 Yes, it only takes 1 counterexample to disprove a statement. So where's your counterexample?

It seems that you didn't read. You now say that "not a single link you provided contained a "fact" that stated Dyack was the reason it was pulled". Except I never said it was pulled because of Dyack. And you never asked for proof that it was pulled because of Dyack.

Here's what you actually said: "Since you say it "obviously failed because of all the unproven rumors about Dyack," I would like to take a page out your book and ask for PROOF!"

You asked for proof about the proposition that the campaign was failing due to rumors about Dyack, NOT for proof about the proposition that the campaign was cancelled because of Dyack. There's a big difference between the two. Because the campaign wasn't pulled only because it was failing. So don't change the subject.

Here's Precursor on why the campaign was pulled: "Along with this support has come a host of a new exciting opportunities that will make the game better than we envisioned. As a result, we have chosen to temporarily take down the Shadow of the Eternals crowdfunding campaigns [...] We’ll be re-launching the Kickstarter in just a few short weeks with a reveal of these exciting new developments."

You asked for proof that the campaign was failing because of unproven rumors about Dyack. I provided proof by linking to the torrent of hate that is fueled by these rumors.

You then change the subject to ask for proof that the campaign was pulled because of Dyack. I can provide no proof because it's false, the campaign was fulled because of new developments that will be announced in a few weeks, not because of Dyack.



polynomer said:

@Einherjar Again with the circular logic. Let me remind you of what you said:
"You need to get people excited and not worried that they only get to play one or maybe two episodes of a game and grieve that they spend money on an unsolved story. Thats why oh so many people on here (inclusing me) said, that they only going to buy this game when all of its parts are released. And since they are planning on using the profit from the released episode sales...there wont be enough. A concept like that is doomed from the get go."

Basically you say that this game is not worth supporting because they cannot guarantee that all of the episodes will be released. Hypocritically, you fail to apply the same logic to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.

Then you talk about things like initial hype. But that's completely irrelevant to your point, which I quoted above, so please don't change the subject. By your own logic, there never should been any hype in the first place, people should not have supported these books in the first place, precisely because the author cannot guarantee that the series would continue and conclude.

Then you talk as if Precursor is "knee deep in debts". It's a new company.So where's the proof that their in debt. Here's the problem, people may not support this game because of rumors about Precursor. You've regurgitated these rumors. And the lack of support due to these rumors reduces support. It's a vicious cycle created by mostly (but not entirely) unproven and false rumors.



polynomer said:

@element187 I just checked the Wii U Daily article. It's just speculation that they have a publisher now.

Although they said this, which is a perfect example of the suspicion and unproven rumor-mongering that I refer to in the above post:
"This takedown seems a bit shady even if Precursor managed to secure funding from a publisher, as neither the homegrown crowdfunding website nor the Kickstarter was anywhere close to receiving the amount of funds wanted. Precursor Games has received a bit of flak for how Silicon Knights ended and the shutdown of all its crowdfunding efforts brings them further into suspicion."

How exactly is this particular move "shady"? Why does the shut down of a Kickstarter bring them "into suspicion"?

adjective, shad·i·er, shad·i·est.
1. abounding in shade; shaded: shady paths.
2. giving shade: a shady tree.
3. shadowy; indistinct; spectral.
4. of dubious character; rather disreputable: shady dealings.

Bad journalism.



Einherjar said: there a "block" feature on here ? There is a certain "Brickhead" that realy gets the better of me...



SkywardCrowbar said:

@element187 As has been discussed here, we don't know if there's a publisher yet. Signs indicate that there may be a publisher on board, but I'm not going in on that until I see something official.

I'm 100% with you in that I hope if there is a publisher, it's Nintendo. I would love to see this as a Wii U exclusive and to see Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem come to the eShop.



evanescent_hero said:

Nintendo stepped in during production to make changes so the game was playable and not awful. Dyack called them oppressive, but Nintendo's involvement is quite literally what made the game any good.

The other games he's been involved with have, by all accounts, been atrocious.



evanescent_hero said:

"Before Silicon Knights cut ties with Japanese powerhouse Nintendo following the 2004 release of Twin Snakes, the studio had crucial outside help for game quality, design and process. "This is the reason for the extremely high quality games that SK built a reputation on," says one source. "Nintendo was going to put their name on the game, so it had to be 'Nintendo quality.'""

(Next quote is about Too Human and X-Men Destiny.)
"Denis believed that SK was finally out from under the oppressive nature of Nintendo as a publisher. Once Denis was given more freedom, things started to fall apart."

The article goes on to talk at great length about how Dyack refused to work with publishers, refused to change his vision at all, and was essentially a dictator. He also used about half the people who were meant to be working on XMD for a proof-of-concept demo of Eternal Darkness 2 (which, by the way, never got anywhere). He took former employers' names out of the credits of games they worked on before quitting. And he didn't seem to take making the game seriously at all. The info comes from former employees of Silicon Knights.

Give it a read; it's pretty interesting.



polynomer said:

@evanescent_hero Oh great, now you've brought the debunked Kotaku article into this. That article is complete nonsense as Dyack explains here:

As he explains, he did not leave Nintendo because they were oppressive. He left because they wanted to make different types of games. Nintendo has been supportive of SotE. Nor did he siphon money from Activision to work on ED2. As he explained, Activision was able to monitor the work that was done.

That article is made up of unverifiable anonymous sources. The author of the article, admitted himself in an email, released by Dyack, that the article was rejected by more reputable outlets like Wired because of a lack of verifiable evidence. The author of the Kotaku article writes:
"The gaming editor at Wired, Chris Kohler, expressed significant interest in my draft. However, after discussing the matter with his managing editor, they've decided not to go ahead with the story in its current state. This is what he told me:

"There are a lot of serious allegations in the story, not least the idea that Silicon Knights is trying to scam publishers out of money and not deliver games. But there are no real facts, documentation, etc. to back any of this up besides the word of anonymous ex-employees."

Which is fair enough, of course. It is my role, as a journalist, to seek truth which can be confirmed with facts. And it is Wired's responsibility, as a publisher, to verify the truth of any claims before publication."

But if you want to believe in journalism made up of nothing but unverifiable anonymous sources, without regard for their motives, then I guess you believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction too? After all, that's how the public was sold the lie that Iraq had WMDs, and so began the Iraq War. Those anonymous CIA sources were real creditable, as creditable as these anonymous Silicon Knights ex-employees.



evanescent_hero said:

I was unaware it was debunked, my apologies.

Nevertheless, I see no reason to believe Dyack himself. Of course he won't admit to being crazy or any allegations of games being bad because of his involvement.

And if Nintendo's so supportive of it, why aren't they funding it themselves? A spiritual successor to a game they own the rights to, which they've renewed many times? Perhaps that's what happened here, I dunno.

Also, comparing a governmental lie about worldwide issues to some dude who makes bad games? Good one. Real nice comparison there.

I'm done. Reply if you want; I don't really care. But we're not convincing each other of anything so there's no point in continuing the discussion.



polynomer said:

@evanescent_hero Nintendo isn't funding them (as far as we know), because they haven't ask Nintendo to fund it (this was one of the questions in the Reddit AMA). But maybe, the "exciting announcement" for the relaunch involves Nintendo. We'll have to wait and see.

Comparing the Kotaku article you linked to the coverage of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction in the lead up to the Iraq War is a perfectly legitimate and valid comparison. Both were based on unverifiable anonymous sources. It just goes to prove that sloppy journalism is serious business, and the consequences in some cases can be deadly.

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