News Article

Shadow of the Eternals Fails To Meet Funding Goal

Posted by Andy Green

Precursor goes back to the drawing board

Last month Precursor Games relaunched its crowdsourcing campaign to get its first ever game Shadow of the Eternals off the ground, but unfortunately it has failed to obtain the necessary funding.

The campaign, which ran on Kickstarter, achieved $323,950, which is not even half of the $750,000 target Precursor set.

Shadow of the Eternals is seen as the spiritual successor to the popular GameCube survival horror title, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and it was lined up for a Wii U and PC release.

This is the second crowdsourcing attempt Precursor has implemented for the game, with the first one running on Kickstarter and on the developer's website simultaneously. This confusion led to the campaign closing early and the latest effort ran solely on Kickstarter, with a much lower target.

Changes were made this time round, including the removal of the episodic format and David Hayter of Solid Snake fame was added as a voice actor. However, this failed to persuade enough people to back it and it has not managed to acquire the funding, leaving the game's future hanging in the balance.

Precursor has said it will pursue the project even if it doesn't manage to get the funding so we may still get to play it yet, but it will surely be a long way off.

Denis Dyack, former president of Silicon Knights, is now the chief creative officer of Precursor Games. We sat down with him earlier this month to chat about Shadow of the Eternals and you can read the full interview here.

Are you disappointed Shadow of the Eternals failed to reach its goal? Are you still hoping it will grace the Wii U in time? Let us know in the comment section below.


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User Comments (49)



Emily_Rogers said:

It's a shame but I knew it was a long shot with Dyack's reputation. Hopefully we get a real Eternal Darkness 2 one day. Doubtful though.



Big_L91 said:

honestly im glad seems to me like they were just trying to make a quick buck from EDs name



Einherjar said:

Its not like i called it but...i called it.
At least it has done much better than with its first campaign. Maybe they could launch it again and again and maybe in a year or two, they reach their goal...
But in all seriousnes, they failed twice in a row now and with two abyssmal crowdfunding results. If you ask me, its time to can that project and start from scratch.
This project will never live if they want to fund id that way, since people dont trust it an inch and for good reasons.
They promised a flew of new intel on the project and...before we got something interesting, the second funding campaign crumbled.



DESS-M-8 said:

What would be infinitely better would be Eternal Darkness 2 developed by Nintendo, preferably at the hands of Retro Studios



Matti said:

This game is a joke. Just stop with the kickstarters and fund it yourself, Dyack.



Nintenjoe64 said:

I'm still holding out a glimmer of hope that Nintendo is going to make a proper ED2 after all of this. $330,000 shows that there is a decent amount of interest in the project but I think a sequel to Eternal Darkness needs to be as polished as the original which would not come that cheap in the HD era.



WiiUExposed said:

Sorry that they didn't get enough ebegging money. Get the money yourself through hard work, like we used to.




Someone should just pick it up and help publish it. My guess they will get some offers now that the Kickstarter failed.



DarkCoolEdge said:

I'm very disappointed. The game looks great and unique and I would certainly get it if it was to be released for WiiU.

I hope they manage to find investors to finish it but is going to be tough after this failure. Unless Retro is developing Eternal Darkness 2, it'd be nice that Nintendo funded what they need in exchange of exclusivity.

I don't understand all the contempt my fellow "lifers" are showing. Totally disrespectful.



Zach777 said:

The original Eternal Darkness didn't leave room for a sequel. As I recall, the story closed. Something like a spiritual successor is what IS needed, and I really think that this will someday be a success. The only thing is that when it does become a success it may not land on Wii U.



dyopri said:

Nintendo should have just funded this thing! more games are needed right? 750K is chump change ccccccccmoooooooonnnnnnnnnnnn!



aaronsullivan said:

Love the variety of the responses: "Asked for too much money", "They could never make a good game for ONLY that much", my favorite is @WiiUExposed "ebegging"

Projects need funding ahead of time not after. "ebegging" is not different from getting loans or a publisher in the way you seem to think it is. Loans are subject to guesses on success with little knowledge from the banks or investors, publishers are a little better because they should know the trade, but they are also beholden to shareholders and just "will it make enough money fast enough" — thus, we get sequel after sequel of bloated games that can sell but aren't necessarily what satisfies gamers over the long term.

Kickstarter lets the people making the game go directly to the people who might be interested in playing and pitching it to THEM. How is this "ebegging" or bad? It promotes interaction and transparency between the developers and gamers without all the middle men who pocket the cash as they make disconnected decisions about what the game should be.

There are problems, to be sure, but it's not inherently worse than the traditional systems for funding a project. It's certainly closer to what I'd like to see: direct communication and transparency between the producer and the consumer.



element187 said:

I am scratching my head with some of these comments here "Get the money yourself through hard work, like we used to."

Games are very tough and time consuming to make. Making anything more than a 2D platformers is going to require funding. Are you really expecting developers to work for free? If publishers are not willing to fund it because they don't see a big enough pay off in the end, they aren't going to risk a pile of cash just to barely break even.... Publishers are very risk adverse today, its almost impossible for a new IP to get funded in today's market. Crowd funding is the only way small time developers will be able to get off the ground.

It'd be nice to have Ubisoft or Nintendo pick this up as they could absorb the risk better, but I don't see that happening as the margin is most likely pretty low. I would think their last crowd funding should have been proof to a smaller publisher like 505 games that there is enough interest for at least a margin that will at least pay for the game... Yeah I think it would make more cash than funky barn or sniper v2, but not enough to get a big publisher interested.



jayclayx said:

Probably Nintento would support this game as they did with bayonetta 2 and many indie games, the problem here and lets be honest about it, this game lacks quality compare with eternal darkness for the gamecube, I know you cannot compare crow funding budget with the big ones but why rush a project like this? I am sure if they push this project as it deserve more than one publisher will be interesting on this game.



Ren said:

not a surprise here. They just did a poor job of stating their cause that's why people are calling them out. It's still kickstarter and it's still a game. Do you know what "Kickstart" means people? It's not designed to fund entire finished projects, and not game making at full time salaried wages. Have they never done any research about how it works? Make a budget, set an amount to get it under way (kickstart it, yeh?) and set a series of financial goals and timelines, present to investors along the way until someone picks it up which they would once they see builds of how 'great' it is. If it doesn't work, ditch it. No one on the internet owes you the money so treat it like the charity it is and work it into you financial plan that way to GET STARTED. Look up 'accountant' in the phonebook and pick someone.

If you have an art project or especially an 'artistic' but commercial endeavor you need to be realistic with your goals, they're not saving babies or bring clean water to poor villages. It's borderline unethical to raise this kind of money to make an adventure game over and over. If the interest isn't there but you MUST make this game then find real investors and get some loans. I've given to plenty of crowdfunding campaigns that I believe in and where people have to overcome undue adversity for a good cause but this (and some other ones) is just not that. I'm not going to shed any tears for Precursor games, they went about it wrong. Crowdfunding isn't there to keep you employed full time.



RantingThespian said:

Armikrog. reached $974,000, which was well past it's goal of $900,000 and the Wii U stretch goal of $950,000.

It's just that it didn't have a big enough fanbase, or a high enough demand to bring in the money needed to make the game.

Also, people who say "do it yourselves!" don't understand what goes into making a game. To even start making a game, you need money. You need graphic designers, porgramers, writers, and promoters. And these guys are not free. A lot of major studios won't give out money on projects that they don't see a big enough payout on. So Kickstarter, and other crowd funding things, are an alternative to being funded by a huge company (Sega, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony, Activision, etc.).

It's similar to making a building. Architects, foremen, construction workers, painters, and everyone don't work for free. They need money to pay the people, pay for the supplies, or the building won't go up. You don't just magically have a building. You need to put money into it, and hopefully you will get money out of it when you sell/rent the building. It's a risk.

Kickstarter is just an alternative, by reaching out to fans instead of huge companies (who sometimes won't make a game, no matter what . . . like Mega Man Legends 3).



retro_player_22 said:

Just had Nintendo fund it and released it exclusively on Wii U. No need for a PC version or even a Kickstarter funding to begin with.



McGruber said:

This is really sad to see. After all of the years of what seemed like decent hype for one of Nintendo's best Mature titles to get remade/a sequel. I think part of it is Nintendo's "hardcore" fanbase is not that huge to begin with. On the other hand it lends further proof that Nintendo fans can't be bothered by anything not formally announced and published by them. The fact is Nintendo needs exclusives, so I am wondering why they don't take the studio under their wing so to speak. Or maybe they already did and that's why the Kickstarter was dropped to only $1 mil.



Kyloctopus said:

I don't know if Dyack is worth trusting.
Why wouldn't he give any sort of recognition to that Kotaku article at the time, and instead talk about it all the time, during his first and second campaign?
How can they make a game, with an original Kickstarter goal of $1,500,000, and suddenly bump it down to $750,000? Can it be more bumped down? Was all that funding going to go to that game alone?



Pod said:

I backed them both times, and I'm not sad I did.

I absolutely trust them with making a great game I'd want to play.

I hope they get the Funding they need one way or another, but I certainly understand why some would be cautious of working with Denis, and also why Denis would really want this to be a project funded by the gamers.

That would keep the game free of Publisher interest, which is largely what has kept several of his games from being what his remaining fans have hungered for.



WinterWarm said:

David Hayter and Michael Mercer are the best voice actors of all time.

This is actually the first time I've heard of this title. But it is kind of sad that it didn't reach it's goal.



DefHalan said:

The problem is that they need to prove themselves. They haven't made a good game in such a long time and with all the problems their kickstarter the first time no one trusted them



AJTsuki said:

I've always been suspicious that the real goal of the fundraisers for this title was to demonstrate gamer interest to Nintendo in hopes that Nintendo would step in and fund the game properly. The amounts they've been asking for are not near enough to fund a game like this, and they clearly have enough demonstratable tech worked out to showcase their ideas to a potential publisher. They were so quick to relaunch their Kickstarter that I wonder if it wasn't to meet some kind of publisher deadline. Maybe not. Just my two cents.



DerpSandwich said:

They damaged everyone's trust the first time around. It's sad though, I wanted to see this thing made. Hopefully it still happens. Though I'd be pretty good with an Eternal Darkness HD if that ever happens.



sinalefa said:


For me you hit the nail in the head. When your reputation is based on a couple of games made more than 10 years ago, under Nintendo's guidance, followed by the X-Men Destiny fiasco and the "new" company is still being helmed by a guy with a shady past, it is hard to build trust. Nostalgia only goes so far.

If Dyack cared so much about this game being made, he would be wise and selfless enough to step aside. And he will never do that.



EaZy_T said:

The thing that really sucks about this not being funded is that the backers were able to have a voice in the making of the game.
The pledge section of the project forums was full of creative ideas for enemy design, sanity effects, gamepad use, etc... that were going to be included in a Wii U game.



Ichiban said:

Nintendo should step in an fund it as a Wii U exclusive. Unless Nintendo are planning their own ED sequel of course. Otherwise i can see Sony snagging this as a PS4 exclusive.....



Sir_Deadly said:

Well for me, the game did look awesome and the graphics were amazing. But i pretty much knew it wasnt going to happen. Got amazing games coming on the future anyway!




Screw them when they have a respected publisher to back them up that when they'll get a inch of trust from me. So they better be happy they got that much money those scamming scumbags.



ACK said:

I supported yet was far from convinced of it's quality... Anyway, nothing I saw measured up to Eternal Darkness. The small tidbits of gameplay looked mediocre. And with so little of the story teased...

Like I said, I supported the campaign, but the outcome was never in doubt.



archlord said:

Given their reputation and track record, they should be happy with the money they've received. Look at Project Phoenix. Their minimum goal was $100,000 with big triple A game devs/composers/etc. involved. 750k is just too much.



alrighthearthis said:

Dennis Dyack had a great relationship with Nintendo and threw it away to create increasingly mediocre HD games while destroying a once great publisher and putting a lot of people out of work. As much as I love Eternal Darkness, I was never going to put money into a project that he is involved with. If Precursor drops him and launches a Kickstarter with the exact same benefits as this most recent failure, I'll gladly kick in $20 to play a spiritual sequel to Eternal Darkness on the Wii U.



Shambo said:

A big title like Eternal Darkness probably needs a big budget, but crowdfunding isn't the way to go to get that.
I want this or another sequel to Eternal Darkness to happen, on Wii U, but as a full game, disc and box. But it needs a publisher, time,... Indie is not the future of all gaming, it's just a branch on a metaphorical tree. It sprouts some beautiful fruits, but the big guys can't climb it. I even believe the big Indies should grow beyond download-only software. Boxes, discs, cartridges... Way more appealing to me, and I hope many are with me on that one. We can't let them disappear, for the entire collection thing and used game market will disappear with them.



Shambo said:

@WinterWarm don't forget Michael Ironside, former Sam Fisher. Bought the new one, love the game, and quickly adapted to the new voice, but still...
Oh and I'd like to see more people online... But I'm getting way off-topic.



Neram said:

My guess is that they will come back and offer the game for PS3 and 360 as well. Whether that would help its fortune is unclear, but I think it might. There's no install base for Wii U right now, and I'll assume most PC players probably never played Eternal Darkness. It just seems strange to me that this isn't taking off, and that's the only reason I can think of that may be causing it not to.



Henmii said:


I don't think there's much use in reviving this campaign a third time!! If they REALLY want to do a new Eternal darkness, they should do a proper one: ON DISC!!



Fillytase said:

@WiiUExposed "Ebegging"? What a ridiculous comment. You sound like an 80-year-old capitalist rambling about "the American dream." Heaven forbid people show a little collectivism for the greater good once in a while instead of saying "screw off, do it yourself" constantly. "Everyone does better when everyone does better."



AJWolfTill said:

Work with Nintendo to create a true franchise entry or let it go, I'm glad Dyack isn't getting off free for running silicon nights into the ground.

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