The saga of Paprium – the next game from Pier Solar developer WaterMelon – rolls ever onwards. Earlier this year we spoke to one of the game's artists about the stop-start nature of the project, which is now six years into development and was given a large injection of funding in 2017 when people were asked to place pre-orders. Hailed as the scrolling fighter to topple the mighty Streets of Rage 2, it would, we were told, push the Mega Drive / Genesis to its absolute limits.
WaterMelon's Gwénaël Godde (AKA: Fonzie) has proven to be quite hard to pin down over the past few months, but the company has always assured backers that the game is coming and that it would launch at the close of 2018 (a year after its original projected release date). This is despite no solid footage being shown of Paprium running on an actual Mega Drive console.
At the end of last month, hopes were raised when WaterMelon announced it was holding a special party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sega's 16-bit console and the impending launch of Paprium (a party that was so low-key that we've only just been notified that it even happened). The kicker? What was shown at the event was clearly an unfinished version of the game that was running off a development cartridge covered in wires and LEDs. To make matters worse, the game lacked any enemies and crashed more than once during the demonstration. Glitches were also everywhere.
There were some interesting insights to come out of the party, though. Paprium will use a feature called 'MegaWire' to connect to the internet – via your phone or other internet-ready device – which we presume means an online leaderboard is planned (if the game ever gets released, that is). It is also stated that, like Pier Solar, the game will come with additional features that are unlocked via the Mega CD. Some irritated fans have sarcastically suggested that this connectivity has been included to allow WaterMelon to ship the game incomplete and add in missing elements later on.
Adding in extra features is a nice touch, but the fact that Paprium was shown in a clearly unfinished state when apparently the game is nearing production has predictably raised alarm; surely at a launch party, there's no harm in demonstrating the real deal? Why risk showing off a bare-bones beta and causing such a stink if you really have the final game waiting to be shipped out to those who had pre-ordered it?
WaterMelon has since stated that it did not want to show off the final game at the event and ruin the surprise for those whose copies would be arriving soon. However, with December now approaching and no confirmation emails arriving that state when the game will physically be shipped, those who backed the project are starting to lose their patience.
There's a thread on the Sega-16 forums which is now over 500 pages long and perfectly showcases the annoyance, anger and sheer puzzlement of those who pledged their hard-earned cash to try and make this game a reality; as one commenter puts it:
I've finally come to the realization that this game may never see the light of day, at least not in the form we had all hoped. I am not going to ask for a refund though, I consider that money lost long, long ago. And while I always try to see the positive in things, I'm starting to think this situation is beyond repair.
According to Paprium Fasico, a site established to highlight the dire situation of the game, people are having serious difficulties getting their money back, despite WaterMelon's previous assertions that refunds would be given to anyone who asked for one. We pre-ordered a copy via PayPal and when we tried to claim our refund yesterday were told that it was outside of the usual 180 day grace period, so no refund could be given.
We've approached WaterMelon for comment and to request a refund, but have yet to hear back on either topic. We'll update this article if we get any kind of response.
Thing is at this point - who is expecting pigs to fly....
Cautionary tale about preordering and crowd funding.... if the money means that much to do don’t take the risk because that is what it is with things like this.
Expect the unexpected.
Terrible decision to show the game in that state
I'm in no way claiming I can do better or even begin to make a game but that's just embarrasing in the video. I only watched the first 3 minutes and the explanations on why it was all messed up is not looking good.
People still get suckered into crowdfunding? I figured after Might No. 9, people would learn their lesson.
Lol poor saps Looks like they got really screwed over and scammed from them if they were smart they would have payed with a prepaid or paypal instead that way they could get a sure refund some way.See that's why I Never Ever trusted that scamming site Kickstarter because of stories like these it just makes you wana really stay off that site when it comes to backing or funding so called games that are suppose to come out Yeah Right Lol.
"WaterMelon has since stated that it did not want to show off the final game at the event and ruin the surprise for those whose copies would be arriving soon."
They can't even pull a decent excuse together!! This sounds like an utter disaster...
@Latinogamerchiz0 Paypal WAS the payment method, but unless you claim within 180 days, Paypal won't do anything. Trust me, I tried yesterday!
@goggles789 Paprium's development started before the Mighty No. 9 kickstarter began.
Even as rough as the footage is, what's there still looks potentially very cool imo.
Sounds like a load of baloney. What console is this supposed to be on!?
Looks very Streets Of Rage. If it's ever actually finished in a playable state, I'd love to try it.
Spent all the money on the trailer I see.
Cue's in polymega
can see potential there but that footage looks pretty shoddy, what embarrassing footage to show to people. they should have not shown the footage and waited!
I seriously wish I could pay an artist like this to do the characters for my game.
First thing first, the WaterMelon community manager (her name is Camille) is someone that you cannot trust...
Second, Fonzie ("the president") did some stupid things such as going away with the cash... :/
And third, when the WaterMelon's team is invited to a convention FOR FREE to present their games, do you know what they do ?
They say yes we'll be there and the day of the convention, they cancel just like that...
I'm done with WaterMelon...
I was one of those who pre-ordered this ages back. The version they showed at the "launch" party was an utter joke. It was clearly just a prototype build with virtually no game logic or scripting in place. It's at least a year out, if it was being developed by a full time, professional team. As it isn't, I doubt it will ever be released.
It's really a shame, as the MD is having a good year otherwise. Tanglewood just shipped on a real MD cart (I have my copy), and Xeno Crisis isn't far off either. Paprium would have made for a nice trilogy of new MegaDrive software.
Too bad the guy behind it is a thief and a liar.
I backed this almost six years ago, in that time i've been through four launch windows all of which have obviously born no fruits. Refunds at this point are not possible, Paypal is outside of the window and Watermelon are not responding. There is nothing to do now other than mentally write it off as a loss and hope that maybe one day i will be surprised by an actual release. These guys reputation is obviously in tatters and they will never make another game, or rather one that people will back. The outset of this project was to create the biggest most powerful megadrive game to date. it looks to me like Xeno Crysis will achieve this inside of a two year window. When you look at a game like Xeno Crysis it perfectly underlines how utterly pathetic Watermelon are as a developer and a company to their clients.
@Arm Are you able to talk about any of this in more detail? Drop me a line via the contact page if so; I'd love to speak to you!
I hate these crowd-funded horror stories, because there are so many good projects out there that people might be too cautious to chip in for thanks to stuff like this. It's just sad, and these guys should be ashamed of themselves. If you guys are looking for a great Link to the Past inspired game, check out Hazelnut Bastille on Kickstarter. Thanks for showing that game to me NLife.
Is this coming to Switch?
Ah... the dangers of supporting such projects. More often than not, it ends up disappointing people, sadly enough.
And that name also, whoever came up with that, should be fired.
It reminds me of a pap smear...
I pledged to this project and have been following the drama on Facebook, watching the ever-increasing irritation of the backers. It's painfully obvious at this point that we'll, most likely, never get the game. We've been screwed.
I've made peace with the reality that my money is long gone. Hopefully, the game will eventually be completed and available on SOME format - the PSN or something. I'm not holding my breath though.
@daftfunk Thanks for the random factoid.
It's a shame there are so many of these horror stories with crowd funding. I've had good experiences with backing various projects on Kickstarter, but I've been very cautious when it has come to video games. I've only backed one game so far, that being Bloodstained. I'm already quite happy with the 2D companion game they put out and remain confident that the parties involved will release the game. And there have been a few gaming successes on Kickstarter, such as Shovel Knight and Shantae. It's a shame bad situations like this will make it more difficult for everyone, but at least with the examples I mentioned they have a track record.
@ThanosReXXX I had the same reaction to the title they gave the game. I'm glad I was not the only one. Definitely not well chosen. And the reveal teaser was quite odd as well.
@sdelfin Likewise. I also thought I was the only one. One has to wonder where the inspiration came from, or if it perhaps means something in another language. Oh, well. It appears that it'll disappear in a "pap" of smoke, if they can't get their act together...
A bit strange, though, seeing as their previous game released just fine.
@Damo I sense an interesting article coming up...
And this is why I never put money into crowdfunding, nor pre order. I mean if you want to support something sure, but in this day I'd say it's best to have a mind set that you're not going to get anything out of it, kinda like your donating to the developer just cause.
Still sucks for all involved though.
@Latinogamerchiz0 @goggles789 I would just like to say, while I somewhat agree with your sentiments (always good to be cautious), we also shouldn't forget what good Kickstarter/backing has got us.
Without it, we likely wouldn't have Shovel Knight, which is stellar, A Hat In Time, also brilliant, Shantae and Yooka-Laylee. Not to mention Bloodstained, which is shaping up to be great.
It is, of course, an uncertain platform that has led to a huge amount of horror stories but we shouldn't write it off. The problem is with these dodgy and, at times, incompetent and immoral developers rather than the site itself
@MajorasLapdog If you want to gamble your money, that's your business. I don't care to participate, thanks.
@goggles789 not really relevant to what I said but ok 👍
@MajorasLapdog Buzz off kid
@goggles789 haha 'buzz off kid', what are you, an 80s movie? I don't get why you're being so standoffish, I was merely pointing out the merits of public backing whilst also weighing that up with some reasoning, explaining why I understand why someone might be hesitant. Yet you're coming back super defensive for literally no reason.
Guess I've found a Mighty No 9 backer
I never thought that placing pre-order at their website counts as crowdfunding. I did the same for Pier Solar and that one arrive with no problem. Surely they must had been finalizing the game at the moment. Either that or they are testing the game for glitches and bugs before shipping out the final product. I wouldn't count this as a scam just yet but I'm one that is patience enough to see this get release. I just hope it won't get delay further into 2020.
@MajorasLapdog Calm your chest area.
I’m so mad that these idiots still have my money. For something I’m unlikely to ever receive. I may as well flushed 60 quid down the toilet. I have contacted PayPal they say it’s to late now to do anything now. So yes I’m not Fking happy.
Refund of a thing bought more than half year ago? Who paid did a investment without the possibility to refund. That's the reality. Now is wait, wait, wait patiently. Lose the patiente don't will help.
Why would they have a party if they plan to not release?
I pity for the backers!
WATA graded Paprium just hit the eBay market. https://www.ebay.com/itm/165338852477
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