Remember Paprium? We covered the announcement of this Mega Drive / Genesis side-scrolling fighter a few years back. Created by the team behind Pier Solar, it was intended to push the 16-bit console to its absolute limits using special tech built into the cartridge. Plenty of people pledged their cash based on that pitch alone, but that was back in 2017, and at the time of writing, many people who handed over their money are still waiting for their copy (ourselves included).
We've documented the troubled development of Paprium a few times on this very site, but things took a strange turn last year when, seemingly out of the blue, the game was finished and started to (very slowly) trickle out to those who had backed it – then even that process ground to a halt.
WaterMelon Games is since stated that it has had issues obtaining the funds which were paid to it via PayPal (although it hasn't elaborated on exactly why this is the case) and that completing the development of Paprium has left the company in serious debt. A new Kickstarter campaign is seen as a way of bringing the game to a wider audience via modern systems, and a means of securing the funds required to honour the orders taken for the Mega Drive version a few years back.
Amazingly, the Paprium Kickstarter has raised over £325,000 ($443,000) so far, blasting over its initial goal of £220,061 ($299,999). That means the game will be coming to Switch, and some of the other stretch goals include a pint-sized Game Gear version and a Dreamcast port. According to WaterMelon, those who are still waiting for the Mega Drive edition will eventually get their copies as a result of the success of this campaign – but there's still a bit of time to wait yet, it seems.
Are you one of the people who has pledged their cash to this crowdfunding drive? Or maybe you're like us, and are still waiting for the Mega Drive game you purchased back in 2017? Let us know with a comment.
The game that took years to come out and was thought to be vapourware? I saw Game Sack’s review on the game. Will wait to see how it reviews on Switch before picking it up.
But I guess the only way to obtain it on Switch will be having backed it on Kickstarter, right? Otherwise I'll wait for a normal release on standard stores.
It’s not that great to be honest, definitely overrated
Soooooo it’s not coming to the eshop…
Typical Fonsi scummery. Just buy streets of rage 4 or Scott pilgrim vs the world instead, don’t support this company.
Just wait until someone rip the game
@Moroboshi876 Someone will just rip the game to be play on your computer or a hacked switch
I was one of the lucky ones who received the Megadrive version. Really is a great game and the soundtrack is stunning. May pick up the switch version as well now:)
@Zero_0 I know, but I like to play the games legitimally.
Where are you getting this information?
The cheapest reward tier for the Kickstarter campaign is $24 to get a digital version of the game of any platform including Nintendo Switch.
It's right there in the article Tweet's image too.
$69 for the regular physical? For a Kickstarter game? no thanks
@RupeeClock but that best the question will it even be available outside of the kickstarter?
Yeah, they haven't been clear on this.
They game will be available digitally, but they've not clarified if it will be available on digital storefronts.
I've sent a question on the Kickstarter's FAQ page but you could always send @watermelongames a question on Twitter.
Jump kick: the game
That would be Divekick.
I actually received my copy at the end of the release trickle. They keep sending me emails like I haven't though - I had submitted a complaint ticket at one point.
The thing is I haven't even opened my copy yet. I put my Genesis in storage once my son was born since I didn't want him breaking it. Now with the Kickstarter and it coming to modern platforms I'm just tempted to sell my Genesis copy. I don't care much about having the cartridge, I just wanted to support them - Pier Solar is cool, I played it on Steam since Genesis copies are $$$ - and be able to play it. Period.
No, thanks. I won't spend a single dollar in this game.
I was lucky to get my limited edition Megadrive Paprium as soon it was announced along with some extras and it’s a great game. A lot more effort has been put into Alex’s animation then the 2 male characters
@RupeeClock I'm just saying that being a Kickstarter campaign it will probably only be available there. Am I wrong?
That's awesome as I will probably grab it on Switch....but I would really love a way to purchase the Genesis ROM digitally
@Zero_0 Misers. I heard one of your grandparents came from such a stingy part of the country they got sent to jail for breaking into a fiver.
Or why not back the Kickstarter so they can produce more new games rather then telling stealing it
They've said that the physical Switch release will be exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign, yeah.
Although digitally, they've not clarified if it'll be on digital storefronts but I would assume they are if it's coming to Steam.
I mean if the people who made the game don't want you to play it there nothing wrong with pirating it
@RupeeClock OK, my point.
Because they've consistently mislead backers of their previous project, and have launched another Kickstarter to fund the first? Screw these guys and their blatant Ponzi scheme.
My experience with the game was seeing there was a Kickstarter, a cool trailer, a mysterious event, then nothing, for years. I assumed it was a scam. Whatever they are announcing now... There is no reason to believe them.
Removed - inappropriate
To be fair you didn't make your point clear.
You're talking about physical exclusivity, right?
And when you store, you mean a digital store front, not a physical retail location or online shopping?
It's impossible to emulate Paprium because the physical Genesis game cartridge has a lot of exclusive custom hardware and mappers that extend the system's capabilities.
I believe no existing emulators have implemented such support.
@RupeeClock Well, I do prefer physical releases and lament how a lot of times they're limited. But I also meant I didn't count on a general release at all.
Not that they can't do whatever they want with their products, of course. If they want to limit their audience by honoring the backers, which is how it usually works, it's fine. I was just pointing out that the news piece is of little use, considering the target has been achieved and people outside it won't probably be able to get the game in any form.
I backed this and ended up getting my copy after 4 years so it's definitely real. It took so long by the time I got it I no longer had hardware capable of playing cartridges as I'd moved on to a MiSTer. Based on reviews it seems average at best so I kept it sealed and sold it. I'll try a digital version on Switch though.
The reality of physical releases is that small companies have to produce units to fulfill a demand through pre-order campaigns, few can afford to over-produce a supply and help they sell-through any more.
Again though, I'm not sure what point you're making because even if the physical version is limited, the digital version needn't be limited. That's available from the Kickstarter campaign too and will probably continue to be available when the digital version is completed.
This is from the Watermelon website. F*ck this guy, I can't believe people continue to support him:
"Unfortunately, since 2017, we can no longer sell our products online. More precisely, we can sell, but we cannot get paid.
Yet, we have to suck-it-up and deliver every single time.
Our only options would be to either: Sell through distributors, which would rise our product price above reasonable levels; Or reduce sales volume & budgets to avoid attracting the LOCUSTS thus resulting in lame games; Or more disgrace!
The internet, where you could sell your own products at price and quantity without a butt-plug-leash is long gone!
It's to the journalists to do their jobs and inform the mass about how things are turning into and it's the people to decide what they want for their future and take real action! It's not just about the games, the time where A**z*n & friends controls everyones life and wallet is already THERE!
Back to our business, we are now exploring alternate ways and we will succeed! Thank you for your understanding,
@RupeeClock Well, it remains to be seen, but I hope you're right and arrives to everyone even if it has to be digital.
Anyway, I understand your point about small companies, but many times super niche games have been released without any problem, like obscure visual novels, yet popular titles remain digital or have physical releases only by LRG-like companies.
@RupeeClock the game won't run an an emulator but it will run on monetized platforms like steam and switch....suspicious.
Great news for everyone wanting to try the game without having a good old genesis ! Im picking up a switch version of the game !
Because the developers who control their own source code and designs are porting the game to those platforms?
Do you think emulators take no effort to develop or something?
Do you think you are entitled to play a game for free because it is available as an easily distributed ROM file?
Honestly if the digital version is Kickstarter exclusive I’m giving up all interest in this game and won’t ever buy something from Watermelon again. At least not while Fonsi’s still there..
I got the Genesis edition and though the game plays fine (just not as good as Streets of Rage), the cartridge look like a flimsy Chinese flash cartridge. Shake the cartridge and it feels like a bunch of chips are not fully secured at all. I managed to dump the rom onto the Mega SD and play it from there instead as I had no trust in the flimsy cartridge it came with.
@Funneefox Of course it isn't you fool.
Removed - current gen piracy/emulation
@Zero_0 we already did. Luis Martin's DMCA'd us.
@RupeeClock "It's impossible to emulate Paprium because the physical Genesis game cartridge has a lot of exclusive custom hardware and mappers that extend the system's capabilities." this is not a true statement.
What I meant to say was "not currently possible" because nobody's produced the working emulator, nor the ROM file itself.
I'm aware of the difficulty in dumping Paprium's ROM due to the copy-protection measures in-place and the ridiculous amount of epoxy covering the chips.
@ProjectLittleMan That because it was just off the shelf parts right?
Removed - current gen piracy/emulation
Removed - current gen piracy/emulation
@ProjectLittleMan I see do you have do you have a twitter or anything to show off your work?
Does the STM32F4 chip serve to expand the system's capabilities?
Presumably the dumped ROM from the other two chips contains all the data and program and is a complete binary.
@RupeeClock it is not a matter of entitlement, if a rom is widely distributed and free to download, then everyone is able to do that very thing. If you want to talk about the ethics of the matter, well these devs have treated their backers unethically. There is something unethical about any game dev that takes money then goes silent, doesn't respond to the people who paid. I have no sympathy for them and I wouldn't trust them with any kind of preorder.
At first I was excited for a Switch release. Now I'm starting to think I'd have been better off never hearing about the game to begin with.
If you have any interest in this game at all, I encourage you to first watch Daniel Ibbertson's thorough documentary on Paprium. Search "DJ Slopes Paprium" on YouTube.
After watching, decide if you believe you should spend your money to support the developers and publishers of this game.
Disgraceful that the latest kickstarter has to be a success to enable the ORIGINAL backers to get their copy. Absolute jokers. 🤬
Very surprised people continue to back this guys projects. More because of his attitude towards his backers and lack of communication for years. Just because you finally make an average playing game that looks nice on old hardware doesn't excuse the fact you are a horrible people person and arrogant as well.
@ProjectLittleMan While I can appreciate this is a rather sensitive topic given what has happened to people who backed this game back in 2017 (I'm one of them! I still don't have my copy and have been told I won't get it until this KS has finished), please refrain from posting any links or discussion about piracy relating to modern releases (that includes Paprium, as it's coming to Switch) as this is against our community rules. Thanks.
Waited like 4 years for this game to arrive.
Still haven't played it even though I have it. I haven't actually gotten around to getting any Megadrive controllers for my system lol
@Damo We are not discussing "piracy". I am discussing my rights under DMCA to archive a game I was sold with a broken internal hardware dongle, additionally the manufacturer refuses to support it. I assume the community rules do not address my right to repair do they? How about other DMCA exceptions?
"Video games in the form of computer programs, where outside server support has been discontinued, to allow individual play and preservation by an eligible library, archive, or museum"
"Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace."
Finally the ill-fated copy protection mechanism also falls under good faith security research. Again. I'm sure the community guidelines address all these non "piracy" related facts.
@Damo similarly curious about the community rules of supporting a known scam. You seem to be one of the only "news" or "media" outlets not under a "blackout"
@ProjectLittleMan "I assume the community rules do not address my right to repair do they? How about other DMCA exceptions?"
I'm not entirely sure why our community rules would cover this kind of thing? We don't allow the discussion of piracy for modern systems - that's the only thing being stated here. Most other sites have the exact same editorial policy. I have no issue with you discussing your problems with Watermelon here (I have the exact same problems, as I've stated several times) but piracy for modern-day games - no matter the reason - isn't permitted.
"similarly curious about the community rules of supporting a known scam. You seem to be one of the only "news" or "media" outlets not under a "blackout"
Are you serious? Here's some examples of the reporting we've previously done on Paprium - you tell me if you think we're earmarked for special treatment?
We're one of the few sites which has covered the troubled development of this game in-depth, and, given that I've been told by Fonzie that I'm not getting the copy I paid for in 2017 until after the KS is finished, how can you possibly infer that we're somehow getting special treatment?
Covering that a KS exists is not the same as "supporting" it (just as a news outlet covering a crime doesn't mean they support that crime).
"We don't allow the discussion of piracy for modern systems - that's the only thing being stated here" I'm implying you don't seem to understand the difference between right to repair, and "piracy". The purveyor of this fine hardware / software combo told me personally to "go f*** [myself]" when I asked for help with a black screening cartridge. Me discussing my path to repair that is not "piracy".
Those articles from 3 years ago are cool. Not sure they reflect the situation since 2020's delivery. They are appreciated none the less.
The "blackout" was a tongue in cheek joke, repeated words from the fonz. Surely you know about the Paprium news blackout by now.
Hopefully we'll see another article out of you soon further documenting the plight of those that paid, and are still waiting, and how that bodes for the current Kickstarter. Cheers. No need to defend yourself for supporting them. This is your establishment after all.
If I sell you a fork, you can eat with it, you can also stab someone. Me discussing where you can obtain a fork is in no way promoting that you go stab someone. Think of a "dump" as a fork. You can eat with it, or repair your broken cartridge, alternately sure you can go stab someone with it, and play a "pirated" game. There is a fine line in the sand none the less. Some could for example even say that large bits of this game are pirated from Sega and others, again, it's cool to in essence advertise a pirated game, but I can't discuss repairing it when it breaks? That is something special right there.
@ProjectLittleMan So you think they will act as if this not a thing https://twitter.com/arcade_projects/status/1456315158360469510
I got confirmation from the Kickstarter campaign regarding eShop availability.
This is what they told me:
"Thank you for your patience,
Yes, digital version will be on eshop AFTER the game is shipped on the KS. But price may be different."
So, yes the game will be available on digital storefronts such as the eShop after they've shipped the game.
@RupeeClock oh thank goodness
@RupeeClock I put money on it being ripped and upload the day it show up on the Eshop
I don't doubt something like that happening, considering Watermelon's controversial treatment of their customers.
With games like NGDEV's Gunlord X and Razion EX, it appears people have respected their exclusivity and not illegally shared the games, although both those games are now available digitally on the eShop.
WATA graded Paprium just hit the eBay market. https://www.ebay.com/itm/165338852477
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