Subutai Corporation is a Seattle-based firm founded to “create stories, games, graphic novels and filmed entertainment in an integrated style.” One interesting factoid that likely helped draw backers into their Kickstarter campaign: famed American author and game designer Neal Stephenson is a co-founder.
In a recent backer update, Subutai Corporation has said that the team has “hit the pause button” on further development pending additional funding.
Of particular note is one section of the update where the Clang team alludes to concerns about the strength of the team in regards to seeking further funding…
It is almost impossible to get large company employees to feel even a mild sense of urgency about anything. –Potential investors/publishers are worried about our team. This hypothesis is the one we hear most frequently from sympathetic people within the industry. Video game investors are extremely team-conscious. Our team punches above its weight, but the amount of the KS raise wasn’t sufficient to staff up a full-sized group, leaving us vulnerable to the criticism that the team is missing certain elements. Of course, the answer is “we’ll hire some awesome people once we get funded.” In the climate of anxiety that seems to pervade the industry now, however, any perceived risk factor is sufficient to torpedo a pitch, and so all such discussions end up following the template of the justly famous “Tesla pitches VCs” video.
The entire update is steeped in the harsh realities of raising money from traditional early-stage investors. Subutai appeals to the crowd for anyone eligible to invest in their company in order to help them see the project through to completion. The promised deliverable of this product was a working prototype of the future game.
Many backers have expressed their support for the campaign despite the hangups in regards to project completion. As one backer said, “I trust you guys to know what you’re doing, and my moral support will stay with you!”
However, not all are sympathetic to Subutai’s predicament. Chris Kohler of Wired penned a scathing opinion piece suggesting that, in light of the update, this project’s failure is “apparently everyone’s fault but the developers.”
In addition, many backers have commented on the update accusing the developer of lying, being shortsighted and ignoring what it means to launch a Kickstarter project.
Clang raised $526,125 on a $500,000 goal. The funding period ended in July of 2012.
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