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March Crowd Funding Report

Cancelled projects, early access titles finally seeing official launch, and exciting upcoming games: we cover all things crowd funding you should know about!

After a veritable flood of updates and interesting projects last month, we're currently in a much sparser time for crowd-funded video games.

Many of the more exciting or big-name projects have recently ended or are deep in development, although there's a few campaigns that you should definitely be taking note of before we move into the spring release cycle.

Perhaps of even more interest than what IS up for crowd funding this month is what noticeably ISN'T. After experiencing extreme success Kickstarting Pillars Of Eternity, for some reason Obsidian Entertainment hasn't gone that route with upcoming retro RPG, Tyranny.

On the one hand that's a good thing – if a company can make enough money with one campaign to not have to dip into the fan's money again, then clearly crowd funding isn't the handout system many claim it to be. On the other hand, some game fans want the ability to contribute at different tiers and get various perks not offered by just straight up buying a game on its release date. What do you think of the move, and would you contribute to a Tyranny campaign if one were started soon?

What Made The Cut And What Got The Boot

Unlike with our January roundup, where several promising projects were unable to secure funding, I'm pleased to report that all three campaigns we highlighted last month made their goals!

The adorable Knights And Bikes came in with 4,796 backers pledging £126,447, while Batallion 1944 made more than 300% of its goal, clocking in at 10,096 backers and £317,281 pledged. We'll be keeping a close eye on the development of those projects and will be updating you as noteworthy updates are released.

Meanwhile, the unique and intriguing A Place For The Unwilling only barely squeaked by with 918 backers pledging €22,329 – just enough to hit the original goal, but not enough to unlock any stretch goals (which may be good for the world, since the final stretch goal was to summon Cthulhu and annihilate humanity). We're still hoping for a good outcome on this one despite the smaller funding amount, as the concept looks like it could be a game changer.

Early Access Updates

Grim Dawn

Get It Here

Platform: PC

The big early access title to finally reach feature complete status is Grim Dawn, an action RPG with a huge world that meshes together a dark fantasy setting with a Lovecraftian apocalypse.

It's managed to overtake Darkest Dungeon as the black-hearted, unforgiving RPG I can't stop playing lately, and I highly recommend it if you still enjoy anything from Diablo 2 to Titan Quest. We've covered it extensively, so if you are thinking of jumping in, check out our Grim Dawn guides here.

After Reset

Get It Here

Platform: PC

I'll be honest – I thought this project had died, but apparently it's still going, as an update just went live on new features in the latest patch. I absolutely love the direction and art style, with the game taking a more serious approach to the post-apocalyptic formula, although frankly I'm hesitant to recommend anyone get on board at this point.

After Reset was originally Kickstarted way back in the summer of 2014, with the initial projected release date having passed by more than a year ago. It doesn't appear to be anywhere even close to release (based on the progress, I'd bet more than a year), but you can still get in on early access for the (rather absurd) full price of $49.99.

Reading through the latest negative reviews on Steam, this one is turning into a case study in how not to run a crowd funding and early access campaign, and I hope the developer can manage to turn that perception around and release a solid finished product.

New Crowd Funding Campaigns To Check Out

Inner Chains

Contribute to the campaign here

Platform: PC

A strong dichotomy is currently in effect in the horror genre: to make a game actually scary, you have to render the main character weaponless, otherwise you end up with what will essentially be an action FPS that just happens to have horror trappings. Enter Inner Chains, which might be the game to finally bridge the gap between those worlds.

That weapon the main character is shown wielding in the trailer clearly has a Geiger-esque combination of biological and mechanical, so the story could easily go either supernatural or simply science fiction. It looks like there will be a lot of details to learn about the game universe and what led to the current state of the world, and it's a good bet the full puzzle will be extremely dark and potentially sanity-blasting when it all comes together.

With eight days left, Inner Chains has already surpassed its funding goal, but there's stretch goals to unlock, like alternate endings and more creatures to interact with!

The only caveat I can find here is the overly ambitious release date schedule. The developer - Telapaths Tree - is projecting to have the game ready to deliver in June of 2016, a mere two months after the campaign ends. There's no way that's happening, so go into this one realizing there will be delays (of months or even possibly years) in that release date.

Tiny Graveyard

See the campaign here

Platform: PC, if released

This is a first for us, in that the campaign was unfortunately canceled before we got a chance to help promote it! This very-promising adventure/strategy game was set to strike a balance between dark themes that adults would be interested in and a kid-friendly approach. I like the combo on display, giving the feel of something cute like Costume Quest but in a fully 3D world.

Although 75 backers pledged more than $7,000, that sadly was far shy of the perhaps overly ambitious $80,000 goal. Developer 2ndSum Studios decided to cancel the campaign early rather than drag it out, but hopefully this one is able to secure funding some other way and continue on to see release some day.

Updates On Previously Funded Games

Battletech

Get Updates On The Project Here

Platform: PC

Funded back in September of 2015, work continues steadily on this project as the developer's other game Necropolis is being wrapped up for a summer release.

It's going to be a long wait for fans of this table war game, with this latest PC adaptation not expected out until at some point in 2017. Harebrained Schemes has a track record of putting out quality games though, so its a good bet this one will drop in a stable, playable state within a reasonable time frame.

The developer has been holding Q&A sessions directly with fans, so if you want more info, keep an eye on their social media for upcoming dates. The latest update at Kickstarter was quite extensive, going into great detail about the new Argo class drop ship and how it will be used in the game. Expect this one to be much more in-depth than the recent Shadowrun reboots, with a more open world aspect to the tactical mech battle mayhem.

That's it for this month's look at what's happening in crowd funding and early access games. Let us know what you think of the campaigns we covered, and be sure to fill us in on any exciting projects we missed!

Published Mar. 30th 2016

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