Five Kickstarter Games That Flopped Harder Than Mighty No. 9

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After multiple delays, changes in art style, and many other mishaps and roadblocks, Might No. 9 is out and the results are... less than impressive.  While playable, Steam reviews have blasted the game over its poor writing, voice acting, and shoddy controls.  While the game has its fans, it's safe to say that a lot of people expecting a true successor to the Mega Man name are going to walk away disappointed.

But, as creative director Keiji Inafune was misquoted as saying, "It's better than nothing," and in the case of some Kickstarter-backed games, nothing is what they got.  Here's a look at five Kickstarter games that couldn't deliver on their promises (or, in some cases, couldn't deliver at all).

The OUYA

The Ouya is both the biggest gaming Kickstarter and the biggest gaming Kickstarter failure.  While it seemed promising, as it earned more than a whopping eight million dollars, the open-source Android console now joins failed consoles like the Virtual Boy and the 3DO.  The Ouya was sold on lofty promises, such as that it would compete with modern consoles despite its hardware being more akin to that of a cellphone.

Despite the incredible amount of love and goodwill put into the console by its development team, it released with little fanfare and from public view almost immediately.  The last blog entry on the Kickstarter page, which ironically reads "Gonna fix this" came out almost three years ago, and the hardware has been discontinued.

Homestuck Adventure/Hiveswap

Based on Andrew Hussie's massively popular webcomic Homestuck, Homestuck Adventure, later renamed Hiveswap was launched in 2012 and met it's funding goal in less than a week, finishing its campaign with over two million dollars.  Of all the early Kickstarter projects, this one seemed both promising and plausible: the webcomic began as an homage to classic adventure games, had legions of rabid fans, and the expected release date of summer 2014 gave it a generous amount of time to develop.

Sadly, the game is still in development.  While new concept art released late last year, it seems more and more likely that Hiveswap may never see the light of day.

The Stomping Land

An ambitious game that made it farther than most others on the list, The Stomping Land nevertheless failed to fully release. An open world survival game announced in 2012, The Stomping Land tasked players with killing dinosaurs for food, which would require planning and cooperation with other players online.  Early concept art showed a lot of promise and knowledge on the subject of dinosaurs, which helped the game reach it's relatively modest budget of a hundred thousand dollars.  The game even released on Steam Early Access on time.

However, the Early Access build was missing most of the promised features, including most of the map and dinosaurs that were promised.  While missing features in Early Access isn't uncommon, The Stomping Land was never finished, as the lead developer cut all communications with his team, leading to them leaving as well and the termination of development. 

Yogventures

Based on the popular Let's Play series YogsCastYogventures was successfully funded over five hundred thousand dollars.  Despite backing from a huge fanbase and a talented team of developers at Winterkewl Games, the game never made it past the beta stage.  The beta, given out as a reward to select backers on Kickstarter, added fuel to the fire when it turned out to be little more than a Minecraft clone with a YogsCast coat of paint. Given that Winterkewl canceled the game and closed down due to financial trouble, fans are unlikely to ever see the finished project (or their money).

Red Ash

Back to Mighty No. 9, it's sequel/spin-off Red Ash managed to turn people off the original game even more than the constant delays and changes in art style.  Set in a post-apocalyptic future, this open world third person shooter featured a cast of characters somewhat based on Mighty No. 9's, but with completely different designs.  Many were outraged that Comcept, the team behind both games, began work on Kickstarting both a sequel and an animated adaptation of said sequel before the first game had even released.  

Because of this, the game did not reach it's funding goals and had to seek out a publisher to get the project off the ground.  Even with said publisher, the demo that was released to backers felt unfinished, consisting of a room full of playable characters and physics objects that responded strangely to the player's interaction.  Given the reception of Mighty No. 9Red Ash's future is uncertain.

What Kickstarters disappointed you the most?  What do you think about Mighty No. 9? Let us know in the comments!

Published Jun. 23rd 2016

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