Veteran Japanese Gave Dev IndieGogo Campaign Draws Suspicions
by Ahmad Khan
X-tactics, by Tokyo based Gamkin, is an “Episodic Urban Tactical RPG by veterans of Square-Enix, Capcom and SEGA. With co-op and location-based treasure hunting” according to its IndieGogo page. The creators of the project want to combine tactical gameplay from classics like Final Fantasy Tactics and Valkyrie Chronicles with the artistic style of Street Fighter to make a new breed of tactical RPG geared toward mobile platforms. In that vein the project creators are planning to implement Geocaching and handheld assisted LARP elements into the game as well. Pretty impressive and totally appealing; so far.
However there are some things about this whole project that feels are bit ”off” to me to say the least.
Secondly, who exactly are these “veterans of Square-Enix, Capcom and SEGA” that are being used as sales pitch to sell this project, what are their names? What roles did they have in their former studios? What projects did they work in the past? Most importantly, in what capacity are they working on X-Tactics? I looked over both English and Japanese game site links previewing X-tactics and have not found any of this information. Showing off the fact that you’re employing veteran game developers without telling anyone who they make makes me wonder.
Furthermore, the project creators seem to be studiously avoiding answering important questions until they are prodded by suspicious gamers. Some backers noted the strong focus on mobile and the conspicuous lack of a copy of the game in any of the reward tiers and began inquiring about the payment model for the game. The creators first stated they wanted to do something “well-balanced,” and as such micro-transactions and free to play models won’t be used. Then a few days later the FAQs section of their IndieGogo page conveniently contained the following information “It is likely there will be some form of in-app purchases”, talk about your word play.
While all this back and forth was happening the funding jumped mysteriously from around $6k to over $16k. It appears that somebody backed at the largest, $10k, pledge tier, and before anybody could ask who it was the FAQ was updated once again:
“We have been very fortunate to have received some extraordinary funding from a very successful business person of the industry here in Japan. This person has been very generous, and is very interested in our success and technology, but this person is not affiliated with our studio in any way.“
One just has to look at other Japanese crowdfunding project like La Mulana2 and Under the Dog to see that if somebody “big and famous” supports your project you share this information in as much detail as you can with a lot of fanfare, its mutually beneficial publicity wise. Keeping your benefactors anonymous when tough questions come your way doesn’t inspire much confidence, at least not to someone like me.
Verdict: Most likely a legitimate, but very poorly executed, project. The worst case scenario is that they are making stuff up as they go to rack up donations. Either way, backer beware.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ahmadkhan.jpg” ]Ahmad Khan grew up playing video games. A fan of RPGs and Post-Apocalypse games, Khan instantly fell in love with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGogo that made games like Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity a reality. He also ended up being sort of a whistle blower for suspicious crowd funding project, believing that the venue of crowdfunding should be reserved for the honest and the passionate, not for the dishonest and dubious. [/author]