[dropcap size=big]U[/dropcap]nforgotten Quest was the game project and personal baby of YouTuber, BruceWillakers, also known as Robert Moran. The campaign ran from November 18th, 2012 to December 18th, 2012. It closed out with over $118k raised, a feat I think it achieved purely on salesmanship alone, because game details felt slim for the planned scope of the project, and the actual gameplay footage looked like something from a flash game off of Newgrounds. Once the campaign was completed, one backer-only update was released April 3rd, 2013, then another public update May 14th, 2013. In the latter update, Moran urges backers to check out the latest posts to his (now defunct) blog.

Unforgotten Quest

Then there’s absolutely nothing. It isn’t until a backer posts this comment, helpfully pointing his fellow backers to Robert Moran’s Unforgotten Quest Tumblr blog. There we are able to see some news. The latest post? Grim.

It’s there that we learn Robert Moran separated from his wife in 2013. Why is this significant? Because apparently Moran’s wife was the lead artist for Unforgotten Quest. I can’t think of anything more devastating than that. It’s often said that you should avoid getting into relationships with co-workers just to avoid poisoning the work environment with ill feelings when the romance ends, but it’s a little less typical for a married couple to split while working together on something like this. And this didn’t just have emotional repercussions for Robert. This also had financial repercussions, because marital separations are expensive don’cha know?

But I think Moran was right to say that he probably should have canceled the project after his marriage ended. His decision not to resulted in backers being strung along for years, left (for the most part) with a deafening silence regarding the fate of Unforgotten Quest. In his latest post on March 12th of this year, Moran states that he has no idea when he’ll do the next update, explaining that the last time he even worked on the game was late January 2015. Moran also “reminds” backers (as if there’s some sort of previous update they can easily consult) that he is no longer lead programmer, but just project manager and designer. He goes on to (essentially) say that due to a sloppy amateurish game design document from five years ago (that they were still using for some reason) he has to rebuild his team.

Unforgotten Quest

What really astounds me about all of this is that there isn’t any talk about offering refunds. Not only is this game not in any way close to even releasing an alpha demo, Moran has basically promised in his Tumblr update to resume his poor communication on the project. He justifies this by stating he’s focusing on his YouTube channel to raise funds for it, and while he does have 130k subscribers at the time of this post, I just can’t see why Moran can’t assign someone else to take over the responsibility of updates. This entire campaign was such a mess that t-shirt rewards haven’t even been sent out yet, and as Robert mentions on Tumblr, all the money raised from Kickstarter is already gone.

Aside from having yet to offer a refund, Moran’s conceited expectation that his backers will just magically be able to follow along with his choppy game updates across his various social media sites is ludicrous. If a backer has to post the right website for up-to-date information in the comments, something is seriously wrong.

Update 5/16/15: Robert Moran released a video update on his YouTube channel that included him talking for a few minutes on what went wrong with Unforgotten Quest, and why he decided to keep silent about his divorce. That reason? He wanted to keep his private matters private. Understandable, but still an insufficient reason. Not because I think he needed to air his dirty laundry, but because I don’t see why he had to. As many people know, there are many reasons a game project can fall through, and all he had to do was state any one of those reasons as to why the project could no longer continue. Moran has misled everyone already just trying to keep his personal life secret, I don’t see why this would have been so hard.

It is still my opinion that, as hard and as sad as his marital circumstances were, there still needed to be some better attention paid to solving the issues that arose, and until now, backers didn’t even get a fraction of that. Whether or not people get their money is sort of moot, because as already stated, all those funds from Kickstarter are gone. The point is accountability, and the idea that Robert Moran is somehow beyond that just because he had a hard time is a sorely misguided notion.

Have any news or updates regarding Unforgotten Quest you’d like to share?  Let us know in the comments, forums, or drop us a line!

Know of other Kickstarter projects that have just dropped off the map?  Want us to do some digging and see what’s going on?  Comment below, or shoot us an email and we’ll start nosing around.

Read more Kickstarter MIA articles right here for more sad crowdfunding tales.

Amanda French
Amanda French first cut her gaming teeth by playing such classics as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Mario World at the ripe age of four. From there spawned a lifelong love of video games, particularly narrative heavy adventures and open world games. A creative writing graduate of Full Sail University, Amanda writes fiction novels in her spare time. You can find her work at the Independent Author Network under the pseudonym, Illise Montoya. Amanda’s all-time favorite games include Dragon Age: Origins, Fallout 2, and Tekken 5. She lives on the California coast with her husband and young baby son.
Amanda French
  • it is very ironic that i forgot about this game…

  • Dawnyaaa

    Well, i’ve got some nice stories about KS i’ve backed. But, i admit this one is a good one (ironic).
    He probably doesn’t talk about refund because half the money has been spent on lawyers.

    Then even if some couple grew apart, if you have some decency, you can find a way out to work together (like just passing info without needing to be in direct contact, or having a work relation only). I mean, there is 1300 people involved in this story. It’s not just all about them.

    That’s the downside of youtubers and instafamous. They’re so engrossed into themselves that they think they can achieve everything while they can’t even foresaw the future of their relationship.

    • I’ve seen how marital separations can put a financial strain on people without even bringing in the divorce lawyers, so while I can appreciate that Moran’s position was an emotionally difficult one, I still don’t feel he had the right to play chicken with the Kickstarter funds. That said, I think the only solution to this predicament would have been to refund the money before too much of it was spent on personal problems. Trying to work with someone you just split apart with on a project as intensive as this, with a team as small as it is… I just don’t see that working. I really feel the better solution would have been to avoid this happening altogether by giving back the money, and coming back after recouping losses. Sadly, this did not happen, and quite frankly I’m surprised backers haven’t pushed harder for a refund. It may be that many of them are fans of Moran’s from his Youtube channel, so there could be some weird loyalty thing going on there. The backer whose comment I linked to in the article even said he was a “fan” of Moran’s who followed him closely.

      • Dawnyaaa

        Yeah..i don’t really get the popularity or even the loyalty a youtuber can gather..
        I mean i’d call myself a fan of someone but only if he is talented. I don’t see any talent into being a youtuber..aside filling blank.

        Otherwise, i can’t really comment. I am someone that makes pass commitment before anything else. If, i had done a KS, and took money for other people, i’d make sure that some way or another, they’ll et what they paid for. Even if it means working with someone i hate.

        Like you i am surprised people didn’t ask for a refund with more vigour. Still, i am even more surprised that they let that going on for so long without asking explanation.
        It looks more like how a cult would work..than a fanbase.

  • Nick

    Is would be decent of you to update this story with Rob’s latest update via his Youtube channel. He basically goes in detail about how the divorce affected game development and what he plans to do with Urealms this year.

    • Thanks for the heads up Nick! We’ll check it out. Hopefully he’ll post a Kickstarter update as well. It’s been 2 years now since the last one, and he just logged in yesterday.

    • Thank you for this! I’ve updated the article with a link and my thoughts.

  • I think you definitely raise some great points, particularly about the potential for fans to go on a hunt. However, in my opinion there’s a third option. Update backers with information that a ton of life drama has hit him and that they should expect massive delays. Obviously offering refunds would be nice, but that’s not always practical. Most the time when I’ve seen developers be straight forward with their backers and offer refunds, most backers don’t take them up on it, the only time when backers go crazy for refunds is when they feel as though they were ripped off. Given his fan base, I don’t think there would be a ton of people that would take him up on a refund offer. And even then, it’s expected that sometimes refunds can take years.

    The one thing that I see as completely unacceptable is to not update your backers for over two years. A video is great, but backers weren’t notified of it other than some kind soul mentioning it in the comments. Unfortunately, if you’ve backed a ton of projects it’s extremely cumbersome to routinely track down updates, that’s the entire point of backer updates; so that you can keep the people that gave you money in the loop

  • With respect to you and to Robert, I acknowledged his hardship, and I heard what he said about his wife’s wishes. He still could have handled the situation in a manner that would not have brought his wife undue attention. I know popular YouTubers have to deal with higher attention than many, but honestly, he isn’t an a-list celebrity. He was able to keep quiet about his marital problems till now, he certainly could have done so if he had canceled the project like he himself admitted he should have.

    I want to also make it known that I have seen first-hand in my family what divorce can do. But the people involved still dealt with what they had to deal with regardless. If you have $118k worth of money in your hands, you have a responsibility to take care of business. Having personal problems is fine, it’s human, but not taking responsibility for what those problems will affect is not right. Moran knows he didn’t do right by his backers, he said so, and while it’s nice for him to update on the issue finally, he needs to do that on Kickstarter specifically, then show some actual progress in delivering the product he decided to commit to.

    Quite honestly, this article was meant to inform those backers who were still in the dark (and there are plenty) because Robert wasn’t updating Kickstarter. This article was also meant for those backers who are NOT his YouTube fans, but people who saw a promising game and backed it during a period of Kickstarter history when game campaigns were more easily funded. If Unforgotten Quest would have gone up today, it may still have succeeded, but purely by the support of Robert’s diehard fans.

    People keep saying that people are not “entitled” to refunds, and they would be right. However, people can pursue a lawsuit against someone they feel wrongfully took their money now that Kickstarter changed their terms, and that’s what these articles are meant to do: encourage accountability.

  • Yauchy

    Ty for this post. I am a random fan, who doesn’t use his forums or have any interest in anything non-UR…and I find his lack of info and accountability to be despicable. I doubt posts like these will make a dent in his apparent Kickstarter and/or UR Quest apathy but it’s at least solace to know I’m not alone in being reasonably upset.

  • Anthony Nelson

    $118,824 for a 2d game he could not create. He now makes $2,507.63 from his Patreon. His video back in May 2015 describes a 22 year old kid with zero bills and no responsibilities. Escapist hires him and he continues to squander his wealth. 2k to 3k to live? He comes off as a privileged child where his parents always got him out of trouble. If you go to Robert’s Patreon site his main profile picture is of him drinking margaritas in some pub. Yep that’s where your money is going folks. If you read the descriptions of the tiers you find something interesting. He will not waste time talking to you unless you pay.

    He’s basically being paid to do nothing now. Get a real job Robert Patreon isn’t going to last forever.

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