[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]hree years ago Aoineko Studios launched a Kickstarter for their Cyberpunk RPG Kitaru and managed to get funding to the tune of just over $35,500. The problem with this title, though, is that it still hasn’t seen the light of day. Which isn’t that surprising considering that there are other projects that ran at around the same time that are still being worked on. What is surprising is what’s happened with the project since.
During the campaign, and for quite some time afterwards, Aoineko actually kept in touch with backers of Kitaru on a regular basis. And the game really did have a lot of assets to show off in these updates. Including both screenshots and several videos with in-game footage. From what I’ve seen progress had been relatively smooth and the look of the game was polished to the point of them actually releasing a beta build to those who backed at a high enough tier.
The last update that backers got for Kitaru was at the end of September last year discussing new additions to the game and a “see you in October” message at the end. Perhaps this meant October 2015 as Aoineko’s gone completely dark since. There haven’t been any new updates and they’ve been conspicuously absent from the main comments section, leading backers to believe that they’ve taken the money and ran.
Apparently, though, they’ve still kept somewhat in contact on their social media platforms as the Kitaru Facebook page has been updated recently after a long bout of silence. It seems that they had promised back in March to release an update by May which has yet to be posted. And this silence has earned the ire of plenty of backers. Even I’ve lost faith in this one and I’ll admit that I pretty much forgot about it even existing.
While I have yet to ask for a refund, partially because I fear that nobody would even hear my request and partly because I knew the risks going in, knowing that there’s been radio silence for nearly a year now does leave a sour taste in my mouth. And the outcry in Kitaru‘s comments section echoes this concern on a much deeper level.
While the above is enough to be concerned about with regards to the current state of the project’s development what’s most damning is with regards to Kitaru‘s Web site. It’s no longer there. When you try to go to there you get a “page not found” error. For one reason or another there’s almost no Web presence for the game beyond the Kickstarter page and their social media accounts.
As far as I know the only actual promised rewards delivered to backers have been the soundtrack and beta build. Even those are probably down too. I had tried reaching out to Aoineko to get info on the status of Kitaru but have yet to hear back from them. Until I get anything regarding this project I fear that the game won’t be finished. Which is a shame because what I did see looked great.
Update 8/27/15: Aoineko Studios have updated their Kickstarter, the backer-only update includes a demo. Our impressions can be found here.
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.