Following a long period of ominous silence, Kickstarter backers of Rocket Ranger Reloaded have got the news that many were expecting – the project was in trouble. A refreshingly honest backer-only update from developer Cinemaware confirmed that roughly $30,000 of pledges had not been collected due to refused credit card payments and attempts to secure an investor had failed. Given that the total amount originally pledged in December 2014 was only $90,715 (just about creeping past its $90,000 goal in a nail-biting finish) this represented nearly a third of the amount raised.
Backers are now therefore being given the opportunity to vote on how the project will proceed; either to allow Cinemaware another couple of years to raise further funds by working on other projects, or to cancel the project with all backers receiving their pledges back.
Within five hours 304 of the 942 backers had taken part in the vote with 70% opting to allow Cinemaware further time to continue with the project. The poll is open for 14 more days but given that the voting analysis shows the response rate has already dropped off significantly it seems quite likely that Rocket Ranger Reloaded has been given a stay of execution.
It feels cynical to say this but the ‘yes’ voters appear have gone with their hearts rather than their heads. Admittedly the Kickstarter campaign had been very professional with plenty of detail, screenshots, a playable PC demo and a good track record (Cinemaware had previously run a successful Kickstarter campaign with Wings! Remastered Edition). But since the project for Rocket Ranger Reloaded ended in December 2014 the updates had dried up with just a single, unsubstantial update in the eight months that followed.
The lack of news over the last year doesn’t inspire confidence at all and even the latest update, for all its honesty, seemed quite basic and poorly written. Still at least the backers are being allowed to decide the fate of Rocket Ranger Reloaded and who knows – maybe we will see a great title released in a few years time.