Until now, the journey of Allison Road has been more or less flawless. The P.T.-inspired horror game by developer Lilith made an immediate impact upon its arrival in the gaming community, and the team behind the game have set a great example with regard to open and honest communication with fans. When the project recently arrived on Kickstarter, it seemed like a safe bet that Allison Road would quickly secure its funding and continue the close relationship it had built with its followers. However, it seems like the paradigm Lilith have built is about to be shifted.
In a recent update posted to the project’s campaign page, the team announced the cancellation of the Allison Road Kickstarter. Horror fans need not worry, though, as there’s another side to this coin: Allison Road has been picked up by experienced publisher Team17.
Team17 are best known for the Worms franchise, but not everybody is aware of their presence in the modern independent scene. Indeed, the publisher’s involvement touches projects such as Yooka-Laylee, The Escapists, Beyond Eyes, and more. It’s not a bad deal for Allison Road, but as with all seemingly good things, there’s a catch or two to keep in mind.
First of all, there are the backer rewards that no longer apply – Lilith promises to find other ways to get its former backers involved in the game at a later date. Though it’s not immediately clear how it will do so. Secondly, there’s something altogether more impacting about the Team17 deal, which may very well change the dynamic of Allison Road‘s development. The team working on the game are likely to be a lot less open and a lot more quiet about their project now that its ownership is shared, marking a significant change in the relationship Lilith has maintained with its fans.
It’s not the end of the world, of course, but there’s something sad about a developer of the people turning away from its community in favor of a business deal. It’ll help the game get made, of course. In fact, it should more or less ensure it, and that’s what its fans wanted in the first place, right?
Then again, Kickstarter seemed like the perfect place for Allison Road. Not only would it have allowed Lilith’s open and honest relationship with its fanbase to continue, it would have allowed this relationship to flourish, with the biggest fans of the project being rewarded the most. Now all we have to look forward to is a slow drip-feed of previews and some heavily-edited PR releases until the game is in our hands. Perhaps I’m just being pessimistic. Who knows? This could very well be great news for Allison Road fans. It all depends on Team17’s handling of the project, and what it will and will not restrict.
Before its cancellation, the Allison Road Kickstarter had raised £145,959 of its £250,000 goal, with 4,482 backers supporting the project. The cancellation announcement can be read here. For more on Allison Road, you can follow here, here, and here.