When Playdek raised $660,126 back in 2014 for their Tactical RPG, Unsung Story, they didn’t really have much to show to potential backers. The “trailer” on the Kickstarter page is just some Playdek employees talking about how much they love working on Tactical RPG’s and CEO Joel Goodman gushing about getting to work with Yasumi Matsuno. There were no screenshots, no gameplay teasers, nothing to indicate that the game was anything more than a whimsical idea, and yet they still managed to meet their $600,000 goal.
It’s been over 2 years since the campaign ended and Playdek still doesn’t have much to show the 15,824 people who supported Unsung Story, and backers are furious. Waving around an association with Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story veteran, Matsuno might have been enough to get people interested, but Playdek’s vaguely sparse updates and clear lack of focus seem to have burned any goodwill they had with their community. The February 2016 update where they mentioned they hadn’t even been working on Unsung Story certainly didn’t help.
The latest update on April 9th assured backers that the team was finally going to be getting back to work on Unsung Story. Playdek is finally nearing completion of a separate project they had taken on to help with finances. It seems that even with these assurances backers are understandably skeptical. Especially since, when asked how the funding for Unsung Story was being handled they were told that, “roughly $1,500,000 has been spent on various aspects of Unsung Story development,” but were given no screenshots or gameplay footage outside of a short combat demo to back up these claims. It’s worth noting that the combat in the video is using standard square-grids, when one of Playdek’s selling points during the campaign had been the unique use of triangular grids. Add to this the focus on releasing a PvP prototype before a backer release sees the light of day, and things aren’t looking too good for this project.
Backers have been asking for a refund for a while, some even going as far as to contact their local Attorney Generals to report the campaign as a scam. So far, there is no indication that Playdek plans to indulge them, or actually make the game they had promised. Ordinarily I’d include some updated screenshots to spice up the article, but there is so little material out there, I’ve had to reuse the ones from the original campaign. All I can offer is the combat video, which while not as terrible as some comments made it out to be, certainly isn’t anything special.