[Update 4/27 3:41 AM] The Dolls Kickstarter campaign has been canceled by Hush Interactive. There was only a single, backer only update on the Kickstarter explaining why it was canceled. Luckily Cliqist Editor-In-Chief and butterfly collector Greg Micek backed the campaign to keep an eye on things. This is what the cancellation updated has to say.
“Hello We have decided to stop the kickstarter, as Forever Entertainment has decided to fund themselves, as the budget is small it seems doable on behalf of FE. But to all those who backed, will still receive a download code at least on release, so please email us for a code via the website. On a personal note, I have spent some time away due to personal health, in which I came back to a massive issue regarding the old company I worked for, I myself am a freelance designer and no more.
“There was only so much I could do, but before I left my old job I tried my best to fix issues that happened, such as giving away codes, an trying to leave on good ground. There are those who may hate or not fully understand, an I wish you would contact me on my personal email, [omitted] so I could explain more. HUSH is run by my local friends, who know me on a personal level, I have no control over Dark Day, an put my best into what was made. The rest is in there hands. I truly hope you can look past what was done which I had no control over, an left as I didn’t like what became of it or what was happing. Game dates getting pushed back, or I send off my work and it never got added or done. I wish them all the best as I try and move on a new place with a team that is local making commutation easier.”
Neither Hann, Hush Interactive, or The Dolls’s publisher Forever Entertainment have replied to our requests for comment. The comment is signed off with “W,” despite no one on the team having a name with ‘W.’ The Hush Interactive website was also updated to include Mark Hann himself, although now he’s calling himself Mark “Hann” Griffiths. Classy.
The original story follows.
Mark Hann, the man behind Dark Day Interactive who allegedly never paid his employees, stole 3D assets, and took money to develop an app which he never did, is back on Kickstarter. Not long after we published our article about Dark Day, Hann launched The Dolls, a familiar looking first person horror game.
As we suspected, Hann has changed the name of his studio, and has brought on more developers. It seems Dark Day Interactive may be no more. Their next game, The Final Take, was removed from Steam Greenlight despite being voted onto Steam. Now, The Final Take is listed as a product of this new team, called Hush Interactive.
If you watch the gameplay trailer on The Dolls Kickstarter page, you’ll notice it appears to be very similar to both One Final Breath and the Final Take. They both have the same gameplay, graphical style, and even use the same font for splash text in the trailer. Mark Hann is listed as the verified owner of the Hush Interactive Kickstarter profile, and the company is based in the same city as Dark Day Interactive.
Mysteriously however, Hann isn’t listed anywhere else on the Kickstarter page, or Hush Interactive’s website. There is someone on the team listed as “Mark Griffiths” however, who isn’t mentioned anywhere else in regards to this studio or The Dolls, nor does an Australian 3D designer show up anywhere on Google by that name. I’ll assume it isn’t a personally dig for now.
We reached out to both Mark Hann and Hush Interactive, however they did not respond to our questions. However, someone in the comment section did point out that Mark Hann was involved with the project, and Hush Interactive had the following to say.
“The team is based upon us from Forever Entertainment, myself Zbigniew Debick
“Mark Hann is the creator of the project and because the project is based in Australia it seems only fair it would be a AU project page, but i will be running this, any questions please email at
“Mr Hann has now left old ties and is developing a few ideas with us, this being one of a few. We also have Ash sunderland who is the owner of Drop Bear a freelance design studio based in AU. Due to our success with past games such as Timeberman we see the talent in this project, and hope for a good release. but please feel free to email us. For more information on the teams please check out the websites.”
Forever Entertainment seems to be a Polish mobile game developer and publisher. However, they make no mention of The Dolls or a partnership with Hush Interactive on their website or Facebook page. They are listed on the main page, though not “Zbigniew Debick.” Perhaps more damning however is that the “Zbigniew Debick” working at the studio is actually Zbigniew Debicki.
It could be a typo, but it’s odd that the publisher would personally write this comment on the Kickstarter page, despite not being mentioned anywhere else. We’ve reached out to both Zbigniew Debicki and Forever Entertainment and we’ll update with their response when we hear back from them.
However, saying that Mark Hann is only developing “a few ideas” isn’t entirely accurate. Local Big Bad Beetleborg and Cliqist Editor in Chief Greg Micek discovered on Who.Is that both domain websites for Dark Day Interactive and Hush Interactive are registered to the same address. The listing also states that Hush Interactive’s website was only created on April 2nd, 2016, a mere 18 days before The Dolls’s Kickstarter went live.
We’ve also reached out to a voice actor listed on the Kickstarter page as being in the game, Brandon Fague. He too has not responded to our messages.
Finally, we also reached out to Kickstarter Support. After asking for comment in our Dark Day article, we weren’t expecting much. Again we didn’t get much, however this time the response we got was at least a little condescending.
“Thanks for getting in touch about this. If you spot something you’d like to bring to our attention, the easiest thing to do is use the “Report this project” button at the bottom of each project page. We have a dedicated Integrity team that reviews concerns about projects on the site, so they’ll look into this.
“It’s a huge help to get reports from the community and we really appreciate you taking the time to let us know.”
What we know for certain right now is that Mark Hann is involved to some degree. He’s moved The Final Take from Dark Day Interactive to Hush Interactive, the website domain is registered to him it would seem, and the supposed publisher confirmed it. Just as we did in our Dark Day article, we must stress that we cannot prove Dark Day or Mark Hann has done anything wrong.
However, the many people who have stepped forward in protest of the two speaks volumes. There’s clearly something shady about this particular campaign, from those involved, and this mysterious publisher coming out of the woodwork. We’ll keep this story updated as we hear more information.