It’s always sad to see a promising crowdfunded game fail. Especially one that managed to blow past it’s $30,000 Kickstarter goal with the support of 1,558 backers and $52,616, back in 2013. After years of attempting to secure additional funding from investors and publishers, the developers behind Artizens are finally calling it quits.
Artizens had already been in development for over a year before launching their Kickstarter campaign. The developers, Artizens Inc. claimed they had already completed the core systems and just needed funding for additional content. They planned to use the Kickstarter funds to create a playable alpha version of Artizens, which they would use to entice publishers. Unfortunately, there was no secondary plan in place should this fail.
Artizens was released on Steam Early Access, but only as an incomplete alpha build. On January 2nd, after 6 months of silence, the developers released an update. The content was less than encouraging. They claimed they couldn’t complete the game on their own, but were sure that all their problems would go away just as soon as they landed a publisher.
And Now For Something Completely Different…
Considering it was this sort of thinking that had lead to their current struggles, this announcement was troubling. Still, it wasn’t nearly as disturbing as their decision to reboot and make changes to everything from the game’s design, to the art, and story. When you already can’t pay for your game, it’s not a great idea to make sweeping changes to what little progress you’ve already made.
Artizens had been sliding down the slope to failure for months now, and this latest change did nothing to help their situation. In their most recent Kickstarter update, the developer’s announced that they are financially unable to continue work on Artizens.
The game will be removed from the Steam store in the coming days and the servers shutting down on November 16th. There is no money left to issue any refunds to backers, many of whom feel Artizens did not handle the funds correctly.
“We really believe this game had promise and it’s upsetting that we weren’t able to find a funding partner. No one is more disappointed in Artizens closing than we are.”
Needless to say, backers aren’t happy about what they see as a mishandling of funds (marketing without a finished product). Many are calling for the full release of the game’s source code and master server software. In a reply issued earlier today on Kickstarter, Artizens, Inc. said they are looking into what it would take to release the code to backers, but have not committed as of yet.