Traintopia Kickstarter Derails as Dev Drama Emerges

traintopia

Traintopia is a game on Kickstarter we covered a little bit ago. The campaign was going well, but last week, some bizarre things happened.

First, between November 28 and November 29, the game’s funding dropped from $29,373 to $3,012. Per kicktraq, 169 people had revoked their pledge without warning.

Then, backers found a connection between Suricate Games and a Steam Greenlight game called Panoptes, a story-driven trading card game with a troubled development history.

In this Steam thread, user meltdown expressed confusion over another developer posting about the game’s cancellation. He claims that a thread he’d started about it was deleted. Suricate Games assured posters that the game was still in development, but user lex.xisor—who claimed to be the developer in question—stated that Suricate Games had shut down and ceased development on Panoptes in September. Lex.xisor also claims that a post he’d made about the game’s cancellation was deleted.

Shortly thereafter, Panoptes disappeared from Steam entirely.

The connection is troubling because Panoptes hit Steam Greenlight back in January. Since then, the developers have posted no updates for the game, and rarely spoke of development in the forums. Backers are worried because it seems Suricate Games abandoned the game without warning after taking people’s money.

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Where is Suricate Games?

On Kickstarter, angry backers have been calling the developers swindlers and accusing them of fraud. It seems fake accounts were backing the project as well. If that’s not enough, the comments on the Steam Greenlight page are suspicious. Many of the posters only play CS:GO, with only a few games on their accounts. The comments themselves are a bit off, like those fake reviews you find on sites like Amazon.

The developers claimed the game hit the top 25 list on Steam Greenlight despite most of the early comments stating the game’s pre-rendered trailers weren’t enough to garner a “yes” vote.

Backers are asking Suricate Games to comment on the recent drama. They have not spoken about any of it yet, though they did confirm on the Traintopia Greenlight page that they also worked on Panoptes. With only six days left on the campaign, they better do some damage control soon.

All in all, the whole thing just smells fishy. We’ve reached out to Suricate Games for comment, and will update this post if they get back to us.

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David Lins
David Lins is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania that has loved video games since he was old enough to hold a controller. He enjoys all sorts of games, but prefers difficult or terrifying ones. Currently, he plays too many roguelikes. When not writing about his favorite hobby, he loves to drink beer, write fiction, play tabletop RPGs or board games, and hang out with his friends and family. He also has a passion for technology and loves tinkering with his phone, computer, and other devices. Follow David on Twitter for “hilarious” or “insightful” tweets about nothing in particular.
David Lins