Sometimes, less than scrupulous individuals will cobble together crowdfunding projects in an attempt to make sweet game developer money. They may even get away with it too, for a bit. Until the meddling gamer community calls them out on it. Kewpie-Jazzy attempted this last year with a heavily plagiarized Kickstarter campaign. The project has since been renamed Fur Fun, but hasn’t managed to dodge its shady history. If anything, they’ve thrown fuel on the fire.
Kewpie-Jazzy was a 3D platformer that tried to mimic the vastly more successful campaign for Yooka-Laylee. Not just in game design and premise, which may have been forgivable, but also by directly lifting and altering campaign assets for their own use. It seemed pretty shady, as we were quick to point out.
Scammy campaign practices weren’t the developers only problem. Composer, Grant Kirkhope also left the project, citing a scheduling conflict. Kirkhope had worked on classic N64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie and was currently composing for Yooka-Laylee. This loss destroyed the last of the project’s already dubious credibility. Kewpie’s developer (then DorkyCamp) eventually changed the plagiarized campaign assets, but the damage had already been done.
Crash And Burn
The Kickstarter failed spectacularly, raising only €656 of its €92,000 goal. Regardless, the project continued. DorkyCamp hired a new composer, Rasmus Bek Kordic (@rasmusicsongs) and became Dalas Games under lead developer (and Spanish YouTuber) DalasReview. This is also when they changed the name to Fur Fun.
It seems like the transition wasn’t a smooth one. TechRaptor recently wrote a fantastic breakdown of the saga of Fur Fun following the game’s Steam Early Access release. One of their many revelations was that the Kickstarter campaign’s 2D artist, Adrián González wasn’t immediately paid for his contributions to the project. A sentiment echoed by Rasmus Bek Kordic, who also wanted to distance himself from the game due to all the controversy surrounding it.
Oh No They Didn’t
Ah yes, the controversy. While Kewpie-Jazzy definitely meddled in unsavory practices, as Fur Fun, the game is absolutely brimming with them. It seemingly started when a few Steam users tried the game and left brutally honest reviews regarding its shortcomings. In what anyone who follows these sort of practices will recognize as the worst possible way to respond, Dalas Games flagged these reviews as abusive and banned the users from their Steam page.
Making sure to complete the developer self-destruction manifesto they also filed copyright claims on YouTube videos that displayed Fur Fun in a negative light. This went over about as well as you might expect with the gaming community who immediately began calling the team out through their official Twitter account. At this point, the developer dug in his heels and began insulting everyone who accused him. Many of the exchanges are difficult to parse through, having little to no Spanish language skills. Luckily, a neoGaF thread helpfully keeps track of some of the more notable insults.
But Wait, There’s More
This was far from the biggest bomb dropped on Fur Fun’s legacy. An administrator at The Cutting Room Floor, OtherEhm uncovered several Banjo-Kazooie files buried in Fur Fun’s installation folder. Even if the files aren’t being used in the storefront build, just having them is a huge no no. You don’t get to package up assets you don’t own the rights to and sell them to others.
Seeing developer melt-downs like this is always grotesquely fascinating. In the best of circumstances it’s not always easy to accept criticism graciously. Probably even less so when you’ve dug yourself into a hole so deep it’s only a matter of time before the sides collapse in on you.