The Last Class Heroes Kickstarter Tragedy

By Julie Morley


lastclassheroes1Most, if not all, of the game developers approaching Kickstarter to fund their game are incredibly ambitious, passionate, and starry-eyed beyond description. They have a dream they want to see life breathed into and will stop at nothing to ensure its very existence no matter the cost. Naturally, with these dreams come many financial obligations and roadblocks that must be conquered to pursue the birth and life of it. Time and time again, the writing staff here at Cliqist has seen many of those same starry-eyed developers put their livelihood and financial stability on the line to see if their game could make it.

The unfortunate thing about this entire process is the lack of certainty in any aspect of it. How successful will this be? Can I make a living as a game developer? Will I be able to take care of my team – what about their families? How can necessities like food and living quarters be possible in this entire process? Just about every development team I’ve come across has had their fair share of Ramen diets and sleepless nights. It’s all a big gamble. It’s a sizable risk. With these Kickstarter campaigns, it’s a leap of faith.

Leo Molar, lead of the Kontrabida studio in Toronto, knows this process all too well. Kontrabida approached Kickstarter back in 2011 to make one of their dreams a reality: Last Class Heroes. Already, a small mobile game by the same name had already been created that accumulated a bit of interest on the app market but they wanted to make it bigger and better. With $5K, this small team would be able to produce a cleaner game. The costs for this dream were low and the team would be all over the world working on this project at their own pace. But Leo learned quickly that $5K just wasn’t enough to make it work, so Last Class Heroes had a second Kickstarter campaign, which raised significantly more funds than they aimed for, coming in at nearly $25K.

“It wasn’t good enough and I got overambitious. If we were going to do this, we’d better do it right – this became our mantra.” said Leo in the recent Kickstarter update.

With these funds, Kontrabida was able to get an actual studio space for everyone to work together on the game.. The productiveness increased significantly right away the progress with Last Class Heroes was tremendous. Things were looking quite optimistic.

“This is no longer just a job for us, it’s a way of life.”

Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill. Families cannot be fed on hopes and dreams, therefore the entire team had to turn to commission work in the midst of all their work on Last Class Heroes. Despite all the money gained through the campaigns, it was nowhere near enough to support every member of the team and their family’s needs in the process.

“Although our numbers doubled and at one point tripled, it still wasn’t enough and some of us got pulled into doing two or three jobs at a time.”

lastclassheroes2After several years of development, only a small prequel for Last Class Heroes made in the team’s spare time can be offered to backers at the moment. Given the current progress, Kontrabida has decided to put Last Class Heroes on the backburner for the time being until their financial situation settles out. Leo has written an extensive update informing backers about the state of Last Class Heroes and apologizing. Many of the backers, however, are refusing to take their refunds and are sticking with Kontrabida through and through.

For right now, we have the prequel mini-game to play and some very optimistic backers.


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About the Author

Julie Morley

Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.

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