Through crowdfunding, backers are able to share in the joys and sorrows of game development. Unfortunately, some developers have taken advantage of their “close-knit” funding communities, using project updates as more of a personal blog while development languishes in the background. Such has increasingly become the case with the Kickstarter project for Kristian Fosh’s Jason The Greek.
Inspired by Jason and The Argonauts, Jason The Greek was a point-and-click adventure funded for £10,573 in the winter of 2013. Full of sci-fi spoofs and cartoony art, the project lured in 600 backers with the promise of a 2014 release date. Since I’m writing this article in 2017 you can safely assume that never happened.
There were many reasons for the delays of course. The art style changed (a few times) and Fosh managed to lure in a publisher. Even when Kickstarter updates became further apart and nearly always begun with apologies, Fosh maintained that he was still doing his best to deliver the game.
“I will do my best to see this through and, acts of the Gods aside I will do my best to have this game out by the beginning of Summer 2014.”
Backers were, well, not happy, but mostly resigned to the delays. They shared the usual platitudes of it being worth the wait to get a better product. In fact, most were content to continue to wait. Likely because backers were lead to believe that Fosh was doing his best to finish the game.
Unfortunately, the latest update paints a slightly different picture of development. After making his usual apologies for belated updates, Fosh excitedly details the upcoming launch of his new company. Another project which takes priority over his promises to backers.
We’ll Just Put This Away For Now
“I have to confirm that Jason has and is for a few more months temporarily shelved as I just cannot find the time to work on the game between my commitments to the company and my family and to myself…”
Despite announcing an indefinite hiatus while he gets the new company off the ground, Fosh hopes to return to work on Jason The Greek, eventually. “There is SO much I’d love to do with my spare time but this is priority one. All I need now is some spare time…”
Naturally, backers were quick to express their frustration in the comments. Calling the developer out for his disregard towards obligations to those who supported him. Noting that this reflected badly on both Kickstarter and crowdfunding.
As one backer put it, “I can’t say I’m really angry. I guess it would be more disappointed, especially in the tone of this last update, which to me, was a “I don’t really care because I have this great new project to work on.” I hope your commitment to your new company runs a little deeper than the commitment you gave to your backers on this project if you want it to be successful.”