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Kickstarter-Funded Game Midora Never Had Enough Money, Now Fishing for Investors

midora 10-09-15-1

Kickstarter-funded games running out of money have become more commonplace, however, what the developer chooses to do following their depletion of funds can be wildly different.

Midora, a Legend of Zelda-esque action/adventure game, ran out of money back in April of this year. Mhyre the boss of Epic Minds (the game’s developer), revealed over on the game’s Kickstarter blog that he always knew that $60,000 was never enough to really make the game.

“I will admit that the amount needed to create this game was largely underestimated for the campaign,” said Mhyre. “I knew that the game would need more than $60,000 to be made.”

This new confession arrives roughly 14 months after the game was funded on Kickstarter – raising $73,470 from over 3,000 people. Now, he’s openly looking to potential investors or publishers to save the game:

“If you want to know exactly how much money we need to finish this game, I will tell you,” Mhyre wrote. “Between $120,000 and $150,000.”

“I would like to call all publishers and investors that could potentially be interested in the game. We have all that you need to make a decision and we’re ready to be generous, provided that you help us in the first place. We want things to move on, to progress. If you are yourself interested or know anyone that could be interested, please leave us a message on kickstarter, facebook, twitter… anywhere really, as long as it’s private. Feel free to suggest companies or suggest us to other companies if you think that could help as well. We are ready to talk.”

What do you guys think? Are Kickstarters that are simply bait for publishers/private investors becoming more commonplace now?

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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic



47 comments
  1. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    October 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    This is why you should not slap a familiar design into your game, ask for half or less of what you need in the expectation that said nostalgic design choice will surpass the funding goal.

    TL;DR

    Next time be honest

  2. Misogynerd
    Misogynerd
    October 9, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    The internet is really giving Best Buy and 7/11 workers the illusion they can make it in the Internet. This is what pisses me off about Totalbiscuit, Jim Sterling, Perturbed Pedro, TGWTG and other people who suck the dick of having an internet job saying it’s totally like another job. Your job depends on the kindness of strangers and on copyrighted material. It can be gone in one day.
    You are just helping delude people with big dreams and small wallets and brains go bankrupt and end up like DSP. Take a bank loan instead of wasting the money other people made. Better yet, make your dream game as a hobby, don’t quit your shitty job that gives you money to live.

    Pixel and Japanese doujin game makers still know what’s up, they’re not retarded, they don’t e-beg, they don’t fancy themselves the next big thing.

  3. Mighty No. 56008
    Mighty No. 56008
    October 9, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve said this before in the Mighty No 9 forums when the topic/issue of “budget” came up, but this is exactly why you gotta do your research, work out the numbers and be totally honest when making up your funding goals for your crowdfunded project. Yeah things don’t always work out; it happens and we get it. But to the point that you can’t honor stretch goals or even make the game itself because of budget issues? That’s a huge mistake and misjudgement that could’ve been avoided.

  4. JackDandy
    JackDandy
    October 9, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Shameful

  5. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    October 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    That’s not really a fair criticism. I’ve seen people, like TB and TGWTG say time and time again that they were in the right place at the right time. They freely admit it is hard, if not impossible, to make it as an internet content creator.

    Stuff like this Kickstarter crap, on the otherhand, boarders on fraud, imo. This isn’t them trying to make it as a developer/creator and not getting there. No one’s out any money, except me, if my new site That Girl With The Things and The Stuff Like the Food.com doesn’t start raking in Pewds money. This is them intentionally lowballing a kickstarter so they can keep the lights on long enough to try and get a bigger entity behind them. Say what we will about the disaster that is Mighty Scam 9, but the game was always going to come out even with budget issues. Some publisher would scoop that up and take their cut of it. Little stuff like this can not bank on some angel-publisher jumping in to save the ship when it starts sinking though when they’re probably not going to get a return on investment.

  6. Kiririn51
    Kiririn51
    October 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    People should never count on Kickstarter to fully fund a game, crowdfunding is for small projects that need an extra push.

  7. Breezer
    Breezer
    October 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Oh my fucking God.

    Seriously, fuck you whoever was making this game. Thank fuck I didn’t back it because I have a huge hard on for Minish Cap.

    And god damn will people stop backing this shit? It’s out of control

  8. BeholdMyPower
    BeholdMyPower
    October 9, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Lab Zero’s recent IndieGoGo campaign is a rare example of a developer being honest about the costs/time frame of development. Once again, it is a failure of gaming journalism that the wider community is not educated on the real financial demands of game development. People would be able to make much more informed choices with regards to things like KS campaigns.

  9. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    October 9, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Don’t donate to Kickstarters!

    How many times must we teach you this lesson old man?!

  10. Fenrir7
    Fenrir7
    October 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    So why didn’t they ask for 120-150K in the first place?

  11. Nin
    Nin
    October 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I really, really doubt a publisher would save them. Legitimately running out of budget is one thing, but outright lying about the amount of money needed is another. I dislike every project that relies on an external investor even after a successful project. Though, at least Shenmue 3 was more honest than usual about the situation.

  12. EdgyDude
    EdgyDude
    October 9, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Wow, devs really should not undersell their games’ dev costs and hope for the best. Not only it looks absolutely disingenuous and like a scam when it fails it also kills any good will for funding future endeavors.

  13. Nagato
    Nagato
    October 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    But I gave my money to Inafune for Mighty No 9 and…

    Oh wait, point taken.

  14. British_Otaku
    British_Otaku
    October 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    It seems they made a poor estimate of the costs involved to begin with (especially hard to do right with backer rewards to ship worldwide), but even when teams know the exact costs they tend to undersell the cost in the hopes of encouraging more pledges.

    People don’t like supporting a lost cause, that is part of why stretch goals are dotted around to encourage more interest and market games during the campaign.

  15. Tyrannikos
    Tyrannikos
    October 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    He lied about how much he needed once. I think there’s a good chance he’s lying again in an attempt to just get anything.

  16. lucben999
    lucben999
    October 9, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    So wait a second. If the guy knew it would take more than that it means he deliberately downplayed the kickstarter goal to avoid failing and having to return the money, why is this allowed?

  17. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    October 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    This is just another example of how developers use Kickstarter as a proof of concept to publishers, who then take control of the project. Once people donate they have no control over how the budget is spent or where the project will go. The developers have no obligation to deliver a quality product and essentially take no risks with crowdfunding.

  18. lucben999
    lucben999
    October 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    AFAIK if they don’t meet their kickstarter goal they don’t get the money pledged.

  19. Misogynerd
    Misogynerd
    October 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    It is hard to be an internet content creator, but again, it’s a system that can be screwed over by adblock, downloading videos, copyright from the companies, mass reporting, etc. Totalbiscuit, Sterling and Disturbed Diego have this fucking bitchy attitude when people call them out on their shitty job. It’s not consistent, it doesn’t give you much in the way of a resume and again, can be turned off by companies with legal power. Plus you have Joe e-begging for a Wii U and some of the TGWTG guys e-begging.

    This recent rash of Kickstarter failures I think stems from that to some point: “Oh X is successful, let’s jump into it with some half-baked idea and surely I will be successful.”

    Still, this guy was a disingenuous douche and should have given his free time to work on this as a hobby or take a bank loan, not expect the Internet and a generous person to give him 100,000~ dollars for him to finish something he knew he could finish.

    I still maintain that this is an attitude that the internet and some of it’s celebrities exhibit/help propagate.

  20. bgrunge
    bgrunge
    October 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Absolutely, we don’t need any more Divinity: Original Sins, or Wasteland 2s, or Shadowrun Returns, or Pillars of Eternitys. Fuck those games, all we should have is what the gods of EA and Activision bestow upon us.

  21. landlock
    landlock
    October 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Not so. I’ve supported about 25 kickstarters so far and have never been burned yet. Maybe I’m lucky.
    I was worried by cryamore as it was well over time but they managed to find s good partner in atlus.
    Even better it’s now coming to XB1.

  22. Richard Miller
    Richard Miller
    October 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Another scam kickstarter. But I do wonder why haven’t Nintendo complained about this game seeing that their game is just a minish cap copy.

  23. Breezer
    Breezer
    October 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    God damn Rectal Ragnaroked Rodriguez pisses me off. He’s a guy whose head is so shoved far up his asshole he truly believes in his fucked up little world speaks for all gamers everywhere.

    Also Assblasted Antonio was one of the first to come to the defence of Sarkeesian and claimed she wasn’t trying to take our vidya away. What a fucking fool.

    Seven Peso Sanchez also cried on camera when Jewario died and in a move of total kikery actually monetized that fucking video and got mad when people called him out on it.

    And you’re right, Simmering Sergio DOES defend his “job” to Hell and back. I mean when this E-celeb bubble pops how the fuck is he going o explain that gap in his employment history? In what world is making shitty Internet reviews while cross-dressing an applicable job skill?

    Fanny Flustered Fabio is going to go to shit and it’s going to be hilarious.

  24. Sebastian Mikulec
    Sebastian Mikulec
    October 9, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Obviously, it’s up to every individual to decide, but as far as I’m concerned Kickstarter is not an absolute yes or absolute no. People need to understand that when they pledge to crowdfunding they are risking their money. They need to do their research then decide on a case by case basis whether they feel comfortable with the risk. Check the developers’ track record. Have they done crowdfuded games before? Does the sum they are asking for sound reasonable? What do they have to show, how much of the game is done already? And so on and so on.

    When some developer I’ve never heard of asks for what sounds like an unreasonable sum of money to me to make a game, I’ll pass. I am not comfortable with the risk of getting burned. When Harebrained Schemes asks for money to make a game I remember they’ve done 3 of these already, they all came out in a reasonable time and were well received, 2 I played personally and liked a lot. I feel comfortable giving them my money because I feel the risk of getting burned is low.

  25. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    October 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Only one of which turned out all that well.

  26. Jack
    Jack
    October 9, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    *cough* Mighty No. 9 *cough*
    *cough* Broken Age *cough*
    *cough* THREE POINT THREE MILLION DOLLARS *cough*
    there must be something in my throat

  27. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    October 9, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    You know, there’s a reason people saw Shenmue III get around $6 million on kickstarter and said it was a total failure despite hitting more than almost any other project ever has on that website.

    If you don’t know going in that you’ve already got an investor that’s more than willing to go all in once you hit your goal (bloodstained and red ash both come to mind) then don’t underestimate. You might hit the goal, but you won’t get the game done (at least in a state you’re happy with) and that’ll just shit all over any goodwill you had.

  28. Doc Hammer
    Doc Hammer
    October 9, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Oh gosh I hope it’s not an indie game. It’ll be in there forever before it’s finished. Let me get you some water bro.

  29. Reon
    Reon
    October 10, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Exactly.
    It poisons the well.
    Anytime it has happened it is bad, and any time it happens again it will also be bad.

    Great games that would have never been made, the sudden translation and official release in the west of japanese games we never saw happening, the rebirth and regrowth of loved game genres that were thought lost.
    So many great things have come out of crowdfunding and it’d be a shame if we lost all that because people understandably end losing trust in the system thanks to shameless scams.

    This is a scam, if they knew it was not enough and still pushed through with a lie, it’s a scam.

  30. Zombie_Barioth
    Zombie_Barioth
    October 10, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Its understandable they get that way, after all they know as well as anyone their job is inconsistent, pointing it out like they don’t is is both insulting and just plain idiotic. Not everybody cares if their job has a safty net either.

    This attitude you describe isn’t exclusive to Youtube though, it applies to anything people assume is piss easy. Heck I’m sure you’ve seen the claims that anyone can voice act with news of that union strike. How many teens and young adults do you wanna bet think being a celebrity is all glitz and glam and parting?

    You can’t really blame the personalities for this, especially when you have stuff like American Idol actively encouraging that mindset. Its born from a combination of ignorance and naivety (and perhaps even arrogance), and people just love the idea of get rich quick schemes.

  31. OverlordZetta
    OverlordZetta
    October 10, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Mighty No. 9 didn’t actually undersell itself, though. They may have taken more time than people wanted, but they’ve been up front with the costs, at least. When they “asked for more,” they had simply met one stretch goal and were moving on to the next. If anything, underselling it would have been trying to include that without implying it would cost them anything to make it.

    If anything, Shantae is a better example of one that undersold itself. The game is a whopping year late and WayForward’s nowhere near done, instead having chosen to release tie in games like Goosebumps and Early Access stuff like MSFA out of nowhere as well as a bunch of Shantae and MSF ports.

  32. TerriblePerson
    TerriblePerson
    October 10, 2015 at 9:03 am

    If he’d been honest sooner I’m sure he would’ve gotten enough or close to enough money.

  33. OverlordZetta
    OverlordZetta
    October 10, 2015 at 9:04 am

    That’s genuinely really gross. That’s the kind of thing people should be getting upset about with Kickstarters. People have actually gotten ripped off here – when the games get made, though, I don’t get that.

  34. Logixus
    Logixus
    October 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Most successful youtubers do tell their audience that are looking for youtube advice that they would have to go back in time to when they got successful because you can’t predict internet popularity. They do tell them that the amount of effort in making videos, communicating with fans, making content that your fans want as apposed to what you want to do, and taking care of their normal responsibility is tough when their is no set time when you’re “off the clock”.

    The ones that gave off the impression that any one can make it big would be like the old cod youtubers who were teens or early twenty years old spending crazy amounts and showing it off instead of saving/investing it for when they youtube fame ended. The people who end up making themselves like DSP are bounded to do it anyways wither or not the big youtubers tell them that they are mostly not going to make it. DSP has been going down for years and he is stupid for not getting a real job years ago when he bitched at his fans to watch certain videos they didn’t like because they “owe” him views. The time he started bitching about not having enough money since his videos are shit and he could have easily kept doing youtube while working at McDonalds or something.

  35. Gillman
    Gillman
    October 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Can someone come up with a list of games that HAVE COME OUT from kickstarter? I know I could think of like three off the top of my head. It feels like this shit with “early access” from a couple of years ago. Every indie game went that way, and most just said, “well, you have the product, so you can’t complain” and moved on.

  36. Reon
    Reon
    October 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Mighty No.9’s problem was over-presenting itself.
    It gave people the impression of really nice 2D animated characters and backgrounds, like a lab zero game.
    But instead it delivers awfully mediocre 3D models.

  37. Mighty No. 56008
    Mighty No. 56008
    October 10, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    “Mighty No. 9 didn’t actually undersell itself, though, or at least not
    drastically. They may have taken more time than people wanted (like
    virtually ever KS), but they’ve been up front with the costs, at least.”

    – Nick shares that they have “budget issues” with the game, but only in the forums

    – Also mentions that they are some concerns with fulfilling and getting out rewards due to budgets (again, only in the forums)

    – When asked if they can provide a budget overview on how the funds they collected would be used (like with virtually every KS project), he said it would be “impossible”

    – When asking for more money for voice acting, they initially make 2 separate campaigns for English and Japanese languages and conveniently (?) neglect to mention that fact. Oh and also once again forgetting to provide a budget outline

    Been “up front”?? Lol, come on now. Though I do love the “at least” part at the end. I guess even you’re finding it it difficult to defend Comcept of all of their actions/decisions.

  38. TophatKiyaki
    TophatKiyaki
    October 11, 2015 at 4:08 am

    *ahem*

    Wasteland 2, Elite: Dangerous, The Oculus Rift, Divinity: Original Sin & Soon-to-be it’s sequel, Warmachine: Tactics, Chaos: Reborn, Darkest Dungeon, Hand of Fate, The Escapists, HuniePop & once again, it’s upcoming sequel, The Long Dark, Sunless Sea, Neverending Nightmares, Chroma Squad, Seven Days to Die, DreadOut, Risk of Rain, Skullgirls, Divekick, Grim Dawn, Thomas Was Alone, The Banner Saga, FTL, Octodad: Dadliest Catch…

    …and those are just the ones that stick out to me personally. Every single one of those is a game that was funded on either Kickstarter or IndieGoGo and has since either released or at the very least entered Early Access and have, for the most part been positively received, with the exception of Warmachine which generally recieved a resounding “meh”.

    /Opinion/ on the quality of any of these games is entirely irrelevant, the point is that there is a vast plethora of examples regarding crowdfunded games that fulfilled their obligations and brought the game to market. To point at situations like Midora or Mighty No. 9 (Which, in spite of individual hangups over it’s potential final quality, is set to come to market and by proxy fulfill it’s obligations to it’s backers regardless) and then try to act like Kickstarter has never developed anything of worth to the market is intellectually dishonest.

  39. EdgyDude
    EdgyDude
    October 11, 2015 at 10:08 am

    To be fair MN9’s had extra issues troubling it and we’ve seen the consequences of all that in the form of Red Ash’s KS campaign. As for Double Fine? well, guess we’ll know how much it affects them on their next try at KS.

    To change to a more positive point the people at Harebrained Schemes got a pretty decent amount of support for their Battletech revival after proving themselves with their new Shadowrun games.

  40. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    October 11, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Did you seriously list Chroma Squad?

  41. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    October 11, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Called it. Anyone would know this wasn’t enough for a full game.

    See, now THIS kind of thing should be legally actionable. It’s basically fraud because once they knew they didn’t have enough money they lied about being able to produce anything.

  42. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    October 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    At least Broken Age exists now in a complete state. Mighty No. 9 on the other hand…..

  43. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    October 11, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I’m confused, what do internet entertainers/reviews have to do with game developers on Kickstarter? And how does the existance of one fuel fraud in the other?

    These guys weren’t Kickstarting a web series or trying to make it big on Youtube.

  44. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    October 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Kickstarter has brought us some of the best games released in the past couple years.

    If Kickstarter didn’t exist we wouldn’t have Undertale, and fuck a world without Undertale.

  45. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    October 11, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    “Only one of which turned out all that well”

    Well, we can ignore anything you have to say about the quality of games.