Kickstarter suspended the crowdfunding campaign for the point-and-click adventure game Elementary, My Dear Holmes Friday evening, according to the game's listing on the crowdfunding website, but the developer told Polygon that it is seeking alternate funding methods for the game.
At its suspension, the campaign had received $58,770 from 861 backers, in excess of its $50,000 goal. The campaign was due to end on Sept. 13.
Late last month, the source of crowdfunding for Elementary, My Dear Holmes and Gridiron Thunder came under scrutiny. As detailed in an Ouya blog post, both would have received matching funds through the company's $1 million Free the Games Fund. However, high dollar value donors for the games were apparently new to Kickstarter. It is unclear how the suspension will impact the matching funds.
"I will not shy away from acknowledging though, that we do have quite a few first-time backers though," developer Victory Square Games head Sam Chandola told Polygon at the time. "This is a concern that I myself brought up with Amazon and Kickstarter. At the same time, we at Victory Square Games are grateful and thankful to all our backers."
Chandola contacted Kickstarter for more information about the backers, and a representative from the company advised him "to promote your project, so that if for some reason these pledges don't go through or there are otherwise issues (as can occasionally happen with first-time backers) then you're still above your goal."
Elementary, My Dear Holmes' Kickstarter blog was last updated yesterday and does not contain any mention of the suspension. We've reached out the the developer for more information and will update this article with more information as we have it.
Update: Sam Chandola provided the following statement to Polygon, explaining the suspension and the future of Elementary, My Dear Holmes:
First of all, a big, big thanks to all our backers who put their trust in us. The response we received for Elementary, My Dear Holmes was tremendous and it touched us all deeply. Who would have thought that a crazy idea that reversed John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in their roles could receive so much love and affection around it! You guys are all awesome.
When the uproar against Elementary, My Dear Holmes was brought up, we contacted Kickstarter and Amazon, asking them to investigate the accounts and take action accordingly. We wanted to get on top of this and did not want anything to do with any of what was happening as it was an extremely negative campaign for us. Strong personal accusations were going up against us, and it was a huge drain on our time, energy and resources.
We had been hoping that the suspicious accounts would have been suspended so that we could keep on going strong and without controversy, but instead it was the project that got so. We are, naturally, deeply saddened by this. But if this is what it takes to put an end to the negativity, so be it.
We love point-and-click adventure games and this will, by no means, stop us from pursuing Elementary, My Dear Holmes. We are devoted towards the project and will be seeking private equity to finish this up. And I'm happy to say that based on the initial traction that we got here, we are already in talks with some Venture Capitalists who are willing to back this project privately. Elementary, My Dear Holmes will see the light of day — and will see the light of day sooner than later.
I will be following this up with a personal message to all our backers. Until next time, John Watson and Sherlock Holmes lovers.