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Outcast HD creators admit Kickstarter defeat, but aren't giving up

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The developers seeking $600,000 in crowdsourced funding to deliver a high-definition reboot of the 1999 PC adventure game Outcast have admitted defeat, falling more than 50 percent short of a goal they say now was "overestimated."

Outcast Reboot HD had pulled in about $250,000 with eight hours left in the fund raiser, leading co-creator Yann Robert to post an update throwing in the towel, thanking those who did back the project and explaining what he and his colleagues had learned.

"When we started this campaign, I was so excited that I could not imagine that we could eventually fail. Shame on me!" Robert wrote. "This same over-confidence, this same craziness and this same adventurousness, which 15 years ago led us to create the original game, lead us to face the harsh reality of this Kickstarter failure which could have been avoided with a bit more time, thinking and upfront money. "

Robert said the project should have set a lower initial goal, and included more platforms. Other mistakes, he said, included a lack of trailers or other visual assets properly communicating what this would look like, and how it would be different from the original.

"I think we made a wrong assumption from the start, thinking that the original game could be our 'draft prototype' and let people imagine how good the game could be just by showing the first glimpse of the environment in HD and a list of improvements, while asking folks to trust us based on the experience of the team," he said.

However, while this campaign may have been unsuccessful, Robert said the team remains committed to delivering an HD reboot of Outcast. "Will it be through another Kickstarter or another crowdfunding platform, PayPal, private investment, some bank loans, public support, distributor deals or a mix of all that, we will see," he said.

The more than 5,100 backers of the original Kickstarter will be notified by email what happens next, he said.

Robert, Franck Sauer and Yves Grolet, the original directors of the game, bought the rights to the Outcast franchise from Atari last summer and established a new studio, Fresh3D. After shopping the idea, they found little interest from publishers and turned to Kickstarter.

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