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Development has stopped on Unsung Story, studio tells Kickstarter donors

Beleaguered RPG has made no progress since October, Playdek admits

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

Active development has stopped on Unsung Story, a role-playing game funded with more than $600,000 in Kickstarter donations in 2014, studio Playdek told backers on Saturday.

"During the last few months we have had some development setbacks that are affecting our timeline and progress on the game, while also affecting what we need to do in the immediate future as a company," Playdek wrote.

Playdek says it must "focus on a few products in the near term that have the ability to get to a retail release before Unsung Story is able to," calling that necessary for "the ongoing financial health of the company."

Playdek will look at bringing in "an outside team that can assist us in furthering development," but does not have such a contractor lined up and no assurances it will.

Unsung Story's Kickstarter launched in January 2014 with Yasumi Matsuno's name attached to it. He was the creator of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. It was originally due to launch last summer but faced repeated delays and went nearly silent for much of 2015.

Unsung Story began as a tactical RPG designed by Matsuno, then surprised — and not in altogether good ways — backers with news that it was adding multiplayer PVP features. The game was scheduled to launch on Linux, Mac and Windows PC as well as Android and iOS.

The last update to donors, in October, delayed the game into this year but promised that development on it still continued. At the time, Playdek cited the loss of key development staff as a critical setback.

'You should be ashamed of yourselves,' says one donor. 'Where has the money been spent?' demands another.

"At this time we do not have an update as to what the new release window for development rollout will be," Playdek told backers on Saturday, adding that no new progress on the game has been made since the October notice to donors.

Reaction in the comments underneath Playdek's latest update has been harsh and angry, with some backers urging their colleagues to send a notice to U.S. authorities, either to recover their money or to punish Playdek. The only known instance of the government getting involved when a creator didn't deliver a crowdfunded project happened last year, when the maker of a card game was ordered by a Washington state court to pay restitution and civil penalties to donors.

"You should be ashamed of yourselves for not really thinking this project through and played with us and our money," said one contributor. "I'm sick of waiting and want my money back."

"Where has the money been spent? On the project? Where are the results? On other things? Mismanagement and/or fraud!" said another.

"If you used the money for other projects, I don't have the understanding for that," wrote another. "So I hope the US backers and the US law will find a reasonable punishment for you."

Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to this game by an incorrect title. The headline and story have been corrected since.

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