The ongoing saga of crowdfunded tactical role-playing game Unsung Story: Tales of the Guardians has a new wrinkle: Developer and publisher Playdek says it’s no longer involved in the game, and has handed the project off to another company, Little Orbit.
According to a updates posted by both developers today, development on Unsung Story — which was originally expected to ship in 2015 — is “starting from scratch.”
“Effective immediately publisher/developer Little Orbit has taken over all the rights and assets to Unsung Story from Playdek, and is now the project creator,” Playdek said in an update on Kickstarter. “They believe strongly the game can be an amazing Tactics RPG, and they are excited to carry on and bring Matsuno’s story to life. They will be bringing you project news from this point on to update everyone on their plans for the game.
“... we want to thank you for your support of this project, and though we are sorry that we were unable to complete it for you, we believe the project is in good hands, with people who have the same passion for the game.”
Playdek announced Unsung Story in 2013. The tactical RPG was being developed by Carlsbad, California-based Playdek with the involvement of Final Fantasy Tactics designer Yasumi Matsuno, artist Akihiko Yoshida (Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story), and composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy 12, Final Fantasy Tactics). Playdek took the title to Kickstarter in 2014 to raise money for the game’s development, but only met its fundraising goal on the campaign’s final day.
Since then, the game’s development has been plagued with delays, changes in its scope toward multiplayer and long stretches of silence from its developer. In 2016, Playdek said development had stopped on Unsung Story.
Unsung Story’s new developer, Little Orbit, said it plans to deliver the version of the game that Kickstarter backers wanted from the beginning: a single-player game based on Matsuno’s original vision.
“We have spent hours going through the Kickstarter comments and researching all of the project materials, and I feel the backers have made one thing clear – we need to focus on the original single player game and Matsuno’s design that was promoted during the campaign,” Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott said in an update posted to Kickstarter. “And that is exactly what we are going to do. At this point, our primary goal is to separate the years of modifications and changes that were made while Playdek attempted to deliver something to their backers.”
Scott also pledge to “honor the Kickstarter backer rewards at no extra cost.”
“I can't know how frustrating this has been for the many fans of this game,” he said. “But over the coming weeks we will be reaching out to make sure we have all the current information for each of you, so that rewards can be delivered properly as we make progress.”
Scott also addressed a matter that will likely be cause for concern for Unsung Story backers: Little Orbit’s game output, which has primarily been licensed titles based on properties like Adventure Time, Barbie and Monster High.
“Inevitably many of you will google us, and you may have your doubts - which is okay,” Scott said. “This project has struggled. But give us a little time, and hopefully we'll surprise you.
“I am a gamer at heart, and my first love has always been turn-based tactics games. I met the Playdek team a couple months ago and got a firsthand look at the amazing work from Yasumi Matsuno. Simply put, this game needs to exist, so I am excited to be taking this project over and helping deliver it to the community.”