Update: Daniel Vávra, creative director at Warhorse, specified that the playable female character and dog companion are still in the works. They will be free for all backers “as well as other stuff.” We’ve also updated the headline to reflect comments from Vávra.
I dont know what to even say about this. Dear @Polygon, @CharlieHall We said a year ago, that dog companion and female characters quests are gonna be delivered as free DLC for backers as well as other stuff. And that is still true. https://t.co/yRcM5cCzcd 1/3— Daniel Vávra ⚔ (@DanielVavra) March 8, 2018
Original story: Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the role-playing game set in 15th century Bohemia, began life as a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2014. Just 36 hours into that campaign, developer Warhorse Studios introduced a number of stretch goals to raise more money. These included a playable female character, a dog companion and a tournament mode.
Now, nearly a month after the game was released on Steam, Warhorse is unwilling to commit to fulfilling all of those goals. It also remains nonspecific as to the goals it will be able to fulfill, despite making the promised amount of money to do so.
“The development is currently focusing on creating the best experience for the base game as possible for as many fans as possible,” said Tobias Stolz-Zwilling, the public relations manager at Warhorse. “There is more in development including some of the KS stretch goals, but there’s no public timeframe for release yet.”
But fans have been vocal about the team’s silence regarding the original stretch goals, specifically the female character and the dog companion. Today’s statement is unlikely to satisfy them.
In early 2014, Warhorse Studios began its Kickstarter campaign with an ask of £300,000. When the campaign was completed on Feb. 20, 2014, it had raised more than £1.1 million, or the equivalent of nearly $1.7 million in today’s dollars.
In all, some 35,384 people participated in the campaign.
“Here is the list of things we would like to do with the extra money we raise,” Warhorse said in its campaign update on Jan. 24, 2014. It listed live in-game period music, a soundtrack featuring a symphony orchestra, a playable female character and enhanced motion capture. Later, on Feb. 7, it added in-game combat lessons and companion videos as a goal along with a single-player tournament mode “as a way of earning bragging rights with your buddies.” Finally, on Feb. 17, it promised a dog companion.
“We still should be able to implement [the dog companion] within the limits of our budget that is, honestly, even with the great support from Kickstarter backers, still very tight,” Warhorse said at the time, “because our game is much more expensive than one million pounds.”
Clearly that budget went a little over. That’s why, in September 2016, the team announced that it had entered into a co-publishing agreement with Deep Silver in order to help get the game finished.
Reached for comment, a Deep Silver spokesperson said the company was not participating in any of the stretch goals.
“Deep Silver isn’t involved with their Kickstarter campaign as their publishing agreement came after the Kickstarter,” the representative said.
Since launch, Kingdom Come has been plagued by technical issues. These have led to extremely large patches, the first of which was more than 23 GB. The size of the patches is the result of bugs and other errors in the retail version of the game. The most recent patch was issued on Feb. 20. It is clearly these fixes that are occupying the team at this time.
Ultimately, it seems, the responsibility of returning to complete the stretch goals falls on Warhorse alone.