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#1 Edited by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-07-17-kickstarter-funded-yogventures-canned-backers-given-steam-key-for-another-game-instead

"As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures - but this is actually a good thing," Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley wrote in an email to the game's 13,647 backers. "The project was proving too ambitious and difficult for them to complete with their six-man team.

"While this was Winterkewl's project, we put a lot of time, energy and effort into trying to help them realise their dream. Since we heard the news, we've been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that you still get awesome stuff and cool experiences.

"Although we're under no obligation to do anything, instead we're going to do our best to make this right, and make you really glad you backed the project!"

The first step of this is to give all Yogventure backers a Steam Early Access key for TUG, an open-world survival title that is already in development. Yogscast and TUG developer Nerd Kingdom last week signed an agreement to become partners on the project, replacing the role of Yogventures entirely.

Yogscast is one of the biggest names on Youtube (I heard they were up to 50 employees at this point, but that might be totally wrong), and this seems like a total clusterfuck. So, is this the biggest Kickstarter that have failed so far ($570,000 raised)? Seems like it's gonna be a good test for how people react to a completely failed, big Kickstarter.

edit: Here's a video of the game from earlier this year:

And here's a statement from the developer (not Yogscast): http://www.reddit.com/r/yogventures/comments/29rduc/winterkewl_games_is_dead/

#2 Posted by erhard (404 posts) -

@amyggen said:

we're under no obligation to do anything,

That's hilarious. If you're the type of person who spends $10,000 to have lunch with a pair of untalented Youtubers, maybe you deserve it.

#3 Posted by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@erhard said:

@amyggen said:

we're under no obligation to do anything,

That's hilarious. If you're the type of person who spends $10,000 to have lunch with a pair of untalented Youtubers, maybe you deserve it.

Yeah, that's an awful way to put a positive spin on this.

#4 Posted by CorruptedEvil (3407 posts) -

I can't believe these asshats made a multi million dollar empire off of aggravating minecraft videos.

#5 Edited by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -

This is exactly what happens when a development team with little or no experience and no concept of reasonable scope ("How hard can an open-world sandbox game be? Let's just open Unity and bang this out!") has half a million dollars land in their lap just by association with a popular Youtube channel rather than putting in the work.

How do you get over double what you asked for and still deliver nothing? An extra $300k is enough to hire several full-time people to just make the game for you.

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#6 Edited by Jesus_Phish (808 posts) -

@erhard said:

@amyggen said:

we're under no obligation to do anything,

That's hilarious. If you're the type of person who spends $10,000 to have lunch with a pair of untalented Youtubers, maybe you deserve it.

That's my favorite part of the statement.

"It's not our fault we took your money for something we were too ambitious and inexperienced to actually do and we don't actually owe you anything, but here's a key for another unfinished game instead!"

I would say this is the biggest one to fail considering the people involved are pretty big in terms of their fan base, they raise a lot of money a good few years ago and they've nothing to show for it now. Say what you will about the OUYA at least that thing shipped.

*EDIT*

Forgot to add, people who gave them money for the game are absolutely nuts though. An unknown studio building a game based on two guys who make youtube videos of Minecraft games does not seem like a wise investment at all.

#7 Edited by Gnubberen (770 posts) -

Yeah the whole thing is pretty messy and ugly. At least the yogscast is actually doing some sort of compensation.

#8 Posted by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

This is exactly what happens when a development team with little or no experience and no concept of reasonable scope ("How hard can an open-world sandbox game be? Let's just open Unity and bang this out!") has half a million dollars land in their lap just by association with a popular Youtube channel rather than putting in the work.

How do you get over double what you asked for and still deliver nothing? An extra $300k is enough to hire several full-time people to just make the game for you.

Yeah, and from reading more into this, it seems like the main developer of the game has gone through a personal hell because of this too. Just a bad situation all around. I think we'll see more of this going forward from devs who had way too big ambitions when Kickstarting a game. Games get cancelled all the time, but it gets a lot more public and personal when it's financed by crowdfunding.

#9 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3407 posts) -
#10 Edited by Jesus_Phish (808 posts) -
#11 Posted by JohnTunoku (118 posts) -

Suppose something like this was bound to happen at some point. Very poor choice of words on the part of the Yogscast people though. With a more apologetic tone they probably could've lessened the inevitable coming shit storm considerably.

#12 Posted by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -

@amyggen: Yeah. On a personal level I have some sympathy for the guy, but on a professional level, what the fuck?!

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#13 Posted by Creamypies (4066 posts) -

I have no idea what a Yogscast is. And I spend A LOT of time on the internet.

#14 Posted by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@creamypies: They're HUGE Youtube streamers, mainly making Minecraft videos.

@chaser324: Don't get me wrong here, I'm not excusing anything. They clearly went into this without knowing what they were doing.

#15 Posted by Soap (3592 posts) -

I have no idea what a Yogscast is. And I spend A LOT of time on the internet.

I hear it all over the internet, but I've actually looked at any of it. For some reason whenever I read the word 'Yogscast' I just think of Yoghurt.... weird fact huh! :D

#16 Edited by AlexanderSheen (5009 posts) -

I have no idea what a Yogscast is. And I spend A LOT of time on the internet.

I was about to say the same thing. This news would have been more impactful for me if I had any experience with the people in question.

#17 Posted by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -
@soap said:

For some reason whenever I read the word 'Yogscast' I just think of Yoghurt.... weird fact huh! :D

Spending $500k at Pinkberry seems like it would've worked out much better for all involved.

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#18 Posted by TheLastGunslinger (242 posts) -
#19 Posted by CorruptedEvil (3407 posts) -
#20 Posted by HatKing (5956 posts) -

I'm still not totally sure how this part of Kickstarter works. Do these people just cut and run with the money now? Or, are the backers refunded because the folks asking didn't follow through? I get the line might get a little blurry with people being disappointed by the way a project ends up going, and Kickstarter having to make some sturdy rules about that. But, when the project just doesn't happen, seems like the backers should get their money.

#21 Posted by CorruptedEvil (3407 posts) -

@hatking: If a project isn't funded then no money goes through. If a project is funded and then cancelled they have absolutely no obligation to refund or respond to any complaints, after the initial funding process Kickstarter is not involved.

#22 Edited by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@corruptedevil said:

@hatking: If a project isn't funded then no money goes through. If a project is funded and then cancelled they have absolutely no obligation to refund or respond to any complaints, after the initial funding process Kickstarter is not involved.

From Kickstarter's FAQ:

Who is responsible for completing a project as promised?

It's the project creator's responsibility to complete their project. Kickstarter is not involved in the development of the projects themselves.

Kickstarter does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator's ability to complete their project. On Kickstarter, backers (you!) ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it.

and,

Can Kickstarter refund the money if a project is unable to fulfill?

No. Kickstarter doesn't issue refunds as transactions are between backers and creators directly. Creators receive all funds (less fees) soon after their campaign ends. Creators have the ability to refund backers through Amazon Payments (for US projects) and Kickstarter (for non-US projects).

But still:

Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?

Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) This information can serve as a basis for legal recourse if a creator doesn't fulfill their promises. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.

So Kickstarter has no responsibility, but the creators might...but that would require legal action. But I guess Yogscast could say that legally it's the developers who are responsible and not Yogscast, even though we all know why people funded the project.

#23 Edited by AdequatelyPrepared (544 posts) -

Wait, so what the hell was this game meant to be? All I know about this Youtube group is that they have a massive focus on Minecraft, so that game was meant to be...a crappy Minecraft clone with some passing references to the show?

"We're under no obligation to do anything"- Get off of your high horse, you are a group of people that makes a living putting videos of Minecraft mods on Youtube. Don't act like your benevolence and generosity is a gift from the gods.

#24 Posted by Dasacant2 (233 posts) -

"We're under no obligation to do anything"- Get off of your high horse, you are a group of people that makes a living putting videos of Minecraft mods on Youtube. Don't act like your benevolence and generosity is a gift from the gods.

Yeah this kind of got me too. Seems kind of like they are saying: just be happy you get anything.

#25 Posted by Jesus_Phish (808 posts) -

@adequatelyprepared: Yeah pretty much it was meant to be a Minecraft clone with references to the channel. I think they said it would also let people make their own adventures to share with others (but again, you can do that in MC).

#26 Posted by Happenstance (462 posts) -

It was terribly worded but they arent wrong, they are under no obligation to refund anything as Kickstarter is an investor service, not a preorder service.

#27 Posted by EuanDewar (4942 posts) -

I'm less surprised by the cancellation of the project than I am by how unanimously Yogscast fans seem to be completely OK with the news.

#29 Posted by Mcfart (1626 posts) -

Sounds like it was a scam from the start.

GG kickstarter.

#30 Posted by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@happenstance: But they are. Or, at least Winterkewl Games LLC are (but that company will probably go bankrupt). Read the quotes from the Kickstarter FAQ a few posts up, especially:

Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?

Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) This information can serve as a basis for legal recourse if a creator doesn't fulfill their promises. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.

Kickstarter don't enforce these contracts since it's between the creator and the backer, but it's pretty clear that it's a breach of contract to not refund when you fail to deliver the final product.

Again, you could argue that Winterkewl Games LLC is responsible for this, and not Yogscast, and that it's only up till your initial goal (everything above that goes above the game being "funded"). But it's still a pretty shitty thing to say when we all know that people funded this because of Yogscast and Yogscast alone.

#31 Posted by Pie (7099 posts) -

That dev log just looks like a cry for help

#32 Edited by HatKing (5956 posts) -

@corruptedevil: @amyggen: Thanks guys, that clears it up a little bit. At least there is some semblance of law there. Hopefully it doesn't come to legal action, but it'd be absolute shit if the project promised doesn't get made. And their "no obligation" remark is bullshit, you don't need a lawyer's eye to pick that up from the TOU.

#33 Posted by forteexe21 (373 posts) -

So... how many hours in the ballpit?

#34 Posted by Vexxan (4621 posts) -

I sincerely hope they just don't get away with this.

#35 Edited by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@hatking said:

@corruptedevil: @amyggen: Thanks guys, that clears it up a little bit. At least there is some semblance of law there. Hopefully it doesn't come to legal action, but it'd be absolute shit if they project promised doesn't get made. And their "no obligation" remark is bullshit, you don't need a lawyer's eye to pick that up from the TOU.

Yup. But as I said, I can see them arguing that they have no obligation as a company because the Kickstarter was created by Winterkewl Games LLC and not them. But still, yeah, the creator has a legal obligation here.

Some people paid $10k to this shit. I guess they could "refund" most of that by actually giving them that promised dinner :P

#36 Edited by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -

@amyggen: Being an LLC should shield the developer from pretty much all personal liability. Like it or not, I don't think much can be done unless you could prove that this is straight up fraud and no good-faith effort was made to deliver.

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#37 Posted by Gnubberen (770 posts) -
#38 Posted by Wolfgame (755 posts) -

I like how one of the top auto complete google searches as I was trying to pull up the original kickstarter page for this thing is something to the effect of "Yogscast kicked out of Minecon" (as I typed Yogscast kick)starter... This whole thing should have seemed suspect to begin with. I never heard about this kickstarter until today, apparently they cleared their funding goal back on May 6 2012, they haven't even updated the KS project page to advise that this has been cancelled, people in the comments seem to be conflicted on rationalizing their desire to spill blood a part of the Yogscast army and realizing their money is gone for good. I hope this gets a lot of play among all the major gaming sites. People need these cautionary tales to realize that kickstarter is not a store, it is always a highly risky investment regardless of whose names are attached to the project page.

#39 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5009 posts) -

So... how many hours in the ballpit?

I may not know what Yogscast is, but I do know this reference.

#40 Posted by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@chaser324: Yeah, I know. But still, it's wrong to say on a more fundamental level that they have no responsibility because the terms clearly say that the creator does have a responsibility. That have organized as a LLC and thus they have no personal liability doesn't change that fact.

#41 Posted by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -

@amyggen: Sure. Regardless of the legal terms, it's definitely still an awful thing to say to the people that gave half a million dollars to this thing you're associated with.

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#42 Edited by EXTomar (4742 posts) -

They are under no obligation to do anything. We are under no obligation to ever pay attention let alone give them money ever again.

Everyone forgets Kickstarter is essentially a donation site. You donate money when you support them. If it turns out to be crude or canceled you are left with little recourse because you gave them money in charity.

#43 Posted by development (2354 posts) -

This is exactly what happens when a development team with little or no experience and no concept of reasonable scope ("How hard can an open-world sandbox game be? Let's just open Unity and bang this out!") has half a million dollars land in their lap just by association with a popular Youtube channel rather than putting in the work.

How do you get over double what you asked for and still deliver nothing? An extra $300k is enough to hire several full-time people to just make the game for you.

Yeah. It's a shame the general public cares solely about the idea, rather than the developers' history of making (or not making) games. Yes, it sucks the guy lost his wife to divorce because of the game, and I'm sure they all worked very hard, but you need experienced people making these games for this reason... you know, before the 250k Kickstarter.

I'm curious, have any of the developers at Winterkewl made any games? The kickstarter says they're "veterans," yet lists zero actual games they've worked on, or what their roles were. Huge red flag for me; not for the general public, unfortunately...

#44 Posted by c_rakestraw (853 posts) -

They're attempts to put a positive spin on this are gross. You aren't obligated to do anything? Well that's just swell. Way to build some good will after the project failed. Ugh.

#45 Posted by Disaya (290 posts) -

I'm kinda surprised at the amount of hate Winterkewl is getting by people who then turn around and thank the yogscast for being oh so generous and nice to them. But I'm even more surprised at the amount of people who still want them game.

#46 Edited by Chaser324 (6556 posts) -

@development: I don't think it's impossible for someone with little experience to run a successful Kickstarter, but you better be upfront and honest and do a lot of showing rather than telling. You need to have something that looks damn near like a finished product and probably a solid playable demo before you start asking people to give you money.

The Kickstarter page for this game showed almost nothing - some art and a video of a very rough and not representative prototype that could've been put together by semi-competent Unity developers in a few weeks at most.

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#47 Posted by SunBroZak (1117 posts) -

Can't say I'm surprised. It seemed doomed to fail from the beginning. Hopefully this will lead to some people being a little more cautious with backing kickstarters, even if you are a fan of the brand.

#48 Edited by Abendlaender (2807 posts) -

Looking at the footage of this game, this might be for the best of everybody.

#49 Posted by adoggz (2068 posts) -

Thats unfortunate but something not working out and being forced to cancel the project is the biggest risk of developing and therefore kickstarter. It also seems like a bunch of people are learning that money given through kickstarter is not a guarantee of delivery, not gracefully but it is the internet after all.

#50 Posted by AMyggen (3076 posts) -

@extomar said:

They are under no obligation to do anything. We are under no obligation to ever pay attention let alone give them money ever again.

Everyone forgets Kickstarter is essentially a donation site. You donate money when you support them. If it turns out to be crude or canceled you are left with little recourse because you gave them money in charity.

But that's not true. Kickstarter itself has no obligation since they've ensured that the transaction is just between the funders and the creator(s) of the Kickstarter. But as I've shown above, the creators themselves signs a contract when they create a Kickstarter that say that they either have to finish the product and fulfill every reward, or refund the people who funded the project.

That Kickstarter won't do anything to enforce that contract is another matter. But it's still a breach of contract that could in theory be enforced in court (but it won't, of course). That it's difficult to enforce the contract doesn't make it a "donation."