The crypto boom that occurred last year propelled numerous blockchain-related projects and allowed their authors to receive financial backing. While some managed to stay afloat amid the recent crypto market downfall, others spectacularly failed. A typical example of the latter is the video game called Untamed Isles. A Pokemon-style game set to operate in a crypto environment raised over $500,000 on Kickstarter in 2021. Now, a year later, the game is all but dead and it’s very likely that its backers won’t see their money refunded.
Recently, the developers posted on the game’s Steam page, saying that the project will be put on hold for an unspecified period of time. While the pause may seem temporary, their explanation makes it less likely. In the post, the team behind Untamed Isles notes that they’re currently unable to financially keep up with their original plans. The ambitious project involved recruiting over 70 staff members and numerous other operating costs and heavily leaned on raising crypto funds. However, with the crypto gambling market falling off the cliff in recent months, the finances have dried out. In a separate post, the developers also added that due to empty cash reserves, they won’t be able to pay out their backers.
The timing of the announcement is particularly odd. Only two weeks ago, it was announced that everything is moving according to schedule and that the game will launch on October 6. In addition, the developers have already stated that they have secured the funding big enough to provide Untamed Isles’ core functionality and gameplay. Originally, Untamed Isles was looking to raise NZD$200,000 (around $125,000). Ultimately, as the game gained some buzz in gaming and crypto communities, it ended up raising over $500,000.
In their last post on the Steam page, the developers added another statement trying to clear up some of the issues. They noted that none of the backers’ money was invested in cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, the team claims that all of the received funds went towards game development. However, they had deals in place with several crypto-related investors and counted on those funds to support the game lunch. Nevertheless, most of those backers pulled out as the crypto market crashed, making early access plans unrealistic.
According to developers, they were very satisfied with the game’s progress and the beta version was met with positive feedback. However, with several major investors pulling out, they won’t be able to make the previously scheduled October 6 launch. The crypto market crisis came at a particularly bad time, leaving the studio heavily exposed, with too short of a runway to right the ship and get the game back on track. At the moment, the founders of Phat Loot Studios, who is behind the game, are looking for ways to keep both the studio and the game alive. At the same time, all the Kickstarter backers remain in limbo regarding the refund.