Time is ticking on Harmonix’s Amplitude Kickstarter, and the studio has insisted that should it fail that will be that for the planned retro remake.
The pitch currently stands at $250k – that’s over half a million dollars short of its funding goal – with just eight days left.
“You may have read news headlines in years’ past about huge sums of money being paid out by Viacom (our former corporate parent) to Harmonix following Rock Band’s commercial success,” director of publishing and PR John Drake wrote.
“In fact, Viacom paid that money as part of its purchase of Harmonix back in 2006 to the company’s original shareholders, which mostly consisted of the investors who kindly kept Harmonix afloat for the ten years that we struggled in obscurity before hitting big with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Those original investors were the primary recipients of ‘all that Rock Band money’ – as well they should have been – not the business of Harmonix that is trying to make this game.”
The studio has faced some heat for what many regard as its overly ambitious $750 target. However, Drake argues that while it still seeks traditional publishing partners when it is able – as is the case with Xbox One title Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved – there are times when consumer and publisher demand do not tally.
“Amplitude is a game that our team is so excited about and that has such dedicated and vocal fans, that we just KNOW it needs to be realized,” he added.
“In a situation like this – a project that’s too expensive for us to fund on our own with our limited resources, a game that people want us to make, and a game where a publisher isn’t willing to provide development funding – this is the scenario where we need the help of the fans to fund a game.
“The Amplitude Kickstarter is about the difference between a team of developers at Harmonix working on a game we’re passionate about and developers being assigned to whatever other funded project we can come by next. It’s not a ploy – with the current landscape, without your support, this game won’t exist.
“We’ve sought other options out before coming to Kickstarter: there aren’t publishing funds waiting in the wings or some third party who’s eager to offset our costs – either we fund the game here, or the game goes back on the shelf.
“Making games of any size is risky and takes tremendous time, resources, and creative efforts. It’s also far more expensive than you might think. The number we’ve asked for in this Kickstarter will provide us with the minimum amount of funding we need to be able to self-fund the rest of the project. We’re hoping to walk through the budget and where it goes in greater clarity with you, but in short – the $775,000 of this Kickstarter is less than half of the project budget for the game.”