Lead developer at Winterkewl Kris Vale has attempted to explain the chain of events that led to last week’s termination of Yogventures.
The Yogscast-themed adventure title was successfully Kickstarted to the tune of $570k in 2012 but was last week abandoned, with the vague promise that backers will be compensated in other ways.
Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley even had the audacity to claim that the cancellation was actually a good thing”.
Now Vale has provided what is described as one last update” on the game’s Kickstarter page.
We at Winterkewl Games used every cent towards making the game,” he said. After all the backers had a chance to fulfill their payments, and all the funds were collected out of the $567,665 that was pledged, roughly $415,000 of that was actually transferred after the Kickstarter fees and Amazon fees had been collected.
Unfortunately, right off the bat we had one major incident that happened that we could not fix. Our good friend and matte painter really terrific artist that created most of the concept art with environments on the Kickstarter page, he left PDI to work at LucasArts.
This is a very good example of how my inexperience caused some problems in the development. Because we had worked out a contract that guaranteed each of the principal artists a $35,000 lump sum payment, and we didn’t make any clear clause on how and why someone could legally stop working on the project.
The artist in question got paid, worked for about 2 weeks and then stopped working on the project. We had no way to force that person to pay back any of the funds and it was a bitter lesson to learn.
When Lewis found out about the artist incident he was rightly confused and upset, as a result he lost faith right away in my ability to run the company from a business standpoint and basically required that all the rest of the Kickstarter money that hadn’t been spent be transferred to them right away.
In the end we negotiated that to $150,000 would be transferred to the Yogscast with the understanding that they would use that money exclusively to create and ship all the physical rewards, AND they would help hire the main programmer that we still didn’t have on the project.
Since the money was all spent either directly on development of the game or paid to the Yogscast to handle physical rewards and "licensing fees" I’m afraid Winterkewl Games has a negative balance at this point. We don’t have any of the money left and as such can’t really offer refunds.
I understand the frustration of that, but we put in I would say much more than a ‘Good Faith Effort’ we literally gave it everything we had and then some to make this game happen. Nothing was scammed, no one and I mean NO ONE has gotten rich from this effort or is even better off then when we started, except for all the memories and the great feeling it was to see your support and try and make a great product from it.”