With nearly 11,000 backers and earnings of over $42k per month, Breeding Season was the highest earning game on Patreon. And now it has been cancelled.
Kotaku reports that the title was described as ‘Harvest Moon meets Hentai' and was, by all accounts, a bit saucy. However, a seemingly unamicable dispute between its key developers has ended the game's development.
One side claims that art director Vladimir Sandler has scarpered with many art assets for the game to start up his own project. Sandler, however, claims that the new game – Cloud Meadow – is an attempt to save what remained of Breeding Season.
It's possible the single worst decision I've made throughout this entire project was ever choosing to trust him in the first place,” Breeding Season dev Hbomb said of Sandler. I allowed him to retain the rights to his artwork, under the assumption that if either of us ever chose to leave the project that they would be able to then sell their portion of the product to the other, or negotiate for royalties.
Consistently throughout the project I have regretted that decision. He's overall just a spiteful, unpleasant person who can't control his own anger in a professional setting or accept not getting anything the way he wants.
He received over $190,000 worth of patron money over the course of this project and he thinks he can get away with directly destroying over three years of work from an entire team of people entirely because he has a stick up his ass. He has not only completely violated my trust and the trust of our team on every level, but the trust of every single patron who ever paid us anything.
It's not just unethical, it's completely f***ing absurd.”
It is alleged that Sandler essentially used a month's work of work – equating to around $9k worth of Patreon backer cash – to start work on his new title. It is also claimed that the wording of his contract has allowed him to claim half of the studio's savings and order the team to strip assets from the game under threat of legal action. He has also apparently rebutted offers to buy back the assets.
All of which has essentially killed the title.
That's it, this is the end,” the post added. None of the other members want to continue on the project after this. S remains resolute in his unwillingness to sell me the assets and I actually do believe he's stupid enough to pursue legal action out of spite. For all the fucking resolve in the world I can't do a single fucking thing; Breeding Season is over.”
Sandler's take on events, however, is entirely different.
I just wanted to let you guys know I didn't do this out of spite, nor greed, but through legitimate disagreements with HBomb's method of management,” he said in his own response. HBomb has given you an incomplete and misleading view of the situation. I'll give you my side of the story, and then you guys can decide for yourselves who is responsible.
My new project Cloud Meadow was not made to simply steal the profits of Breeding Season for myself, but to actually save what I could of the Breeding Season Project, and deliver on the spirit of the promises made by the project. The way the actual Breeding Season game development was going, it would never have actually been finished, even if myself and the other artists worked 24/7.
Thank you for being patient with me while I put together a more complete response.”