Kung-fu Superstar Kickstarter failing in part to core’s “hatred” of motion controls, says creator

Wednesday, 28th November 2012 17:44 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Kung-fu Superstar, the simulation game containing both motion and traditional controls, seems destined to fail on Kickstarter due in part to hardcore gamers loathing the tech, according to creator Kostas Zarifis.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Zarifis admitted to making some mistakes with the Kickstarter: focusing just on PC; not emphasizing the game could be played entirely without motion controls; and Kickstarter UK not being the “extravaganza we were thinking it might be.”

“We all know what the majority of hardcore gamers think about motion control,” he said. “We’re not talking indifference, we’re talking hatred. And for good reason. Since the advent of motion control they’ve been constantly treated with disappointments. Unfortunately this is the climate we’ve been trying to pitch Kung-Fu Superstar in. And it doesn’t matter that’s exactly the landscape we are

“We were also too slow to go into detail about how Kung-fu Superstar is not exclusively motion controlled. Far from it. Anyone who has seen our demos and sees how we blend controller and motion control gameplay tells us, ‘I can’t believe how innovative this is. Why has no-one done this yet?’

“Unfortunately this is the climate we’ve been trying to pitch Kung-Fu Superstar in. And it doesn’t matter that’s exactly the landscape we are trying to change. People just don’t care about that landscape any more.”

Zarifis hopes his firm’s failing Kickstarter isn’t a precursor to the death of motion controls, as he feels the tech has oodles of potential.

“When motion control technologies were announced I think everyone’s imagination was piqued. Even the most cynical among us,” he said. “The realistic sword game, the immersive fighting game and that sense of longing, for something special, for something different took a big hit in the years to come.

“I can’t help but fear that our potentially failed Kickstarter will be what completely kills that notion. The flicker of desire for truly immersive, hardcore games with motion control elements burning out, worries me even more than our Kickstarter failing. I hope that if we fail, people will help us fail decently enough so that at least we can keep that flicker alive.”

Zarifis previously worked at Lionhead and had his hand in titles such as Fable 2, Fable 3 and Fable: The Journey. He left the firm after five years in May 2011 to found his studio, Kinesthetic Games.

With the Kickstarter for Kung-fu Superstar on the rocks, staff members are currently looking for other sources of work.

With six days to go, 425 backers have pledged £36,079 toward the project’s £200,000 goal.



  1. SplatteredHouse

    There’s no end of potential in the usage, but it needs to be incorporated (not shoe-horned) in to games in a compelling, appealing way, and I think there’s a situation that’s reached to where the audience doesn’t react to publisher’s games that feature the tech, then instead of going back and rethinking, they decide the audience doesn’t exist, and look elsewhere to chase the easier pickings.

    Rather than recognise they released a thing that was somewhat well received but had damaging shortcomings, because of the money/time/life (the latter true of smaller studios to a greater degree) invested to get the underachiever released perhaps they can’t go at it again…and the consideration of how busy the mobile gaming space is. Then, you get an audience left expectant until they realise there’s no game they were keen to see coming.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DSB

    I’d say that’s one of a few reasons why it seems to be failing.

    From the Kickstarter:

    “In Kung Fu Superstar players follow the amazing journey of Danny Cheng, a young action cinema enthusiast turned international movie star.

    Through his eyes, players will take part in explosive fight sequences across a multitude of movie scripts and movie sets, using real Kung Fu and other Martial Arts techniques. Players are taught these techniques in an intuitive and engaging training mode integrated within the game’s main story.”

    Yeah… Only 200.000 pounds to fund that? Yeah…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Old MacDonald

    I think he’s right. Kickstarter has been sort of a haven for those who don’t care for the current trends in the AAA games industry. Motion control is one of those trends, so it’s not going to be all that appealing to the general public on Kickstarter.

    #3 2 years ago

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