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Shadow of the Eternals unlikely to be finished if crowdfunding is unsuccessful

Thursday, 30th May 2013 23:43 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Although its willing to explore all options, Precursor Games does not have a back up plan if its Kickstarter drive for Shadow of the Eternals falls through.

Precursor COO Shawn Jackson was asked during a Reddit AMA whether the game would come to market if the Kickstarter did not reach its target.

“Since we do not have any other source of funding, it is unlikely,” he said.

“We will entertain all options to make this game a reality because we believe in this project. However, we can’t be sure a publisher will share our vision for interacting with the community during development or this would work in the traditional model.”

Jackson said Precursor launched a Kickstarter in addition to a direct PayPal contribution campaign because fans asked for it – but if the Kickstarter falls through, the original funding will be cancelled, too.

“If the project does not reach it’s goal on Kickstarter, we will refund all pledges made through PayPal on our own site,” he said.

Two of the most-aired concerns regarding the crowdfunding efforts are Precursor’s acquisition of assets from Silicon Knights, and its retention of Denis Dyack, who in his role as CEO of Silicon Knights may be considered responsible for the developer’s woes. Jackson answered both of these.

“We purchased the assets via an arms length transaction as many other ex-employees and companies did. A company selling assets during a downing sizing is a very common place and not illegal or underhanded in any way,” he said.

“We hired [Dyack] because he’s a valuable asset to the team. Denis has made many successful games and ran independent studio for over 20 years. We didn’t anticipate a backlash because we actually know Denis as the person he is,” he said.

“We believe in Denis and with him focusing on creative, he is excelling at something that he loves. Paul Caporicci founded Precursor Games and is the CEO.”

Shadow of the Eternals is a spiritual successor to Silicon Knights’ much-loved adventure Eternal Darkness, which Nintendo owns the rights to. It has gathered just over $113,000 of its whopping $1,35 million goal with 19 days to go. Check out the Kickstarter here.

Thanks, Polygon. Reddit Links: 1, 2

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19 Comments

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  1. Phoenixblight

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfslY_AvhLw

    #1 11 months ago
  2. salarta

    This project failing, yet another symptom of current consumers prizing shit over things that are actually promising and suggestive of high quality. If this fails to get backed, popular opinion of what counts as “good” officially counts for nothing.

    I understand some people have misgivings about Dyack, but having a problem with a specific person and only that person is a shitty reason to punish a whole company and all its employees that are hopeful for their project. Of course, it’s fine if someone genuinely is not interested in this game in any way, but I guarantee that’s not the reason most people refuse to back this project. The high acclaim for Eternal Darkness is more than enough proof of that.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. DSB

    That might be a valid argument if Eternal Darkness wasn’t more than ten years ago.

    It’s not just a problem with Denis Dyack, it’s a problem with the games he makes. They’re shit.

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @2

    Yes this kickstarter somehow gauges what people think are “good”. Nice argument there.

    They made a shitty crowd fundraiser that was shady as can be, then Dyack comes out with his interviews that only made the situation worse especially his attitude of, “Its not my fault but everyone elses” along with blatantly lying. The company fudged up put having Dyack as the “face” of the company. Now they have to deal with the choice. Next time they do a kickstarter they may want to be clearer and NOT put Dyack in the forefront of it.

    Eternal Darkness was good but that was 11 years ago. Its irrelevant now.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. salarta

    @3: Yes, and people and companies that make bad things can bounce back and do amazing things again, especially if what they’re working on is something that means a great deal to them personally rather than something that pays the bills.

    By the logic that “the games they made in the recent past are shit so everything is automatically shit,” Capcom will never be able to make another good Resident Evil or Devil May Cry game, and there’s absolutely no hope for the Final Fantasy, Parasite Eve or Tomb Raider franchises. Dyack directed Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, so it’s not like he’s Motomu Toriyama where everything he’s ever had a major role in sucked.

    @4: Unlike the picture you’re painting, Dyack was NOT going to Jade Raymond levels of making himself the “face” of the game until people pushed him into it by damning the whole project just because he’s involved in it. This whole situation is a blatant “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” one. This is like if I refused to acknowledge Motomu Toriyama making a good game for once just because I utterly loathe everything else he’s ever made, with the critical difference that at least in my case Toriyama really hasn’t made one redeemable game. Dyack at least made Eternal Darkness.

    #5 11 months ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    @5

    “Dyack directed Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, so it’s not like he’s Motomu Toriyama where everything he’s ever had a major role in sucked.”

    This may explode your mind but Nintendo was involved in that game and that could just as easily what made it good and not just Dyack alone.

    #6 11 months ago
  7. salarta

    @6: Now you’re just getting into behind-the-scenes speculation. If it’s not “Nintendo was involved,” then it’s “the team was different back then.” If it’s not “the team was different back then,” it’s “he was a different man back then.”

    Maybe Dyack is the hack you’re saying he is. Or, maybe he’s the reason Eternal Darkness was so good, and it would have been even better without Nintendo’s involvement. We’ll never know. But a mix of how great Eternal Darkness was and how great this project looks, combined with Dyack already having been thoroughly punished and publicly flogged for past misdeeds, leads me to being more willing to give this thing a chance than to damn it to the nine circles of Hell.

    #7 11 months ago
  8. DSB

    @5 Maybe they can, maybe they can’t.

    Either way, expecting people to pay you in the hopes that you’ll somehow bounce back is a terrible strategy for a Kickstarter, and it does a lot to explain why they’re doing poorly.

    I’m sure everybody’s aware of the risk of funding an unfinished product, but personally I don’t want to back a loser who makes bad games and then blames it on someone else when they flunk.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    @7

    Doesn’t matter the game won’t make it. SO you can cry and whine all you like how “another symptom of current consumers prizing shit over things that are actually promising and suggestive of high quality.”

    The game is done. Dyack is done. Those developers can move to look into other developers or start their own. The industry is volatile and highly competitive. They didn’t make it. Chuck it to another life lesson.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. Sini

    meh, ED was on gamecube, system only very few ppl had. This fundraiser was a flop from day one.

    #10 11 months ago
  11. freedoms_stain

    @10, yeah, but it has popular and critical acclaim behind it.

    They probably should have looked in to porting the original to modern systems before launching this campaign (possibly impossible if Nintendo are sitting on the rights).

    Double Fine have already taken 3x more cash in a day than Precursor have in over 2 weeks, with a smaller goal to boot.

    #11 11 months ago
  12. Phoenixblight

    @11

    Dyack is not as known as Schaeffer is or Double Fine.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1590639245/stonehearth

    That game made more than Shadow of Eternals did in 2 weeks in just a week.

    #12 11 months ago
  13. Richenbaum

    I have a feeling it wouldn’t finish even if it did get funded. What with their history of really long delays, crazy legal battles, and etc…that’s really not going to mix well with episodic releases. Which is a pretty good reason for some people not to bother funding it. Why pay for a game that very likely will never be finished?

    #13 11 months ago
  14. fearmonkey

    I never owned a Gamecube, never played the much talked or loved Eternal Darkness. As the Gamecube wasnt that great of a seller, I think many people are like me.

    So we have a spirtual successor to a game that most people didnt play and might of heard about, but who possibly heard of Dyack because of his battle with Epic and the much hyped and then lame Too Human. Then they release Xmen which was a major bust, and placed a bad taste in peoples mouth regarding Silicon Knights and Dyack. Lastly, you have articles from Kotaku talking about how bad things were at Silicon Knights, then it all goes quiet, and then we find out they are done. Shortly after, hey were are making the spiritual successor to Eternal Darkess, come fund us.

    With all the negativity regarding Silicon Knights and Dyack, and being that the people that would fund a kickstarter would know all about all these things most likely, how can it be shocking that the game might not be funded?

    I have no ill will for Dyack, and I wanted to love Too Human, I was really excited about the game, but was so disapointed. It was a killer Idea but poorly executed. I would love to see Dyack get a second chance, but im not sure a Kickstarter right after all the negative Silicon Knights press was a smart move. They should have said that Dyack was in a “Advisory” role and not have him front and center, even if was to just defend himself. It places a cloud over supporting any kickstarter.

    #14 11 months ago
  15. Clupula

    I’m actually glad to see that more people are not falling for Dyack’s bullshit. The man is a snakeoil salesman, nothing more.

    #15 11 months ago
  16. Clupula

    @7 – Says the man who will judge games he’s never played, because he doesn’t like the director.

    #16 11 months ago
  17. MisterNobody

    The biggest problem with this, besides having Dyack as their headliner, was underestimating what portion of a kickstarter’s funding ends up coming from people in the gaming industry who love seeing new, independently funded projects. I guarantee you nearly every big donation you’ll find attached to a kickstarter is from someone who’s actually in the industry, loves gaming, and wants to see an awesome game made by talented people get released, regardless of getting anything beyond a game and a thank-you back.

    Dennis has gone out of his way to seem like the biggest, most churlish jerk in mainstream gaming, going as far as to blame an entire -engine- (that is well liked within the industry) for his inability to manage a game’s production.

    As much as I ache to see a sequel to Eternal Darkness, I really don’t want to see another Dyack game, especially after the last decade.

    #17 11 months ago
  18. Richenbaum

    @14 it really was one of the best horror games ever though. but like everyone keeps saying, that was a long time ago…

    #18 11 months ago
  19. polygem

    richenbaum+1

    it really was. it was a very special game too and very innovative back then, a game that is still kind of stuck in my head today….but that could be a problem for this kickstarter too. as much as people want that feeling of the game back, they do not want their memories to be crushed by a soso sequel. i liked the gameplay for it a lot though i must admit. will look into this a little more now. the original really is up there on the best games ever made list imho.

    #19 11 months ago