Dark Matter players were disappointed this weekend to discover the game's ending is a single title card of text, but developer and publisher have promised an update and explained the project's decreased scope.
"The full story is indeed not complete yet because originally we wanted a longer game (12-16 hours) but couldn't finish it completely due to time and money (and Kickstarter failing)," one member of the Interwave team gave an explanation in Steam Forum post.
"So, we choose to go with a six to eight hour game instead to bring something out to the world and show everyone the world of Dark Matter. We are going to change the 'to be continued' text to something else, to make sure this will be the end of the game as is in a clear message to everyone."
Publisher Iceberg Interactive later confirmed the circumstances in a public statement in a Steam Community post.
"Dark Matter was originally planned to be a self-funded game, but in able to elaborate more on the immersive story-line, a Kickstarter project was devised. The idea was to make it a larger, more epic title, with significantly more levels and selling at full price ($30). Sadly, the Kickstarter project failed to reach the target amount and this idea had to be abandoned," CEO Erik Schreuder said.
"The idea was then formed to make Dark Matter an episodic series, with episodes selling at a budget price of $14.99. Any further episodes would, however, need to be dependent on the success of the previous instalment. The first instalment is what has launched recently on Steam and is simply called Dark Matter."
Schreuder stressed that the game is not incomplete or unplayable, and contains the the 14 levels mentioned in its Steam description and between five and nine hours of gameplay.
"Some people have misquoted the developer as having admitted that the game is incomplete; we should reiterate that what was meant was that this is not the $30 full-priced game, but the episodic budget version (currently selling at $13,49 at 10% off)," he added.
The executive said Iceberg and Interwave believe the game represents decent value for money in its current state, but acknowledged criticism of the ending.
"It is true however, that at present, the end of the game may cause confusion and is not satisfactory. We sincerely apologise for this, as it is not of the standard we would expect. We are working to offer a more conclusive and satisfying ending to the game as we speak and expect a fix to appear as soon we are able to," he added.