Pixelmage Games cancels Hero's Song Kickstarter

"I'm a big believer in looking at reality and accepting it" Smedley tells

Pixelmage Games, the studio set up by ex-Daybreak CEO John Smedley, has cancelled its first Kickstarter campaign after less than a week. Smedley said that the studio would continue development of Hero's Song with alternative funding.

"After looking at our funding levels and the reality that we aren't going to reach our funding goals, we've decided that the best thing to do is to end the Kickstarter," he said in an update today.

"We sincerely appreciate all of the support we got from the backers and the Kickstarter community. This was our first Kickstarter and we made mistakes along the way. I want to acknowledge that right up front. We put a lot of time and effort into the Kickstarter, but it's obvious missing things like physical goods hampered our efforts. It's also fair to say because we're early that we didn't have enough gameplay to show the game off enough to get people over the hump."

Hero's Song is a 2D RPG and was asking for $800,000. At the time of cancellation it had 3,037 backers and $136,849 raised.

"I'm a big believer in looking at reality and accepting it. We went in to the Kickstarter with a big desire to get a community to rally behind Hero's Song. I'm super excited that we got a lot of people to back us, but keeping it going when it was obvious it wasn't going to fund just wasn't something we wanted to do," Smedley told today.

"It won't impact our schedule one bit. In fact, the funding is already secure."

We also asked Smedley what he would do differently if he could start the Kickstarter from scratch again:

"We would have added physical goods to the different tiers. It was a mistake not to go that way. I also would have waited longer until we had more gameplay to show."

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Latest comments (3)

Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer 2 years ago
While I assume it was a calculated choice, I have to wonder how many sales / pledges you lose versus gain by constantly mentioning how 'hardcore' it is in your sales pitch. That really stood out when I initially read it (and decided not to back).

Obviously a 'hardcore' game like Bloodborne or Super Meat Boy can do very well, but games that actually use the word to self-describe seem to tend towards pretty mediocre and are using that as a crutch - or they go under fast when they can't get the support of the small self-identifying hardcore community. I just checked the Steam listings of a few games like DayZ, Rust, Ark, Hard West, Galak-Z... nope. Even Super Meat Boy just calls itself 'tough as nails'.

So, too late for the Kickstarter, but for launch or early access or whatever you're doing, you might consider signalling that you're hardcore without actually using the word. If your marketing research says that 'hardcore' gets you more customers than it drives away, then never mind!
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship2 years ago
I didn't think the pitch was all that strong, and the amount asked for was reasonably high relative to other broadly comparable projects. Felt the video could have been much better, and there was no entry pricing tier that got you the game at a discount (that was added a couple of days in).

I think the concept has legs, and I'm glad it's getting funded, I'm just not that surprised that the Kickstarter didn't really take off.
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Jeff Litchford Vice President, idol minds2 years ago
I was turned off from supporting the game personally when they repeatedly said that they already had the funding secured. As a kickstarter backer, I want to support them and their vision... but they didn't need my support, so why bother giving them my money. Wrong message in the wrong place.
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