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Playdek puts crowdfunded Unsung Story on hold

Studio down to one team, focusing resources on products that can be released sooner

Playdek's Unsung Story has been placed on hold while the studio takes on new projects to help stabilise its finances.

The company raised $660,000 for the development of Unsung Story through Kickstarter at the start of 2014. Initially, the game was given a release date of July 2015, but that was pushed back to October 2016 after slow progress led to a period of "financial crunch" in the middle of last year. At that time, Playdek CEO John Goodman assured its backers that the game was still in development, despite the delays and generally inconsistent communication from the company.

Now, however, ongoing "development setbacks" have prompted more drastic measures. In a post on the Unsung Story Kickstarter page, Playdek said that the loss of "a few key staff members" has affected both the progress of the game and its ability to continue working on it for the near future.

"We now have one internal team capable of working on a single project, and for the financial strength of the company we need to focus on a few products in the near term that have the ability to get to a retail release before Unsung Story is able to," Playdek said. "While this is a difficult choice to make, it is one we need to do for the ongoing financial health of the company."

Playdek did present the possibility of external developers being brought in to help with Unsung Story, but it remains only a possibility for now. It has also changed the "release window" for its development goals going forward, with no specific details given about those changes.

"This will be affected by the ability and timing of any outside support, as well as when the single internal team is able to get back onto Unsung development," Playdek said.

At the time of writing, Playdek's Kickstarter post had received 165 comments from its community, the majority of which express severe displeasure and demand that the donated money be returned.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.