Defeat: Petroglyph Cancels Victory Kickstarter

By Nathan Grayson on March 19th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

This is the only way to destroy a Kickstarter prematurely. Well, short of throwing it into Mt Doom, which isn't actually a real place.

Victory!

Is not a word I plan to use to name anything ever – except perhaps my arch-nemesis if I’m given the opportunity to travel back in time, be present at their birth, and choose their name. Reason being, cosmic irony is a looming, universe engulfing bastard, and it will paint a target on your back for so audaciously daring to believe you might succeed. Such is the sad yet somewhat inevitable tale of Petroglyph, who hasn’t exactly had the best string of luck after Trion yanked End of Nations in-house. The developer’s admitted defeat in its effort to raise $700,000 for WWII arena RTS Victory, pulling the plug on a Kickstarter that was off to a languidly tank-like trundle. So then, where to from here?

Well, as is becoming the trend with these things, the crowdfunding drive – exceedingly brief though it was – drummed up interest from people in high places. Maybe even space. But probably videogame publishers. Petroglyph explained:

“We are announcing the end of the Kickstarter campaign for Victory. We want to gratefully thank all of our backers for your support of the game, and everyone who sent us feedback about it. We’ve listened carefully to what the Kickstarter community has said, and it has given us many ideas for games we could do in the future. Additionally, multiple game publishers have expressed interest in Victory based on your support, and there is a good chance we will be able to still bring Victory to you with their help.”

After two weeks on the frontlines, Victory collected $29,471 from a rather pithy 360 willing souls. According to RPS’ resident industry financial analyst Martin P. Vanwarybottomshire, “nope.”

Which is a shame, because Victory does sound like an interesting fusion of RTS, MOBA, and a few F2P standouts. Just not, you know, $700,000 interesting. I wish Petroglyph the best of luck with its publishing effort, though. And who knows? Maybe this time it’ll go with a slightly less doomed-right-from-the-start name. For instance, “Marginal Chance of Success” or “Medal of Honor.”

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30 Comments »

  1. Hirmetrium says:

    Just.. please make a spiratual successor to Command and Conquer. Harvesters, Construction Yards, Sidebar and base building. That’s all we want. You can even fill it with tanks. Lots and lots of silly, twin turreted, electricity mounting, light bending tanks.

    • LionsPhil says:

      That Westwood no longer exists.

      • guygodbois00 says:

        Sadly.

        • MadTinkerer says:

          Heck, what I really want is another Legend of Kyrandia or Lands of Lo…

          No, wait, that Westwood is long gone too…

          (Although I really do want Kyrandia on GoG, dang it! they have Lands of Lore on there! Grah!)

      • Zorn says:

        Please don’t remind of the harsh reality this early on a Monday morning.
        It’s already Tuesday? It’s even harsher than I thought…

  2. Mario Figueiredo says:

    [...]is a shame, because Victory does sound like an interesting fusion of RTS, MOBA, and a few F2P standouts

    Bending backwards, are we? That to me looks like this defeat was actually a blessing. Being the case only 360 people cared to pledge, there doesn’t seem to be any doubts about the general lack of “interesting” fusion of genres, or anything else for that matter.

    In the crudest terms, the people spoke.

    • Gormongous says:

      That’s a little uncharitable, don’t you think? Sure, there’s probably some failure in vision here, but we’ve seen time and again that new ideas die a cold, hard death on Kickstarter if they ask for more than five figures, regardless of their merit. Nostalgia and remakes are what bring in the big bucks, which Petroglyph doesn’t appear interested in cashing in on.

      • wodin says:

        no they want to make something old that no one wants anymore..some unrealistic “WW2″ rts but this time P2W….yawn.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        You could be right. It’s hard to say. Invariably all one is left is the hard figures and the fact they represent a general lack of interest in an “interesting” project. So I apply occam’s razor to the whole thing and prefer to think the project had nothing going for it.

        However, I’ll make a point of commenting on your use of “nostalgia and remakes”. This is really a fallacy that I keep see repeated over and over again about Kickstarter. I wish I could have more time (and anyone’s patience) to listen to what I feel about it, but in short there’s really no reason to believe this to be true. It does happen that most of the projects shown on Kickstarter have that nostalgia feeling to it. But this is the industry catalyst at the moment. Not an actual consumer action. We are just reacting. There’s a demand for it. But that doesn’t preclude at all that good novel game concepts can’t have the same manner of success. Both things aren’t related and the current success of nostalgia-driven games offers at best a correlation, not a causation.

        What happens in my opinion is that the industry is just reacting in chain to what it perceives is a demand for nostalgia that started with Double Fine’s project and rapidly spread like a meme. Backers respond and end up giving the impression of this being the only successful way to approach kickstarter. The number of failures must be staggering as well, but people are looking just at the success stories. A detailed analysis of Kickstarter projects, probably reveals a much different story. Likewise, I support that the gaming industry as a whole as been notoriously incapable of coming with novel and interesting concepts for the past few years. On an environment like Kickstarter this has a much more pronounced reaction from consumers.

        • Gormongous says:

          You make fair points.

          My gut feeling, which is not nearly as scientific as your reply deserves, is that crowd-funding is just as conservative as investor- and publisher-based models. Certainly, there could be ways for unfamiliar concepts to capture the public’s heart, just like new IPs occasionally crop up in AAA games, but neither incentivizes them really, which is the real shame. One way or another, the entertainment market tends towards more of the same.

    • battles_atlas says:

      This Kickstarter instantly made me think of Alan Partridge pitching TV shows:

      “Inspector Morse, Taggart, The Bill – what does this tell you?”
      “That there are too many cop shows on TV”
      “Yes, or… ‘People like cop shows, lets make more of them’.”

      WW2, RTS, DOTA – yawn. And the death knell was those screenshots

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I’m tired of all this MOBA crap. Just give me more good traditional RTS games.

  3. pakoito says:

    Aren’t they going to make another KA-CHING hit&run project like Graxia?

  4. Premium User Badge

    Cantisque says:

    Curse my judgement of games based on a few images! It ticks all the wrong boxes. A war game and lots of “brown”.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s a terrible screenshot. As first impressions go, it screams “uninspired”, which is about the worst thing you can scream on a community-funding site for interesting ideas.

      …and having finally half-read the thing (those first impressions count!), it’s also badly P2W but not F2P, so it’d be dead within a week. And claims to be DRM-free while having persistent unlocks, which kind of defeats the point since you’re tethered to an official server being up and running anyway.

  5. Eschwen says:

    This is a shame, these are a great bunch of guys.

    Obviously it’s much more important, however, that we give our money to a guy who spent $30m going to space and made $28m for Tabula Rasa. Wouldn’t want to help fund people who actually need, you know, funding.

    • wodin says:

      They need to come up with a good game idea and they will get backed. If kickstarter backers had ideas for them it shows a lack of creative talent..surely game designers should be bursting with…erm..great game designs. No excuse either as they aren’t being forced to do some tired old trope..kickstarter is a chance to get those burning game ideas you’ve had out there, the ones publishers are to scared to go near.

    • Eschwen says:

      And by “good game idea” you of course meant “nostalgic derivative and/or direct sequel to something from the distant gaming past”, right?

      Many Kickstarter campaigns aren’t even about funding anymore, they’re about marketing and buzz generation. Kickstarter is the new press release.

      How would you feel if a developer was required to run a Kickstarter campaign as part of a traditional publishing contract, simply to announce a product, generate some buzz, and act as a bypass-the-retailer pay-up-front-in-full no-refund preorder campaign? What if the previous sentence wasn’t just idle speculation?

  6. communisthamster says:

    I was rather looking forward to EoN. I remember playing Shattered Galaxy a while back (starcraft/mmo hybrid) and it reminded me rather of that.

    But then, Planetary Annihilation will have a metagame multiplayer campaign feature, so there’s that to look forward to.

  7. zeekthegeek says:

    Let’s face it: there’s a market for maybe 3 big MOBAs. That saturation has been more than exceeded.

  8. wodin says:

    F2P WW2 RTS..surely someone in that team must have thought it wasn’t going to be successful?

    Infact it wasn’t even WW2 was it really..the only thing WW2 about it was the shape of the tanks.

    People demand more these days than that..you go with something from history they want as much realism as possible. Tanks shooting each other from ten paces doesn’t wash these days. The whole concept sounded like sudden strike but online.

    • LionsPhil says:

      From their FAQ:

      Is Victory free to play?

      Victory is not free to play. Those getting the game through Kickstarter will get additional goodies with their version.

      So you’d have nobody to play against anyway.

  9. Lev Astov says:

    Curious. It sounds like Civitas, the city builder Kickstarter pulled a similar move this week. They were doing a lot better in the running, but pulled out about halfway due to having attracted 3rd party funding. I’m happy, but people seem up in arms.

  10. Bhazor says:

    I think Kicktraq sums it up pretty well.
    http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/petroglyphgames/victory-1/#chart-daily

    It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Kickstarter receive negative dollars.

  11. Ahtaps says:

    “We’ve listened carefully to what the Kickstarter community has said, and it has given us many ideas for games we could do in the future. Additionally, multiple game publishers have expressed interest in Victory based on your support, and there is a good chance we will be able to still bring Victory to you with their help.”

    It may just be the cynic in me but these kinds of comments make me worry that Kickstarter is starting to be used as a fishing expedition in both catching a publisher’s attention and getting new ideas for IP.

  12. Quatlo says:

    I really liked End of Nations. And I loved the soundtrack, I’m so glad that I’ve managed to keep it despise the game cancellation.

  13. ScubaMonster says:

    I tried End of Nations and it was garbage imo.

  14. Kamos says:

    It feels like the games that are failing in KS are those that are not quite niche enough.

    What I mean is, there is a definite group of people willing to pledge for old school RPGs. But people willing to pledge for MOBAs? They are probably too busy playing one of the many already available titles.

    There are exceptions, of course. And this is just my opinion.