TUG appears to be, at a glance, another Minecraftbut — it’s Minecraft but not entirely squares and with some story bits. It is also, you might remember, the game that Minecrafty YouTubers Yogscast turned to after the crowdfunded Minecraftbut they officially endorsed, Yogventures, crashed after running out of money. Yogventures backers would get a TUG key and Yogscast would team up with the TUG team to do Yoggy things, was the idea. Now TUG, which was also crowdfunded, is struggling with money too. Developers Nerd Kingdom have laid off half their team and are delaying the game. Oh dear.
Nerd Kingdom (gosh, honestly?) were counting on another investment coming through in January but that investor turned out to want ownership (no, it wasn’t Yogscast), they explain in a Kickstarter update. Rather than hand it over, they’re trying to go lean and have halved their team. They say that they’ll still finish the game, it’ll just take longer.
They’re planning to bump TUG’s price when they launch the next update, which will add multiplayer, by the end of October. Nerd Kingdom hope this’ll get them enough attention and cash to re-hire a few folks.
They also claim a few “big publishers” are interested, though I’d casually speculate Microsoft’s probably not one, given that they’re paying $2.5 billion for Minecraft devs Mojang.
Ultimately they should think of their Kickstarter backers and early access supporters. Should these deals not work out, will they begrudgingly accept investment from folks who want ownership, just so they can finish the game?
Having written this post, I still don’t know what “TUG” stands for.