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Project Rap Rabbit misses Kickstarter goal

The creator of PaRappa the Rapper and the director of Elite Beat Agents joining forces for Project Rap Rabbit official site] wasn’t enough to secure crowdfunding for the freestyling rhythm game set in an animalised 16th Century Japan. Masaya Matsuura and Keiichi Yano’s Rap Rabbit Kickstarter campaign ended last night and fell short of its £855,000 goal, with only £162,057 pledged at the end. That puts Rap Rabbit on hold at best, at cancelled at worst. The team say they’d still like to make the game and it sounds like they’ve been pitching it to publishers, so perhaps we’ll hear more from it one day.

The team said in a statement last night:

“We knew that sourcing funds for a high-quality rhythm-action game would be tough, and though we knew that Project Rap Rabbit would be an incredible game, unfortunately we weren’t able to do enough to prove that to the wider world.

“We sadly are not in the position to be able to fund further production for a future crowd-funding relaunch involving a title deeper in development, and wouldn’t want to scale back our vision. As a result, work on Project Rap Rabbit cannot continue at this time.”

There are many potential reasons why it didn’t work out. The games whose fame Rap Rabbit is riding on were released on console games and, even if Rap Rabbit was coming to PlayStation 4 too, crowdfunding is mostly a PC thing in games. And while PaRappa, Elite Beat Agents, Gitaroo Man, Vib-Ribbon, and the other games Matsuura and Yano worked on are revered in certain circles, they’re still quite niche. The initial excitement of crowdfunding has worn off as folks are more careful about pledging. The initial Rap Rabbit pitch show any gameplay footage then, when a prototype gameplay video did appear, it had work-in-progress music, placeholder art, and lyrics and rapping from Keiichi Yano himself, who is very clearly not a rapper – and that disclaimer came at the end of the video.

Oof, no.

If you enjoy clinging to hope, here’s this:

“Though our Kickstarter campaign hasn’t gone the way we’d intended, our early stages of development have left us more determined than ever to bring Project Rap Rabbit to life. While you didn’t see Project Rap Rabbit at any conferences or booths during E3 week, we had a very, very busy E3 filled with meetings about our vision for the future of rhythm-action.”

I do hope they manage to pull this off. Looking past the awkwardness of the prototype, it does seem a game I would like to play.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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