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.

8 Comments

  1. UW says:

    Wow, I had no idea this was a thing. That sounds pretty good, too. :(

  2. drinniol says:

    Oue… Oue… Ouendaaaaaan!

  3. GeoX says:

    Man, I loved Parappa and Lammy, but I’d never even heard of this. Quite a big shame.

  4. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Disappointed this never made it it. Pretty obvious it wasn’t going to from about the first week.

    I backed this as I’ve wanted a game with a rap-battle mechanic for a while now. Especially an RPG/immersive sim where you can go around talking to other people discovering ways to diss your opponents. Maybe someday.

  5. Laini says:

    The amount of money might not have helped but I think it was the Kickstarter itself that was the problem.
    The reward tiers were kinda funky, originally they wanted £30 for a digital copy when most games on Kickstarter are in the £15-20 range.
    And one of their stretch goals was a Switch version before adding additional content which some people didn’t agree with.
    Then when they added a digital only tier for £20 it had the same wording as the £30 one, so why would anyone choose the £30 tier at that point and it wasn’t clear if people who had pledged at £30 were getting anything extra.

    I believe KS rules say you can’t alter a tier once it launches, only add new ones, but still that’s a fault of the original KS they set up and not understanding how people fund games on the platform.

    I imagine some people who were interested would have been put off by that initial price and never gone back or heard that they added a cheaper tier.

    I did pledge and I’m a little disappointed it didn’t hit it’s target so hopefully it’s not the end for it.

  6. Merus says:

    There have been enough high-profile Kickstarter failures in games that a storied developer turning to Kickstarter for funding does not immediately mean that you’ll be making the next monster hit, especially if that storied developer is going back to the well and making something clearly very similar to the games that made them famous. Obsidian and inXile are really the only two that have managed to deliver anything in line with what backers hoped for, with partial credit to Double Fine who delivered a decent but not great adventure game but a truly spectacular documentary.

    Mighty No. 9 taught backers that there’s more to making games than just the figurehead. There’s an expectation, now, that these developers need to demonstrate that they can operate on the level that made them famous.

    Rap Rabbit didn’t meet that standard.

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