Auditorium Duet [official site], the Kickstarted sequel to pleasing musical puzzler Auditorium, is cancelled. Developers Cipher Prime say that, despite their best efforts and putting earnings from other projects into it, they simply didn't have enough money to finish Auditorium Duet. That's a shame. I quite liked the first game, enjoying bending and reflecting rays of light towards musical blocks by placing direction-altering nodes. It was pretty, sometimes pretty taxing, and pleasing to the ear. But not enough for me to help fund the Kickstarter myself so, y'know, who am I to mope? So it goes.
Cipher Prime announced the cancellation on Twitter then explained more in a Kickster backers-only post, whose text a reader has handily shared with us (ta!). They explain that their 2012 Kickstarter wasn't seeking a sum large enough to fully fund development--because that wasn't really done at the time--so they supported it by also working on other, smaller games as well as client work.
"It's hard to not think the games would have been better if our entire team was on them, and that Duet would be finished if we were just able to focus on it properly. It would have been ideal to be able to focus solely on Duet (or any of our other projects), but keeping a small studio solvent is no easy task."
"We invested all our earnings from our previous games into Duet, hoping we could cross the finish line, and we finally realized that we couldn't get there. As a last ditch effort, we spent the last year talking to publishers and investors, some of which seemed promising, but all of which eventually fell through.
"Sometimes, no matter how hard you push, trying doesn't get you across the finish line. The Cipher Prime motto has always been, 'What would you do if you couldn't fail?'. We would try; we would try as hard as we could. We did and we're so damned thankful. It was because of you that we were even able to attempt all of this."
Remember: backing a Kickstarter is not the same as pre-ordering a game. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it either.
Cipher Prime have given backers access to several work-in-progress builds of Auditorium Duet, along with related prototypes and music and things, so they aren't left with nothing. Those of us on the outside, well, I suppose we'll never get to play it. Oh well!