Red Ash should have been a gold mine according to recent trends: Yooka-Laylee, Bloodstained and Shenmue 3 have scored big in recent months by peddling their own brands of nostalgia. What went wrong? Well, for starters, this particular Kickstarter has to be one of the worst planned, timed, and executed Kickstarters to ever “succeed.” With four days left, the project had only made slightly more than half of its goal, let alone hitting any stretch goals.
Red Ash is a failure, but will see the light of day anyways.
The Red Ash project’s timing comes when Comcept has yet to deliver on their first Kickstarter game, and faith in the company isn’t exactly unshakeable. Some even began to think that Comcept was intentionally having the Kickstarter before Mighty No. 9‘s release so they could cash in before fans were disillusioned with the final product. While not a real indicator of Mighty No. 9‘s quality, the recent turn of events for Red Ash certainly does paint its Kickstarter as a cash grab job. If you haven’t heard by now, Chinese publisher Fuze has funded the game in its entirety for PC, PS4, and XB1. All existing and further backer donations to the Red Ash Kickstarter will be used for additional content through revised stretch goals.
Comcept went straight to the backers, and then started wooing partners for financial support? That seems a little backwards. Kickstarter is a platform that allows for dreams to come alive when there are no other means for it to happen. It’s supposed to be a last resort. Whatever, fine, Comcept can just axe the Kickstarter and no harm no foul right? Nope. Now what was supposed to be money used to make Red Ash a reality has been repurposed. Instead of returning the money they asked for, they’re going to keep it and claim it will be used to make extras for the game. This is a Kickstarter, now, for extra features only.
Sure some people are fine with that, but the manner in which it’s being done is questionable. The main reason people gave Comcept money was because they were told Red Ash wouldn’t happen without it, and now this Mega Man Legends sucessor is in fact happening without it. I’m well aware that backers could cancel their donations if they want, but this event happens mere days before said donations are finalized. Many won’t even know about this turn of events before the deadline. You could blame the people who don’t follow their investments, but it makes far more sense to blame the company pulling this crap.
If the people behind this project didn’t want to look shady, they could have easily pulled the plug on the existing Kickstarter and made a new platform to seek backing exclusively for the purpose of additional content. You know, like Comcept has already done for Mighty No. 9 in the past. Unfortunately, that’s not the route they took here, and it’s already coming back on them as a search of Red Ash on twitter yields plenty cries of scam already.
If you donated and aren’t happy with where your money will now go via the now-revised stretch goals, or just think this type of Kickstarter abuse by an established, professional company is a step back, I advise you to cancel your donation soon.