Popular YouTube network Yogscast has confirmed that Kickstarter-funded sandbox game Yogventures has been cancelled.
The project raised $570,000 during its 2012 Kickstarter campaign and subsequently went into development at indie studio Winterkewl Games.
Originally planned for release in 2013, the project is no longer due to see the light of day. Winterkewl is in danger of going out of business and the game has been disowned by Yogscast, Eurogamer reports.
"As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures - but this is actually a good thing," Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley wrote in an email to the game's 13,647 backers, five of whom had pledged over $10,000 to Yogventures. "The project was proving too ambitious and difficult for them to complete with their six-man team.
"While this was Winterkewl's project, we put a lot of time, energy and effort into trying to help them realise their dream. Since we heard the news, we've been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that you still get awesome stuff and cool experiences.
"Although we're under no obligation to do anything, instead we're going to do our best to make this right, and make you really glad you backed the project!
"So to begin with we're very lucky to have met a team of really smart guys at Nerd Kingdom who ran their own Kickstarter for a very similar game called TUG (http://www.nerdkingdom.com/game/). They have a larger team of engineers and programmers who are creating a game that is much further along in development.
"In many ways TUG is the game we were hoping Winterkewl would create - and it has huge potential for the future. We've been playing the Early Access version on Steam and you'll soon be able to see us playing the game on Yogscast channels.
"So - as a backer or early-access purchaser of Yogventures, we are delighted to be able to deliver a steam key to redeem a full copy of TUG as soon as we can.
"Because Yogventures was never completed it's going to be impossible to deliver the rewards relating the finished game. However we'll do everything we can to find cool things to take their place."
Kickstarter's FAQ page states that "it's the project creator's responsibility to complete their project". Naturally, many backers simply want a refund, but the chances of this appear slim, with lead developer Kris Vale saying the studio may be forced to file for bankruptcy.
"The Yogscast have been given full ownership of all things Yogventures including all work that's been done up to this point, code, art, project files etc," he said.
"My company Winterkewl Games will unfortunately, probably need to go out of business and possibly file for bankruptcy if things get much worse.
"I can't speak for the Yogscast and I make no claims that I do, for their own reasons they decided the game wasn't up to the quality they needed it to be to make videos supporting our pre-order business model. That was and is their prerogative and we had no way of influencing that decision other than making the game as best we could with what we had to work with.
"We missed milestone after milestone and continued to come up short of the quality expectations and thus the Yogscast didn't want to advertise the pre-orders until it did meet those expectations.
"I wish more than anything I would have had this fore-knowledge before we ever began this project," he concluded. "If we would have limited the scope and made a solid plan for working more closely with the Yogscast I have every faith this project would have been a real stand-out achievement in the indie game world."