First Wonder, a game being developed as a spiritual successor to PC classics MDK and Giant: Citizen Kabuto, has officially been canceled. The game was originally pushed on Kickstarter, but developers canceled that funding and began to look for new ways to develop investment in the game. In a recent email sent to backers and later posted to Reddit, those investment plans have fallen through and First Wonder has been shut down.
In the email, the developers write that even with donations, “we were still self-funding 95% of the project directly out of pocket. The amount of investment needed to get the game to the next stage was too large for us to handle by ourselves.” The email also states that a big mistake was trying to appeal to fans of games that are about twenty years old without trying to create new fans.
Rogue Rocket, the company developing First Wonder, also states that they are going “dormant” in order to pursue other options. The email ends with a hopeful message: “If I want to build games like First Wonder then I have to start out much smaller, simpler and grow a new audience. I have such a game in mind.”
Giants: Citizen Kabuto used asymmetrical multiplayer, an oddball sense of humor, and a blending of genres. Other well-loved games have used Kickstarter as a way to rekindle interest in long-dormant franchises, or through the “spiritual successor” route. Games like Yuka-Laylee, Underworld Ascendant, and Mighty No. 9 have drawn on the nostalgia of gamers to fund successful campaigns. In the case of First Wonder, the Kickstarter campaign may have backfired, as developers stated, “For publishers, the Kickstarter showed we just didn’t have or couldn’t find the audience.” All backers from the Kickstarter campaign can get their money refunded.
Sad to here First Wonder isn’t being released? Or is Giants: Citizen Kabuto too far in the past to get you excited? Let us know!