Crypto-based Kickstarter campaign Untamed Isles has been put on hiatus, and won’t be issuing refunds for initial backers. The developer has cited the recent crypto crash as the main reason, but hopes that players will see more from the game “some day.”
Speaking in a blog post on the Untamed Isles Kickstarter page, CEO of Phat Loot Studios Josh Grant explained that the game would be paused, citing the crypto crash and a lack of financial resources (via PC Gamer).The blog post failed to mention what would come of the money put in by initial backers. An FAQ on the game’s website does provide some clarification:
“Due to our cash reserves being empty, we are not in a position to refund our initial backers. We are truly sorry about this and wish this scenario was different.”
Unfortunately, it seems as though there will be no refunds available for initial backers. We have reached out to Phat Loot Studios for comment.
Thankfully, pre-orders will be refunded, with the studio confirming that it will be contacting customers via the email address used at purchase.
Phat Loot Studio followed up the initial news yesterday (August 17), hoping to provide some additional context. In a post, the studio clarifies that it “did not invest any funds into crypto, all funds raised through crowdfunding and through traditional investment were spent by the studio developing the game.”
According to the studio, it had several investors pull funding due to the game’s association with crypto and web3-integrated games:
“[…] it was proving hard to get pre-order traction given the negative sentiment associated with web3-integrated games, despite Untamed Isles being primarily a full MMORPG game (with web3 marketplace only an ancillary future integration in the background for those players that wanted to trade their in-game items outside of the game). This caused us to take a critical look at launching the game in this current market.”
Untamed Isles found initial success in 2021, collecting $527,000 in backing. It describes itself as being game-first, crypto second, and combines monster-taming and turn-based RPG mechanics with a player-driven auction house model. It’s this player trading aspect where the crypto integration comes in, with the game having partnered with Direwolf. Phat Loot Tokens ($PLT), a cryptocurrency, could also be purchased, and used in-game (these will also be refunded).
It’s worth noting that while the crypto crash cited by Phat Loot Studios occurred back in May this year, the studio still made Untamed Isles available for pre-order just ten-days before the pausing of development (August 1).
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