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Development halted on troubled $660k Kickstarter success Unsung Story

RPG from Final Fantasy Tactics creator sheds staff members.

Unsung Story, the Kickstarted role-playing game with Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy Tactics creator Yasumi Matsuno's name attached, is no longer in active development.

The project hit its $600k funding goal in January 2014 - it ended up with $660k - but fell well short of an ambitious set of stretch goals.

Unsung Story's Kickstarter featured plenty of fancy artwork - but still offers little else.

It would have taken more than double the project's initial cost - $1.5m - to see Unsung Story release on PS4, 3DS and Vita. A New Game + mode would have only been added at $1.6m, $2.15m would have added voice-overs and $2.25m would bring a challenge mode.

All of which paints a picture of a developer which may have expected a larger return on its campaign - something which has been borne out by the game's extended development and subsequent delay.

Two years on from its Kickstarter campaign - and originally due for launch in July last year - Unsung Story still lacks a release date.

Now, a new Kickstarter blog update posted over the weekend brought the news many had feared - development on Unsung Story has been suspended.

"During the last few months we have had some development setbacks that are affecting our timeline and progress on the game," developer Playdek wrote, "while also affecting what we need to do in the immediate future as a company.

"After we posted our latest development progress [back in October 2015], we unfortunately lost a few key staff members that were part of Unsung Story development, and that has had an impact on any progress since then, as well as our product focus.

"We now have one internal team capable of working on a single project, and for the financial strength of the company we need to focus on a few products in the near term that have the ability to get to a retail release before Unsung Story is able to."

Unsung Story isn't technically cancelled, then, but it sounds like several games will have to launch first - and earn money - before work on the Kickstarter project will resume.

Playdek will also look at roping in an external team to help.

"We will get back to you as soon as we can with any progress and status update. Thanks," the blog concluded.

Understandably, Kickstarter backers are now calling for refunds in their droves.

"I'd like to ask formally for a refund. Looking back, the $80 (which I paid because Mr. Yasumi Matsuno was involved), I had rather put[sic] in more copies of Kickstarter games delivered to me in time," backer LastGunman commented.

"If you used the money for other projects, I don't have the understanding for that. So I hope the US backers and the US law will find a reasonable punishment for you."

But another backer, Alex Crast, wrote: "This will fall on deaf ears, but they can't refund you when they don't have your money anymore. They spent it."