The sorry state of The Stomping Land, another abandoned Kickstarter video game
Still on sale on Steam for £19.
It appears that The Stomping Land, a multiplayer survival game about dinosaurs that raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter, is finally dead.
In January freelance 3D character artist Vlad Konstantinov announced he had temporarily stopped working on the game following the departure of its creator Alex "Jig" Fundora, who hails from Buffalo, New York, but has lived in South Florida for most of his life.
In a post on The Stomping Land forum (thanks, PC Gamer), Konstantinov claimed Fundora had ignored his repeated attempts at contact.
"I'm sad to say this but I have to temporarily freeze all my work for TLS project," he wrote.
"More than a month has passed since the day when I received the last reply from Jig. I've sent him five messages and haven't got any single reply. I don't know, probably he has some serious reasons to ignore me (and whole community) but to my mind there are no excuses for such behaviour. Not to mention the fact that Jig owes me the money for the latest model, he's put me in a very difficult situation because now I will have to pay our texture artist for his work from my own pocket.
"If this silence continues I will stop my participation in TSL and start taking the necessary measures to cover my expenses (sell the models for example)."
Now, Konstantinov has left the project, signing on to work on Beasts of Prey, another dinosaur sandbox survival game.
While "Jig" appears to have done a runner, The Stomping Land remains up for sale on Steam as an Early Access title that costs £18.99.
A message from Jig displayed on The Stomping Land's product page on Steam claims it's currently in development.
"It has had a year of progress and will continue to undergo production with frequent updates until the end of 2015."
Given recent events, that message now appears misleading. One customer review considered "useful" issues a stark warning: "DEVS ARE GONE. DON'T BUY IT!"
This after the game was pulled from Steam back in September 2014 following months of silence.
Disgruntled Kickstarter backers, who collectively pledged $114,060 to the project, have reacted in anger.
One, "Unicornz", pledged $90 to The Stomping Land. In a post on The Stomping Land forum he said "I am thoroughly regretting it".
Unicornz asked Kickstarter for a refund, but it doesn't sound like the crowdfunding company will part with any cash.
"We expect all members of the Kickstarter community to act with honesty and openness," Unicornz was told.
"When we find that people are abusing the system or the trust of others, we do not hesitate to suspend their account or restrict certain account privileges, like launching another project. We have a dedicated Integrity Team that monitors our system and reviews reports that we receive from our community.
"While we can't speak to the nature of specific projects that have been approved or declined, we're constantly working on improving our vetting process for creators and we are grateful for the feedback that folks like you provide."
A clearly despondent Unicornz added: "This game has kinda ruined backing projects/Early Access games on Steam for me. Lost 99 per cent faith in this project, but part of me hopes that this wasn't a scam and that it will be completed one day."