Bloodstained cancels Roguelike Kickstarter stretch goal2020-03-04
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by Koji Igarashi is a critically reviewed Castlevania-style RPG that released on Steam in June of 2019 after a very successful Kickstarter back in 2015. With a goal of $500,000, they managed to blow past that within twenty-four hours and reached an impressive $5,545,991 of pledges, in part due to the allure of their additional stretch goals. One of these, the five million dollar mark, was for a Roguelike Dungeon which, as noted in the title, has been cancelled.
Most notable about this is that the game has been Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam since release, however after news of this cancelation was announced it has been peppered with negative reviews accusing the developers of being liars and scammers. While I don't believe the developers intentionally lied, the argument they make for being unable to deliver a Roguelike system shows they knew, or should have known, long ago that such an addition was impossible to attain.
"Unfortunately, the code that was created early in the game’s development is not currently compatible with this type of gameplay (especially a procedurally generated castle)." - Jason Ryan, Senior Community Manager - 505 Games
This excuse indicates at best, poor project management and, as many have accused, at worst, a deliberate attempt to mislead customers to obtain their support. Personally I'm more prone to believe it was simply poor management, especially with their addition of a randomizer game mode to attempt to "fill the gap", but even so I can sympathize with the frustration of many gamers.
These kind of changes are happening more and more often with Kickstarter and Early Access games and the many bad actors in the market are eroding the trust gamers have in these marketplaces. While this may be a case of simply poor management, it's difficult to discern for certain and with this becoming more and more common, I'm worried gamers will stop caring whether these issues occur intentionally and just start attacking developers for every last change they make.