West Games has achieved their Areal funding goal despite the campaign being seen as controversial from some of the gaming community.
Getting any game funded on Kickstarter isn’t easy and West Games has had it harder than most. As soon as Areal was announced as the “spiritual successor to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” it raised a few eyebrows with fans of the franchise as well as unwanted attention from developer Vostok Games who were not too happy about the claims.
Much of the controversy focused on the use of Unity assets to demonstrate work on Areal prior to and during the Kickstarter campaign. Sticking to their guns, West Games ploughed ahead and recently took part in an AMA to try and answer questions about the project. Frustratingly the AMA didn’t really address many of the pressing questions from fans, including the use of stock assets, but it’s done enough to keep the campaign momentum going.
The smallish sum of $50,000 also got potential backer’s alarm bells ringing but West subsequently explained that the game was being funded from savings and the Kickstarter money would help attract publisher attention.
Despite having to put up with continual comment spamming on their Kickstarter page, and dealing with pressure from sections of the gaming community and other outside influences, West Games has now raised all the funds they need with four days to spare.
The recently released video footage was probably enough to convince backers that this project has potential, but whatever the reason, it’s good news for the developer and hopefully S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fans.
Edit: Paul, how could you write this story and not mention the bizarre letter of support from ‘Vladimir Putin’ West Games is sort of claiming to have received?
Also, here are some graphics from the site Kicktraq, showing that Areal raised an additional $23,000 USD in the past couple of days. Getting a burst of funding in the last few days isn’t unusual for Kickstarter, but it’s normally accompanied by a large increase in backers. Areal somehow managed to get that money despite losing five backers in the last 48 hours or so.
That means either people who were already backing upped their pledges by a dramatic amount, or … something else happened. The story with this project is definitely not over.