With Two Days To Go, Beloved Game Is Still Struggling On Kickstarter

With Two Days To Go, Beloved Game Is Still Struggling On Kickstarter

Maybe it’s scepticism. Maybe it’s Kickstarter malaise. Maybe people just don’t care.

Whatever the reason, Harmonix’s Kickstarter for Amplitude, an attempt at reviving the niche PlayStation 2 game of the same name, is not doing very well. As of this writing, it’s sitting at around $US643,000 of its $US775,000 goal, with just about two days to go.

While unsuccessful Kickstarters are hardly rare, this is a particularly unusual situation in that 1) Harmonix is an established, high-profile game studio with a solid track record and 2) Amplitude is a cult classic that some people are obsessed with. Still, things are coming down to the wire.

Over the past few days, the Kickstarter has seen a surge in interest and backing from high-profile figures. Minecraft creator Markus Persson and actress Felicia Day asked their millions of Twitter followers to go back Amplitude, and the studio Insomniac Games gave $US7500 to the project yesterday. But time’s running out, and they’re still over $US100,000 short.

Harmonix has publicly stated that the game will not happen if this Kickstarter doesn’t succeed. In a last-minute attempt to get Amplitude backed, they’re are livestreaming themselves playing the old PS2 game over at Twitch. And they’re still hopeful that they can pull this off.

“We’re way more optimistic now than we were last week, but we’re still incredibly nervous,” Harmonix’s John Drake told me in an email this morning. “This has been a passion project at Harmonix for a long time and we’re just within reach of making a game that publishers told us wouldn’t be possible.

“The suspense is incredible.”


  • People don’t care. The music Genre doesn’t have a huge appeal like it used to and anyway we already have Audio Surf which is basically the same thing.

  • “Niche” is the word that explains it all. How do they expect a game that wasn’t widespread first time around to be even more successful this time? also, 3/4 million dollars sounds like a (comparatively) high target.

  • They said 775k was the bare minimum needed, and then went and added US PSN credit to a fairly low tier and up. It just seems like they’re cooking the books now.
    I don’t see a kickstarter ‘success’ turning out to be a good thing for the company long term.

    • I’m not sure they see Kickstarter success being good for them long term either, but they do have other projects in the wing (such as Fantasia) that’ll be bringing in money. This blog post they posted does a decent job of explaining their motivations and reasoning behind a project that probably won’t make them a lot of money (if any).

      • I read that blog while I was trying to find more detail about *what* they want to do with that money. And yeah, it’ll make them no money and leave them no better off once they’re done.
        Almost like it’s a ‘last hurrah’ project before the talent leaves for greener pastures.

      • They must have been spewing when they heard MS are pulling the Kinect support from Xbox One, given that Fantasia was sort of the headline game for that peripheral and they’d banked on it pretty hard.

        • And the lesson here? Don’t develop for Kinect!

          It sounds harsh but unless your an in house dev for MS *forced* to make a Kinect game I would avoid it like the plague. And it’s not because it’s a motion sensing device (I still continue to enjoy the occasional game on Wii thanks!) It’s the fact that MS is pretty much treating it like dead weight when it comes to “core” audiences.

          It’s hard to take a peripheral seriously when it gets dumped so close after release. It pretty much shows how seriously MS is taking this peripheral.. which in a way is tragic because Kinect would have been so much more if MS actually worked on it properly instead of doing the “me too!” spill when Wii became big.

  • I backed it in the end, but it’s still not the best kickstarter campaign I’ve ever seen.

  • The biggest problem I had is the idea of supporting an indie dev that is creating something that is Sony trademarked and is staying that way and is being released as an sony exclusive.

    • The implication on the sudden unexpected response from John Drake when I tweeted basically exactly this was that the Sony ownership goes a lot further than just the Amplitude name, unfortunately.

  • Could scrape in – Leisure Suit Larry reloaded only just scraped in over the last few hours of it’s kickstarter. Also – I wouldn’t call this “not doing very well” – it’s raised almost $700K lol – that seems pretty good to me! I know they are still ~$100k short, but still a decent effort. If it was more than just for PS3/PS4 it would probably have hit it’s target already, console exclusive takes a chunk of the kickstarter audience away.. the monster hits have been PC games or at least cross platform from memory..

    • But at the end of the day kickstarter is an all or nothing thing. If you are $900 towards $1,000 or $700,000 towards $750,000 the result is the same. No monies

  • I dunno, I just never clicked with the Amplitude series in the same way I did with other music games. And that flowed down into Guitar Hero. I loved the music selections, but the gameplay never got me. I look back at the music games I love, and they’re all either quirky as hell (Ouendan! Bust A Groove, Parappa the Rapper, Samba De Amigo, Space Channel 5), or just let me experience my own music collection in more interesting ways (Audio Surf, Beat Hazard).

    Still, it would be a shame to see this avenue go unexplored for them – I’m really hoping they scrape through. I’d love to give it another crack.

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