"It's hard to post updates to a campaign, knowing it's unlikely to succeed."
That's where the Kickstarter campaign for GRIP has headed — right into the ditch.
Despite looking like the awesome spiritual successor to the combat racer Rollcage, Caged Element has cancelled their crowdfunding campaign for GRIP this morning after raising over $162,000 (or C$153,990) in just under a fortnight.
While the target looked like a healthy figure, it was well short of the almost $700,000 they needed to make the campaign work. Seeing that, the developers have followed the same Plan B as the Wreckfest (previously Next Car Game) makers: an Early Access release on Steam.
"We apologize for the lack of updates on our Kickstarter page; it's hard to post updates to a campaign, knowing it's unlikely to succeed," Caged Element wrote in an update. "Yes, we realized a while ago (as did many of you) that things were not looking positive for reaching our funding goal. That said, we continued to push. We released a new action-packed trailer."
"We did interviews. We tweeted, emailed and posted everywhere we could. Sadly, we just did not receive the exposure we needed to maintain the momentum after you all gave the campaign such a fantastic start."
Caged Element will keep the crowdfunding going through Paypal/Stripe donations on their website, along with any funds they receive from purchases on Steam. All of the original pledge goals are available on the website up to the US$40 tier, with the first playable build to include one track (day and night-time versions), a single car, three weapons, two power-ups, modifiers, basic AI and one sandbox map to mess around in (much like the separate test map that comes with Next Car Game).
It's a shame to see something that looked so fun fall a bit short of its target. But I've mentioned Next Car Game/Wreckfest a few times in this post for a reason — it's because that game also struggled on Kickstarter before finding a second lease on life through Early Access. Hopefully GRIP gets the same second chance, because it'd be a shame to see combat racers go the way of the dodo.