With 9 days remaining and still more than US$450,000 to raise, it was always going to be a tall order for Rogue Rocket Games. Many developers would have pulled the plug well before then (the GRIP Kickstarter is a case in point). Rogue Rocket's resistance gave way this morning, though, and the crowdfunding campaign has been wrapped up.
"First Wonder finds new supporters every day, new gamers like yourselves who like what you see and want to help it see the light. We just aren’t finding you fast enough. We’ll get into why that is in a moment," the developers wrote in announcing the news.
They stressed that it's not the end of the world, however: like other projects (GRIP and Next Car Game/Wreckfest come to mind) First Wonder will find a second lease of life on Steam through the Greenlight process.
In a brief breakdown of the reasons why the campaign had to be cancelled, Rogue Rocket said it was much harder to build awareness than they first thought, despite creating a new website, purchasing impressions on social media, retaining PR services, hiring a community manager and working with Twitch streamers.
"A lot of our supporters didn’t understand why they didn’t learn about the project on their favorite gaming sites. This isn’t a knock on the press, it just shows a change in the prevailing winds about what the press (and theoretically what their readers) want to hear about."
Other believed causes for the failure was a rushed launch, setting the Kickstarter goal too high, choosing TwitchCon as the convention to advertise at (foot traffic was "pretty low for the game booths", they said) and focusing on Giants: Citizen Kabuto and MDK too much.
It's always intriguing to see the ins and outs of how Kickstarter projects work, especially when projects that lean on nostalgia and past releases — like First Wonder did — don't always work out. If you're still interested, you can keep in touch through their Greenlight page. It's already been successful there, and chances are it will list on Early Access soon.