After More Than 3 Years, Backers Can Get Refunds On This Kickstarter Game

The campaign for Reincarnation: The Root of All Evil began nearly four years ago, with creator Christopher Gianelloni hoping to transform the Web-based series of games into a more fully fleshed out product.

The first month of 2016 is nearly at a close, and backers still haven't received their game. A game that was originally scheduled to ship in August 2013.

It's been a long an arduous road for the point-and-click adventure, and the latest update for backers still doesn't have any news on when they can expect The Root of All Evil to emerge. "I know how long it's taking. I know how much it sucks that it's not done. Sometimes things aren't in my hand," Gianelloni wrote.

"It doesn't mean the project isn't getting done. It just means it's taking longer than I thought or could have imagined." It's not just his imagination though: at more than three and a half years, The Root of All Evil is now one of the longest Kickstarter projects to have never delivered, not counting projects that were abandoned post-funding.

I reached out to Gianelloni for further clarification, and he explained that he's begun offering refunds now because backers shouldn't "feel like they have to stick around because they gave me money". "I don't want anyone feeling like I'm trying to pull a fast one on them," he said.

The developer added that the delays have been especially stressful for him. "I remember every single [delay]. They weight on a developer. Most of the original delays were due to coders backing out left and right," he wrote. "We went through about 5 coders before we finally landed on the guy (Casper Smith) I wanted from the beginning."

"I would get into the project with a programmer and then they would leave after a month or so. Most left with warning saying that the project was just too much to tackle, but others left with no warning."

Backers displeased with the glacial rate of progress can request a refund via a Kickstarter message, which will be processed through Paypal. Those who want to stick it out — and if you've waited this long, you're probably inclined to wait a little more — are welcome to do so.

But if you do wait, know that the release date is still up in the air. "Every time I set a date I think is possible, it blows up in my face," the developer said. "However, if everything goes smoothly, it'll be this year."

It's a good lesson for backers: if you're going to pledge for something, you should thoroughly believe in a project, its creators and their track record before pledging.

And there's plenty of lessons for developers too. When asked if he had any advice for others about crowdfunding, Gianelloni simply said "don't do it". "I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell some fellow game enthusiast that."

"It's not that I'm not grateful to my backers, but I should of never tried to create a project all on my own and hope other people would see my passion and feel the same way."


Comments

    I saw the headline and thought this article would be about Star Citizen, but then I remembered that after changed Terms of Service CIG is also claiming that the game is 'substantially delivered' and refusing refund requests.

      If you invest in crowd funding you're not entitled to a refund anyway regardless of what has or hasn't been delivered. It's an investment, not a purchase.

      Whether or not you can sue the developers to get money back or not is up to the courts to decide but usually misleading conduct etc has to be proven.

        What about the original Terms of Service that stated that if the game and rewards weren't delivered by November 2015 then backers could get a refund and CIG would do a full accounting of how the money was spent?

        Actually, Kickstarter has terms and conditions that state that refunds must be offered unless the developer can sufficiently explain how they are going to complete the project to an acceptable level with the remaining funds.

          Sure, but you do run into a 'blood from a stone' type scenario depending on how badly they've messed it up.

          The terms say the project leader has to refund remaining funds to backers proportional to their amount funded. No remaining funds means no refunds and no requirement for refunds.

      Are you implying that SC have taken the money without producing anything which suggests the project is proceeding?

      SC isn't even at 4 years of development time yet. They've got plenty to show for their work [and our money].

        Sorry, it was rather naughty of me to make that comment. I assure you that my tongue was firmly in my cheek.

          Awwww geez, I had my pitchfork all sharpened up and everything.....

          ;-)

      It kinda makes me sad that I was expecting this comment (not necessarily from you), it always seems like people think that the game should be completely finished by now or that the goals had radically changed since the start of the Kickstarter and that now it was clear as day a scam.

      That is not to say that I am happy with the amount of progress, but I can see why it is taking as long as it has.

        I also expected the comment, which is why I made it (I'm a troublemaker). SC is in a unique position where it has been pilloried as a result of its own openness. Could you imagine if a game like Mass Effect Andromeda had been crowdfunded and the devs were posting the kind of videos and commentary that CIG has been doing? There are some very passionate ME fans out there that I'm sure would be in the same position as the SC White Knights are in, defending the project against what they see as uninformed and unreasonable comments from people who want the project to fail. The openness gives both defenders and attackers ample ammunition to use in the fight. It's a fascinating thing.

        For the record, I think SC is highly unlikely to be a scam. To fool that many people within CIG, Chris Roberts would have to be a conman of machievellian cunning. It's unreasonable to think that CIG staff in general are in on a big scam. The general rule of con artistry is that the more people are in on the con, the harder it is to stop outsiders from finding out about it.

          I can concede that if it were EA using crowd funding there would be grounds for more suspision, but in Roberts defence he has made these kinds of games before (which were very good) and his main opposition is a man that doesn't have a single even "mixed" rated game on steam. It just seems like Derek Smart drummed up all the trolls and now its all about wrecking it for everyone else.

            I'm not suggesting that Derek Smart might not have ulterior motives for doing what he's doing. I'm pretty confident though that most of what he says is either fact or opinion. I don't think he is deliberately lying about SC. In any case, I don't see that you need to be qualified in order to level criticism at something. A lot of sports commentators or film critics would not have the skills to do that for which they provide comment and criticism.

            For me, Chris Roberts I think has fallen into the trap that Peter Molyneux has often fallen into. He dreams big and finds out that what he's dreamt of is technically or financially unfeasible. Chris has no-one controlling him now. No-one to tell him that he can't do something. No-one to tell him he's spending too much, or that he's taking too long. No-one besides the backers. And unfortunately, many of them are enabling the behaviour by excusing everything he does and defending him against criticism. They are like proud parents whose precious child can do no wrong.

            I think the only way the Chris can buy some time and restore confidence is by producing a cracker of a Squadron 42 release. However, if the episode(s) turns out to be mediocre then people will be wondering if SC proper will turn out the same way (or worse).

    wow that's crazy, I mean if someone made me half a hamburger then refused to give me a refund I would be pretty pissed. I use to kickstart a lot of projects but of late all these stories are really putting me off doing it anymore :(

      Your hamburger analogy falls through though. If you purchase a hamburger and only half is delivered then you're entitled to a refund. If you invest in a project and it never reaches completion then you lose your money.

      Kickstarter projects are not products being sold. They're projects seeking investors.

        It's kind of a grey area. Investment is not really the right word, because investors usually have a stake in the venture, and can usually transfer that stake if they want out. It's more akin to a donation with conditions attached.

          I reckon he (Xenoun) is right, investment would be 100% the correct term for it. With many companies there are benefits depending on how many shares you own and this can be directly translated to the level of support you have given.

          A donation would be incorrect as most charities do not have wildly varying levels of rewards for what you have spent; sure maybe there are different kinds of badges or a pen, but the charity doesn't have a set in stone target before they give a percentage of what they have taken.

            I guess why I think it isn't an investment is that no matter how much money you put in, you are not getting any extra benefit. I guess you could liken it to a charity fundraising by selling chocolates (or pictures of chocolate if you were feeling naughty). What you pay is not really commensurate with the chocolate you are getting. It's more of a token gesture of gratitude that your donation allows the charity to continue its work. The only difference is that CIG is a 'charity' that will be working to help the very people donating to it, by producing a game.

              I can kind of see where you are coming from, but do you not think different ships, the stretch goals, community out reach and concierge are not additional benefits? I am now off to look at my jpeg chocolates.

                I see the different ships as different types of chocolate bar. I see the stretch goals as a charity saying "If we get $X we can achieve this [INSERT NOBLE GOAL]", "if we get $Y we can achieve [INSERT NOBLER GOAL]". The community outreach is part of the charitable work but also perversely it is part of the money-raising drive.

                Upon reflection, you might liken the SC scenario to a club selling memberships and saying that they are also fundraising for a new swimming pool that will be "coming soon". Different membership levels get different perks such as club t-shirts and ties but the ultimate goal is for everyone to swim in that swimming pool. Then we see that because of the overwhelming response, the swimming pool is now going to be four times as big and will come with a separate kiddie pool and sauna as well as change rooms with hot showers. However, you'll have to wait another 12-18 months. Keep donating to the pool fundraiser though! Fair enough (although some might question the need to continue fundraising. Surely the club has enough to pay for the pool by now? Don't ask stupid questions!) Now the contractor building the kiddie pool has had some 'problem' and the club says that they will just convert a portion of the big pool into a kiddie pool and it was always intended to be this way. Meanwhile many of the head contractors are leaving half-way through the build. Don't worry, this is just normal! Nothing to worry about! Let's just concentrate on getting the sauna built. It's going to have padded seats and built-in back massage equipment you know! Don't worry about our half-built, leaky pool. Our sauna will have celebrity endorsement from Ian Thorpe!

                Sorry, got a bit carried away :-)

                  But the Sauna was always going to have that celebrity endorsement, they told us so during the early stretch goals, as a matter of fact it was the $5mil one. The sauna itself was the original selling point, after many requests from the community it was decided that maybe they couldn't fit every one in that tiny sauna, so maybe an Olympic pool would be a great idea so that every one could swim together, but the Olympic pool will only happen if we have a certain amount of funding.

                  Just so we are all aware we are going to be selling speedos that can only be put on inside said swimming pool, don't worry though they are just going to cost in excess of $100 each.

                  I don't think anything has been delayed per se, this is because 42 was always promised first and they in turn have a few studios that purely work on that and will after release turn to work on the PU. If we are being fair an Olympic pool with this many features was always going to take a great amount of work, probably more than any game has ever attempted; sure there are some games that feel somewhat close (Elite), but even then from a technical standpoint are much more basic.

      I couldn't get the analogy because i kept assuming they ate half of the hamburger in front of you and tried to sell it full price.

    Good on him for offering refunds but people need to realise they aren't purchasing anything when they fund a kickstarter and are therefore not entitled to a refund. Backing a project is an investment. If an investment falls through you lose your money, simple as that.

      Some projects skate very close to that though - ie, the game is done, just give us the money to print. IE, they're essentially a preorder, and I'd expect a higher rate of completion when there's absolutely no risk involved.

    The Stomping Land. I'm just gonna leave that here....

      What about Star Forge? Game was "released" but was an absolutely horrible POS that should have still been called an alpha. They accomplished none of their stated goals.

      One of the few crowd fund projects I've backed and I regret it.

    Unrelated to gaming, but I have a still ongoing back for a graphic novel from Oct 2012 that was due to ship some 6-12 months later. I'll wait until 2022, give it a round ten.

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