The Unsung Story Kickstarter Is Still Breaking Promises

The Unsung Story Kickstarter Is Still Breaking Promises

Two years after launch, Playdek’s Unsung Story remains one of the biggest Kickstarter disappointments to date, a US$660,126 ($945,580) disaster that just keeps breaking promises. And now they have been MIA for three months.

Originally pitched as a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy Tactics with the involvement of series creator Yasumi Matsuno, Unsung Story excited strategy fans when it launched on Kickstarter in January of 2014. Though the company behind it, Playdek, didn’t have much experience developing fully fledged strategy games, they were established enough to convince plenty of FFT fans — like me! — to give them money.

Then Playdek disappeared for a while. When they finally re-emerged in September, 2015, they had grim news: Unsung Story would be delayed at least another year. Progress had been slow. Even more frustrating, PVP multiplayer appeared to suddenly be a pivotal part of the game — despite the fact that it was never mentioned in the original Kickstarter pitch. What was once a promising project had turned into a disaster.

In that same update, Playdek CEO Joel Goodman also promised better communication to backers. “I again sincerely apologise for the silence throughout this development process, and we will be consistent in updating you from here on forward,” he wrote, going on to answer reader questions in an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Reddit.

On October 20, 2015, the developers posted another update, featuring a combat video from Unsung Story. Although the video looked a little rough, it at last seemed like the devs were living up to their promises of regular updates and communication. Progress! “Next month we will have a more thorough video going over the specifics in combat,” they wrote. “We will also plan another AMA where you will be able to ask your questions directly to us, so stay tuned for that.”

Three months later, there has been no video. There are no new updates, and there’s been no second AMA. It’s become clear that Playdek has no interest in living up to their promises.

Playdek has not responded to a request for comment.


  • This was one I initially backed, but upon closer reading I realized that Matsuno and Yoshida (my reasons for backing) were only peripherally involved despite the way it was pitched and the game was going to be entirely designed and developed by a team in the US that specializes in board game to iOS conversions. All sorts of alarm bells started going off and I ended up cancelling my pledge halfway into the campaign. Glad I did.

    • Kickstarter and people smart with their money don’t usually go hand in hand. A bit of research, due diligence, and common sense pays off.

      • I’ve backed a lot of Kickstarters and thus far have only had a small number that haven’t delivered, and in those cases I didn’t have much skin in the game. Anything where it was more than about $20 has paid off.

        So yeah, reading carefully and doing some due diligence go a long way.

  • Not the first Kickstarter Playdek have flopped on, they were supposed to create a new PC compatible version of Ascension (their deck building game) via Steam, instead they only ported their tablet version of the game.
    It’s not even worth the time to look at.

  • Unfortunately, I’m a backer of this one. Luckily my pledge wasn’t a big one but it’s disappointing to say the least 🙁

  • Never backed anything on Kickstarter…

    Happily gaming off others successes and losses.

    Life is grand!

    • All my Kickstarter backed games have come to fruition, barring Torment: Tides of Numenera, Jenny LeClue, and Bards Tale 4. These are still in development, though Torment has just hit beta. With regular updates on all backed games, the game making process can be very interesting.

      Double Fine’s Broken Age was a highlight, with the excellent documentary, released episode by episode as the game was being developed. The bonus was you got a game at the end!

      I agree; Life is grand!

      • I think mainly it is because you backed some people developer in kickstarter. I’ve backed a few as well and so far everything is going well. Torment has been slow but finally entering beta.

        I always tell people to be wary of Kickstarter, too many developers trying to quick grab money and just run away. If the developers are no name developers pitching some crazy ass game with a small budget and small team, stay away.

  • Sad that they added development time and undoubtedly many issues for the wish to include PVP multiplayer. In the meantime, Duelyst is scratching that itch of FFT+MTG PVP brilliantly. By the time they are done, if ever, they will not be seen as novel.

  • If things like this had to abide by consumer standard laws they would probably be illegal. I wonder what the ACCC’s opinion of Kickstarter is like.

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