A Hamilton company surpassed its $100,000 Kickstarter goal to make a new kind of gamepad over the weekend — only to then cancel the campaign.
A problem with a supplier caused Tivitas Interactive to cancel the Sinister gamepad Kickstarter, said Chris Zhao-Holland, managing director. Tivitas was first informed by one of its suppliers that they were facing some “structural changes” in the last week of February, he said.
“Unfortunately, late Friday afternoon I was further informed of certain information that would be causing a disruption from the supplier. We were told more information would be available in about six weeks,” Zhao-Holland told CBC Hamilton in an email.
“Because this is a critical component of Sinister’s design, thus we had to make a decision fast.”
Tivitas decided to cancel the Kickstarter campaign over the weekend, he said. “We felt it was the best to be as up front with our followers as possible,” he said. “We do have minimal funding to get us through a few months to finish the design, at which point we will go back to the market. We’re not sure at this point if it will be through Kickstarter.”
'Talk about a waste of time'
As the campaign was cancelled before its completion, backers of the project should not be charged.
“We did not feel it was right to accept pledge money and then draw our backers along with uncertain timing of events,” a Kickstarter post from Tivitas reads.
Zhao-Holland could not immediately be reached to specify which component of the design caused the campaign’s cancellation. On the Sinister Kickstarter page, Tivitas wrote that they would not reveal the company “due to confidentiality.”
The Sinister gamepad was being advertised as a new kind of modular gamepad developers hoped would bridge the gap between PC and console gaming.
Some of the project’s backers were not happy about the decision.
“Well talk about a waste of time,” wrote backer Peter Vandenbempt.
“So instead of searching for another supplier, you cancel altogether. Nice,” wrote backer Stuart Slater.
Kickstarter cancellations have proven controversial in the past. Last year, the creator of an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired board game called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City raised almost $123,000 before walking away from the project. The project’s backers were out of luck on refunds until board and card game company Cryptozoic Entertainment announced it planned to publish the game.
Kickstarter itself acts more as a platform than a business, and according to its terms of service, it isn’t liable for damages or loss relating to "rewards or any other use of the service.”
"All dealings are solely between users," the terms of service reads. "Kickstarter is under no obligation to become involved in disputes between any users, or between users and any third party."
Kickstarter does take a five per cent cut from successful projects as a middleman.
According to Polygon, only 25 percent of video game projects on Kickstarter reach their monetary goal. “The success rate in the video game category is below the overall success rate for the site,” a Kickstarter representative told the site.