Disclosure: I backed Mighty No. 9 on Kickstarter at the $20 tier.
As I reported yesterday, Mighty No. 9's trial demo has been delayed, the reasons of which have not been explained. The demo was originally intended as an apology to backers after the full game had been delayed into 2016.
Funded on Kickstarter to the tune of $3.84 million, Mighty No.9 is one of the platform's largest funded games, which is due in no small part to the pedigree of its developer, Keiji Inafune, who made the classic Mega Man series of games.
If that wasn't enough, Comcept held two additional crowdfunding campaigns for the game: $200,000 for English voice acting, and another $198,000 for a DLC stage.
The timing of the delay seemed suspicious to many of its backers, who noted that Comcept only revealed their plans to delay the game shortly after another project from the studio, Red Ash, had failed to meet its funding goal on Kickstarter.
Backers and fans of Keiji Inafune and his studio Comcept have since voiced their unhappiness over the delay of the demo, which was revealed only yesterday in a tiny blurb within a larger post about some community contest. It reads:
"Finally, we know that all of our fans are looking forward to the Special Demo Version we are preparing, and we just ask that you be a little more patient. The team is working on it, but some issues popped up regarding the distribution method so there is a good chance it will not be ready to launch by the 15th. We are really sorry for the inconvenience."
The demo had been planned for release on September 15. That date has since come and gone.
The game's project updates page on Kickstarter carries no mention of the delay, nor were any backers explicitly informed.
The fan response to the delay and Comcept's seeming inability to relay information to backers about the delay is a combination of anger and disappointment.
"I've never seen a beloved developer butcher their own name as horribly as Inafune did with all this kickstarter debacle," writes carsalesmanCharisma on reddit. "Any kickstarter project with his name on it is going to look sketchy as hell, especially if Mighty No. 9 ends up being terrible. He kind of cornered himself when he started making kickstarters for a cartoon show and a new game before he even delivered on his first one. Hopefully he puts out an awesome product otherwise his reputation is essentially shot to hell."
A reply by Mighty No. 13027 Nicotine on the official site expresses disappointment: "There is no trust anymore. Those bridges have been burned time and time again. When your fans are the reason for your out of the gate success, the reason you were able to produce your companies dreams – then burn them, lie to them, be sneaky – it says a lot."
Another backer, Mateus Dias Magalhães, writes: "They promised a trial as an apology for the game delay. Now that the apology was delayed, will they come up with an apology for the apology?"
"On the bright side, Comcept will never be able to raise a successful crowdfunding campaign again. Hopefully, people will remember this mess."