Failed Kickstarter game is a cautionary tale in crowdfunding project development

failed kickstarter game provides lessons for over anticipating project development haunts the manse macabre

When Mob Rules Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for Haunts: The Manse Macabre the game back in June 2012, the project was met with a positive response, garnering more than $3,500 above the initial funding goal. This sweet success quickly took a turn for the worst, as the project funder recently announced that the game overestimated its delivery and is now left with no developers and programmers to turn the game into a reality.

Haunts: The Manse Macabre was supposed to be a turn-based horror game where players can choose to take the role of haunted house explorers or those living in it. Mob Rules Games turned to Kickstarter at what the team claimed was the last stage of production, only to realize the game needed much more development before it would ever be ready for worldwide play. 

“The game as it stands has all the systems in place, but there are a lot of bugs,” Rick Dakan, Mob Rules founder, writes in a Kickstarter update. “I am still determined to get the game out, but I no longer have any way of knowing when and how that will happen.”

The Haunts story serves as one of the ways successfully-funded Kickstarters can go wrong, especially for projects that require extensive Web development. With product designs, you can attempt to calculate the cost of parts and production, and in turn ask for an appropriate amount of funding when you initially start the project. With programming, you cannot anticipate bug encounters, development timeline, or losing half your team. Though Dakan pledges that his fight for Haunts is not over, he is personally offering to refund backers out-of-pocket if they were to lose faith in the project, no questions asked.

The project hiccups come in light of Kickstarter’s recent policy change that ensured backers realized “Kickstarter is not a store,” and all projects will endure some risks and challenges that the creator must highlight. Dakan promises to keep backers in the loop with more updates as the struggle to make Haunts a reality continues. But the story is a deserved a cautionary tales for backers and project starters alike that when you involve thousands of strangers on your ventures, you best be sure you can deliver.

Movies & TV

You should read these epic sci-fi novels before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Gaming

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Gaming

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
Gaming

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.
Gaming

These are the best weapons for taking down mutants and bandits in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a very difficult game, and choosing the right weapons is key for surviving the post-apocalyptic Russia that 4A Games has created. These are the best weapons in Metro Exodus.