Stories of financial woe from failed Kickstarter Yogventures show just how they managed to lose half a million dollars.
You may have heard that the Yogscast-inspired adventure game Yogventures has been given the can despite managing to raise over $500,000 on Kickstarter. If you're scratching your head wondering how a company manages to blow through that much cash and still come up empty, some stories of financial woe, such as an artist who was paid $35,000 for two weeks of "work" (in which he produced nothing), may help explain it.
Kris Vale, of Yogventure's developer Winterkewl Games, said the unnamed artist accepted a $35,000 contract, then two weeks into it also accepted full-time employment with LucasArts, which was unwilling to let him moonlight for Winterkewl.
"Because we had worked out a contract that guaranteed each of the principal artists a $35,000 lump sum payment, and we didn't make any clear clause on how and why someone could legally stop working on the project, the artist in question got paid, worked for about 2 weeks and then stopped working on the project," explain Vale. "We had no way to force that person to pay back any of the funds and it was a bitter lesson to learn."
Lewis Brindley, one of the two Yogscast founders, "lost faith right away in my ability to run the company from a business standpoint," said Vale. Brindley in turn demanded that all the money Winterkewl hadn't already been spent (approx $150,000) be immediately transferred to him, to use in creating the physical rewards for Kickstarter backers, and also to hire the lead programmer that the game still lacked.
However, Vale says that the lead programmer Brindley was supposed to hire never arrived. "We began developing in earnest but without our main programmer and no funds to hire one it became clear that more of that role was going to be filled by me than I ever intended," Vale said.
Yogscast refused comment on what happened to the $100,000 that had supposedly been set aside for hiring the game's lead programmer, simply stating that "Any monies the Yogscast have received in connection with this project has been spent on this project."
So, it looks like we've got a combination of inexperienced developers, combined with Yogscast's over-reaching on the project, and just general poor money management which led to this disaster.