GRIN's Kickstarter for the dark fairy-tale platformer Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries was a pyrrhic victory. While the game was successfully completed and released on Steam, the developer had to file for bankruptcy and was unable to honor the physical rewards promised to backers, which included art books, posters and a boxed edition. The second chapter had to be scrapped.
Founder Wim Wouters wrote in a Kickstarterin August, "I guess our public silence the last few months already said a lot. It is not out of disrespect that our communication dropped to almost zero… it is out of shame." He explained that the post-release sales of the game were bad enough that his two partners walked out of the company, and that GRIN would have to shutter.
He blamed it on overreaching past the studio's capability. "Like a 'smart' drug dealer might say: Don’t get high on your own supply… " Wouters stated. So, no physical rewards, no sequel, and another bleak crowdfunding story.
Except for the news today that publisher Rebellion has come to rescue the property and backers. In antoday, the company has announced that it will be fulfilling all backer rewards and will be developing the second volume of the game.
Co-founders Jason and Chris Kingsley stated, "It has been a difficult time for those involved with Woolfe and for you, the backers, but today we’re writing to tell you that Woolfe is still alive, and now in the hands of a new owner, Rebellion – that’s us! We’re delighted to add Woolfe’s gorgeous, twisted universe to our burgeoning list of indie games and we hope you’ll join us for the ride."
The studio will be honoring and shipping all Kickstarter rewards, both physical and digital, and may work on the second volume of the game using their own proprietary Asura engine. According to the Kingsleys, they have the assets for Volume 2, and it's fairly early in the acquisition to make promises (though the tone of the update indicates they're going to develop it.) As for the original game, they won't support it at first, because it's done in the Unreal Engine 3 engine and not their own.
At the very least, backers will be getting their rewards, and that's justice enough.