Another group of Kickstarter backers have found the game they funded put into purgatory. Yasumi Matsuno, best known for Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, and Playdek have announced that Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians is in indefinite hiatus, as the developer has put it off in favor of other projects.
In an update posted on the Kickstarter page, Playdek stated that the game's development team lost some key staff members in the past few months. The studio went on to say "for the financial strength of the company we need to focus on a few products in the near term that have the ability to get to a retail release before Unsung Story is able to." Of course, this makes one question what the Kickstarter funding was for.
This seems to be a recurring issue with high profile Kickstarters by Japanese video game studios (though Playdek is a Western iOS developer employing Japanese staff for this project, essentially taking on the role of publisher.) Mighty No. 9 suffered three separate delays before Comcept promised up and down it would not be delayed again - before announcing another delay. Project Phoenix, developed by CIA, Inc., has had an even more troubled production. The developer had no programmer after the game was funded, leading to massive delays and funding issues before former Blizzard producer Stuart Massie was brought on, who announced the game would be delayed til 2018.
A common thread with all of these Kickstarter projects is it seems that the teams don't seem to prepare for development. CIA, Inc. had a programmer in mind with no guarantee the programmer would be available when it was time to start development. Their young composer left after two years of non-progress. Unsung Story merely had staff leave leave for unknown reasons, after two years of development.
That's not to say Western developers didn't have their own pitfalls - most famous was Double Fine's Double Fine Adventure project (now known as Broken Age), when the studio was forced to put the game on Steam Early Access to generate more funds. However, studios have quickly learned how to run Kickstarter projects; Double Fine's Massive Chalice went without a single hitch and backers got their game in a shockingly short time.
In the meantime, nearly 16,000 backers of Unsung Story are in an uncomfortable limbo, with Unsung Story being shelved for an unknown period of time.