Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
It's actually been only about a week since I reported that Gas Powered Games was pretty much relying on their Kickstarter for the game Wildman in order to try to keep the company afloat. The campaign should have been going for a couple more days, but an update yesterday signalled the even of the Kickstarter, but perhaps not of Gas Powered Games.
The video in the update is a little hard to watch, you can tell that Chris Taylor is pretty broken up about having to cancel this project. Regardless of that though he seems to be optimistic about the future of Gas Powered Games, something that he actually attributes to the Kickstarter. He says, "if it wasn't for all of the hard work, and the passion, and the support that I've seen this last month I would not be in a position where I would be looking at some of the opportunities that we've got today."
I do commend Chris Taylor for his choice, because it seems to me that even if the funding wasn't going to ultimately be successful that he would have nonetheless felt bad about trying to get into other methods of funding while at the same time running the Kickstarter. The question now though is, if the Kickstarter is out, then what might he be up to in terms of trying to keep the company afloat?
It might not be out of the question that Gas Powered Games is in talks with a bigger publisher; after all they've relied in larger companies in the past in order to help get their games into people's hands. Still, given that they were dropped from the Age of Empires Online group, it's hard to say if anyone would have been willing to approach them, or listen to them if they were the ones to be approached.
Another distinct possibility is that of an angel investor. It may sound somewhat ridiculous that one or two people would choose to fund a game completely out of their own pocket, especially with development costs these days being what they are. Ridiculous, and yet at the same time not unheard of. Retrovirus seems to even share some of the traits of Wildman, in that the Kickstarter for it was unsuccessful, and it was actually through the failed campaign that they got into contact with a person that basically funded their game for them out of pocket, just because they liked what they saw and wanted it to be made.
An angel investor would be pretty much just that, a gift from the heavens. Still, it's hard to say, and if the confirmation that Chris Taylor was talking about needs more time to brew then it's possible that it could be something else entirely. They could be trying to confirm if a potential investor is legitimate, or attempting to hammer out the final details of a deal with a company. Either way I still honestly wish them the best, because something tells me that this year is going to be another rough one for studios, and I don't want to see yet another name added to the list, not this early.