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Squad-based tactical RPG Project Phoenix is suffering from major delays.

The kickstarter-funded project is currently without a programmer, according to an update on their kickstarter page earlier this September. “Programming was listed on the KS page as one of our major risks to the project and we got hit by it,” stated the update. ” We were holding off for a specific person and ultimately they could not join us. Now we have to get a replacement(s).”

The person in question was programmer David Clark, the gameplay programmer of the game Ori and the Blind Forest. Clark, along with an interim programmer, Pascal Krabbe, both consulted with CIA Inc on the status of the game, and also recommended the title switch in-game engines from Unity to Unreal 4, causing further delays.

CIA Inc is promising to find a new programmer for Project Pheonix. Their plan is to pay this said programmer up front for their work, instead of giving them royalties, with money coming out of the companies account, over the kickstarter funds.

Other statistics shown in the update give backers a projection of the project in its current state. Out of the $1,014,600 earned back in 2013, roughly $200,000 has already been spent, primarily for Paypal and Kickstarter fees. The entire development team, outside of their current programmer deal, is being paid through royalties for the game. 

The state of the game is also broken down, with some parts of the game, such as scenarios and animations being fully complete or near completion, while textures, script, the Unreal 4 executable and level design sit at a 0%.

The update also noted several members of the team have left the project, including script editor Bill Benfield and art director Kioyshi Arai.

The director of Project Phoenix, Hiroyaki Yura,  has been answering questions in the comments section of these updates. Yura goes into brief explanations over the programming problems and the switch from Unity to Unreal 4, and also addressed those requesting a refund from the project.

The policy for not being able to refund on the grounds of delay, is the very fact that once we do dish out refunds, it will have to come out of my personal money.

Contracts are drawn out, and some payments are already made via CIA.

Therefore, I’ll have to take personally responsibility. However, I personally do not have enough money myself to refund everyone if everyone asks for a refund.

This is why we have to take the position of not giving out refunds at all, otherwise it will not be fair for everyone.

Otherwise, from reading all the comments below, a lot of people still haven’t read all the updates or reviewed all the videos. Many people are basing the status of the project from a single update, I implore you to backtrack to our previous dozen updates to get yourself acquainted so you get a full picture of where we’re at, namely in regards to programming, what kind of measures we took and where in the development process we’re at.

Since this update, CIA Inc has shown off 3-D model renders for Project Phoenix, and revealed that another member of their team, Kevin Penkin. CIA Inc also gave an update to their programmer situation, promising to nail down contracts by late October. 

Project Phoenix is meant to be a squad-based tactical-RPG with “strong Japanese RPG elements.” The team is made of several industry veterans, including Nobuo Uematsu, Take-B and Yoshishiro Sakaguchi. Stuart Massie is the latest pickup for CIA Inc, helping the company with communications.

 Project Phoenix was slated to be released earlier this year but has missed its mark. There is currently no promised release date for the game at this time. 

So is there hope for Project Phoenix? Write your comments below

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.