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Most of the big budget kickstarters we’ve seen have promoted themselves heavily as being a sequel or spiritual successor to something. Take a look at a list of the top kickstarted games and look at the video games: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Shenmue 3, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Pillars of Eternity, and Mighty Number 9 are the top 5 and are all straight up sequels or spiritual successors to games that have been made in the past. These big budget kickstarters understandably play on known franchises and nostalgia, as it helps reassure people that you have an idea what you are getting and attracts fans of those games to back it.

Red Ash: The Indelible Legend though, tosses that safety net away, as Comcept has decided to go with a completely new idea that isn’t a spiritual successor to anything, while asking for 800k. While Red Ash is often being compared to Mega Man Legends, that has more to do with the team behind it than anything they have said. In fact, in the pitch itself, Inafune says its based on a canceled project of his instead of any game that he helped work on or that he observed. A big budget kickstarter aiming at doing something unique is something worth investigating.

Red Ash is an attempt to fully realize an anime styled world within a game by Comcept with open world design mixed with third person action rpg mechanics. It is something that Inafune has been interested in doing for a while, and beyond just the fact that its something different from a major kickstarter, it is interesting in and of itself. Even the relatively short film shows off the fact that the guy is drawing heavily on anime conventions in things beyond art style, with things like character tropes and set ups being shown off to match that. As the developers probably intend, the characters, including speech and design, you could pull right out of an anime. In fact, the game works so well as an anime that they are attempting something else new, running a separate campaign with STUDIO4℃ to make Red Ash -Magicicada-, an animated film that at 150k will be a short, but if they  get to their 2.4 million final stretch goal, will be a full theatrical release.

Red Ash: The Indelible Legend is being developed by a completely separate team than the Mighty Number 9 team, who presumably are working on other projects (perhaps Recore) for those who aren’t needed on polishing up that game right now. Much of the team has done open world work before, as many of them are veterans of Mega Man Legends, the Mega Man open world game that Capcom refuses to do a third game in the series for. Like many big budget kickstarters, there is no lack of big names here, with Keiji Inafune being joined by art director Kazushi Ito and game director Masahiro Yasuma, both of whom were key parts to the Mega Man Legends team.

Despite trying out something new with the dual kickstarters, and breaking dirt with a new concept major budget kickstarter, there have been some big hurdles so far for Red Ash. They’ve only raised 355k of their goal in the first week, which for a big budget one that clearly was hoping to hit multiple stretch goals is slower than they would like I imagine. Comcept has the weight of some of the prior incidents with Mighty Number 9 working against them, something perhaps exasperated by the fact that they named two of their primary characters Beck and Call, calling the game to mind.

Perhaps a bigger issue is the misjudgment of their fans; Red Ash: The Indelible Legend  it appears was originally going to be just a PC release after they experienced some of the difficulties with porting on Mighty Number 9. Many people, fans included, have been sharing their thoughts on it, saying they want a console version.  The backdraft was in fact so strong that 4 days after launch they changed their stretch goals around to include console at 1 million and said that they still had to negotiate with the parent companies of the consoles so they couldn’t announce which console it would be on.

Despite the difficulties, it appears that Red Ash is a breathe of fresh air to the big budget kickstarters which are so often big names cashing in on franchises they made popular. That is good, as it’s nice to see them return in a new age, but kickstarter can be so much more than that. It can be the place where an idea like Red Ash: The Indelible Legend can show off a unique idea and get support even if publishers are shying away from a game that might be less safe.

What are your thoughts on kickstarted games in general? What about the idea of Red Ash?

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • >Donating to a Keiji Inafune or almost any Kickstarter.

  • Mr. LHD6

    Personally, I hope this gets funded. I honestly don ‘t understand some of the reception it is garnering, primarily the waiting until after MN 9 is released . I mean InExile did it with Tides of Numera , and that went pretty damn well for them. Perhaps Dina did much more damage than I thought.

  • bdp

    Wasteland 2 wasn’t a couple months from release when the Torment kickstarter went up though.

  • ArsCortica

    Well, this certainly looks interes-
    “Keiji Inafune”
    Into the trash it goes.

  • Crizzyeyes

    I hope it gets funded too, after all it’s a video game and it has some chance of being good, no matter how small. But I would never fund it myself because all signs that I’ve seen point to MN9 being unsatisfactory at release, and it hasn’t even come out yet. Call me a stickler but I think it’s pretty goddamn inconsiderate to announce another Kickstarter, asking your fans for yet more money, when they haven’t even been able to play the last game they funded for you (in a completed state, that is).

  • plyl172

    This game doesn’t exist, apparently.

  • plyl172

    It’s a completely different team working on this though. Red Ash’s dev team is pretty much entirely made up of Legends staff in the key positions, whereas MN9 was a jumble of people who had worked on “Mega Man” games from different genres.

    I mean, acting like we’d be able to judge how this team could do based on the MN9 team’s work is like saying people should judge bands by their record labels.

  • I’m definitely excited for this and put up some cash as soon as I found out. Wasn’t able to help out much with Mighty No. 9, but can do more this time around. Problem with Kickstarters though is that people go into this like they’re buying a product, but they need to go in like their a venture capitalist. Some of these things don’t fall through. I’m crossing my fingers for this one though.

  • Yeah, that’s what I thought too. People are treating this like it would be some great distraction from other projects, but different teams are working on different projects. If the game is bad that would be terrible, but without funding the kickstarter there wont be any way to know that for sure. ANY kickstarter project is a dice roll and personally I’m willing to shell out some cash to see another game.

  • アコール

    I ain’t donating my hard earned money to a fucking Jewpacabra. Dude can fuck off.

  • Net Gain, mah boi, Net Gain!

    Granted it’s not a subject for everyone, but it’s a damn fine piece of work for what it is!

    Also on indiegogo, backed Caravaneer 2.
    Planning to do Bloodstained but I’ll see how the updates come along first.

  • Actually why I put the “almost” in my comment. 😛

    I’d actually have backed Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall back then if I had the money; loved those games, and love cyberpunk.

  • Mighty No. 56008

    I don’t know, looking at the game-play mock up, it looks very similar to a Mega Man Legends game. Also with the word “Legend” being thrown everywhere in the campaign, one can’t think of Red Ash as anything else but a spiritual successor to MML.

    Before I share my thoughts on the campaign, I’d also have to agree that I think it’s silly to criticize Comcept for running this campaign based on the notion that they should be busy getting Mighty No 9 ready for release. Granted I agree that the timing isn’t the greatest, but all the major players in the dev team have done their part and would be moving on to other projects anyway.

    With that said, I can’t blame people being reluctant to help fund this game. The way Mighty No 9 was handled was terrible: terrible Community Manager without any acknowledgement/apology from Comcept (they actually gave her flowers when she left!), poorly designed/programmed forums, lack of proper communication with backers, constant talk about “budget issues”, and on top of it all the game itself is rather disappointing. Now I can understand that perhaps it’s a little unfair that Comcept should be blamed for all of these problems, but unfortunately as long as their name is attached to the project they’ll also share the blame and burden on all of the project’s faults.

    So with Comcept having a bad reputation at this point, why on earth would I or anyone else want to back them up? Why would I want to back a company that can’t handle their budget properly or treat their backers with respect? Just because they are making a game that many of us have been waiting for? But no, they’re not actually. They’re making Red Ash, not Mega Man Legends 3. And even if they were, I was not impressed with their work on Mighty No 9 (and I’m sure their final product wouldn’t be any different) so how I am to be reassured that this time they’ll produce a product I would be happy to back?

    So as for me, no thanks. I’m more than happy to let others take the risk and I’ll be happy to buy the game when it comes out and been properly reviewed.

  • Haunter!

    Oh? When was it released? What do you mean it hasn’t come out yet?

  • Haunter!

    Those character designs are fucking terrible.

  • Viredae

    “… almost any Kickstarter…”

    apparently, OP is not aware that approximately 70% of kickstarters actually succeed in delivering their products satisfactorily, and another 20% still deliver, although with questionable results.

    I’ve given this challenge out many times before, and I have yet to receive even a REPLY, to list even half as many failed kickstarters as I list successful ones.

    maybe I should increase the handicap? Let’s say 30%?

  • mbits

    Maybe overall, but I sincerely doubt that’s the case with video game kickstarters. I’ve backed nearly one thousand of them and I would say unless it is a massive project with a huge reputation behind it, you’ve got a fifty fifty shot at getting a finished delivered product. Even less of a chance that it’ll live up tot he original spec.

  • Viredae

    “I’ve backed nearly one thousand of them…”

    Sorry, but I call bullshit on that, why? Because someone actually logged all game kickstarters that have had enough time to show progress and there’s only about 200 of them:

    Try again with some other trick?