Thursday, June 01, 2017

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Customers

Well, the mushroom cloud is on its way.

Shroud of the Avatar has consumed 20M+ in development funds, the game is nowhere near completion, and they're trying to attract more capital.

"papajoker" on Reddit did an excellent job of analyzing the Seed Invest pitch for relevant excerpts, and here are a few:
--as of May 17th our current cash position is $528k
--we require approximately $230,000 a month to sustain operations. 
--we have a contract with a Russian company that has already paid us a license fee as an advance against additional future royalties. 
--Episode 2-5 will be on console and mobile
--The software is currently in development and expected to launch in July 2017
--The Company is a business that has not generated profits in recent years, has sustained net losses of $3,068,579 and $3,048,110 during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively, and has an accumulated deficit of $18,089,082 and $15,020,503 as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. 

Here's a translation:
1. We're broke
2. We've already borrowed against future royalties to get more money, because we're broke.
3. We're whoring this thing out on every platform, because we're broke.
4. The game launches in two months, because we're broke.

The consensus is that the game is presently in an alpha state, at best. So why are they releasing it in two months? Mostly, because they're broke. Also, though, it's clearly because they have no idea when it could feasibly be completed. 

I worked at a computer company once, and the manufacturing director was once asked how long they QC'd a system. "Right up until it ships," he said.

Same mentality.

This isn't even a game, or, at least, that's not the #1 priority. The #1 priority is to create a revenue stream.

There was no reason to ever expect this would turn out well, really. I wish it had, but we all knew this was going to happen.

I do think I'm seeing a pattern, though.

Let's say people give you $5 million to make a game. Do you want to be successful? Create a budget for a $4 million game. Manage to that budget each year. Allow a 10% overage.

Design what you can actually deliver.

That would have been a good ending. Instead, this project is in flames and going off the cliff.

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