Civitas started getting media attention a couple weeks ago once things started to go south with SimCity. Civitas is a city-building simulation that appeared to mimic SimCity in almost every way. What made this game so appealing to backers was the promise off no DRM and support for offline play. $3,933 backers pledged $110,832 to the project, but the Kickstarter’s creator canceled the campaign. Why you ask? Someone else threw more money at the game.
The Civitas Kickstarter was canceled less than 24 hours ago. An explanation was given in an update on March 17. Here’s an excerpt from that update.
“This kickstarter has opened doors for us that we never thought could be opened for such a small up-and-coming studio like ours. We just wanted to let everyone know that our studio has been able to secure private funding that will carry us through the development cycle of Civitas. Our teams talent and experience, combined with the support of you guys here on kickstarter made this funding possible. Even though we are on track to fund 100%, we feel like this will be a better option for our studio at this time.”
The developers go on to say the creative direction on Civitas will remain intact, and the studio will continue to function as is.
The reaction from backers hasn’t been all that positive. Some backers feel the developers of Civitas used Kickstarter to draw the attention of private investors. After all, the developers did say they were on track to receive funding from the public before taking private money.
So why is this a big deal? Game developers on Kickstarter are immediately seen as black sheeps of the industry. They have ideas that big publishers don’t want to risk money on. They’re the cool guys and gals that want to move gaming forward without having to deal with “the man” on a daily basis. They always say they’d rather have to answer to gamers instead of a corporation. When developers get the public on their side and then side with “the man,” the original supporters start to question the developer’s true intentions. Basically, they’re sell-outs. Once word gets around about this, I wouldn’t be surprised if people intentionally chose to not support Civitas.