Despite the success of the Kickstarter campaign in May 2012 for Yogventures, the Yogscast has revealed that the project is dead. In addition, Lewis Brindley (Xephos) remarks that the company is under "no obligation to do anything" despite receiving over twice their donation goal for the doomed game.

Winterkewl Games was the studio that was working on the game. Of the nearly $570,000 raised on Kickstarter, Winterkewl was allotted $415,000 to use on development. $300,000 of that amount was marked for salaries for developers and artists. Of that $300,000 at least $35,000 was paid to one artist that did absolutely no work over a period of two weeks. The reason was due to the artist in question being hired by LucasArts and them not allowing him to continue work on Yogventures during that transitional period.

At that point, Brindley was said to lose his faith in Kris Vale's ability to run Winterkewl Games. Brindley demanded "the rest of the Kickstarter money that hadn't been spent be transferred to them right away." That amount was roughly $150,000, a portion of which was supposed to be used to ship out the physical rewards to backers with the remaining $100,000 used to hire a lead programmer for the project.

The lead programmer was never hired. Vale says he worked "tirelessly for the next 18 months" to fill a role he never intended to fill himself. He says that the numerous design changes and his inexperience as a lead programmer and project lead led to disaster for the game.

If it wasn't used to hire a lead programmer for the project, where then did that spare $100,000 run off to that was in the hands of the Yogscast following Brindley's demands? It's a mystery. Brindley took to Reddit to issue a complete non-statement to Yogscast fans.
We're not ready to make a detailed statement about what happened with Yogventures. Winterkewl's statement omits much and I would disagree with a number of points, but there's no value in going into detail. Our only goal right now is to ensure that we provide the best possible experience for the backers that we can. I can honestly say this has been our goal throughout.

To keep things simple, the facts are:
  • Winterkewl failed to meet their promises with Yogventures
  • The Yogscast are doing their best to rectify this situation - TUG is only the first step
  • Any monies the Yogscast have received in connection with this project has been spent on this project

While Yogventures is effectively dead, the Yogscast is offering backers and those who pre-ordered (non-backers) from the Yogventure website the opportunity to play a game called TUG instead of the game they backed. Again, they are giving backers a completely different game from a third party that has nothing to do with the Kickstarter or the Yogscast.

Perhaps most damning were the remarks made by Brindley in an email sent to all Yogventures backers a few days ago.
"As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures - but this is actually a good thing. The project was proving too ambitious and difficult for them to complete with their six-man team.

"While this was Winterkewl's project, we put a lot of time, energy and effort into trying to help them realise their dream. Since we heard the news, we've been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that you still get awesome stuff and cool experiences.

"Although we're under no obligation to do anything, instead we're going to do our best to make this right, and make you really glad you backed the project!"

Yes, they actually said that they are under "no obligation to do anything." Unfortunately for them, Kickstarter's own guidelines say otherwise, especially if a backer reward is a copy of the game. A game, mind you, that they have failed to deliver with money that has mysteriously disappeared.

As such, the failure to deliver on promised goods from the successful Kickstarter open the doors for fans to take legal action against the Yogscast. The timing on this reveal couldn't come at a worse time for the Yogscast given how they're still facing backlash from their rather scummy business deals in the form of their "YogDiscovery" program.

There is more on this story from Eurogamer, Reddit (2), Kickstarter, and Polygon.