New Amplitude for PS3, PS4 won't happen unless crowdfunding is successful

"Either we fund the game here, or the game goes back on the shelf," Harmonix says.

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If the Kickstarter campaign for a new Amplitude game for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 comes up short, the game will not be made, developer Harmonix says.

"There aren't publishing funds waiting in the wings or some third party who's eager to offset our costs--either we fund the game here, or the game goes back on the shelf," Harmonix director of publishing and PR John Drake said on the developer's website.

The new Amplitude Kickstarter campaign has raised $234,691 from over 6,000 backers so far. That's well short of the game's $775,000 target. The campaign ends in nine days on Friday, May 23. Of course, it's not uncommon for Kickstarter games to rally near their funding end-date and come out successful.

Asked what Harmonix would do if the crowdfunding effort came up short, creative lead for the new Amplitude game, Ryan Lesser, told GameSpot earlier this month that he didn't think that would happen.

"Our hope is, of course, that people dig it and want to have the game made," Lesser said at the time. "In the unlikely event that it fails, we will take that as a lesson learned and say 'OK, this is a game that people are either not ready for or don't want right now.'"

"Making games of any size is risky and takes tremendous time, resources, and creative efforts. It's also far more expensive than you might think" -- Harmonix's John Drake

Also in the new blog post, Drake addressed the thought that Harmonix is too big and resource-laden a developer to need to use Kickstarter to fund a new game.

"The one thing we think an acceptable 'game on Kickstarter' needs to share is that the project is, at its heart, a dream that can't become a reality without fan funding. And we think that Kickstarter has room for dreams of all sizes, including ours," Drake said.

Some fans have suggested that Harmonix has deep pockets from their famous franchises like Rock Band and Dance Central and might think, 'Can't you find this yourselves?'

"The short answer is: nope," Drake said. "Making games of any size is risky and takes tremendous time, resources, and creative efforts. It's also far more expensive than you might think," he added.

The $775,000 Harmonix is looking for to make the new Amplitude a reality is the minimum amount of funding the studio needs to be able to self-fund the rest of the project, Drake said. He pointed out that $775,000 is actually less than half of the entire budget for the game, meaning the true budget is somewhere north of $1.55 million.

"Even in the scenario where we raise the $800,000 or so on Kickstarter, we'll be risking more of Harmonix's money than we probably should--all because we want to make this game so badly," Drake said. "Harmonix had successes in the past that let us keep the studio going and make small games, but at this point our coffers as a company aren't full enough to fund the entirety of Amplitude by ourselves. There isn’t a secret vault of Rock Band money that we’ve forgotten about."

If Harmonix is able to secure enough funding to make the new Amplitude game, it is scheduled to be released sometime in March 2015 across PS3 and PS4.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

31 comments
Veenox
Veenox

Harmonix going on KickStarter is such a big ugly SHAME!

jhonMalcovich
jhonMalcovich

Some dumb developers go to kickstarter thinking that it´s where all consolites are. Lol. Kickstarter is a club of PC MASTER RACE benefactors.

If they had started the campaing with PC as a lead from the beginning, then this game would have happened.

Talavaj
Talavaj

$775k Rhythm game with nothing else to back it up but a couple of concept arts is not gonna happen.

OGKNav
OGKNav

Yeah, no. That's why you pay for the game when it'S DONE. And good.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Scheduled to release in March...?

That's less only 10 months away, nearly 9.. Quite clearly the game is already well into development.

Why gamers should be expected to fund projects beforehand and take all the risk is beyond me.. Any other business would lend money from the bank, release a product, then get their money back by a proportional sale price.

I'll happily buy it when it's out, but not putting down anything beforehand.

MrYaotubo
MrYaotubo

The problem is that sony has the rights for this franchise because let´s face it,a fairly high profile kickstarter isn´t going anywhere without a PC version. If you don´t have that,might as well accept failure from the start.

hardeddie
hardeddie

Crowd funding should be directed at lesser known startup. This fund request by Harmonix is nonsense, why would you pass the risk to other gamers? So many kickstarter project from games turns out useless.

Sorry as an Investor myself this is like stealing from the poor to support whatever they desire without any risk! The rewards should be equal to the amount donated plus interest plus finished product. Personally I support kickstarter but for NGOs and Charities. Not some developers that cant get funding from publishers. Many Indies can cope with their own funding, and Harmonix is not exactly a developer without any track record!

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

'Can't you find this yourselves?'


someone made a small typo, shouldn't it be fund

NightlyOne
NightlyOne

I loved the first Amplitude and would love to see a follow-up. However, I'm wary of any kind of crowdfunding, even if it's for Harmonix's sake. Either their resources are stretched thin among their other games in development, or licensing fees must be killer-expensive.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

It's probably to do with licensing, but PS exclusivity hurt this games chances on Kickstarter. 

Slammer612
Slammer612

I think they are too late to the show for kickstarter honestly.  I love Harmonix, Rockband, and the original Amplitude, but it will be substantially harder for people to spend money on crowdfunding anymore after all the issues with Broken Age, Oculus Rift, etc. that a lot of the pie in the sky excitement for kickstarter has Dwindled....  

Saidrex
Saidrex

"Give as moar maney!" (c)

lol. Told ya it will fail. Eddie!!! you owe me a cookie!

playstationzone
playstationzone

Asking fans to fund money should be crime if you want this game so bad ask Sony if not get yourself a loan like a normal person.

wEEman33
wEEman33

Translation:


"We don't want to risk our money; we want to risk your money."

deathstream
deathstream

If you want to make a PS3/PS4 only game, why is Sony not kicking in the dough to help?  If they won't, why not expand to other platforms?

Staranime010
Staranime010

Dear Harmonix, Don't  blame me I have given you over $700 tried make it happen for gamers. ):

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim

I call bullshit on this.

The way I read this entire thing was "give us your money now and offset any risk we have or we won't make the game", which is basically a crystalized example of all the arguments against Kickstarter based games in general: they are essentially offloading their risk that the game won't sell and/or be successful onto the consumers by asking the consumers to pay in advance and trust that the game will live up to expectations.

And that's fine on games that TRULY are likely not to be made otherwise. But Harmonix is not cash strapped. With some of their franchises, I refuse to buy the argument that they can't come up with an extra half-million dollars to bridge the current difference between the Kickstarter funding and their goal.

Yes, making games is risky. The solution to that is to choose your projects carefully to begin with and then deliver a great game that people want, not ask the average consumer to take on that risk for you.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

LOL Harmonix are you serious? Sony can barely scrape any money out of their fans. 

drswank
drswank

Maaaan. I seriously hope this gets funded. Amplitude was amazing.

SkyAboveThePort
SkyAboveThePort

@wEEman33  Nah, they risk their money, because they wouldn't know how many copies they could sell. The backers don't risk their money, because if it's backed, they'll definitely receive their copy of the game.

allever
allever

@Stebsis Sony owns the rights to Amplitude so they can't release it for other systems.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@drswank @bunchanumbers  If you ask most Sony fans? yes. They'd love it if it was free on PS+ but to actively go out and give money to it? Not very likely.