Zero Escape 3 And Red Ash Latest Games Born Of Fan Loyalty
If you have any doubt regarding the power of fandom, the last few years in the gaming industry should put them to rest. Xenoblade Chronicles, Wasteland 2, and Bloodstained are just a few of the games that have been birthed in part from fan interest.
Certainly there are different paths to fully released games. Fan groups like Operation Rainfall use their thousands of voices to get publisher attention. Kickstarters like Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun Returns made possible contemporary homages to classic games and strengthened anew the studios making them.
Still other crowdfunding campaigns, like Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained, are using an evolved model. It’s not uncommon anymore for project managers to let potential backers know up front that other funding is coming if gamers kick in with some support.
This past weekend saw two projects in this growing family announced. The first, Zero Escape 3, is a dream come true for fans of the series. There is still more story left to tell and puzzles to unravel in the twisted visual novel franchise.
We still have some time before we even get our first look, but series director Kotaro Uchikoshi announced the game with publisher Aksys at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. It will be out for Vita and 3DS in 2016, but the remainder of the details are being kept quite for now.
Also at Anime Expo, Comcept and Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune confirmed our suspicions. Red Ash, a project teased last week, is a trans-media project inspired by Mega Man Legends.
There are two different Kickstarter campaigns in play. Comcept hopes to raise $800,000 for a game, Red Ash: The Indelible Legend. The studio’s animation partner, Studio 4C, is raising money for an animation project with the same characters. The goal for that campaign is $150,000.
As we mentioned yesterday, Comcept’s Red Ash campaign is off to a slow start, especially when compared against Mighty No. 9. The Red Ash campaign also seems to be a bit confusing regarding stretch goals. The $800,000 target covers the first three episodes. At $1 million, the next two episodes will be made.
While some developers have had success launching a second Kickstarter before delivering the first, it’s clear that form of success isn’t universal. What isn’t entirely obvious here is if this is newfound sensitivity around that issue or if those hoping for a Mega Man Legends-style game are louder than most vocal minorities.
I don’t expect either of these campaigns to fail, but the chance of them soaring as high as other reboots seems unlikely. This will be an interesting one to watch.