Indiegogo is a lot like Kickstarter’s little brother. Kickstarter is the crown prince that gets all the attention, fame, and glory, while Indiegogo is sidelined and nobody seems to care. But this isn’t a sad story. You know how most of the time the little brother or otherwise forgotten sibling is better than the one that everyone loves? Well, Indiegogo is no Cinderella.
While it was the first crowdfunding site to capture the gaming world’s attention thanks to Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, it has since fallen into obscurity with backers and game developers alike. Video games on Indiegogo have taken a nose dive, both in frequency and quality. Few games are launched on the website these days, and the few that are struggle mightily, even the good ones. Lab Zero had to extend their campaign deadline to get funding for the incredible-looking Indivisible. The only reason they agreed to use Indiegogo over Kickstarter in the first place is because Indiegogo promised them extra marketing, which Lab Zero says never came.
Indiegogo also lacks any form of quality control, allowing any campaign to launch on the site. There have been numerous scams, terrible games, as well as people asking you to buy them game consoles and gaming PCs. Indiegogo’s gaming section is in general a cesspool, but here are the 15 biggest failures on the site.
15 Edge Of Twilight
Edge of Twilight is just sad, more than anything else. First announced in 2006 by newcomer Fuzzyeyes, this RPG looked very promising. But as the years went on, Edge of Twilight faded into obscurity. The developers went silent, only saying that they were still working on the game. In 2009, the studio laid off most of its staff, and reports suggested the game was canceled as well.
But an odd thing happened. Fuzzyeyes actually released Edge of Twilight: Athyr Above in 2013, a mobile game prequel to their main effort. The game came and went with nary a peep, but it was a sign of what was to come.
In May 2016, the remains of Fuzzyeyes took to Indiegogo hoping to raise $350,000 to finish Edge of Twilight, which at this point was just a game first announced a decade prior. It was the first time anyone saw the game in years, and it looked surprisingly good, considering it was stuck in development hell for so long. Not many agreed however, and the campaign raised $0. Despite the campaign’s failure, Edge of Twilight came out anyway in September 2016 to mixed reviews.
14 Retro VGS
Remember the Ouya? It was a “micro-console” that exploded on Kickstarter, becoming one of the biggest campaigns on the site, and kicked off a whole slew of imitators. Well, the Ouya actually turned out to be a failure, and it and its many rip-offs quickly vanished. But not everyone learned that lesson, it seems.
Retro VGS, created by Mike Kennedy, found its way to Indiegogo pitching itself as a brand new gaming console. It would focus on new indie games that had a retro focus, hence the name. But unlike the Ouya, the Retro VGS would not be an Android-based machine that could simply download games. Kennedy was hoping to make a real, 100% traditional gaming console, complete with physical cartridges.
As cool as an idea this sounds on paper, in reality it’s ridiculous. Consoles are expensive to make, especially if you’re going to require physical media for them, adding on cost to the game developers as well. Plus, Kennedy was asking for $1.95 million on Indiegogo, a feat which has not yet happened on Indiegogo at this point. In the end, Kennedy raised only $81,158, and removed all the YouTube videos about the console in shame.
13 The Dark Inside Me
Indiegogo is different from Kickstarter in that it allows flexible goals. This means that even if a campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal, the creators will still get whatever money backers gave them. While this initially sounded like a great idea, it turned out to be terrible for the platform and backers alike. Such was the case with The Dark Inside Me.
The Dark Inside Me is a point and click horror game, which touts player choice and the game reacting and adapting to those choices. The Indiegogo campaign had a goal of $100,000, but only earned $1,117 from 78 backers. Surely its developer, Akçay Karaazmak, couldn’t finish development of the game with so little money compared to what he thought he needed?
Enter Kickstarter. That’s right, immediately after running a failed Indiegogo campaign, Karaazmak turned to Kickstarter to run pretty much the same campaign. This time he found more success, raising €5,841, but was still well short of the goal, and didn’t get to keep any of that money, as is the Kickstarter way. The game has since vanished, and those 78 backers who donated over $1,000 were left high and dry.
12 Once Bitten, Twice Dead
“OneXBLA”, as its Indiegogo campaign now reads, can be considered the real start of a string of disastrous campaigns for Indiegogo. The page is now completely empty, save for a generic Minecraft video, some reward tiers, and the developer’s profile – which simply says D I. But once upon a time, this was a campaign for a game called Once Bitten, Twice Dead, run by Dark Day Interactive.
Once Bitten, Twice Dead is a zombie survival game, accused of being another so called “asset flip” of the free Unity store game UnitZ. The developer later claimed, without evidence, that Sony was going to publish the game, and that they asked Dark Day to run the Indiegogo campaign. When the campaign failed, and Dark Day alleged the deal with Sony fell through, they deleted the Indiegogo page and tried Kickstarter instead, which also failed.
Dark Day Interactive has been accused of some serious allegations, including not paying their employees and using pre-made Unity store assets, and have run multiple crowdfunding campaigns for just two or three games over and over again.
11 Snowball Wars
Nadie Alvarez Garcia, developer behind Snowball Wars, clearly had nothing to show for himself on this Indiegogo campaign. The campaign page is nothing but paragraphs of text and a video that no longer plays. There are no screenshots or working videos of the game in action, and even the description text doesn’t tell you what this game is. Here’s Garcia’s opening statement, if you will.
“Hi, my name is Josiah. I always liked video games, one day I wanted to get more into this fantastic and I started to learn about the world of programming, I had many ideas that when I joined them, resulted in my biggest project: Snowball wars.”
Notice the name at the top is completely different to the one registered as the developer. From there, the page rambles on for three paragraphs detailing the plot. It’s about a 10 year old boy named Jeff who must “save its dimension of the collapse, because the crystal that maintained the order was stolen by an enemy.” There’s no mention of what the crystal is, who the enemy is, or why it involves snowballs. But don’t worry, because as the description reads, “Jeff not happy with the situation.”
10 The Lost Brother
“Hello there, my name is Andrew and NO I do not want 11 million $, I wanted just to capture your attention, for many year I have been passionate about gaming and game industry.”
That’s how Andrew introduces his Indiegogo campaign for The Lost Brother. Yes, it has an $11 million funding goal. Yes, the page is that poorly written from top to bottom. No, of course it didn’t raise any money.
The Lost Brother is, as far as I can tell, some kind of platformer, maybe? You play as some kid (maybe) whose brother is lost on an island and you have to go save him. As you can see from the trailer and screenshots, it looks absolutely terrible. Apparently it took this developer two years to cobble this together, a game that looks like a bad tech demo from 1996. They aren’t even asking for money to finish the game, just some unspecified “basic tools” they need to finish creating their very own game development studio.
9 “The Unofficial N64 And PS1: A Visual Compenbium”
Geeks Line is a company that produces great unofficial visual compendiums about gaming consoles. Books on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 1 were funded through Kickstarter, with more on the way. Unfortunately, that kind of success can lead to imitators, as we saw with the Retro VGS console in a previous entry. It can also lead to outright scams as well.
“The unofficial N64 and PS1: a visual compendium” used several images and descriptions from both of Geeks Line's campaigns, with the creator of the campaign claiming them as their own. Strangely, they didn’t just copy all of the text from the campaign, only parts of it, and adding in some of their own. They actually added in typos and other grammatical errors. It was pretty stupid of them to try and run a campaign for two books that already had successful crowdfunding campaigns, and sure enough, they didn’t get away with it.
After several weeks, the campaign was finally taken down by Indiegogo. The page has been removed, in its place a banner simply saying the campaign is under review.
8 A Video Game For Every Age
A Video game for every age by Ruban Singh is an incredibly ambitious project, all things considered. They say they want to make an open world game with “more visuals and graphics than GTA,” and yet still be able to run on even the lowest end computers. How do they plan on fitting all those graphics into an Atari ST, you may be wondering? Probably through generic, stock photos like the one used in the header image, seen above, which is indeed the only image on the page.
Asking for $30,000, Singh has absolutely nothing but empty promises. That description about it being open world is literally the only mention of the game. The rest of the brief description is only Singh saying they’ll “spend money carefully on every thing,” and that this “game” will “change the way you play games.”
Clearly, there’s no game here, it doesn’t even have a name. How Indiegogo allowed this on their site is beyond me, but it only gets worse from here.
7 Mega Dork: Dissonance
There are a lot of conflicting messages with Mega Dork: Dissonance’s campaign. In the top description, it says “megadork” is a new company with a game ready to go into development. But the text underneath the generic, low-resolution image of a PS4 controller, it says the creator is a high school kid who needs funds to help his sick step mother. It seems to imply that whoever this is will use the funds to start development of their game, and then use the funds they get from selling the game to help their stepmother.
Aside from those three elements – the two, conflicting descriptions and the PS4 controller image – there’s nothing else to the campaign. Oh, you might see some descriptive text on the page at first, but take a closer look.
Yes, that’s the stand-in, placeholder text written by Indiegogo for new campaign pages that’s meant to be used as a template for creators. “Introduce yourself and your background,” it begins, “remember, keep it concise, yet personal.” The creator of this campaign might have taken that a bit too close to heart.
6 Exiled Mage
A campaign creator leaving the default text in place isn’t anything new. Ümit Yılmaz, creator of Exiled Mage, employed the same tactic. This one only has one poorly written description, but at least it has a video. You might think that at least makes it better than Mega Dork: Dissonance’s campaign, but that only means you clearly haven’t seen the video yet. Staring at that pixelated .jpg of the PS4 controller is at least less painful on your eyes than whatever this game is supposed to be.
“This is a game project about a mage in a dungeon. Simple as that :D You just kill bad guys or stuff and have fun.” Imagine if more video game developers did that. You can almost see Todd Howard take the stage at E3 next year, announcing The Elder Scrolls 6 or Fallout 5 as “a game where you play a person and kill stuff,” before turning around and walking off stage.
Retrorummage is a proposed video game and card store, created by Jacob Kaine Vaughn. He actually wrote it’s a “video game slash card shop,” actually writing slash instead of just putting one in. That goes to summarize the entire page, low effort, yet still bizarre.
There’s only a paragraph detailing the store, and a single, terrible photo with a joystick that’s also a lowercase ‘I’, maybe? The paragraph is full of horrific grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. “When you think of a game store do you think high prices low trade in value,” the page states. “Iv seen from the collectors side and want to provide a service for the ever expanding gaming community.”
This person clearly has no idea what they want to do with the shop, much less know how to run one. The Indiegogo page is pathetic, and the $5,000 goal is way too small considering they’d need to buy a building, stock it with merchandise, and deal with taxes, ads, and a host of other fees.
4 Help Fund Me For A New PC
This is the first in a long line of Indiegogo campaigns that are just people asking you to buy them games, console, or gaming PC’s. We’ve narrowed it down to a few, starting with “rakesh’s” campaign, who’s looking to raise funds to buy a PC. The Pablo Picasso monstrosity at the top of the page is allegedly his "very stubborn" brother, and there’s even a fake “Kickstarter Staff Pick” badge to go along with it.
This has nothing to do with gaming, despite being listed in the gaming section. There is one update, despite it never receiving any funds, though it’s a bit… unorthodox. “can smell your asshurt from here boi, dem sizzling cheeks getting cooked fine yeah!!!!” it begins. The update goes on and on like this, without a capitalized letter in sight.
The campaign is actually registered to “hungry L,” from Pripyat, Ukraine. They even left a comment, saying it “really touched [them] in the heart". The URL even ends with the word ‘feminism’ just to spice things up. This is clearly a joke campaign, or an attempt at one more accurately, but all the same, it shouldn’t be on Indiegogo.
3 Phil Needs An Xbox One
Phil needs an Xbox One, everybody! Do you know why? Well, to play Fallout 4, of course! Philip Nutter, if that’s even his real name, launched this heartwarming campaign when Fallout 4 first came out in the hopes that somebody would buy him Microsoft’s current gaming machine. Unbelievably, somebody actually threw in £26.
“Those of you who know me will be aware that I am a massive fan of the Fallout video game series,” he says, as if he’s the most well-known man on the internet. “I will need £339.00 to buy an Xbox One (with Kinect) and I would imagine c. £100 to buy the Pip-Boy edition of Fallout 4.” Yes, as we all know, Fallout 4 cannot be played without occasionally standing up and doing a dance for the Kinect.
On the other hand, for £50 he’ll be your butler for the day, calling himself “Mr. Nutsy.”
2 Help My Friend Get A New Graphics Card
This might be it, we’ve reached peak Indiegogo. This isn’t a crowdfunding campaign in which somebody’s asking you to buy them a new graphics card, no! This is a crowdfunding campaign where somebody is asking you to buy their friend a graphics card!
Don’t worry, if you’re feeling a bit dubious about this, there’s a meme filled YouTube video of the friend in question doing... something. “For 8 years, my friend has had the same desktop without upgrading it. Now comes a time where he does need to upgrade the computer, badly,” reads the description. It goes on to say in just 74 words that their friend is broke, and they need at least $150 for a new, cheap one. This is another campaign where the creator couldn’t think of any perks, and at $150 they’ll do “anything you want (that’s legal).” Does that include paying me $1,000?
My favorite part about this campaign is how it ends. “so theres that,” it says, an ending so limp the project creator couldn’t even be bothered capitalizing or punctuating it correctly.
1 BKK's "Cup"
Sex is pretty cool, right? That’s what all the (legally aged) kids are saying these days, right? I wouldn’t know. Luckily my lack of a partner doesn’t matter, as I have the BKK Cybersex Cup to fulfill my need. At least, I would have if this VR-fueled sex game met its $50,000 goal. It’s actually surprising it didn’t meet the goal, all things considered.
The BKK Cybersex Cup isn’t a golf tournament, but a fleshlight you connect to your VR headset and your sausage (sorry non-sausage owners). What’s interesting about this campaign is that it doesn’t work with the Oculus, Vive, or even PlayStation VR. Instead, Enzo Kwan, the creator of the BKK, was going to create his own headset, designed specifically for this one device.
The application runs on your phone (so you can watch it on the go) in which you slide your phone into the goggles. As a result, this thing doesn’t have great graphics, and the virtual models all look they come from an early PlayStation game. Apparently there’s some kind of “game” that goes along with this, but there isn't much in the way of specifics. I guess you’ll just have to use your imagination, like your parents did before they had fancy Cybersex Cups.