Two days ago Lilith, Ltd. cancelled their Kicstarter drive for the touted Silent Hills successor, Allison Road. But that’s not a bad thing. Quite the opposite, actually, because the developers announced they have partnered with UK publisher Team17 Digital Limited. Team17 is not only the studio behind the Worms franchise, but they also run an independent label, providing funding for promising indie projects while still letting the development teams work as they see fit. Titles under their independent label include The Escapists, & most recently they picked up Yooka-Laylee, another previous Kickstarter-funded game that received attention for being a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie franchise.
In their statement on their Kickstarter page, Lilith, Ltd. reported:
We have decided to withdraw the Kickstarter campaign to allow us to commit 100% to an opportunity that will give us the chance as a team to create the best game possible. As a newly founded studio, we’ve been completely overwhelmed by your encouragement and huge interest in Allison Road and we’d love to thank each and every one of you for all of the amazing support you have given us during our Kickstarter campaign and beyond. Really incredibly appreciated… Working with Team17 will give us the chance to make our game unhindered creatively, but at the same time will give us the resources, support and experience that only a 25 year old studio can give.
Backers of the campaign may feel a bit miffed at the sudden change, but I don’t think that’s the right attitude to have. First of all, with the Kickstarter campaign cancelled, I don’t think anyone is out any money. Correct me if I’m wrong on this one, but backers are only charged for their pledges after a project has been successfully funded. If the campaign falls short or is cancelled, you don’t pay. That happened with me when I backed Shadows of the Eternals, only for it fall flat. Secondly, with only a week left in their drive, the project was still 100,000 pounds short, meaning the project probably would’ve failed anyway. And most importantly, I’d like to think that all the support & interest the game received helped the studio find official backing. No one has said if Team17 approached Lilith or if it was the other way around, but either way, between the talents of the developers & the attention of the community, it showed this project has the potential to be great. So in the end, the backers did help the game go forward, even if not monetarily.
The devs have also stated they still want to keep the people who originally backed the game involved, though at this point they’re probably still kicking around ideas. I hope they can come up with some ideas as equally cool as what the backers originally wanted as a reward. Some of the rewards for the larger pledges allowed backers to have some involvement in the game’s development (like designing a scare or recording a message). Only time will tell.
Hopefully, though, this change will help Lilith make Allison Road the game everyone hopes it will be.