news\ Aug 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Shadow of the Eternals campaign is doomed with only 4 days left

Shadow of the Eternals

Precursor Games' second Kickstarter for Shadow of the Eternals has only raised a little over $280,000 and has four days left in its campaign. Let's face it: This project is doomed.

That's not enough progress to carry the game to its $750,000 goal unless a crowdfunding miracle happens. But that isn't likely. Kickstarters are prone to patterns — a lot of success in the beginning and a middle crawl are normal, but the better a campaign does early on, the greater the chance it has of reaching its target. Shadow of the Eternals is nowhere near where it needs to be.

Right now, the game is 37 percent funded. At the start of the month, it had hit 30 percent. That's not a big difference.

I would have liked for Shadow of the Eternals to succeed. I enjoyed Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and a sequel would have been interesting even if it were bad. But Precursor Games has been struggling to fix its image ever since it announced the project and the press reminded gamers of the developer's unflattering history.

The only confirmed platforms for the game were PC and Wii U, which didn't help matters. Nintendo's console is in poor shape, and while the company gave Eternal Darkness a home years ago, the mindset surrounding it has changed. Precursor was wrong to partner with Nintendo. Its announcement of a PlayStation 4 version — as an unguaranteed stretch goal, no less — came too late.

Precursor also convoluted the crowdfunding process, launching a website campaign and a Kickstarter and then starting over from scratch. Those kind of moves confuse backers. Not to mention Precursor did little to actually show fans the game it's making. Concept art is not as effective as actual gameplay or screenshots, and what I saw of Shadow of the Eternals did little to convince me it was a game worth supporting.

I have to wonder, too, about Precursor's intentions in labeling Shadow of the Eternals an "action/adventure game steeped in psychological horror" (or a "third-person action/adventure game with horror elements") instead of purely a "survival-horror game," which would have perhaps interested fans more.

The Kickstarter was doomed long ago, and I'd be embarassed if Precursor continues to scrabble for attention by trying again. A third campaign would reek of desperation and only hurt the game's prospects more.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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