According to GameSpot today, Sept 2, the ability to purchase the indie-developed dinosaur survival romp, "The Stomping Land", has officially been removed from Valve's Steam line-up. The early access purchase option opened up in May of this year after the game's developer, SuperCrit, raised $114,000 through Kickstarter, a number that surpassed the goal by $94,000. "The Stomping Land" put a welcomed twist on the flood of open-world survival games, integrating dinosaurs into the core gameplay.
While there has been no official word from either Valve or SuperCrit's lead developer, Alex Fundora, as to why "The Stomping Land" has been removed, the lack of support on the game's official social media outlets may give some clue. The last updates across the board of Facebook, Twitter, and Kickstarter were at the end of May, shortly after the early access purchase option went live.
As some would expect, those that bought into the early access were not pleased at the lack of support and communication over the unfinished game, prompting a petition that went live in July. As of today, it is 2,835 signatures strong and growing. Though the "removal from Steam" portion of the petition's request has been fulfilled, there's no direct proof that it came at the behest of the petition itself, leaving it to question as to whether or not refunds will be given.
It seems illogical for a developer that worked on a game as massive as "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" to simply abandon a project that had received so much preliminary hype, which leaves it to wonder whether there were internal struggles that are currently being disputed. Internet speculation is that the entire campaign was a cash grab, but Kickstarter's own Terms of Service put the creator at a legal obligation to either finish the project or refund the money. Surely, a $114,000 cash-grab would garner some legal attention.
If this is just a case of poor communication, leaving a fan base completely in the dark is a terrible marketing move and, surely, "The Stomping Land" will suffer for it in the long run.
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