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Neal Stephenson's sword-fighting game Clang officially shelved

Mike Suszek, @mikesuszek
September 19, 2014
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Historical sword-fighting game Clang has officially been axed, developer Subutai Corporation announced yesterday. The game earned $526,125 on Kickstarter in July 2012 and according to creator and sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson, the developer did eventually deliver on a prototype of the game as promised.

"The prototype was technically innovative, but it wasn't very fun to play," Stephenson wrote in an update on Clang's Kickstarter page, admitting he "probably focused too much on historical accuracy and not enough on making it sufficiently fun to attract additional investment." Development paused last year to attract additional investors, which Stephenson said was part of the initial plan for the game. While Clang was slated to be playable with a mouse and keyboard, the game was expected to support peripherals like Sixense's Razer Hydra motion controller and Kickstarter success STEM system.



"Members of the team made large personal contributions of time and money to the project before, during, and after the Kickstarter phase. Some members, when all is said and done, absorbed significant financial losses," Stephenson said. "In the end, however, additional fundraising efforts failed and forced the team to cut their losses and disband in search of steady work."

He noted that Subutai Corporation sifted through comment threads and emails to find around two dozen backers requested refunds out of the 9,023 total, which the developer granted to the tune of "about $700 altogether." The Kickstarter update comment thread includes dozens of additional backers also requesting refunds as well as others asking that the project be made "open source" and available for its supporters to toy with.

[Image: Subutai Corporation]






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