Sekai Project Cancels WAS -The Hourglass of Lepidoptera- Kickstarter Campaign

posted on 2016-02-28 01:00 EST
Company cites legal issues, noncompliance by game's developer as reasons for cancellation

Visual novel distributor/localizer and manga publisher Sekai Project announced on Saturday that it has cancelled its Kickstarter campaign to localize SRL's WAS –The Hourglass of Lepidoptera– visual novel.

Sekai Project stated that the reasons for the cancellation were "legal issues" and "noncompliance by... SRL," the game's original developer. Sekai Project also stated the following:

While due diligence was made to make sure that all aspects of the Kickstarter campaign were fulfilled, in the end the great financial loss and damage to our reputation was too much.

It was also discovered that SRL engaged in stealth marketing tactics using paid reviews which violates Steam's Terms of Service. At that point, we had no choice but to terminate our relationship with SRL.

Sekai Project will offer refunds for undelivered physical copies of the game, although it does plan to ship "whatever physical products that were made." The company is also offering refunds for shikishi boards, which it says "requests to SRL to make sure that there were enough shikishi for the backers was unfulfilled."

Sekai Project also plans to remove the release from Steam "as soon as possible," although those who already have a Steam key will still be able to keep their copies of the game.

The campaign originally launched in October 2014 with a goal of US$10,000 to localize the game with an estimated delivery date of April 2015. The campaign ended in November 2014 after 1,140 backers raised US$59,740.

In April 2015 Sekai Project revealed that the game was delayed because SRL was writing a new scenario, and because it had been difficult to schedule time for the voice actors to do recordings. Sekai Project then released the game on Steam on December 15, although the game had missing voiced lines that Sekai Project said would get patched over time.

Sekai Project then decided based on backer feedback to hold off on printing physical copies of the game until all the voices were recorded. The company did ship out a four-panel manga and illustration book to backers in January.

SRL first released the visual novel in Japan in August 2014 to raise awareness and tourism for Tottori City in the Chūgoku region of Japan.

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