Precursor Games has started its second Kickstarter drive for Shadow of the Eternals, with a different opening pitch and a lower funding goal. The company tried to crowdfund the game on Kickstarter and its own website back in May 2013, but issues saw both campaigns getting killed in early June. Shadow of the Eternals is intended to be the spiritual successor to Silicon Knights' Eternal Darkness, with much of Precursor's team coming from the original developer.
The original goal for the game was $1.5 million and Precursor promised an episodic adventure series with the first episode being 2 - 4 hours. With the relaunch, the developer is now asking for $750,000 to deliver a single 8 - 10 hour game. Shadow of the Eternals will still be made using CryEngine 3 for PC and Wii U. It will still feature multiple protagonists and the former voice of Metal Gear Solid's Solid Snake, David Hayter, has now joined as the voice of the primary protagonist, Paul Becker. A PlayStation 4 version of the game has been added, but it's for an undisclosed stretch goal.
"Our Kickstarter goal is at its current amount due to receiving external funding from private sources as well as investing our own money into the project," states Precursor on the Kickstarter page. "We can state with confidence that by successfully reaching our Kickstarter goal of $750,000, Shadow of the Eternals can become a reality. This money will aid us in hiring more people and resources involved in the production of the game."
"We also wanted to make sure that we could deliver what we're promising," Precursor COO Shawn Jackson told GamesBeat. "We're not going to try and fool anyone or say it's gonna cost this. When we set our budget at $750,000, we know what we're going to deliver. We've done the math, and we've made sure that we can deliver what we promised."
The new Kickstarter has a few weird backer rewards at the higher tiers. For $5,000, five backers can demo the game at E3, PAX, or GDC, but those backers have to also arrange travel to the location. This stands at $3,000 higher than the next reward tier, while containing the same rewards outside the of the chance to do showfloor work for Precursor. At double that reward tier ($10,000), three backers get to attend a private launch event and receive an executive producer credit, but they still have to arrange their own travel, presumably to both locations. Both reward tiers are somewhat perplexing, but hey, it's a free country.
Precursor Games is possibly cursed as the company has gone through hell up until this point. It was accused of using assets and equipment from Silicon Knights, something could be a problem as Silicon Knights currently owes Epic Games $4.45 million due to a lost lawsuit. Part of the lawsuit's outcome forced Silicon Knights to destroy all games made using Unreal Engine 3 at the studio, including Too Human, X-Men Destiny, The Sandman, Siren in the Maelstrom and The Box. Epic's lawyers were looking into the idea of Shadow assets being created at Silicon Knights, but Precursor asserted that it had nothing to do with the previous company.
The company then came under fire when Silicon Knights founder and president Denis Dyack joined Precursor as its chief creative officer. Some fans blame Dyack for the poor state of Silicon Knights' Too Human and X-Men Destiny, leaving them with little faith in the developer.
Finally, Precursor co-founder Ken McCulloch was arrested and charged with the possession and distribution of child pornography earlier this month. At the time, Precursor CEO Paul Caporicci said that McCulloch was "no longer affiliated in any way" with the studio. Pretty much anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
The Shadow of the Eternals Kickstarter will finish on August 23, 2013.