Woolfe: The Red Wood Diaries Developer Folds, Kickstarter Rewards Abandoned

Indie developer GRIN, not to be confused with developer Grin of the 2009 reboot of Bionic Commando, has announced in an official post entitled "Game Over" that the company has filed for bankruptcy.

In this postmortem, founder Wim Wouters explains the downfall of the studio and why they unfortunately don't have the means to head out the various Kickstarter rewards for Woolfe – The Red Hood Dairies to its backers, from which they received about $72,000

It’s done, there is no way back. We tried, we failed.

The team is now dismantled and we have requested bankruptcy unable to pay outstanding bills.

I guess our public silence the last few months already said a lot. It is not out of disrespect that our communication dropped to almost zero… it is out of shame. It is truly devastating to read the negative comments we received by some press and players. With Woolfe being the most passion driven thing we have ever created, it feels horrible to live with the feeling we let you down.

Whether it was technical issues with the 3D elements (especially the collision detection), the title's mixed reviews on Steam, or too much ambition, GRIN unfortunately had to fold.

The optimist in me led me to believe we could actually pull off making a “bigger” indie game. I really wanted to prove an indie game did not have to be rendered in pixels or stylized as a solution to cut development costs. I wanted to believe that a team of 6 to 10 people could make a game that looked and felt AAA. Boy was I wrong!

At first we could not believe that our “baby” was not more successful, in our emotions we started looking for explanations not related to the game. Maybe gamers are just spoilt brats, bashing on everything, maybe there is an oversaturation of indie market, maybe all the free-to-play games by big studios are giving players a false sense of value. How could less than $10 be to expensive for a beautiful game like Woolfe? How could this be our fault?

Of course none of the emotional excuses above are the reason of our mixed steam rating. We can only blame ourselves…

So what about the Kickstarter rewards that they promised to deliver?

Even worse… people we will not be able to give the full rewards they invested in.

The crazy thing is, that we have most of the rewards ready for postage. All the backer stickers and letters of enlistment just need a stamp. All the poster sets printed, signed and ready. The artbook is ready to be printed, the soundtrack is ready for distribution, the DVD case is ready for production. But we have literally no money whatsoever to pay for stamps, let alone print the artbooks and dvd-cases.

According to Kickstarter's terms and conditions, backers can seek recourse as the creators are legally obligated to follow through on their projects and backer rewards, though attempting to do so may be trying to get blood from a stone at this point.