The wild sequel to the fan-created Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is almost dead in the water. The Barkley 2 release is looking unlikely after six years of very little progress following the game’s Kickstarter campaign. While the official Twitter account for developer Tales of Games stipulated that Barkley 2 isn’t technically dead, it did agree with other allegations regarding poor management of the entire project.
For those of you new to this series, a brief history lesson may give a fuller picture to the strange tale: Barkley Shut Up and Jam was a basketball game similar to NBA Jam. Originally released for the Sega Genesis, the game starred famed basketball player Charles Barkley as a playable character and let players engage in two-on-two street basketball. It was standard as far as basketball games go, with each playable character having unique stats and an offering of different courts across the United States.
Enter fan-made Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa. Better known simply as Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, this off-the-rails sequel took loose threads of the original game and turned it into a post-apocalyptic JRPG. The game takes place in Neo New York where basketball is outlawed due to “the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order.”
The sequel to the JRPG venture is known colloquially as Barkley 2. The project raised over $120,000 on Kickstarter and has floundered ever since. The news of its essential death was posted in the Something Awful forums, with a screenshot provided by Twitter user Josh Bossie.
Barkley 2 has been officially confirmed dead and I feel compelled to tell as many people as possible
RIP Hoopz pic.twitter.com/vPIgH8LHsz
— Josh Bossie 🙃 (@whoisJoshBossie) June 2, 2019
The post describes a hellish development cycle involving a “revolving door” of staff, poor management, lack of direction, and more. Tales of Games responded to the post, agreeing with all sentiments but stipulating that the game wasn’t technically dead. It seems Tales of Games is trying to recruit new hires to the project in order to finish it by the trailer’s release date of November 11, 2023. It seems unlikely that Barkley 2 will ever come to life, but as of now, the developer is holding on to what little hope is left, and fans are forced to wait for further updates.