Okay, let’s talk about this whole scenario, because it really is interesting considering the whole Konami/Hideo Kojima issue that unfolded. (I wrote about it a few weeks ago, but in case you missed it, you can read it here – Konami: Fall of a Gaming Love Affair?)
Igarashi was a developer on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. In March of 2014, he decided to leave Konami with the intent of opening his own studio:
“I’ve decided to break out on my own to have the freedom to make the kind of games I really want to make — the same kind I think fans of my past games want as well.”
From his statements around the time that he left, there don’t seem to be any hard feelings toward Konami, more just a difference of opinion on what to do.
Okay, fast forward to the beginning of this month. Igarashi announces a Kickstarter for a game called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. There isn’t a whole heap of information out there, but the game does already have its own IGN page, which can be found here – About This Game.
Word is that it is a side-scroller action game, and something that Igarashi has wanted to make for quite a while now. Why do I say that?
“It’s one of the key reasons I left Konami; the fans wanted it, and the company wasn’t going in that direction. So, this was one of my only ways to come out and get a chance to do it and make good on what the fans wanted”
Mmhm. The plot thickens, right?
Bloodstained already has a pretty solid lineup going. Igarashi on deck as director, producer and scenario writer, Castlevania series composer Michiru Yamane, and developer Inti Creates. Curious about who they are? Here’s their company page, but be warned, it’s in Japanese – Inti Creates. For those of us who can’t read Japanese, here is their Wikipedia page – Inti Creates Wikipedia.
Okay, back to the story… So, it’s been a year. Why wait a year to come back out with something that he’s wanted to make for so long? According to Igarashi, when he first left Konami, he hired an agent and attempted to get the game made through traditional publishers. He was shocked by how little interest he was able to garner for it, but he didn’t give up. He was eventually given investor support, though for legal reasons he can’t say if it was from a publisher or anything else even remotely specific about it. However, he still needed to prove that the game was something that the fans wanted and would support.
Now, in steps the Kickstarter campaign idea. Logic says that if fans don’t want it, they sure aren’t going to put their money into it, especially sight unseen, right?
We all know how Kickstarter works? You set a goal and a deadline, and then push go. If you make the goal by said deadline, you get the money and you make your project. If you don’t make your goal, the pledgers get to keep their money, and you get to try again.
Bloodstained’s Kickstarter was $500,000 USD by June 12 funding deadline. Wait for it….
Less than four hours after the Kickstarter began, Bloodstained met its funding goal. It surpassed $1 million in funding roughly 10 hours after the launch of its Kickstarter fundraising campaign.
Once the goal was met, Igarashi added goals to the different levels of funding. The 1 million dollar goal unlocked cheat codes. That’s right. Fans want it. Go Igarashi!
Wonder where it is now? As of 3:40 PM Central on 5/23, here is the Kickstarter screenshot:
And now, as if you needed another reason, a pledge of $60 or more will now give you beta access to the PC version through Steam.
I KNOW, RIGHT?!
Anyway, the listed tentative release date is March 2017, though I believe that is a full release, so those with beta access would have it sooner. But, keep in mind that the date could change, that is simply a guess on the developer’s part. It seems like such an awesome and worth goal that Igarashi has worked so hard towards. And with his proven track record on games, this one is bound to be awesome. Want to contribute? Here’s link to the oh-so-worthy Kickstarter for ya! Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Kickstarter.
Oh, and some concept art that is floating around out there, because awesome: