Neal Stephenson’s Clang Is Officially Canceled; Refunds Processed for Two Dozen Backers

Neal Stephenson’s Clang Is Officially Canceled; Refunds Processed for Two Dozen Backers

After a full year or silence, the Subutai Corporation have finally announced the cancellation of Clang, a game seeking to simulate swordfighting in historically accurate detail.

Neal Stephenson, the famed science and historical fiction writer who started the project, wrote in depth on the Kickstarter page in a new update explaining that the game had officially been canceled. The developer had run out of money after delivering a prototype of the game back in April 2013, leaving many to wonder what had happened with the over $500,000 raised for the project back in early 2012.

Stephenson wrote in the post that,

Members of the team made large personal contributions of time and money to the project before, during, and after the Kickstarter phase. Some members, when all is said and done, absorbed significant financial losses. I am one of them; that has been my way of taking responsibility for this. The team had considerable incentives–emotional and financial–to see Clang move on to the next round of funding. They showed intense dedication and dogged focus that I think most of our backers would find moving if the whole story were told. I will forever be grateful to them. In the end, however, additional fundraising efforts failed and forced the team to cut their losses and disband in search of steady work.

Running out of funds can happen with a Kickstarter game, especially with so many unforeseen variables that can cause costs to add up. And while it is unfortunate to see the game canceled, what is peculiar is that there has been some refunds given out, but only to very few members.

In the post, Stephenson went on to say that,

By combing through comment threads and emails we have identified around two dozen Clang backers who have asked for refunds. Those have already been processed; those people have their money back (about $700 altogether). We think that is within the normal scope of a Kickstarter project and we don’t think it sets any precedents that would give other organizations misgivings about using Kickstarter to fund their projects in the future.

Backers are commenting like crazy on the update asking where their refund is considering the company has now set a precedent by refunding two dozen backers. Why have only a select handful been given their money back? It sets an odd stage for some drama to play out, especially considering Kickstarter has been recently revising their terms of use policy.

What should happen now that refunds have come into the equation? If you are a backer, did you request your money back? Let me know in the comments below.