TitanReach’s angel investor says he funded it because the team is ‘passionate, hard working, and lucky’

    
28

The latest weird chapter in the saga of TitanReach’s development has been the game getting fully funded with no strings attached by a single mysterious benefactor. If that story sounds too good to be true, then you might want to listen to an interview video from YouTuber KiraTV, who hosted the game’s angel investor as well as Square Root Studios co-founder Unravel about the development.

The investor remains anonymous through the video, but Kira claims that money has indeed changed hands and further suggests that there are indeed no strings attached beyond making the best game possible and using the money appropriately. The investor says he stumbled across TitanReach’s plight via social media, did some research, and found enough reasons to fund the project.

“You have to be passionate. You have to be hard working. You have to be lucky,” the investor says, and after doing research he found a “hard working, dedicated, and passionate team, that have been trying to build something cool, but with very little resources at their disposal, and that ticked off [his] boxes of ‘passionate, hard working, and lucky.'”

Further details in the interview with the investor note that he is a developer himself, though he has never played TitanReach and has little time to play games due to business and personal obligations. He otherwise has no desire to provide input into the game’s development and is even open to funding other such gaming projects in the future, despite reportedly having done so with another unnamed dev studio that took the money and ran.

As for Unravel, he was also highly skeptical when first approached about the investment until he handed the investor his payment details and got double the amount of large sum of money.

“After I confirmed it was real, I took a 30 minute break, hugged my wife and kids, and walked around the house in disbelief, trying to process what just happened and what was going to happen. […] I was in a position where I could have blocked this person and bought a nice house, a Tesla, and not had to worry about my family’s future. I like to think I’m an honest and loyal person, but even in this situation I would be lying if the thought didn’t once cross my mind.”

Eight members of TitanReach’s original team are still around according to Unravel, but that number will be bolstered to a team of 23, all of whom will receive industry level wages instead of minimum wage and dedicated roles for more important positions thanks to the investment, while the game will not change its scope or adjust its feature set. Future alpha tests and dev blogs are planned, but scaling up development and other arrangements will take time.

Finally, Kira asked Unravel what he wanted to say to those who are still extremely skeptical about this new development, garnering this response:

“Let’s not get it twisted. It is too good to be true. I pinch myself hourly. This does not happen, ever. […] I’m not asking for your money so you have nothing to lose. Just believe there [are] wealthy people out there — at least one person — that does great things for the people that need it the most.”

Readers will recall that we began covering TitanReach in 2020, when it launched a $430,000 US Kickstarter that failed to fund, then announced plans for Indiegogo; when we used it as an example of crowdfund misuse, the studio insisted that its Indiegogo wouldn’t use flexible funding. But that campaign never materialized, and the studio announced the game needed funding or it “was all over.” Then the team released a flexible-funding credit storefront anyway, followed by a stealth-retracted statement about working conditions and pay. In spring 2021, the game hit paid early access, though it went F2P this past summer. Just a few weeks after releasing an ambitious roadmap and plans to launch in 2022, the team admitted that it was out of cash and development had been halted. Now, it’s back on again.

source: YouTube via Reddit, thanks to Tybost for the tip!
Advertisement

No posts to display

28
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Stefan
Reader
Stefan

I am glad that this happened for them, however i do hope that the business side of things gets put into order. A project should not be dependent on charity and the project still suffers the same issues.

The game was promoted as an alternative to Runescape but after going to their site i still do not know where they differ or why i should play their game over RS3 or OSRS.

Their way of funding was also done by expensive packs, again competition has you beat on that, also monetization among other things have in a lot of eyes ruined RS3 and made people move to OSRS, how will this game be monetized without it being considered P2W while also remaining profitable?

I am glad it happened for them but at the same time it makes me wonder if something was actually solved long term. I would gladly be proven wrong however!

Reader
Narficus

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar be like…

5nqt0b.jpg
Reader
rk70534

WFP, which won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, is begging for donations to Yemen, where famine threatens 16 million people. Although I’m happy that 23 people will now have jobs with decent wages as a result of this donation, there are even worthier causes out there.

Blazing Coconut
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Blazing Coconut

If you are going down this logical route, the none of us should subscribe to entertainment services of any type. You shouldn’t see movies, you shouldn’t go to sporting events, you shouldn’t go to concerts, you shouldn’t go out to eat. If the logic that you’re subscribing to is equally applied, then we are all guilty for spending additional money beyond the basics. Anything that we spend that is not life sustaining, could be better spent going to someone else in greater need.

I don’t know why this guy decided to fund a gaming studio. However, he did. We all make choices what to do with our discretionary income. I’m assuming, since you’re reading an MMO site, that you’ve wasted plenty of money on a hobby and pastime. It is not just the providence of the rich to make valid qualified donations.

Just be happy for the people and the game studio that was saved from someone’s generosity.

Reader
rk70534

Currently I’m playing GW2 and LotRO as a F2P player, and my only monthly expenditure on entertainment is €7.99 on Netflix. It’s not really on equal moral level with giving a studio so much money that its leader could have bought, if he would have wished so, these:

“I was in a position where I could have blocked this person and bought a nice house, a Tesla, and not had to worry about my family’s future.”

Reader
Narficus

That computer you’re using for leisure is wasted upon you as it could go towards a child’s education, you horrible monster. :P

We can’t all feed the Starving Kids in Africa when thrown money is often intercepted by grifting crooks who are often the ones keeping those kids starving. That situation is unfortunately paralleled elsewhere. At a point you have to ask what the thrown money is actually doing.

As people have been for YEARS now. That was just the tip of the iceberg of that situation.

Reader
rk70534

Can’t give aid to help starving kids because [insert hard-right claims], but nobody should criticize giving fat checks to computer game studios because? Yeah… no.

Reader
Narficus

Demanding the UN make sure the funds you are sending their way goes to the intended recipient and isn’t being diverted by corrupt officials IS NOT “hard-right claims” but okay, whatever partisan crap you want to hack I guess, while not realizing that it isn’t the right wingers who are okay with overspending to the great cultural art centers featuring homeless poop maps.

Perspective is fun, isn’t it?

Reader
rk70534

Seems like ‘someone’ got really upset about the notion that there are more important things in the world which need funding than computer games… And a mask slipped.

Reader
Narficus

Yes, you’ve been baiting some real guilt nonsense from the start in context of the entire MMO genre’s luxury habits, opulent among video games even, adopting that cause to use as your personal virtue-signal and made even worse as you turned it into your partisan hackery to play a gotcha game.

That makes it clear that your act was never about starving children. It never is. I’ve personally seen it from Native Americans getting used in the same way by the same kind.

Reader
rk70534

You seem to be quite hostile to the idea that people would actually care more about starving human beings than about computer games not getting funding. Why is that?

Reader
Narficus

Because it’s not about charity, it’s about envy, for the reasons Blazing Coconut and I have explained.

Comparatively, nobody seems to mind that now the lifeblood of the MMO industry is basically the exact same thing you’re trying to demonize others because you saw a bigger amount of money than most regularly throw away.

But I guess since they all do it together, and it’s smaller than what others have done, it’s okay?

Reader
rk70534

Pointing out that there is worthier causes than donating a small fortune to a studio – which has failed to gain enough money through their own funding efforts – to keep their MMO development going on is…. envy? Really now?

Remember, this is the second time this person has made such a donation – and the first time those who got the money shut their game project and ran.

You keep complaining about aid to starving children supposedly being lost to ‘corruption’, but you have had nothing to say about that episode…

Reader
Narficus

You’re the one who started with equating this to starving children and citing a charity that has been having problems with accountability.

I am still not surprised but actually saddened that anyone fell for this bad comparison, because it shows that they are not good with money. This is an investment. It is meant to grow from a starting point of seed capital. As much as da feelz may get to you, or rather you’re weaponizing for your own use, if he bought everyone a free lunch then who will buy dinner?

No, they didn’t buy a free lunch. They made an opportunity possible for those people to work and be productive and have their efforts grow into more, so that 23 is just a beginning. Economically, it’s more than just 23, as those employees in turn support the local business and economy. This is why the experience philanthropists know the real long-term help for a struggling area is to invest in certain aspects of industry and the rest follows as companies support the created opportunity with further industries. Right now, even Australia needs some help.

It is therefore NOT comparable to vanity cosmetics in games. So there, you now have a better dragon to slay. Off you go!

Or you could continue trying to demonize a dude who dropped millions to create something in this industry on an industry news outlet when collectively the MMO industry makes BILLIONS yearly from everyone else’s disposable income, easily dwarfed by the mobile industry’s take.

Perspective is fun, isn’t it?

At what monetary amount should someone develop altruistic tendencies they didn’t have before then? That seems to be your expectation you’re putting upon others.

That disparity is not the only matter of concern with your argument; that and similar arguments are how I can tell who is bad with money and why outside of a lottery they will never be a millionaire at any point in their lives.

As noted in the article, the benefactor did their research to make their decision upon their satisfaction. Yet expecting the same for a charity that has become under question is somehow being portrayed as against feeding starving children in Africa. That disingenuity was particularly vile.

Furthermore, as heartbreaking as it is that there is hunger in the world, throwing money towards feeding alone does little compared to long-term solutions. Even setting up farms can, surprisingly, be a relatively ineffective factor compared to what troubles they really face for long-term sustainability when their population outgrows their region’s ability to sustain them.

Logistics, people. Much of the reason why it costs so much for aid is because yes, they are comparatively undeveloped and don’t have much of anything for infrastructure, or getting from point A to point B in a manner we’d consider timely – in many cases, that has to do with why they are starving in the first place. Invest into fixing that problem and the rest of industry would follow to provide self-sustainability at some point in the future. If you want your worthier cause, the reason for why people need outside assistance to be fed seems to be a more pressing issue; their local socioeconomic problems that are usually not so simply solved by just throwing money.

I am NOT saying that the starving children shouldn’t be fed. I am saying that dollar for dollar, the long-term benefits of investing into industry are far more widespread for independent sustainability of local populations.

It’s how industrialization spread. Otherwise, minus that advance selected in the run of Civilization, you run into the classical problems of overpopulation while never progressing from the tribal era.

By that reality of revitalization, even your own guilt trip act isn’t the best thing possible to invest the money in, but damn, you’re milking it for all its worth to tug tears from those who don’t know any better.

Blazing Coconut
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Blazing Coconut

Again, that doesn’t matter. You’re willing to “waste” money that could better be used for people in need. There was a joke that kind of goes like this:

Rich Person: I’ll give you one million dollars to sleep with me for one night.

Other Person: Sure!

Rich Person: How about one dollar?

Other Person: What do you take me for?

Rich Person: We’ve already established that, now we’re negotiating price.

That concept is very applicable to what you are saying. You’re more than happy to spend your discretionary money how you choose, but want to criticize others for how they do it. The sin is the same, you’re as guilty as this investor, he just has more to give than you do.

Kudos on this guy. You are not sinless, stop casting stones.

Reader
Narficus

This, exactly, and why you’ll often find envy using altruism to shame the spending of others the biggest contribution that lot will ever give regularly to charity.

Seeing a return on this by the creation of an entity that could provide for more wealth creation is FAR different than the routine indulgences found common to the MMO genre that get nary a blink unless you go full SotA/SC.

But if we want to get down to it, the lifeblood of the MMO genre seems now from vanity purchases, ALL of which absolutely could have gone towards those starving children we’re now to consider when looking at larger monetary amounts. (Their own smaller personal luxury amounts are excused as long as there is someone richer!) If we want to take the starving children “argument” to the logical conclusion then the MMO industry needs to give itself to charity with everyone involved guilty for the same thing as TitanReach’s benefactor.

Any takers? I didn’t think so. Now go enjoy your games, folks.

Reader
Harbinger_Kyleran

Even Jesus let Mary annoint his head in expensive oil rather than give it to the poor.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

That however is whataboutism, that somehow if TitanReach didn’t get this angel investor then that person would have gave instead to staving children, or perhaps they do that as well, but then if that’s so I guess then they’re being criticised for not giving enough.
We have corporations and in fact governments worth trillions who could end global poverty on paper with little impact to their bottom line, supply chains altered, resources distributed and the very foundation of how the world perceives value then we could fix many problems, these issues require societies changing their thought to influence government and to pry the hands of corporations or even make it advantageous to do so.

Yet somehow it’s individuals who end up copping the major criticism. It’s like blaming the kid for getting a nice new console of their birthday that they’re now responsible for climate change or denying someone staving food as their birthday present money could have fed a family for a week, is that a fair thing on cop on everyone?
I am generally speaking a filthy leftist, I’m more than happy to tax the living daylights of rich, ban private schools to force proper funding into the public system, have housing to be a human right not an investment and so on and so forth, but as they say, we live in a society and if TitanReach is now getting dogged over some false-equivalence because they got money when someone else didn’t who might have never got it anyway feels extremely off to me.
If people want to engage in whataboutism, there’s governments spending billions if not trillions on weapons of war, they can fund hospitals but we’re meant to blame TitanReach for a hospital not getting funded when that should in a decent society be the collective responsibility through a fair spending of taxes?

TitanReach or any art in general sure isn’t as worthy a cause as famine, but it’s also an extremely disingenuous comparison to blame TitanReach for impressing someone that somehow they’re now meant to carry some kind of guilt that a complicated geopolitical situation which major governments who do have the power to weld tend to ignore but yet the onus now falls on Square Root games?

Issues like famine, poverty & homelessness shouldn’t be put in the “too hard box”, they should be tackled, but putting all this at the feet of an excited game developer who’s got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and maybe said something which has been taken the wrong way feels quite unfair to me.

There’s fundamental issues at play behind all major problems, yes we should all buy less and recycle, but that alone won’t fix Climate Change and TitanReach never getting funded wouldn’t have ended the crisis in Yemen believe it or not.

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

You hit upon the key point in your second paragraph, but the whataboutism is coming from both sides in this discussion.

Corporations cannot be counted on to do the right thing. It is, in fact, up to us individuals to take a stand and make that change in society. Whether that is providing what aid we can to the needy, or standing upon a soapbox to point out the irony of such statements like, “The people that need it the most.” That is the perfect example of Privilege showing. And I hate that term and concept to no end as it has been weaponized for political uses. But the fact remains that it applies all too well.

Reader
Narficus

Using those in crisis to attack those who choose to build opportunity while looking smug was the original sin here.

But if we want to go through the individual responsibility route, then how does one rich person dropping millions compare to the masses spending billions of profit of the MMO and mobile industries upon vanity items that could have gone towards charity instead? All those individuals had the opportunity before they gave their money for cosmetic purchases.

The disparity is at root an envy at having that amount, not for anything to do with the act of charity, and that’s what makes Whataboutism the Starving Children in Africa so evil; the rich are expected to pay for everyone else, too, even though the masses are just as guilty.

Reader
Hirku Two

“Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.” ; )

Reader
Dennis VonBeck

Wow… Some people in these comments are really quite disenchanted.

Who’s to say this “mysterious benefactor” hasn’t given his money to other charities or other good causes?

Can’t we just enjoy a nice uplifting story without the scorn and ridicule?

Have we become that cynical? I hope not…

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

As an interviewer, that would have been one of my top questions. Regardless, my point still stands. There will always be greater need than a game development studio. Cynical? How many people could have been truly helped with that particular bit of money? What I find uplifting are those who spend their time and money to help those kinds of people, no matter how big or small. Sorry, but helping a game development studio just don’t do it for me.

Reader
Narficus

If history of this genre tells us anything, the mystery benefactor would have been better off buying a ticket to space, bought up some mansions, built their own theme park, and they would have been in the clear.

Applauded as a legend, even.

Reader
rk70534

If someone gives what appear to be seven-figure sum to strangers’ studio on a whim, you can bet that person already has a mansion.

Reader
SmiteDoctor

That’s some next level Whaling.

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

“The people that need it the most?” Hell, I can think of a whole lot of people who actually do need that kind of money who are not in the game development business. A few hundred Children’s Hospitals come to mind.

Reader
SmiteDoctor

Thank you I appreciate that, while the hospital I work in isn’t a pediatric hospital I could sure use that money more than some game I’ve never heard of, and won’t even notice if it launches.