Is the Apocalypse Now Game as Cursed as the Movie?
Ashley Allen / 2 years ago
Apocalypse Now was one of the most celebratedly difficult productions in the history of film – rivalled only by the likes of the Michael Cimino-directed Heaven’s Gate, or 1981’s Roar, during the making of which both cast and crew alike were mauled by the wild cats that featured in the film – due to its expensive sets being destroyed by severe weather, Marlon Brando (who played antagonist Col. Kurtz) turning up on set overweight and having not learned his lines, and lead actor Martin Sheen suffering both a mental breakdown and a heart attack during filming. They even made a documentary about it: Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, released in 1991.
While the game adaptation of Apocalypse Now – a $900,000 Kickstarter for which was launched earlier this year – doesn’t quite have the same storied tragedy attached to it, it seems that its production will be far from smooth. Erebus, the studio responsible for the game, has effectively closed the Kickstarter campaign after it performance was weaker than expected – only $173,599 has been pledged so far, with nine days left to run – and has instead moved its fundraising efforts over to its website, where it hopes to raise $5 million, somehow.
In a statement, Erebus says:
“When we launched this campaign, we made a mistake.
We forgot that many of you have been disappointed by overreaching games and overreaching promises.
We had stopped paying attention to the Kickstarter world, when we put our heads down and went to work on this full-steam about 18 months ago — first with documents and then with prototypes.
Because we went upriver, we did not remember that those of you who love games and those of you who love Apocalypse Now would immediately treat the announcement not with excitement, but with concern.
This skepticism has been echoed by some of the gaming press who told you that the game doesn’t need to exist. That other games had covered this terrain.
We understand how you feel.
We love these things as well.
That’s why we work with them.
We also understand that we have to prove ourselves to you just as we had to prove ourselves to Francis Ford Coppola.
It took us a long time to earn that trust, years in fact.
We don’t blame you for wanting us to earn that trust in hours or days or even years.
We’re asking for a lot here and on https://apocalypsenow.com
We’re asking for trust. We’re asking for money. We’re asking for $900,000 here and $5,000,000 over 3 years on the website. We’re specifically asking each of you to Back This Game.
We’re asking for you to believe again. To help us make this game great.”
Apocalypse Now The Game’s troubles began way years before the Kickstarter debacle, though; according to The Verge, the game started life at Killspace, the former company of Ebebus co-founders Montgomery Markland and Larry Liberty. Anonymous former employees of Killspace described the company as “the worst-run company you could possibly imagine” and a “nightmare,” complaining of erratic behaviour by senior management, unpaid wages, and crazy financial decisions. If development of the title remains on trend, we could be treated to video games’ answer to Hearts of Darkness in a decade’s time.