Poncho: developers share a post-mortem, reveal they haven’t received a single penny
Poncho is an open-world platformer developed by Delve Interactive, which was released last year on Wii U, . Yesterday, the developers shared a rather lenghty post-mortem, where they talk about the development of the game (from the very beginnings, in 2011, to the release on Wii U, in August 2016).
Unfortunately, development was anything but smooth, as you can read for yourself. Even worse: the failed Kickstarter is far from the worst thing that happened to the developers, who still haven’t received a single penny from the sales of the game, and ended up with sizeable debts.
On the date of writing this, over a year after releasing on multiple platforms, Delve Interactive has not yet made a single penny from PONCHO.
The thing is, Poncho didn’t sell really well, and that’s for all platforms this time (not just the Wii U). How bad, you ask? The wordings of the developers is pretty clear…
PONCHO was released on PS4 and STEAM on November 3rd 2015. After seeing the sales, we celebrated the release by writing out our CVs to start looking for a day job. It wasn’t nearly as much as we were expecting, even by a pessimistic standard. It was truly awful.
A year after the initial release, we released the Wii U version which had similar result as the first one
According to that post-mortem, Delve Interactive actually went and made a patch to fix issues found in the Wii U (and PlayStation 4) version of the game, but they were not allowed to release it:
We’ve since developed patches for the Wii U and PS4 versions while working new day jobs, but we have been prevented from actually handing them over to the platforms.
The post-mortem also gives some explanations regarding the poor sales (such as major websites not covering the game at all), and other issues that popped during/after development. One of the developers also provide details on their relationship with Rising Star Games, and how it all went south (make sure to check out the comments, too).
Overall, it makes for an incredibly interesting, albeit really depressing, read, that shows that game development is rarely a smooth ride… even for a small indie game developed by a really small team, like Poncho.
Source: Delve Interactive