5 big-money crowdfunding projects that failed

Raising millions on Kickstarter or Indiegogo doesn’t always guarantee success, as the following examples prove…

Following the news that Ouya has put itself up for sale, we thought we’d consider five other big-money crowdfunding projects that ultimately failed.


of course, is an Android-based microconsole that arrived in 2013 on the

back of considerable hype and an immensely successful Kickstarter


The cuboid console managed to hit its $950,000

Kickstarter fundraising goal within 8 hours, which at the time shattered

the record for doing so. It went on to receive $8.5 million in pledges,

which is more than nine times the figure asked for.

And yet,

less than three years after it was first announced, Ouya finds itself in

crippling debt and desperately seeking a buyer.

Ouya isn’t the

only big-money crowdfunding project to have failed, of course. Indeed,

the fact that it actually made it to market and delivered much of what

was promised makes it a lot less of a failure than some of these


crowdfunding failures 5


Goal: $100,000

This project

actually was delivered to its backers in some

kind of finished form – which is the bare minimum

you’d expect, considering it scored more than six times its $100,000 goal.

Here was a compact Android-based console from the company that brought

you TV gaming through your Sky set-top box. GameStick took

the form of a rectangular gamepad and an HDMI TV receiver. After an

initial delay due to high demand, the device shipped without all of its

advertised components, and in a rather buggy condition.

What most irritated backers, beyond the lateness of the project, was the

lack of communication from the creators throughout – a common thread

running through many of these failed crowdfunded projects.

crowdfunding failures 7

Kreyos Meteor Smartwatch

Goal: $100,000

Raised: $1.5 million

After the original Pebble proved

such a success story, a number of smartwatch concepts hit the crowdfunding scene. The Kreyos Meteor Smartwatch was one such promising


Chief among this Indiegogo project’s many promises was a more intuitive

form of interaction with your watch, with voice and gesture controls

built in. Alarm bells rang when the creator promised the delivery of

finished hardware just three months after the funding round closed, and

that was borne out with severe delays that saw some pledgers waiting a

good year for their watch.

The final device itself wasn’t much cop either, with build quality

issues and what seemed to be an inability to keep keep time. Which is a

bit of a problem in a watch – particularly one that reckons it’s “smart.”

SEE ALSO: 10 craziest game controllersUbuntu Edge

Ubuntu Edge phone

Goal: $32 million
Raised: $12.8 million

The Ubuntu Edge

phone is one of the biggest and strangest crowdfunding failures of them

all. How else do you describe a project that attracted Indiegogo

pledges totalling $12.8 million in just 30 days?

Of course, that

actually proved to be less than half the amount required to get this

ambitious smartphone-PC hybrid concept off the ground.

Running a

dual-boot system of Ubuntu Touch and Android, the Ubuntu Edge Phone from

Canonical was an intriguing idea at a time when smartphone designs were

already beginning to stagnate – but it wasn’t to be.

SEE ALSO: 10 Awesome things people are doing with 3D printers
Smarty Ring

Smarty Ring

Goal: $40,000
Raised: $296,000

We’ve been expecting the wearable revolution for some time now, and people have already started thinking beyond the smartwatch.


the designers behind the Smarty Ring proposed this smartring concept

back in December 2013. Yes, here was a wearable ring that accepted

smartphone notifications right there on your finger.

Of course,

the slick concept videos bore little to no resemblance to the chrome

monstrosity that was the first “working” model.

SEE ALSO: Best crowdfunding campaigns we’d invest in this month

crowdfunding failures 11


Goal: $250,00
Raised: $567,665


has proved a popular place to fund games. It helped Tim Schafer make

Broken Age and also brought to life the brilliant Shovel Knight. There are

plenty of examples where it didn’t work out and this open-world sandbox

adventure game is one of the most high-profile failures.


entering into beta in 2013, the project proved too ambitious for the

small team working on it and it was cancelled a year later. The 13,647

backers, including some that made pretty big single donations, did

not get their money back.

Instead they were offered early Steam

access to another game called TUG, which was said to be similar to what

Yogventures! would have been if it got made. Perhaps not the

compensation they were expecting…