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5 big-money crowdfunding projects that failed


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.

Ouya, of course, is an Android-based microconsole that arrived in 2013 on the back of considerable hype and an immensely successful Kickstarter campaign.

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 projects.

crowdfunding failures 5


Goal: $100,000

Raised: $647,658

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 effort.

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.

Indeed, 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

Kickstarter 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.

Despite 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...

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