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$30,110 pledged of $95,000 goal
By Awesome Enterprise
$30,110 pledged of $95,000 goal

Pulling the Plug on the Shuriken Kickstarter

With Shuriken raising just over $30k at 30 days in and with 15 days to go, it is clear that the project will not be funded, and so we are regretfully pulling the plug on the Kickstarter today.

It's been a heck of a ride, we've learned a lot and tried to correct and adjust for backer needs on the fly, but even making the whole project Kickstarter exclusive gave us only a small spike in backers. In the end I suspect that to actually raise all the funds for a big box game requires a large pre-existing audience, and preferably a funding goal much lower than the cost of producing the Kickstarter.

We are not sure right now what the future of Shuriken is going to be. If we had come closer to our goal, re-launching a revised campaign would look more attractive. We could add more KS exclusive components, but that of course increases the funding goal, and we could indeed cut tens of thousands out of the goal by stripping the quality of components down to the bare essentials -- but that goal would still be substantially larger than what we've managed to raise, and we'd by trying to do it with a lower-quality production. We're not ruling out the possibility of a re-launch, but right now the expense is not looking like something that makes good business sense for Awesome Enterprise.

There is certainly the possibility of an existing publisher stepping forward to pick up the game and running the kind of Kickstarter that gamers are used to -- very low funding goals and oodles of KS exclusives -- and that's another option that we as designers can pursue; however, those doors can be very hard to break into. In particular we wouldn't want to work with any company without a successful track record, and those guys make more money doing their own games or using designers with a built-in audience.

For the time being we're going to relax and recover a bit, and if we have any future news about Shuriken, we'll be sure to keep you guys updated here.

And a big and very sincere thank you to everyone who backed the Kickstarter -- we're sorry we let you down, and we greatly appreciate every moment of your support.

Haiku Contest Winners

We have one last bit of business to attend before the Shuriken Kickstarter is completely done, and that is announcing the winner of the haiku contest. Since we have several production samples of the Shuriken leather dice bag that we no longer need, we decided to give the winner the Shuriken dice bag in addition to the Ninja Disguise Kit, and to send dice bags to 5 runners up as well.

The winning Haiku is from Christian:

Sometimes I wonder
why shuriken gets bigger,
and then it hits me

And the runners up are:

From Kelly:
Not without Ninja,
can one exist in this life
Shuriken or death

From Michael:
While our foes slumber
Black clad death descends on them
They will wake no more

From Smotz:
Quet dark and calm
Peace wrapped in soft black silence
Hmm? What was that noi....

From Stu:
The unarmed, beaten.
Sword and Shuriken, broken.
The Master stands proud.

From Wilhelm:
In the darkest night
Ninja and ninja do fight
Outside mortal sight

Congrats to all the winners - we have contacted the backers who won through Kickstarter. If you are not a backer and are on this list please email us at (Kickstarter won't let us message you if you're not a current backer).


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    1. John Wrot! on

      Gosh, I really can't get over how awesome you are. I know it sounds redundant or absurd, or maybe even meaningless coming from little me, but this stuff is so much more work that people realize; and you deserve to hear it again: You guys did a great job! And are to be commended for going for it. A+ A+ and A+

    2. John Wrot! on

      We're going to miss you Shuriken. I want to congratulate you on your hard work. We at GKG are running our "first ever Kickstarter" right now also, and also with a "high goal".
      It's a TON of hard work, and you guys deserve the biggest round of applause to pouring yourself into this!
      For what it's worth: *I* am proud of you. And there are many more (over 300!) beyond myself who have poured in their Love (150+ backers at over $100 each!!). God Bless You for your hard work, and us over at the King's Armory HAVE supported you, DO support you, and WILL get your back again if you ever choose a relaunch. ... I for one, look forward to it.
      You guys are "AWESOME"!

    3. Robert Perocchi on

      If you ever start up again or something send me an e-mail. This looked fun and I would be willing to back it again for sure.

    4. Mark Tietsort

      Hey guys, sorry to hear. Good luck to you in the future, and I hope one day you are able to produce the game, you have dreamed about.

      One possibility would be to make a similarly themed smaller game, that perhaps has a story line that is leading up to what will be come the Shuriken board game. Maybe just about the building of one of the empires/factions that will be in Shuriken. Or perhaps a smaller two player game with a more basic rules for two players and a more basic one or two action battle element. By doing this and driving a smaller campaign, perhaps you can gain more funds that would help you supplement any lack of funds in a future relaunch of Shuriken.

      So in a sense start smaller and then become bigger. With that you can Gain a passionate customer base, and start Shuriken with a lower funding goal. In my experience with Kickstarter, once a project is close to or reaches its funding goal, it really starts to spike, because gamers and collectors want a piece of it!

      Some great example would be Alf Segert, who created and had published Troll Bridge, and it allowed him to then produce a bigger game Trollhalla and since he has published bigger and really High Quality games.

      Or Dice Hate me, who started small, and know has a big following.

      Anyway, enough of all of that, good luck to you all again, and thank you for your efforts,

      Mark Tietsort (aka TIETS)

    5. Dan Keller

      Brian, despite all the problems this Kickstarter faced, I think you can take solice in you did get over 300 backers willing to pledge $30K. So there is definitely interest for this game. It's just a matter of finding the right publisher. This looks to be a good fit for a publisher like CoolMiniOrNot.

    6. Missing avatar

      Barry Kendall

      WOE IS ME!!! The numbers weren't looking good and I suspected support wouldn't come close to the goal, the rate things were going, but I'm truly disappointed that "Shuriken" won't see publication in the near-term. That said, I think it's a great concept and presentation, with good clean rules. I could see Hasbro publishing this, or FFG. You might want to contact Mark Holt Walker (Lock 'n Load Publishing)--tell him I suggested you show him the game. Worthington Games might also be worth a try. Both of them publish games that are flat-out FUN to play and "Shuriken" might be up their alley, though the minis may pose a production problem for them. Whatever you do, don't give up, and please keep us supporters informed! Good luck.

    7. Mike Brodu on

      Enough with the "jumping the gun". It'd be dishonest to think this KS could have magically gotten $65K more in 2 weeks. My KS past experiences make me think this project could have gotten as high as $45K, $50K at most. Which is still a long way from $95K.
      We're all disappointed, but we haven't invested anything in the game beyond a little bit of our time. Surely none of us can be as disappointed and heart broken as the creators of the game themselves, who put tons of time and money (these prototypes aren't free) in it.
      I hope to see the game published eventually. Maybe instead of doing it alone, the creators will have better luck submitting their game to established companies with a better ability to handle a big box game like this.

    8. Patrick Menard

      I agree that you may have jumped the gun on cancelling this. I typically only look 2-3 weeks out, so this game just popped on my radar and I immediately pledged. I was going to email some of my friends (likely a couple more possible pledges).

      People tend to pledge either in the first week (to get the early bonuses in many projects), or in the last week. You picked a long funding period, which may have worked against you. If you would have shortened it to 30 days (that's the period I've seem most frequently), I think it would have done better.

      I hope you try to re-work the project and launch again, who doesn't like Ninjas! (to be honest, I just saw it was Ninjas and saw all the figs and pledged without even looking at the gameplay videos or rules, I was going to do that later)

    9. Stephen Honea on

      Well I'm sad to see this canceled, I really wanted a ton of ninjas and a great game to play them with.

    10. Kristian

      Sadness.... I wish you guys the best and really hope you are still, somehow someway, able to bring your vision to the market. Thanks also for honoring the haiku contest, in light of the campaign ending this is a particularly classy move.

    11. John Bellando

      To be honest, I think you jumped the gun on cancelling it. A lot of Kickstarters don't reach funding goals until much closer to the deadline. There is always a huge push in the last week and in particular the last 2 days as folks settle in on their pledges and those who are just 'watching' the project decide to back. To some, cancelling ahead of time may be seen as a lack of confidence in what you've produced. However, it did look like a great game and I was one of those waiting a little longer to jump in with a higher pledge. Whatever you decide to do, best of luck!