If you’re a fan of the indie action game Nekro, you may be disappointed to learn that as of now, it doesn’t look like a full release of the game is coming any time soon or possibly at all. Nekro was a successful Kickstarter that was funded all the way back in mid-2012. After two years in development, it appeared on Steam as an Early Access title in 2014, where it stayed until last week, April 15th, when it was suddenly pulled from the Steam Store without warning or any written update. There was some controversy boiling prior to the game’s removal, which may have impacted the decision to take the page down entirely.
First, some history. While this has mostly garnered attention only from fans of Nekro, the game seems to have been dwindling over the course of the last few months. Social media accounts for development team darkForge Games, a Facebook and Twitter, have not updated since last year. The website for the game now redirects to a domain filler page, and there haven’t been relevant content on that page since February 2016, according to the Wayback Machine. Neither the Kickstarter nor the Steam page have any 2016 updates, and the Twitch which originally advertised development streams every Tuesday, has not been used or updated for months. When attempting to contact their public relations mangers, Renegade PR, the company said they hadn’t been in contact with darkForge Games for months.
The surface would reveal a game simply abandoned, but developers have bothered to offer an update in the discussion forums on Steam – and have since deleted and attempted to hide them due to their more incriminating nature. One of the former developers, under the tag drkSeed, told fans in the discussion board and later as a review, that the lead developer Scott (“Klegran” on the boards) had been taking all of the revenue made through Early Access without actually producing, and had blocked out drkSeed on all of the accounts without compensating him for his work. The original post on the discussion board was deleted, however the review remains if harder to find now. drkSeed said he had most of the physical rewards for Kickstarter backers but, without access to the Kickstarter, has no way to ship them.
There is no future unless I get ownership of darkFroge [sic] LLC and Nekro…The game is almost complete as it is – so I would be able to finish the rest of the game in a short period of time after the transfer.
Scott eventually responded on the forums (screenshot courtesy of /u/totallytim), saying that it was agreed after the Kickstarter he would be working full time while drkSeed would not. Scott claims that he took a small amount of pay, since he was not working any other job at the time, and that drkSeed was alright with this. He goes on to claim that drkSeed only wants to take the company over so he can take the unfinished game out of Early Access, and release it as complete. Scott later deleted his story, as well as the original post it was made under. Currently there is no hint of any controversy in the discussion boards, where all recent boards and stickied posts have been wiped completely. In fact only the Trading and Bugs forums remain with the latter only having posts from 2015. We attempted to reach out to both drkSeed and Scott “Klegran” but neither have responded through the various methods we attempted (there are no email or other easy methods to contact them listed on any darkForge media, including archived websites).
Me? I’m just sad about my little game. All I want to do is finish it. But now I can’t. And as **** as that is, I’m more sad that I have to tell you guys. And that you had to see it happen like this.
With both developers claiming the game will never be finished and apparently no longer willing to work with each other, it seems the game can be officially declared dead. An issue with Groupees keys apparently not being redeemable for a while due to being invalidated is now compounded by the fact the game has been taken off Steam Shelves. While previously they were able to contact the developer about it and generally get a key, that point of contact has been removed, and kickstarter backers who didn’t install earlier may find themselves in a similar situation. Those who have already installed the game obviously will no longer receive support for their purchase and of course, backers will likely never receive their rewards or their finished game.
The game is still listed as for sale at the Humble Store, though there is no way to tell if those keys will actually work on Steam. As of now, there have been no official updates (with Scott’s side of the story now deleted) and there may not be, at least any time soon. Scott stated in other forums that he does not believe Steam would allow refunds if you were too far into the game, but you may try your hand at a refund anyway if you don’t want to keep a game that will never be finished. If you purchased through The Humble Store, you can find their refund policy here. TechRaptor is reaching out to Valve (and the Humble Store) to find out if they will honor refunds on the unfinished title.
While there may be more updates in the future when the dust has settled, it is safe to assume at this point that Nekro has been completely abandoned. Without one of the developers or another party gaining full control of Nekro, this game won’t be rising from the dead any time soon.
The review is quoted word for word, except: I am changing the name of the dev identified in the review.
"I am 50% owner of darkForge games LLC and I am responsible for creating all the visual art you have come to know as Nekro. Below is an update of what the state of the game and company is in. I am posting this so that you – the loyal fans and community can rally behind me to get this game completed and receive all your physical rewards. There is no doubt this post, and all else I make will be deleted so please propagate and keep this for future reference:
What Happened: Nekro was originally supposed to be a 1-1.5 year development cycle after the Kickstarter campaign. While blame can be placed on a great many things we never actually had funding other than the Kickstarter and our personal finances of which I spent every penny I had. So we decided to rush to Early Access to help fund the completion of the game.
Once we got funding rolling in I heard the same story year after year, 'Scott would say “I can't do it, I need another year”. This happened for 2 years. Bear in mind 'Scott' was taking 100% of all revenue even though we have a contract that explicitly states he can only take 50%. His reasoning was - “this is the only way we are going to finish the game”. So I obliged him, to the projects detriment. The last 5 months of 2015 however it became glaringly obvious what was happening. 'Scott' was taking 100% of the revenue still but he stopped working on the game, he became too comfortable making money with no ambition to continue. I told him. “you cannot take funds from the game unless you are working on it!” This sent 'Scott' into an uproar and he blocked me out of every account there is; the website, the Kickstarter, the steam account, and finally he took the last funds and shut-down the LLC bank account. To add insult to injury I was forced to pay over $1,000 of my own money for the 2015 California tax License as well as paying 50% of the taxes from the 2015 revenue of which 'Scott' that he took 100% for his own personal benefit. Since 'Scott' has blocked me from contacting him in any way.
The Future of Nekro: There is no future unless I get ownership of darkFroge LLC and Nekro. I have most of the physical rewards and am dying to ship them. The game is almost complete as it is - so I would be able to finish the rest of the game in a short period of time after the transfer. What I ask of you is be very loud and demand that 'Scott' hands over the assets and accounts to the game, and I promise I will not only complete the game but also give funds for those who worked on the game and were never paid. "
(additional comment posted below the review): I have been banned and all the forums comments deleted by 'Scott' the programmer on the project! So here it is!
Scott's version of the events (Klegran) is here: I.imgur.com (before he deleted all his posts)
Update 1, 4/14 : Steam store page disappeared altogether.