When Koji Igarashi (IGA) went to Kickstarter to fund his newest IGA-vania, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, thousands of fans responded the only way they knew how.

It was a simpler time, before Kickstarter games started to leave sour tastes in backers’ mouths. *coughMightyNo.9cough*

After all, what could go wrong? The Godfather of the genre, the dark steward of Konami’s Castlevania games, is begging for fans to help fund his latest IGA-vania game.

This is the man behind Symphony of the Night, unanimously THE greatest Castlevania game of ALL time. You don’t say know to a man like that if you’re a Castlevania fan.

Also, he made this video.

Yeah, you don’t turn down a man after watching that. He could’ve asked fans for their souls and everybody who watched would’ve committed suicide right after.

Long story short, Bloodstained’s Kickstarter was one of the most successful in history. It raised USD$5.5 million (MILLION) on Kickstarter alone.

I used to be proud in saying I contributed to the game’s creation, to the tune of USD$300.

Money not well spent.

That is until last week.

What happened last week.

This happened.

Hey everybody, Roberto (Angel-Corlux) from 505 here. Preorders for Bloodstained are live! (Different platforms at different times.) The base price for the game is $39.99, and we have a lot more to announce…

First, the official Bloodstained website is live here! You can visit the site to preorder, check out all the trailers and screenshots we’ve released, sign up for our newsletter, and more. Feel free to link people to this site if they ever ask “what’s Bloodstained?” or similar questions.

Important: All Kickstarter order addresses will be locked in and FINAL on Friday, May 31, 2019 @ 11:59pm US PT. If you need to change your delivery address, please do so now. Once the deadline passes we won’t be able to change any addresses, no exceptions! (If you no longer have your survey link, you can have it resent to you.) Soon you’ll be receiving an email asking you to confirm or update your address: Please confirm it, even if your address is already correct, to ensure you receive your game as soon as possible. 

We’re working very hard to make sure that everyone will receive their physical and digital game copies on launch day for their respective platform; we’ll of course be updating everyone as soon as we’re able to confirm this. All the backer rewards aside from the physical copies of the game will arrive later in a single shipment; we’re doing it this way to reduce the chances of anything interfering with our goal of the backers getting their games at launch. 

Also, there will be a delay for the Amano poster backer reward. It’s still happening and coming your way, Amano-san has just been exceedingly busy, and when faced with a choice between having someone else do the art so the reward would come on time or having Amano make it, even if it comes a little late, I chose the latter. Hopefully you all agree we made the right choice, but we apologize for the delay nonetheless. 🙂 Will communicate more about this as soon as we can.

Speaking of backer rewards…stretch goals! Stretch goals will be coming after the game launches and will be free content updates for everyone who owns the game, not just backers. We are currently on track to update the game on day one with Boss Rush and Speedrun mode, as well as the Pure Miriam outfit.

Here’s a list of all the extra content coming later. No content has been cut from the stretch goals, so if you think anything is missing call it out and I’ll confirm / clarify. (There’s a lot to keep track of! ; _ ; )

Two additional playable characters
Local and online multiplayer for certain co-op and vs. modes
Roguelike mode
Chaos mode
Classic mode
Boss Revenge mode

Stay tuned for trailers and announcements of when this content will be launching!

As many of you will remember, we also asked the community a while back if they were against us making the ‘backer exclusive’ content (Iga Boss and Swordwhip) available to all players in some fashion. Almost 30,000 of you replied and the overwhelming response was that in general you were ok with it, and the most popular option was to sell it at a price that would respect the purchase the backers originally made.

To that end we’re announcing the “Iga’s Back Pack” DLC for $9.99, launching on June 18, 2019 for PS4, XB1 and PC, June 25, 2019 for Switch. Players who purchase this DLC will be able to fight the game’s creator, Koji Igarashi himself, and earn the powerful Swordwhip weapon by defeating him. 

To try and be as transparent as possible, making this content available to everyone wasn’t just about making money. I mean obviously that’s a part of it, but the chief things I was considering was making sure everyone had a safe and legitimate way to get the full game experience no matter when they find out about Bloodstained, whether that’s 5 months ago or 5 years from now, and that we were being respectful of the price backers originally paid (hence the DLC pricing).

As someone who’s pirated games because of bull**** anti-consumer practices, or as a demo to try and then buy (something largely made obsolete by modern refund systems), I wanted to eliminate as many reasons to pirate Bloodstained as possible. All of the above = the “Iga’s Back Pack” DLC. Hope that makes sense. I understand that not everyone will be 100% happy with this decision, but hopefully this helps in understanding the reasoning behind it. And of course all backers entitled to this content will receive the DLC for free.

And finally, it was recently revealed that certain retailers would be giving away a Bloodstained FuturePak steel case for preorders of the game while supplies lasted. I’m happy to announce that we will be selling 800 stand-alone FuturePak steel cases for $14.99 exclusively to backers. 

These cases feature a glossy metal renditioning of Mana Ikeda’s fantastic box art for the game, and an internal hinge so when fully opened the case creates a flat surface to display the art. The cases hold game discs and Switch cartridges. We’ll be sure to announce exactly when these will go on sale, so stay tuned! 

That’s it for today everyone, as always, thank you for all your incredible support, this community is one of the most amazing I’ve ever seen. Come talk to us on Discord, we actually reply! And listen! It’s crazy, I know! 😛

Talk to you soon…

Roberto Piraino, Global Brand Manager
505 Games 

I’ve highlighted the bold points for clarity but the kicker is this; the game’s selling for US$39.99 BUT backers were told the game’s $60 (which they paid to back) when it was in Kickstarter.

Straight from the Kickstarter page.

So not only do Kickstarter supporters pay more, they also DON’T get the Steelcase that’s available for pre-orders. Rubbing salt into that gaping wound, backers can get the Steelcase…IF they pay USD$14.99 more.

Ignore the fact that the backer-only content is supposed to be exclusive to backers (it’s now a $10 DLC), and you still see how backers are getting screwed; no Steelbook, more expensive game.

It’s mindbogglingly insane how 505 Games (the publisher) is trying to destroy all the goodwill the community has for them. This is the very same community that has been waiting for 4 years for the game, despite delay after delay.

Bloodstained’s original launch was supposed to March 2017, its Kickstarter campaign started on May 15 2015. Now, on the cusp of release, 505 Games chose to stab a knife into the hearts of backers by making the game cheaper than originally claimed AND rewarding those who didn’t back the game in the first place.

Paying more.

The signatures’ all that I want!

Honestly, I don’t really care about the extra cost fiasco. At the amount I’m paying, I’m personally getting it because I’m a collector and I want the extra stuff.

However, even I’m feeling insulted by how the community is being handled by the people at 505 Games.

And yes, I do also feel that it’s a giant middle finger to the backers of the USD$60 tier onwards to NOT get the Bloodstained Steelbook for free.

These are the people who backed the game when nobody else cared to contribute. To basically crap on them (and the other higher tier backers) by not offering everything pre-orders are getting is a tremendous sign of disrespect to the people who were there since the beginning.

Is it too much to expect some loyalty, especially from a company and creator who claims they value the fans?

Look at it this way:

  • Backers: Game, exclusive slipcase, premium DLC, Curse of the Moon
    USD$60 (Game) + USD$15 (Steelbook) = USD$75
  • Preorders:
    USD$40 (Game), Steelbook, premium DLC (USD$10) = USD$50

Does that even remotely seem fair?

Not fair.

Free? Not free?

There’s the argument being made that backers for the USD$60 tier have already got what they paid for.

After all, the premium backer-only DLC will be USD$10, plus they got Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon free, which was also USD$10 when it launched.

That argument doesn’t work because the ‘exclusive’ DLC was always meant for USD$60 and above backers, as a reward for supporting the physical tier and thank you gift. You don’t pay money for a gift you’re receiving do you?

Putting a monetary value on it just because latecomers can optionally pay for it is just illogical. That same option was never available to Bloodstained backers in the first place; there was no option to turn it down and get a USD$10 discount.

Same thing goes for Curse of the Moon. That was a Kickstarter stretch goal, a reward given to backers for meeting monetary goals set by the developers/ publishers.

Backers didn’t ask for the game and it was never a guaranteed thing from the get go. The ONLY reason it got made was because the stretch goal was met.

To say that it should be counted in the backers $60 tier is illogical, as backers would’ve still paid that amount even if the stretch goal wasn’t met in the first place.

Live and learn.

It’s been nearly a week since the announcement and the Kickstarter forums for the game have been livid about the decisions made.

505 Games’ Roberto Piraino claims there’s more news incoming about this but so far that’s not materialized yet.

Now, it’s Memorial Day weekend in the US so we probably won’t get a reply until Wednesday at least. Whether it’ll be good news, or if he’s pouring more fuel the fire is anybody’s guess at this point.

For me personally, it’s been an incredibly expensive lesson to learn; don’t back Kickstarters or any other crowdfunded game. At this point, I’m just hoping I get what I paid for without issues.

While I’m hoping Bloodstained is damn awesome (I’ll be reviewing it as soon as I get the game), the whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.