The iControlPad 2 collected nearly $210,000 from over 2,000 backers. The most popular tier cost $75 and attracted nearly 1,000 people who wanted a boxed edition ICP2 that would connect to the mobile device.
The pitch was simple: a device that acted as a console controller for your smartphone.
Funding ended in October 2012 and there’s been nothing but problems. In a backer only update the team announced the failure of the project and the attempt at refunds.
First of all, we would like to apologize for the length and disarray of this Kickstarter Project over the past 12 months. It has come time to cancel the project. We are working with the team in Germany to see what parts can be returned to the vendors for refunds, and this money we will in turn refund to you all. Our goal is to do this as fairly as possible for all parties involved.
We have notified Kickstarter of the intentions on this and we want to be as transparent as possible moving forward. After lengthy discussions with the firmware developer & PCB designer in Canada, & the UK team, there is just not a way to move forward on this device without sinking more money into it. We didn’t want it to be a money pit, but unfortunately, as time has progressed, the original quotes for certain parts have expired and gone up in price. Additional parts that needed to be ordered to incorporate the backlighting were also underestimated in regard to cost, ie the keymat that would allow the backlighting to show.
They had been struggling with design challenges while backers grew more and more restless. Each technical change brought more complications and delays.
Once we figure out what can be returned, we will have more information on the refund process. Backers, we are truly sorry for all of this. We won’t be through with the project until we hit the “Send Payment” button on the last backer who supported us.
Kickstarter makes it clear that projects can fail. However, campaigns are also expected to make their pledge promises. The obvious hotspot there is what happens when the campaign’s output is also a pledge promise.
In the comments backers are pointing to Craig Rothwell’s troubles with the OpenPandora Project which met a similar fate.
Really want a controller for your smartphone or tablet? There’s an alternative with just about a week left on the funding clock: Drone. It looks pretty slick but the risks remain.