Unsung Story should actually join such sonorous and meaningful game names like Final Fantasy or The Last Story. Unsung story, after all, with the participation of Yasumi Matsuno (the director of Final Fantasy Tactics) from Playdek. A little later, Akihiko Yoshida was also brought on board. What could go wrong?
That’s what many Final Fantasy Tactics fans thought, who pre-financed the SRPG in 2014 with over 660,000 US dollars at Kickstarter. Unsung Story was supposed to appear in summer 2015, but it didn’t work out. Things didn’t go according to plan. In fact, it went so badly that Unsung Story is at best a marginal note even in Kickstarter accounts.
In February 2016, developers left the team in a row and finally the project hit the wall. Playdek communicated that some “key members” had left the team and that they would have to stay afloat with other, short-term projects before Unsung Story can be further developed.
With Little Orbit, things are clearly going uphill again
Somehow Unsung Story came into the hands of developer Little Orbit and things have been looking up a bit since then. Development is still going under the radar, but former backers are getting regular monthly updates.
In the summer they reported back on the big stage with a gameplay video. In December the project, which had long been believed dead, reached the next milestone. Little Orbit announced early access for Unsung Story. You can now actually buy Unsung Story on Steam in Early Access.
Yasumi Matsuno is confused about “his game”
The sprawling story of Unsung Story is now enriched by another exciting chapter. Shortly after the turn of the year, Matthew Scott from Little Orbit clarified what the irritation around and from Yasumi Matsuno was all about. From the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign, Matsuno’s name was firmly attached to the project. But Matsuno himself hasn’t been for a long time. The master was seriously irritated on Twitter and tried to clear up some things. Well-known translator Alexander O. Smith got Matsuno’s tweets translated into English.
“I wasn’t involved in the development,” Matsuno clears up right at the start. Since the project was dissolved, he was no longer in contact with the developers. He later heard that the project had fallen into other hands. A contact was made to clarify when exactly he left Unsung Story. Even with the original project, there were differences about the direction, according to which Matsuno (and Yoshida) turned away from the matter.
Little Orbit had promised that they would communicate Matsuno’s farewell to the project. But it didn’t happen that clearly and, as it is easy to miss, Matsuno’s name is still emblazoned on the Kickstarter website. On the contrary, Little Orbit communicated that the game was still based on visions of Matsuno’s designs and story, but he could no longer claim that because he didn’t know the game. That’s all he could say – now he is looking forward to the publication, like everyone else.
Matthew Scott reaches an agreement with Matsuno
Little Orbit’s Matthew Scott reached out to Matsuno himself on Twitter and said they’d been redesigning the Kickstarter page for two years. “A lot of information is completely out of date,” said Scott. However, Kickstarter rejects changes based on the terms and conditions. Accordingly, all changes are prohibited until the supporters have received their rewards. That makes sense, of course, but is extremely unfavorable in the present case.
Afterwards, Scott looked for a conversation with Matsuno and the result was recorded in a new Kickstarter update. You have suited yourself to the following points. Matsuno created seven extensive documents for Playdek (the original developer), which showed detailed game concepts, schedules, information on story and characters, layouts and gameplay mechanics. These were all used during the production of the game. Matsuno was expressly not involved in the development on a day-to-day basis.
“From the Imagination of” was supposed to clarify Matsuno’s (limited) involvement, according to Scott, but now that he’s so far away from the project, he felt uncomfortable with his name being used so prominently in connection with the game. Little Orbit will no longer use the name Yasumi Matsuno in marketing for the game. On the other hand, nothing changes in the game. Little Orbit will continue to recognize contributions attributed to Matsuno. It’s just a marketing thing.
The story of Unsung Story doesn’t end there
So it goes on. Early Access is planned for around a year and a half, after which the full version should appear. The first version of Early Access features seven missions that make up Chapter 1. There are also the first six jobs and a lot more. The story is far from over.
Images: Unsung Story, Little Orbit