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Tanglewood’s Dreamcast port on “hiatus”

Bad news for indie game fans, the Dreamcast port of Tanglewood has been put on hiatus for now. The announcement came from the game’s creator, Matt Phillips, on the project’s Kickstarter page earlier today.

Dreamcast Port is on Hiatus

It is with very deep regret that I am unable to continue developing the Dreamcast port of TANGLEWOOD for now, and the project is currently suspended.

For those that don’t know, Tanglewood is an indie game project, funded through Kickstarter, originally developed for and released on the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis, with a Steam version also made available.

The Kickstarter saw a stretch goal to have the game ported to the Dreamcast, which it actually just fell short of (by £170). But because it was so close, Matt and the team decided to make the Dreamcast port a reality. Or, at least, that was the plan.

In the announcement, Matt explains that due to delays and problems in creating the physical Mega Drive/Genesis cartridges, the budget from Kickstarter has been all-but used up and the team is now taking on side projects, to help keep the company alive.

1. The delays to the Mega Drive version ate all of our funds

We had reserved funds for the Dreamcast port, but the delays to the Mega Drive version drained them – the running costs of the studio, the contractor costs for reworking assets, storage costs for cartridge parts ordered in advance, the costs of moving release schedules (logistics, marketing), plus many unexpected costs we hadn’t factored into the original budget (our contingency fund wasn’t even close) – as well as the fallout from not having a released game on sale beyond its initial planned date.

2. I’ve had to take up contracting work to keep the studio alive

This is currently taking up a lot of my time, leaving little for Dreamcast development work (and trying to maintain a work/life balance). I can’t put in the time needed to do the port justice until the studio is back on its feet earning its own money, so I can hire staff again.

But Matt emphasises that “hiatus” doesn’t mean it is cancelled. The plan is to continue development of the Dreamcast version, once more funds are secured. Fingers crossed that comes soon!

I’ve been very careful to use the word ‘hiatus’ instead of ‘cancelled’ here – this is still a project I’m hugely passionate about and I’m determined to see it through once we manage to find funds and staff. I’m looking into other projects (for which we have potential investors in mind) which will help kick our studio back to life, and bring us more titles for sale, to help generate more income to work on TANGLEWOOD DC once again.

For backers who paid for the Dreamcast version, Matt has offered to give a full refund, or a copy of the Mega Drive game:

If you have ordered a Dreamcast copy, you are entitled to either a Mega Drive copy or a full refund, please get in touch: matt@tanglewoodgame.com.

While it is bad news, we do understand and appreciate the update – there’s nothing worse than a game just vanishing with no update. At least there’s hope the development will continue. We’ll keep you updated when we hear more news.

In the meantime, we have a full interview with Matt Phillips and his work on Tanglewood in Issue 08 of Mega Visions Magazine, due for release June 2019. Click here to become a backer and secure either a digital or physical copy of the magazine.

[Source: Tanglewood Kickstarter]


I'm the European Editor and co-founder of SEGA Nerds and Mega Visions Magazine, along with Chris. I've been a SEGA fan pretty much all my gaming life - though I am also SEGA Nerds' resident Microsoft fanboy (well, every site needs one) and since SEGA went third party, I guess it's now ok to admit that I like Nintendo and Sony too :0)

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