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John Romero needs to do some programming before he continues asking you for money.

After 2,287 pledged $131,052, developer Night Works Games has canceled the funding for its Blackroom crowdfunding project on Kickstarter, according to a message it sent to backers on the site. Night Work founders John Romero and Adrian Carmack, creators of the classic shooter Doom at id Software, revealed that they want to finish a demo for the arena shooter in order to comply with Kickstarter’s policies. A demo could also potentially increase the excitement for the game, which may help it raise funding at a much more rapid pace than Blackroom. While crowdfunding has helped raise millions of dollars for games, Romero’s game was not on pace to smash through its $700,000 goal.

For example, the Harmonix rhythm game Amplitude asked for $775,000 in 2014. It ended up raising $844,000. To get to that figure, the project had already received $200,000 in pledges after four days, according to Kickstarter tracking site Kicktraq. Blackroom only has $131,052 through a similar period, which suggests it would have struggled to get to the end goal.

Night Work explained that they are not thrilled with having to put Blackroom on hold, but it wants to bring the demo to fans.


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“We believe, however, it is the right choice,” Romero and Carmack wrote in a post to backers. “We know you do, too.”

Romero and Carmack provided a pitch video on the Blackroom Kickstarter site, but it only features concept art. It’s likely that the pair were hoping that announcing the return of key talent from the Doom team would generate enough excitement on its own. Doom is one of the most important games ever made, and it defined the era that turned PC gaming into a massive entertainment industry.

Even for people who are fans of Doom, however, many do not want to put money into something that isn’t coming until 2018 without even seeing what it looks like. But Romero thinks that once they get the demo together, gamers will convert their excitement for a new shooter from key Doom talent into financial support for the campaign.

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