Vertebreaker Kickstarter canceled Headcannon Stealth spectacular failure

Well, I hate to say I told you so, but… Headcannon has canceled its Kickstarter for Vertebreaker, a new 2D platformer styled heavily after 16-bit classics, after only raising 5 percent of the asked $275,000 in its first week on the platform. They are “hoping to restructure and start a new campaign in a few months.”

In a video, Headcannon developer Simon “Stealth” Thomley explained that they rushed the start of the Kickstarter because he, and perhaps a couple others on the project, is “broke” and has been in debt for years. Financially speaking, video game development can be unforgiving to the actual creators, as is the case here, and Thomley outlines his troubles to that end. Apparently they’d actually worked on a Darkwing Duck prototype previous to this after Capcom interest, but it went nowhere. It’s not the most uplifting of tales, but Thomley spends a full 12 minutes thanking everyone individually who backed Vertebreaker.

The outcome of the Vertebreaker Kickstarter is not entirely unexpected for reasons I outlined in my previous article. Particularly, $275,000 was a big mental barrier, even if it only really meant they were hoping to get 18,333 people to donate $15, which doesn’t sound too unreasonable. The other factor is that the PR just felt sloppy to nonexistent. But all of this makes sense now that Headcannon’s Thomley has come forward with the unfortunate circumstances behind the campaign.

Here’s to hoping Headcannon can turn things around with a new Vertebreaker Kickstarter in the near future.


John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea.


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