Gameband, a Kickstarter-funded smartwatch that wanted to bring back the golden days of retro gaming has been cancelled.
Despite raising $325,996 through crowdfunding back in 2017, FMTwo Game's CEO Feargal Mac Conuladh confirmed that the gaming smartwatch has been canned.
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An email was sent out to all of the project's 1,708 backers on Kickstarter, informing them that they would not be receiving the gaming wearable.
“It’s been a long road, and a very tough decision, however we felt it was time to call it, tell people where we stand, and start looking to where we will take things from here," said Conuladh.
Despite things all going smoothly with the initial development of the smartwatch, the team working on the Gameband began to encounter issues. Components like the USB-C didn't work, meaning a costly redesign and further delays ensued. When the startup struggled to secure more finances, it finally threw in the towel.
The device was set to allow you to play on-the-go through an Android-based OS. Thanks to some collaborative work, it was set to launch co-branded editions from Atari and Terraria. Each would have come with up to 20 mini-games, including classic hits such as Pong, Asteroids and Centipede, and current indie options like Terraria. It was even going to support the ability to play full versions of games on any computer, through the Gameband's PixelFurnace launch platform.
All game iterations were being optimised specifically for the watch's 1.63-inch AMOLED display, and was set to be powered by Qualcomm's Wear 2100 processor and offer Wi-Fi, an upgradable MicroSD drive and Bluetooth to pair with your Android or iOS device.
Conuladh is planning to offer refunds to backers, but is still working out how that will be done and when it will happen. Despite the failure of Gameband, Conuladh does plan to explore the wearable space in the future, but this represents another cautionary tale in the crowdfunding space. Even when enough money has been raised, there's still plenty of challenges for startups to overcome before delivery.
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