[UPDATE: Bloodstained reached its Kickstarter goal of $500,000 within its first four hours. Bring on the stretch goals!]
For whatever reason, some game companies simply refuse to utilize their classic IPs. Whether they don't feel there is enough consumer interest or if past failures with the IP have turned them off to the idea, the sad fact remains that many of gaming's greatest icons are simply not being used, or not to the full potential at least.
The creators of these characters and games have started leaving the big companies that own the IPs, and many have started working on spiritual successors to these classic games with crowdfunding resources, so at least the gameplay and feel of the franchises can live on. We've seen it before with Keiji Inafune's Mega Man-inspired Mighty No. 9 project, and just recently, former Rare developers at Playtonic Games blazed past their funding goal for Yooka-Laylee, a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.
Now the man behind some of the most popular Castlevania games in history, famed developer Koji Igarashi, is trying his hand at crowdfunding to create a spiritual successor to the beloved series. This project was teased a few days ago, asking people to choose between a sword or whip, but now it has official confirmation and a Kickstarter page. Entitled Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the game hopes to revive the "Metroidvania" gameplay featured in the side-scrolling classic Castlevania games such as Symphony of the Night and Dawn of Sorrow.
Described as as "gothic, exploration-focused action platformer", Bloodstained requires $500,000 to be completely funded, but it should have absolutely no troubles reaching that goal. The Kickstarter page has just gone live not too long ago, yet at the time of this writing, it's already surpassed $350,000 in funding. With 32 days to go, Bloodstained is almost guaranteed to be funded by as soon as the end of this day, if not within the hour.
Currently, the game has four stretch goals. At $600,000, the art book to be included with the physical release will be hardcover instead of paperback. At $700,000, a second playable character will be added to the game, which is a common mechanic used in Igarashi's Castlevania titles. $800,000 will add a bonus Nightmare Difficulty mode, but the final stretch goal is perhaps the most interesting. If players manage to raise $850,000 in funding for Bloodstained, legendary video game voice actor best known for being the voice of Solid Snake, David Hayter, will be lending his talents to the game.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night being developed by the man that played a large role in the development of some of the most popular game in the series is great for fans, but potentially bad news for Konami. With Igarashi having departed from the company to work on this project, and Hideo Kojima out the door as well, the studio has lots its A-list talent. The company's decisions to axe the highly anticipated Silent Hills and permanently remove P.T. from the PlayStation Store has drawn the ire of gamers, and many of them are probably glad that Bloodstained is nowhere near the reach of Konami.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is expected to release by March of 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.