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What's the deal with Paprium?


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I saw this game mentioned in another thread with a "word of warning" about pre-ordering. Game looks really amazing though, and I am completely in the dark on what happened... in the past.

Without being too harsh, can someone explain in an objective way what happened (I can assess the risk of ordering for myself). 



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Homebrew Team · Posted

In its peak days, Watermelon was a company that moved glacially when it came to finishing its products and delivering to customers.

With regard to Paprium, previously known as Project Y, Watermelon (primarily Fonzie, as his business partner was forced out) raised a number of red flags. It created a “gem system” for people to “invest” and have a say in what the game would be without actually buying it. Initial pre-orders were taken and years would go buy with no substantive updates. If people asked for refunds, weird excuses would be given such as PayPal locking their account because it received too much money. Other weird moments popped up such as being told fulfillment was delayed because Air France misplaced some essential part of the game build, China sitting on the warehouses waiting for payment, or trouble with the infamous Datenmeister chip.

A few years ago, Watermelon announced a release party featuring the game and that orders would be fulfilled afterwards. Any arcades of the game were broken and Fonzie himself showed off a buggy alpha build of the game without enemies.

Then utter silence until a few weeks ago.

The bottom line is that this game was in development for years, with little in the way of updates, odd behavior from Fonzie, and a lot of angry investors who felt left in the dark.

An excellent series by a YouTuber covered a lot of these points, here’s Part 1:


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Member · Posted

Scorbins posted while I was typing up my response.  Regardless, I'll keep my original response for posterity.

Original Post

From my limited research, the company has had a really, really bad track record in not only not delivering products but also not refunding when projects seemed to be pulled.  Who wouldn't find that scummy.

So, again I have limited knowledge but I looked into this a little bit since I was curious.  It seems like one of those projects was Paprium.  It received preorders/kickstart funds (maybe?) years ago.  Like up to 5 years ago.  Then not long after the preorders were closed, updates went dormant and I assume most of the backers just assumed they lost their money.

Then, boom, a couple weeks ago they announce that not only that they were shipping but another game is taking preorders.  At that time, whatever it was, they were asking for something like $250, and I don't believe it was a special edition.

I know nothing about the people that made this game but to me they look like they want to make games but really care little about their customer experience.  Maybe they churn out some really awesome stuff because I agree, from what I've seen most of it looks really awesome.  However, I would also completely avoid any boutique game maker that takes 5 years to deliver and doesn't update their backers on the status of their projects.  At best, that's just super-horrible customer service.

Now, if anything I said is wrong, folks of the homebrew community, please correct me. I saw mention of this project a few weeks ago with a bunch of people basically saying "holy cow, Christmas miracles are real!" and when I did a quick googling, yeah, these people seem like they are terrible at delivery.

Edited by RH
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Homebrew Team · Posted
Just now, RH said:

I feel bad for the people in the last 3-5 years, or whatever, that might have moved. They probably never will get their copies.

You needed to log in and confirm your address before WM would ship it.  Not to say that everyone is getting a copy, that email may go to spam or whatnot. 

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This January will be six years since I pre-ordered/funded Justice Beaver.  It's not quite the same situation as Paprium because they have been pretty open about updates, so I do feel that I will receive something eventually.  It's just taking years and years longer than they originally planned.  I can honestly say that I'm not upset about the situation, but it's a primary example why I never crowdfund games anymore.  

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  • 2 months later...

Bit of thread necromancy here, but I just received the following email. It's confusing, to say the least, and reading the linked announcement just made it weirder:


Keep cool, WM's Magical Game Factory is not closed but we will need your full attention for the next couple of days.

PAPRIUM is the biggest game of its kind and should be sooner or later recognized as a landmark of the genre.
However, this game has been developed, manufactured and shipped at our own expenses.
We can't allow any further #LOCUSTERY to happen: We will fight-back.

Our full announcement:

Click here for our interview (in French, with English subtitles).

For any other requests, use the link on our homepage to post a ticket (long wait to be expected but we are going through) or for emergencies, call +33(0)7 81 08 84 61 during GMT hours. As a reminder, be bold, keep faith, hold your orders until further instructions and remember: We always deliver.


In 16-bit we trust!


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However, with the rise of management by bots, political correctness, quantum computing fabrication, design over function and digital fart ownership combined with the recent taste for mediocrity from various worldwide monopolistic internet actors such as Paypal, Amazon and Google, it seems harder, if not impossible for companies of our size to get paid for our work.


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