Japanese developer of Aqua Garden, Ostia puts retail on hold for new game Biohack despite Kickstarter success

Uchibacoya, the Japanese developer of Aqua Garden and Ostia, has soared past its crowdfunding goal for medium-weight eurogame BioHack – but is holding off launching retail distribution after suffering delivery delays for its last game.

The publisher has raised more than $91,000 so far BioHack, which sees players taking the roles of scientists trying to manipulate DNA to create mythical creatures – well above its initial $9,900 goal, with 25 days left for the Kickstarter campaign to run.

BioHack follows Uchibacoya’s big crowdfunding successes for Aqua Garden in 2020, which raised more than $220,000, and Ostia, which collected about $185,000 from backers last year.

Both projects suffered severe delays, however, eventually making their way to backers several months after their expected delivery dates.

Uchibacoya hit issues with Aqua Garden, its debut Kickstarter project, thanks to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw its shipping costs increase by about $35,000.

The company – at the time a two-person operation – managed to renegotiate that number down to $13,000, and covered the excess shipping itself to get the game delivered.

Two years later the company suffered delays for Ostia after pandemic-induced city closures affected its Chinese manufacturer.

Uchibacoya apologised for those delays repeatedly during its previous campaigns, and said to retailers in a note on the BioHack campaign that its “limited capacity” was to blame for delays in getting the retail version of those games into distribution.

It said, “We want to make sure this never happens again. This time we have decided to focus on the development of the game and will not be distributing our games through retailers.

“We hope to expand our capacity to improve management. Once we are confident of our ability, we would like to resume dealing with retailers and distributors outside of Japan.

“We kindly ask you to wait until our team has grown enough.”

Uchibacoya was launched by Junpei Tanaka in 2019 due to his love of “cute wooden tokens and euro games”, with the company initially specialising in making and selling in-box organisers and the production, import and sale of wooden piece.

It published its debut game Amalfi in 2020, quickly followed by The Arctic and Age of Hunting, before striking Kickstarter success the same year with Aqua Garden.

BioHack is designed by Yofiandhy Indrayana, with artwork from Tatsuki Asano and Iqbal Ridzuan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *