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[Kickstarter watching] Project Phoenix, the rise and fall of Kickstarter's FIRST Japan-based video game project!
Full disclosure, I'm a backer for this. I've also backed a number of other games on KS and most of them actually did really well (Bloodstained yay!). Something I love doing from time to time is going through video game Kickstarter projects to see what cool things developers might be coming up with. Some turn out okay, others, well, not so okay. KS project deaths can be be quick and brutal and some would-be creators know when to call it quits when things don't work out. Some move on or find another way to see their dream project realized making lemonade out of lemons. Some don't. The ones that linger can mutate, becoming a shambling mass of what-could-have-been occasionally moaning a hint of whatever former life it may have once had to anyone within earshot, prodded by the pulse of the occasional update haunting email inboxes. Project Phoenix is one of the latter.
A few helpful terms:
Kickstarter - well known crowdfunding site. All money amounts mentioned here are in USD.
CIA - Creative Intelligence Arts, the studio created to build Project Phoenix.
game engine - the backbone for a game. Two of the most popular engines are Unity and Unreal and both were used to some extent by Project Phoenix. It's like the foundation for a house.
AAA - designation used to describe studios such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Rockstar, Nintendo, Naughty Dog, etc.. These are like the First World tier developers of the game industry. Then you have everyone else. Does not necessarily describe skill or talent (AAA studios/devs create doo doo like anyone else). Think of it as shorthand to describe the economic might and studio size footprint behind a title. Undertale is not a AAA title, for example. But something like Grand Theft Auto V is. Does not tow cars or jump start cold ones in winter.
JRPG - Japanese Role-playing Game (ex: Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy series, Persona series, Shining Force series)
2.5D - perspective that includes 2D elements and 3D elements. Examples would include many of the early 90s FPS games like Doom to more modern uses such as Square Enix's Octopath Traveler which used 2D characteNPC art set against 3D backdrops in the world such as deserts, mountain roads, towns and villages.
Some games mentioned:
Final Fantasy Tactics - developed by Squaresoft (today, Square-Enix) for the PlayStation in the 90s. Considered a classic.
Shining Force - developed by Climax Entertainment for Sega's Genesis/Mega Drive system. Tactical JRPG series considered an early classic of the 90s.
Shadowrun Returns - created by Jordan Weisman and his team at Harebrained Schemes. Weisman is the original creator of the Shadowrun tabletop in the late 80s, early 90s under FASA. Microsoft now owns the Shadowrun property but Weisman was able to get a license to make a game for it. Returns is a tactical, turn-based RPG based on the Shadowrun universe in the the 2050s timeframe. Followed up by two more successful entries that were also Kickstarted, Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong (I backed this one).
KS maintains old projects for reference so the names and events here are public knowledge. As one of the backers, I also have access to the "backer only" updates, so I provided some context from those here, too. The same with the referenced articles from outside sources that have looked in on this weird saga from time to time. Pledges were made, backers followed the promises, and a professional musician becomes the head of his first video game studio. Wanna take a ride?
Oh hey! This is cool!
On August 12th, 2013, Project Phoenix popped up on Kickstarter (KS going forward). This was during a heady era of KS investment following the wild success of projects like Tim Schafer's Broken Age in 2012 which garnered a whopping $3+ million in donations. It, with others, drove a rebellious wave of excitement over what what seen as a fresh, new take on funding games that "AAA" studios may have found too risky, leveraging the connectedness of the internet and the dreams of anyone looking to bring something of theirs to life at the time. Effusive hype bled into projects like Project Phoenix touting itself as "Japan's indie RPG feat. AAA talent!" and as "a JRPG with squad based RTS game design, brought to you by veteran developers and creators from the East and West" with a targeted release in mid-2015. It featured a large roll of people with direct experience in the industry. The director and producer was a professional musician, Hiroaki Yura, who had worked on titles like Valkyria Chronicles. Years later in an interview with Gamespot, he would confess that even though he had never shipped a game himself before, his peers in the industry encouraged him to embark on this grand Kickstarter adventure to realize a game idea he had been nursing. The quest would even be joined by the famous Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy series) as the lead composer. The creative side was bolstered with a number of artists and sound engineers but the programming side had an "unknown" portrait as that person was "one of the leading Unity programmers in the world" whose identity couldn't be made known until "late in the development process". That same Gamespot interview with Yura by Gamespot would reveal that the programmer was David Clark who, at the time, was also working on Ori and the Blind Forest. An even earlier article by Kotaku's Jason Schrier in 2015 had also mentioned Clark. As backers, though, we had no idea just who this mystery programmer was. Clark would simply be referred to with a flattering reverence often reserved for holy figures by Yura, a theme we would become too familiar with over the next few years. Project Phoenix exploded past its initial funding goal of 100k and then some, making a little over a million and change. A separate web page featuring a PayPal donation link was even set up for those "late" to the party. Nearly 16k eager JRPG fans pledged to see what would come next.
2013 - 2014
The next several months following the end of the campaign were a flurry of activity. New staff joined the team, a test video of the animation was shown off, more art was shared along with world-building fiction. Project Phoenix even garnered a mention on Classic FM as part of its "12 video game soundtracks you have to hear in 2014" featuring Nobuo Uematsu. Things seemed to be hopping! On September 10th, 2013, Hiroaki Yura also held an AMA on Reddit where, when asked by a backer concerned over the lack of specifics, he answered that Project Phoenix was to "set an example in Japan, just like how Supergiants Games did with Bastion, what a small team of dedicated individuals can do with a game". In another reply, Yura hoped to surpass what inspired them in the first place citing titles such as "Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy Tactics Ogre, StarCraft and Warcraft, C&C series, DotA/LoL." The hype was reaching Peter Molyneux DEFCON levels. The first odd sign this wasn't your typical KS video game project was when they suddenly made an announcement for an anime called "Under the Dog" on August 18th, 2014, which was also a Kickstarter project. CIA (the company Hiroaki Yura formed to build Project Phoenix) was collaborating with another company to produce the anime episode and pursue a series. It would even have a "special collaborative item reward in Project Phoenix." And just as he had done with Project Phoenix, Yura also did an AMA on Reddit for Under the Dog, describing hopes for it to break free of the typical establishment shackles and pave the way for a new method of creating animation by keeping it under the greater control of those making it. There was even interest in making a game based off of the anime if it took off successfully. A backer or two over on the Project Phoenix campaign page wondered if the company might be spreading itself thin like this, but for the most part, most everyone had faith in Phoenix to keep the course.
2015 - "...an assumption to rely on works by volunteers"
Long story short, Under the Dog was successfully funded and would later be released some time later. Yet at the time in February, 2015, something bubbled up in the news over at Siliconera (who focus a lot on covering Japanese-related game content). It was reported that both CIA and Kinema Citrus (the studio working on Under the Dog) parted ways with CIA due to 'creative differences'. The new producer taking over from Hiroaki Yura, Koji Morimoto (a veteran of the anime industry), had also discovered the following:
"I found out: 1) there is a high possibility of rewards costing more than the initial estimates (since there were expensive rewards such as figurines, etc. being included), and 2) there was practically no budget set aside for the operational costs—probably based on an assumption to rely on works by volunteers. Those were the major concerns for me and that’s why I needed to check the financial aspect of the project first."
A few days later, an update on Project Phoenix's merch store (yes, they were planning a merch store while the game was barely an alpha at this point) wrote "nothing on UTD will affect Project Phoenix going forward". Under the Dog would also never be mentioned again. It also noted they would be "posting applications for recruitment on the project, so if you have experience in creating a game keep your eye out for the next update." This was a bit worrying. By early 2015, the most that backers had gotten was a lot of announcements, art, an underwhelming vertical slice, and a tiny card-based mini-game. Fans were concerned but still had faith that it could work. The solid quality of the art concepts (and the music samples) helped. Still, others were starting to worry, especially in the face of other projects that were leaving their nurseries that year while Project Phoenix seemed to be dragging its virtual feet. It also didn't help that the project was putting out the call for Unreal engine programmers signaling that they were shifting gears from Unity. Again, the reasons why would only become clear a few years later from that Gamespot interview in 2017 and Jason Schrier's piece in 2015. In both, it was explained that with the success of Ori and the Blind Forest, Clark was no longer able to commit to Project Phoenix leaving it scrambling for talent. But as Hiroaki Yura put it then:
Unity had a lot of under-developed tools we need to create the game so our team made a decision to move to UNREAL which would cut development time and mess a lot.
In March, 2015, a "backers only" update came out emphasizing the time needed to transition to the new engine. Changing game engines mid-project is almost never a great thing. It can be akin to deciding, part way through building a house, that maybe you want to change the foundation and where the basement was. That's also money down the drain. For some projects, this is enough to kill them -- or at least force them to rescope just what they need to do such as making a smaller game than was intially envisioned. Updates were also becoming infrequent. Sometimes a month would pass without word. In another apologetic update from Yura, he wrote of using "personal funds" to create concept art for a "very very famous animator" to animate "in a very awesome way" (AFAIK, that never happened or was shown to anyone). In August, another new name dropped into the project to keep us updated and demonstrating a new video with gameplay. Backers were again underwhelmed. The update even mentioned that they "currently lack someone to edit some opener logos, music, and disclaimers so please use your imagination". The suggested lack of professionalism from "AAA talent" was eating away at backers' confidence in the project. Some would go on to say:
It blows my mind that after all this time this is what you guys can show. Other projects did better with less funding. I get it, placeholders, WIP, whatever. The gameplay looks unoriginal and boring, the mechanics don't inspire anything or make me want to play it. I still regret having backed this project, my hopes of it becoming good are completely gone. what is this shit? It went from promising a Final Fantasy Tactics/Tactics Ogre SRPG to THIS?!?! Are you kidding me? I am NEVER backing another videogame on Kickstarter.
By December, the project had to "clarify" that they actually do have a programmer on the team after previous updates made it seem like they were scrambling to find one. In practice, though, the programmer wasn't a full hire and was participating in the project only sporadically with "his current work" apparently "delaying his full commitment here by about 2 months" and pushing the estimates for completing the game "2.5 years from the time we get our full-time programmer on board". Nobuo Uematsu was apparently still doing music for the game and there was hope he would show up in a future video. Updates on his progress would eventually dry up, too. And despite Classic FM's previous optimism, we didn't get that epic soundtrack to listen to in 2014 aside from a few samples. There was also a note on refunds and how they weren't considering those "at this time" because it meant "to give up on the project since there would be no money left to complete it." Kotaku's Jason Schrier posted an article that December as well, two days later on the 11th. In it, and from an email that Yura had sent over in response to questions Schrier had about the project, he revealed that they had been waiting (for a bit over two years now) for David Clark to come onto the project after Ori. That didn't happen. Yura, as usual, cited Clark as a "good friend of mine" and a "godly programmer", but now had to find a new programmer. One thing Yura notes in his email to Schrier is that they were "making this game part time". Nowhere in the original campaign proposal was this made clear, other than in saying in ambiguous terms "Many of them have taken time out of their personal schedule to contribute their expertise towards Project Phoenix's success. So while everyone has donated a lot of their time, there’s only so much more we can do for free." while later stating "Luckily, we have industry veterans on staff who are reliable, not only in the art of programming, but also in the art of project management." None of which seemed to be working in their favor.
Yura and friends seemed to still trying to figure out staffing heading into the year but they eventually did get a programmer proficient in Unreal tech, Daniel Dressler, which was announced in February, 2016. After that, there's not much to say about 2016. The drought of real updates was concerning but in hindsight, there was probably a good reason why. One could almost say, it was a "tiny" glimpse of things to come. Because meanwhile, in another corner of the Kickstarter universe, a game called TINY METAL showed up in September. Created by AREA 34 who were "based out of Los Angeles", the game was asking for 50k in funding to create what was observers regarded as a spiritual successor to the popular Advance Wars from the Game Boy Advance, a fan favorite, JRPG-based tactical, turn-based splash from 2001. The studio had a whole roster of AAA talent, too. It was like this studio came out of nowhere to tackle a classic thirst for chibi tanks. TINY METAL failed to meet its funding goal of 50k but they mentioned that they had managed to secure funding from elsewhere to at least build a basic game and that was what they would continue moving forward with.
On April 23rd, an update explaining The Pathfinder class arrived. But below the class description was something unexpected -- a breakdown of what was going on with the development of Project Phoenix from the money end written by Daniel Dressler. In it, he described how much less money there was to work with. Roughly 260k was off the top of that million+ figure for KS fees, PayPal fees, and fake pledges that didn't come through. In order to fulfill things like physical rewards, 350k of what was left would be set aside and "will not be touched". If Koji Morimoto were a ghost, he would probably be moaning in the background as these words were read. That left roughly half a million in change by their estimates to fund development in 2013. But the thing that crippled the finances for the project was the decision to go fully 3D from 2.5D once they were flush with funding. Costs ballooned. Also mentioned was that "The programming was going to be done by a genius, once he finished up work on this other major indie game" (again, likely a reference to David Clark who would no longer be joining the project and which, as a reminder, they waited nearly two years to join them). To help cover the extra costs, Yura allegedly invested 500k of his own money earned from his music work back into the project. Towards the end, mention is made of a "tiny project" whose success would mean that "private investors" would invest "significant capital into Project Phoenix". These mystery moneymakers funded the creation of a new staff and a new project. And like clockwork, no one really put two and two together until much later. Again, there were more than a few backers that were upset:
Thank you for the update. I know you will never read this but that's only fair since I'm adding this project name to my junk filter because the money I gave you (well not you Daniel since you came in 3.5 years in to the project and are now the de facto spokesperson) is not worth the frustration of seeing Kickstarter emails in my mailbox only to find out it is this project and it is still in development... It sounds like the entire development was a house of cards predicted on getting some anonymous "genius" to do most of the work for little or no money, and having to actually hire people caused your entire budget to fall apart. What utterly inept project management... Thanks for the update. It's a constant reminder why I never buy into a kickstarter project anymore. Keep it up!
And again, Kotaku's Jason Schrier reported on this particular update, saying "Although this campaign always seemed shady to me—too many sketchy claims and lofty promises—it’s a bummer that 15,802 backers will never get their money back." Dressler's explanation compared Project Phoenix's troubles as broadly similar to those that every other project faced. From a certain perspective, he's not wrong. Many crowdfunded projects faced the same general issues especially as more money came in. But as time went on, the Potemkin villages dotting CIA's countryside would slowly come apart in the face of other projects that didn't fit the narrative such as Harebrained Scheme's Shadowrun Returns (and its subsequent sequels). All Kickstarted successfully and each one made in Unity. But one reply came from a developer who was also a backer who offered their time to help get the project back on track and urging contact.
Every word I've heard, from this and other updates, signify huge red flags to me. Your mini project will not be enough. You need an efficient pipeline. Contact me if you are serious about finishing this game.
Others would chime in and urge CIA to take them up on their offer of help. Because of CIA's penchant for vagueness (har har), one question on backers' minds was whether any money from Project Phoenix, since it was in such dire straits at this point, had gone over to this mysterious game. While the money didn't go into building someone's house, going to a wholly different project wasn't a great prospect, either. On June 12th, Hiroaki Yura released another update clarifying that their new project was not using funds from Project Phoenix and was a concept developed with Dressler "several years ago". The game was to be a "proof of concept" to demonstrate an ability to deliver a "successful game", convincing the potential investors backing this strategy title to back Project Phoenix. Because of this, he noted, "progress on Project Phoenix has slowed temporarily as a result". And remember that developer who offered their help in April? They also had something to say in response to this update.
I talked with Mark, who is a backer like all of us and volunteers his time to CIA. He relayed to me that Hiro saw my offers and isn't interested as their "problem doesn't lie with project management"...
...and goes on to say...
...so unless this project has somehow transcended how video games are made and discovered a new set of issues, they are simply not interested in the supporters, or finishing this project as their first priority. I lost $120 on this, nowhere near what some have, but I don't feel right sitting back and saying nothing.
Then in September, PC Gamer interviewed Yura at PAX West 2017 where he was promoting a game called TINY METAL as CEO of the studio in charge of making it (now referred to as AREA 35 instead of AREA 34). So maybe it wasn't surprising that a few months later on November 15th, a "backers only" update appeared in the Project Phoenix campaign for that same game. If you haven't already guessed, this was their "tiny project". Although the game started making the publicity rounds earlier in 2017 as far back as May for the Nintendo Switch, Hiroaki Yura, CIA, or any association with the project was left a vague breadcrumb trail. AREA 34 had listed completely separate roster of developers who were cited instead in press releases and its own updates on their KS page. Now it appeared Yura was promoting TINY METAL as a second Christmas for the studio's survival. Yura urged backers to try out the demo for TINY METAL. For backers who thought they deserved a copy of the game, the reply was that doing so would "be in breach of our terms of agreement with both the major stakeholder groups of the project; our investors and our publisher." which, predictably, didn't sit well with more than a few of them. Then Yura wrote the following:
Unties, the publisher of TINY METAL and a division of Sony Music Entertainment has already expressed interest in publishing Project Phoenix. We are so close. This is the first time to tell anyone outside my friends, but I am going through a lot with my personal life and I have been separated from loved ones at the moment, and it is honestly one of the worst experiences in my life... and going through an extremely hard ordeal. Been beaten by backers about Project Phoenix that I lied and cheated is one thing, as I understand how some people feel about me and honestly, I feel responsible and deserve the beating. However, been beaten when you try to reach for something to keep a promise, and sacrificing so much... losing my family and at the same time protecting the families of my staff, is the biggest challenge I've faced yet in my life. So just this once, please look carefully at the work we've put in. TINY METAL is our only salvation. With so little resources, many staff from Project Phoenix has toiled to make a simple yet fun little game and this is our result. If you truly like what we've made, please help us, we need all the help we can get. We don't want your money, we just need you to tell your friends and family.
Gauging the backer replies, while a few were understanding, many others were not:
...You stole our money. Failing a project is fine but to stop making the game altogether and making another game with the money is damn right disgusting. This is a dead horse you keep beating. Yes, the horse ate our money, shat on us and then died. But it is definetly dead. Please make your peace with that and move on.
But there were also supportive words there, too:
Remember the story of the Phoenix, and you can rise from the ashes after tragedy. I believe in you. <3 This project is clearly a train-wreck, and is having a real effect on those involved. Some of these comments, however, are just gross.
After the November update, something new appeared on Project Phoenix's Facebook page. Tariq Lacy, a former employee of AREA 35 (the Japanese indie studio working on TINY METAL) who had been working there for a few months, put up a post essentially saying that Hiroaki Yura and his company, CIA, had used funds from Project Phoenix to make TINY METAL. Although Yura and Dressler repeatedly said in the past year that TINY METAL was funded by sources outside of Project Phoenix, the long delays and lack of real progress had already incensed furious backers waiting for the other shoe to drop. Lacy's story was all the proof some needed. In return, Yura accused Lacy of "being a toxic employee who has sexually harassed our female staff amongst many other problems" which he later apologized for. Lacy's entry was "factually incorrect" and deleted but not before some news outlets noticed, setting the stage for a little Mortal Kombat. In a Twitter conversation with PC Gamer following the news, Lacy also noted that AREA 35 and CIA are one and the same. Not only that, but they were also in the same building with "shared office space and PCs". Replying to this piece of information, Yura confirmed that both companies are at the same address but both have "different staff and purpose." Further:
"CIA’s core business is audio production and Area 35 is game and animation development," he said. "We used to have CIA do all of the above but we needed corporate identity and clarity hence we separated the companies. We have absolutely no money from CIA that went into Area 35, it was created by our own money from the executives." The majority of Area 35, he added, is held by himself and a partner."
Then the studio's project manager, Gian Carlo Peirce, replied to PC Gamer in an email adding:
"Creative Intelligence Arts has held onto enough funds to create the backer rewards and their fulfillment, but the development funding has been exhausted. We’re not the first and we won’t be the last Kickstarter to have these kinds of challenges, but we’re committed to seeing it through with a quality game..."
Dressler, who also worked on TINY METAL, had a post on Steam, now preserved by the Internet Archive, refuting the accusations of a former staff member that AREA 35/CIA embezzled funds from Project Phoenix. He also noted that the "entire portion of the project phoenix development budget was invested into development ages before I even joined the company." At least now backers knew why updates for Project Phoenix that year were so glacial. Or had a pretty good guess. Then, according to an interview with Siliconera in December, TINY METAL also needed to sell 150k copies to "resurrect" Project Phoenix. In the interview, Yura throws the work that Airborne Studios (the company CIA used for art assets early on) under tank treads by saying "We aren't happy at all, it looks too cheaply made." going on to say later answering another question "We felt, although we did our best with Airborne, it's not their fault. In terms of the pipeline, it's nobody's fault. It's my fault because I did not prepare enough money for that failure. I did not prepare enough time for that failure. I accept that. I would never blame the artists or the pipeline." When pressed to answer what the studio would do if the sales target came short 50k units, Yura replied:
We don’t need to discuss our internal business decisions. There are a lot of things I can’t tell you about. What I can tell you, in general, is this is not the only thing we do. We have other jobs that will basically feed us. That 50,000 [units] would be nice to concentrate on this, but if we can’t do that we can do recordings. We can do other work. We can do programming work for other companies. If we make the right game we hope, it will sell. If we don’t, it won’t sell. Then it will be another challenge to get Project Phoenix’s budget.
A few days before TINY METAL's release, Gamespot posted an interview with Hiroaki Yura who provided the publication with documented proof that the game was funded by investment outside Project Phoenix. As mentioned earlier, this was one of interviews (along with Jason Schrier's) who revealed who the "genius" level programmer Unity programmer was along with some other tidbits. About funding Project Phoenix should TINY METAL do well:
...We were first introduced to Sony during the work on Project Phoenix, and though this is not official, verbally we agreed that if Tiny Metal does well, then we will probably work on Project Phoenix.
...and then on why he started the project:
...I've got lots of friends who've worked on the AAA side of the industry, and when I spoke to them about it, they wanted to do it. And then they all pointed to me to produce and direct it, because I'm bilingual. But the thing is, I've never delivered a game, but I've had backing from Uematsu-san, several key artists from Square-Enix who've worked on Final Fantasy, people from the Warcraft team--it was just sort of overwhelming.
...and on what led to the first major delay with Project Phoenix because of the art:
...It wasn't A1's fault, but I think the visual design was too 'chibi,' like super-deformed. It looked too immature, and the content of the game was much more mature than that. So we were running out of budget, we were running out of time, so we announced our delay and we started planning for [Tiny Metal] to try and make money for Project Phoenix.
TINY METAL was released on December 21st, 2017 after a short delay and published by Sony's Unties garnering relatively solid, if not enthusiastic, response from critics in general and players on Steam. Months passed with the next update arriving on July 31st, 2018, dropping another bombshell with Japanese courts confirming that Lacy's charges against AREA 35 were bogus and legally requiring him to publish a public apology. Although Lacy's claims of embezzlement were ruled untrue, it didn't explain why Yura and Dressler created a fog of war over their relationship with TINY METAL as far back as early 2017, opting instead to cryptically drop hints from time to time as if this were an adventure game from Sierra On-Line. Though, judging from a number of backers' furious reactions when the curtains were finally drawn back, the reasons why might not be that surprising.
"BRING OUT YOUR DEAD" ("But I'm not dead...!")
The last update for Project Phoenix was March 26th, 2019, where Yura wrote that they were "currently cultivating the programming team, but before we're able to fully recommit to Project Phoenix, we're working on titles independent of this project." No mention of genius level programmers, an Academy Award™ winning sound engineer, or very, very good animators was made though he noted that Nobuo Uematsu was still contributing music. Six more artists were also joining the team led by Takuya Suzuki, a former artist at Blizzard, along with Erasmus Brosdau formerly of Crytek, to start creating world assets "sometime later this year". Once those are done, he writes, "we hope to have our programmers ready to take on the task." There was also no further mention of whether the physical rewards were even a thing at this point, the 350k part of the budget that was set aside to cover those. Maybe backers did get them and just decided not to say anything making it another unsolved mystery (Robert Stack not included). By now, more than a few of those with access to the project and able to post replies to the Kickstarter updates do this instead:
CIA/Hiroaki Yura did answer a question about whether there might be a new roadmap to which someone replied:
The balls on you, seriously! " It's going to be very turbulent ahead, but we definitely want to nail down this game." Are you getting a good chuckle out of this, Hiro?
There have been no further updates since though people are still leaving refund demands as recently as January, 2020. But there was one update outside of Project Phoenix. A few months after that March update, a sequel to TINY METAL, TINY METAL: FULL METAL RUMBLE, was released by AREA 34 (and developed by AREA 35) on PCs and the Nintendo Switch on July 11th. As for whether this game will actually resurrect Project Phoenix, it's probably a safe bet at this point that it hasn't.
Nearly seven years later, Project Phoenix has metamorphed into a zombie trainwreck washed up by the tide of exuberance during Kickstarter's peak video game era, becoming another example of a massive KS failure in the video gaming space. Through a variety of factors, it somehow burned through a million dollars of goodwill -- more once you account for Yura's alleged injection of capital -- and attempted to survive with a secret project quietly built behind AREA 34/35 names and rosters as a byzantine Plan B for their funding woes. From what can be told going through the (now largely outdated) staff list still posted at their campaign page and the few names that came up during their staffing spree years ago, most of the principals have either moved on to other work (one former artist is now working on James Cameron's Avatar 2, Airborne went on to do work on titles like Apex Legends, Dressler is working on a new game). Others continued doing what they do outside of the project (their "day jobs") likely having fulfilled whatever contractual obligations they had at the time and few if any of them mention their association with Project Phoenix nowadays. Project Phoenix's .info page now exists only as a largely abandoned forum, a bare shadow of its former self. Its Twitter has remained silent since the last announcement. Responses to the last news on its Facebook page varied from disbelief to shock and happiness that it was still a thing before silence descended once more. A few people out there are still excited to get alerts on the project. The only activity on its campaign page are demands for refunds. Even Hiroaki Yura's twitter doesn't mention the project at all aside from his bio linking to the nigh abandoned .info page. But in an interview with Escapist Magazine in November of last year, he referred to Project Phoenix as a "snafu", a lesson learned informing him on what ventures to pursue nowadays. And that was that, an epitaph likely as close to anything anyone will get for what its campaign page still hails as "Kickstarter's FIRST Japan-based video game project!" EDIT: Many humble thanks kind stranger for the gold!
'reputation' Borchetta theory (and a slightly very detailed look at the Taylor Vs. Scooter conflict, explained)
(Firstly, #Sorry for my bed English) [Also, extremely long read] TLDR: Borchetta betrayed Taylor, by choosing more greed over longtime loyalty. Taylor made "reputation" not with just what happened in 2016 and her lover J on her mind. TS6 was made during 2017, the times when Taylor secretly had conflicts with Borchetta behind the scene, and she made subtle messages all over the era for us. We just didn't fully understand all of them yet, until now. I was reading a few comments about how some details from LWYMMD MV/song could have been 'prophecy' about the recent fallout between Taylor with Borchetta [https://www.reddit.com/TaylorSwift/comments/c8pbje/lwymmd_record_label_falling_out_easter_egg/]. And holy f, all of the other pieces just fell together! And after writing this whole 'essay' below (which I didn't even put as much work into my own thesis as this) and rolling through some other posts, I know that us swifties are feeling the same thing too!!! *Swifties are psychically linked confirmed* *or Taylor Swift officially did THAT!/lost it with her new(-ish) career as an intensive, multi-layer Easter-Eggs seeder* [we all looooove theee eeeeggs, Taylor... but for the love of our collective sanity,... could you...n-- putmoreeffortsonthesinglesfrontinstead... please... ?] a) LWYMMD: A few of us have looked back at LWYMMD lyrics and few of them could be decoded about her struggles behind the scene, not just about certain dramas as everyone expected of it. The power of Taylor's lyricism is that she tells a story that was specific, but also could be able to apply to anything or anyone. Also, it's another example of how personal she is with her art. She wrote about what (had) happened in her life, and have a certain story that is way deeper than just easter eggs and cameos. Like how "tilted stage" was not just about some particular plagiarized stage design, but also means as an uneven field, where Taylor was not given the fair chance. Or as I noticed this on Twittereddit somewhere [sorry if I didn't credit you!] "I don't like your kingdom keys They once belonged to me You ask me for a place to sleep Locked me out and threw a feast (what!?)" kingdom keys once belonged to me - her music (masters). You asked me for a place to sleep - history between Borchetta making Big Machine to sign with Taylor Swift, us swifties all know by heart by now. Locked me out and threw a feast - Borchetta blocked Taylor from buying her masters, then trying to sell the label away for his big $300 mil. pay day. Or in the MV, the Orange jumpsuit Taylor [that was singing those particular lyrics] was locked in a golden cage, as a metaphor for Taylor being pressured to sign that extortion new contract. Or how she must have been forced to not take as much actions as she wants. Another fellow swiftie pointed out how Taylor has became more direct with her activism, both in her life and her music right after she left the old label. She had her subtle ways to show her supports for liberal causes (via quiet donations - most donations we usually found out were via the donated) before: BLM, gay rights (a very well-documented Twitter thread about Taylor's LGBT+ support over last few years https://twitter.com/rui/status/1146467562391257091 Thank you very much Rui Delgado!), women's rights, etc. But it could be only because she was restricted by her label that way. [Also, someone on Twitter pointed out that Borchetta is a Blackburn supporter! He donated to her even via Big Machine label! https://twitter.com/makinghimbleed/status/1145516547399663616 As Taylor had pointed out her own personal political view against Blackburn last year, with careful research and receipts to back up her stand, this theory is very probable!] Also also, FT reported that Taylor's negotiaton with Borchetta completely fell out autumn 2018 and Taylor finally decided to leave for a new label. And what were her first moves? Defended lesbian jesus Hayley Kiyoko for her quest of LGBT+ visibility and presentation in July, came out with her political stance in October [October is also when Borchetta officially put the label up for sale on the market], and continue her activism more directly until today. Also also also, another swiftie has pointed out on tumblr that the copyright strikes of Taylor 'See you in court' music has become less notoriously stricter this new era as well. Hmmmm, I wonder why? /s b) RFI MV: The "artistic" choice of the music video is kinda confusing at first. But it tells the story of a dark hooded Taylor and another "caged" Taylor controlling/being controled and then fighting against each other. At the end, only the caged Taylor got freed. This could be decoded as Taylor was following orders from the hooded Taylor, got turned into just a machine at one point, but when she wanted to "glow" and "fly" away, she got knocked back down. Taylor can only manage to break free when she channels her thunders/[power] and breaks out the box, destroying dark Taylor in the process, and ascends to the next chapter of her life, smiling and crying tears of joy. Next chapter. Also, this single is color-coded with Orange, the same color of the "golden caged" Taylor from LWYMMD MV. c) I Did Something Bad: "They never see it comin', what I do next This is how the world works You gotta leave before you get left" I think she made up her mind about "leaving" already. "Before you get left" involves why Taylor didn't sign with Borchetta for a new record deal. In short, she knew he would sell the label away, along with her masters AND her new recording deal as well if she stayed. Borchetta was putting a price tag on "Taylor Swift" as a merchandise for himself, and he could walk away with big pay day, while leaving Taylor and other artists behind, in mercy of a new owner. That's also why it took Borchetta so long to find someone to sell his label to, even when he had been public about it since at least 2015. Nobody wants to buy an uncertain and incomplete package, which concerns the possibility of whether Taylor stays or not with the record label. More elaboration on this bit way down below (look for II). "He says, "Don't throw away a good thing" " Taylor expressed how Borchetta was trying to convince her to stay. Big Machine were practically built by both of them together. And the only reason it's big is because of Taylor's talent that put it on the map in the first place. "But if he drops my name, then I owe him nothin' And if he spends my change, then he had it comin' " I decoded this is a warning from Taylor. If "he" tried to turn his back on her later and sell away (aka "spend") her "change"/masters as pure merchandise to her enemy, then "he" had it coming. d) Getaway Car: pretty on the nose with this one. I understand most of us "agree" this is about T.H. but a few details could be about her "getaway" from the label as well. "X" marks the spot where we fell apart. He poisoned the well, I was lyin' to myself "X" marks the spot where we fell apart. He poisoned the well, every man for himself This is when Taylor knows it's time for her to stop trusting the man, as he is only "for himself" now. " It hit you like a shotgun shot to the heart (Oh!) " Taylor feeling the betrayal. d) End Game This is her next single after the 'new' RFI Taylor escaped and is now living her best life, breaking free and feeling fine. This is her 'end game' that she was looking for: happy traveling the world, privately walking on a beach, exploring Tokyo by herself and co., also *collaborating with new people*, and finally ending up in London. There were rumours about Taylor hiding in England before TS6, living her life with disguises and stuffs. I remember Taylor did say about how she is now skilled at disguising into a crowd like a spy during an interview this era. [Next thing we know, Taylor Swift is the next Jane Bond lol /s.] I bet there are a lot of out small details all sprinkled around the era that we haven't picked up yet. Just like this: https://twitter.com/eleanorbate/status/1145412957549027331 Also also, "Me!" is another cheeky one with lyrics like: " I promise that you'll never find another like me!" as an opener for this whole new positive, happy era. Or how the "snake" has turnt into butteflies because she is now free. Or how Taylor used the most clique quote of teamwork: There ain't no I in "team". Lol! It could be another shade about how lack of teamwork and a lot of ego certain someone has. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ OK, Below is a very, very detailed "investigation" around the specific timeline and speculation that could explain why Taylor wrote 'reputation' in 2017 with Borchetta in her mind. Also, I just have a tons of thoughts about the recent Scooter conflict, explained. Fair warning first thou, DO NOT go down this rabbit hole (like I did for 5 hours) if you're just here for a light hearted read. I - Taylor definitely worked on all the dark songs of Reputation after 2016 summer. And she is well aware of whom are out there, wanting to get her. The Scooter camp, which includes all Kimye + Bieber [Bonus: interestingly enough, Hailey Baldwin used to shade Taylor Squad also since 2016] + Calvin Harris (via Diplo + EDM co.), they all connected together and is definitely a #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty #RIPTaylorSwift mix. That whole 2016 shady shenanigans were so organised from the get go*! In conclusion, Taylor knew for sure Scooter is someone who's up to no good for her. II - Taylor's negotiation for her old masters must have had started the moment Borchetta expressed his intention to sell the label [he was reported of looking for a big "pay day"], along with Taylor's masters away as well. She knew this whole deal was coming since 2014/2015. No wonder why she pleaded for YEARS! Taylor knew Borchetta would betray her loyalty after seeing how he wouldn't let her masters out of his possession (without some extra chains and hoops to his label). The fact that Borchetta wanted to chain Taylor to his label so badly is important: Her first 6 albums catalogue is one of the best in recent history, with multiple entries in the top 200 albums of all times. It's for sure the central valuable asset that Big Machine has and makes buying BM label an attractive deal in the market. But you know what is even more valuable? Taylor's next record deal. She is in her prime time as a pop star (minus the sexist age glass-ceiling against main popgirls) and also as a massive touring act. It would be even more profiting in the next few years for whomever Taylor signs with, than the stream of incomes of her old album masters. So in comparison, Taylor's old masters is just a smaller fish, comparing to her new record deal with UMG [which is reported to be as much as $200 mil by Forbes - 2/3 of the whole deal between Borchetta with Scooter and his investor]. In short, Borchetta was not just wanting to sell Taylor's masters away, but Taylor's new record deal and her whole music career away as well! Personally and obviously, Taylor couldn't stay with the label not knowing who would be the next boss in charge of her career, nor letting Borchetta put another price tag and Resell both her music AND her next record deal to benefit only himself. He could legally sell her whole career away to the next highest bidder, and there's nothing Taylor could do about it except from stopping making her music. And imagine what could have had happened if Taylor had chosen to stay, and Scooter would become her manager..The same person who had a role of ruining her reputation and career, is now the man who's directly in charge of her!!! In control of her every move?! Tells her what and what not to do with her music and her fans?!? And profits from Taylor's own labor, sweat and tears?! Absolutely NOT! *my head is fuming rn from just writing these* ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- III. So Taylor must have had a bad suspicion about Borchetta after she saw how Borchetta was so buddy-cuddly with Scooter (after 2016 incident) and kinda had a feeling what was coming in her way. Sure, those 2 businessmen knew each other oNlY fOr bUsInEss sAkes. It's also true that there were insider reports about how these two have been in talks together about "business deal" for a while. But seriously, the idea of Scooter, who only has experiences with mainsteam hiphop and pop artists, is now buying a predominantly country music label just does not make any business sense, at all. Especially for Big Machine (smaller) country artists, considering Scooter's deeply notorious history of overwoking then abandoning his artists**. The fact that Scooter somehow bought this sale by outbidding both of the major music label groups of the industry: Universal Music Group and Warner Music ["both companies backed out when the price got too expensive", report by Financial Times], is very very telling: Since Scooter does not even have that much capitals and had to get another investor Carlyle Group to do the heavy lifting [Wall Street Journal reports that this "Yemen genocide funder" will make more additional investment to Scooter's company to bring its valuation up to $800 mil.] For Borchetta, he wants to greedily maximise his pay day, and also potentially punish Taylor for leaving the label*** by making sure that she could never get back her masters by selling it to someone who hates Taylor af. Before this sale was announced, UMG had been reported to be the one buyer Borchetta would sell to. This choice would be common business sense, since BM and UMG had collaborated together before (for 1989) and that would help Taylor a lot personally by making both her and her old music's masters back under one roof, she can easily continue to use her old records and potentially get them back later in the future via negotiation with UMG itself. IV - The relationship between Taylor and Borchetta had been failing out over a long time, as many of us have observed (especially arter the time Borchetta announced his intention to sell the label I assume, 2015-ish? and last year). When Taylor left the label last year, I guess she had finally accepted the fact that she would never get her masters back from Borchetta himself (based on Taylor's letter that Borchetta had posted). After years of pleading and negotiating, Taylor knew she had to face with the reality that her old masters of her music that she had worked on her whole life, along with all the important meanings and memories to her and us Swifties, are now gone, and just became another mere merchandise on the market to be sold away in the hands of a man she helped building an entire music label with. What else could she do? Based on Borchetta's very own 'receipt' contract https://twitter.com/BritniTaylor1/status/1145514088690278400, there is no guarantee that she would gain back her masters while committing for another 10 years of her career?**** She had never been offered a price for her own masters, nor the label, according to her own attorney (who was also called out by Borchetta in his post).***** The artist who wrote her own lyrics, created her own songs, produced her own albums and worked her ass off all her life to create such valuable priceless thing which is her music catalogue is now denied to have the chance to own her own music. Not because she did not have the means and capitols to do so, but only because of greed of a man Taylor had known her whole career. This is a real betrayal of their partnership. Sure, in the "standard" business sense, any labels would be 'foolish' to sell back the masters to artists, since all of the labels out there are doing that same "business thing", right?!! But at the same time, it is a really toxic and exploitative industry practice when music labels all try to sign with young, naive artists who do not know any better, especially at a very young age as 15. And even if someone as privileged as Taylor, who was born with both parents with good business knowledge and skills, and still got taken away their life work, what would happen with all the other small artists out there who got an even more unfair deal? And it's not rare for a label to give the masters back to an artist either. Rihanna was given hers back by Jay-Z, since they also have a some-what same dynamics as Taylor and Borchetta.Not to mention, Taylor had helped Borchetta to even make his non-existed music label from the get go. It's Taylor's talent that helps fueling and building up that big machine Borchetta possesses. It's the right moral thing for him to at least give Taylor a fair chance as courtesy to return her masters back. He did not. And the fact that he chose Scooter out of all other people, to give Taylor's life work to, must have been the final nail to the wound! She chose to walk away, but before she left, she sent "someone" a message via her music at the time. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- APPENDIX: *I would rehash all the shady details around the whole "Famous" deal here. DO NOT read if you don't want to relive this overtired drama again.
From the recording of the call (that Taylor was not aware of), to the specific withheld lyrics: Kanye only *read* to Taylor the first part of the lyrics: " I feel like me and Taylor still might have sex". But not the part that turn the song into an insulting, sexist anthem: "Whyyy? I maade that b*tch faamous!" Specific details and context are important, people!
The demo for "Famous" later leaked. https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2016/10/taylor-swift-original-famous-lyrics-kanye-west Which confirmed my (and our) suspicion of a real set up with that phone call. The demo included the original specific lyrics “I feel like Taylor Swift still *owe me* sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” , meanwhile Kanye read to Taylor the later version AND withholding the other lyrics at the same time. So the b*tch lyrics had always been there all along.
The real reason why we all think Taylor lied is because of the inconsistency and lack of concrete details from Taylor's *first publicist's statements* and in between the development of the drama. [Tree Paine has done much better this time thou]. However, the only consistent statement remains: "Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, "I made that bitch famous." She gave blessing for a halftruth version of the lyrics, and she never heard the whole finished song. They only had one phone call, with (intentionally cut and sliced) doctored footages of it.
But the damages were too late. That first statement got twisted a lot by the media. From "did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account" being turnt into "Taylor's rep said he did not call", "she denied the call happened", etc.
Of course, halftruth tabloid narratives are so much more appealing and viral: The idea of Taylor playing the victim, but this time she got caught! Kim just exposed her on Snapchat now! #KimExposedTaylorParty Woohoo! /s And here is why the whole shenanigan is so shady and way too organized: They had an interview and photophoot with GQ whole 4 months later on Jun 16, to just declare that they had recorded the call. The timing of this couldn't be more perfect since just the day before (Jun 15), Taylor's new relationship got public and caught fire to the media (also, someone real mad).
July 13, "someone" opened the floodgate with his... might I say, 'temper tantrum' tweets, accusing "trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do" and also "you need someone new to try and bury like Katy ETC" .... as a response to a mere confirmation of Taylor co-penning his then-current hit [as if us swifties didn't speculate about it to death since its release and (your pal, accidentally and) the real Nils Sjöberg already confirmed about it since Jun 6! https://www.instagram.com/p/BGTdZOXRj-1/?utm_source=ig_embed]
Oh look, what another consequence! On July 14, their reality show (in need of rating) just posted a "teaser" for the expose on their next episode coming that Sunday! /s And we all know what happened after that. Oh, and on July 24, both they and someone partied and took pictures together! Hmmmmmmm..... Fun.... /s
(More? on Oct 29, someone released a song about Taylor. And guess who suddenly got back to social media to "liked" it from their social media blackout since Paris.)
August 2, 2016. Bieber posted that "Taylor Swift what up" screencap on Instagram showing Bieber and both Kanye and Scooter Facetiming each other, refueling the continuous viral bullying hate and confirming who are in that anti-TS mix together. (And you know what else is *really* shady about that particular screenshot? https://twitter.com/Princess_Arella/status/1146492758556893184)
Every single development of the whole drama just aligned and connected so... "nicely" and domino-ed on each other to create combo effect for the tabloid-hungry media. Taylor was not only dealing with the aftermath+"PR relationship" dramas, but also the organised "expose". You seriously cannot tell me if it was not organized and scheduled together from one camp!
And what were there for Scooter during that whole 2016 ordeal you may ask?
Both his client Kanye+Kim made a big comeback with their images and public perception for the takedown on Taylor. People actually agreed with them on something for the first time in a long time.
He took out one of the biggest female pop stars at the time, made her rewriting another album and left a huge gap in pop music demands that Arianna (Scooter's next big project) and others managed to fill in.
Judging by his style of sending other to do the dirty work for himself, it is so sus that he could be the behind-the-scene bully like Taylor had pointed out (you cannot tell me that someone didn't ghost write that Bieber post hhttps://twitter.com/TSwiftinAsia/status/1145541167422922752, especially in the same gaslighting, guilt-tripping writing style of Scooter's (wife's) post. Or the fact that somehow both Demi and Scooter's fellow female business manager showed up at Todrick's Twitter trying to shut him up after Todrick exposing Scooter!?)
Update: okay I am now 100% sure about Scooter's habit of aggressively sabotaging his artists' competition! Some Asian stans just reminded me about how Scooter tried so hard on discrediting Kris Wu's itunes positions only because Arianna was also charting at the same time.
And someone just wants me to see this: https://twitter.com/carlysfevestatus/1145668326024253441 "k-pop fans probably have more cause to be angry at scooter braun than anyone and i really hope one day they find out why". Um..... CAN SOMEBODY GET THE BTS'S ARMY ON THE PHONE, PLEASE? We seriously need to go to the bottom of this!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ **For every Bieber or Arianna he managed to push to mass success, there are every other Carly Rae Jepsen, Madison Beer (he screwed her up royally https://twitter.com/carlysfevestatus/1145459250514280449), Todrick Hall, Hillary Duff, CL [I did some more digging about this after posting this post, and OMG! The list just keeps going on and on: The Wanted, Who Is Fancy, Cody Simpson, PSY, Tori Kelly...] that he abandons, or mismanages their careers against the artists' own will. [Ask any Carly stans and they would tell you about it!] Not to mention Scooter's artists with mental health issues (Kanye, Bieber, Arianna) are not doing any better and deteriorating under his management. Bieber had been overworked after his last albums and tour that they had to cancel it only after Bieber could not take it anymore. It was alarming that Bieber even had showed multiple signs of issues and major lack of motivation during the tour (obviously lipsyncing, rather playing his Xbox than showing up late to his tour, etc.), and he couldn't even recover after several years until today! And I seriously don't need to talk about the situation of K.W. I seriously worry about Arianna and Demi thou; now that after Scooter replacing Bieber with Arianna, she had expressed her tiredness with touring on Twitter before, but then her tweets got deleted, along with other shenanigans [Ari stans all knew about it, but they won't admit it against their precious "genius music manager"]. Also, this: https://twitter.com/ashavignone/status/1146085575491014656 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ***Taylor leaving Borchetta's label must have rained on him and co.'s future pay day parade a lot, judging from Erik Logan (a fellow member on Big Machine board)'s terribly insulting public letter [which he now deleted from Twitter], or how Borchetta tried to drag both Taylor's father Scott Swift and her long time manager Frank Bell into the drama and used them to discredit Taylor [I guess we now know who are the other 2 shareholders with only total of 8% shares that voted No on the deal]. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ****Could any legal Swifties confirm this? with that single page of Borchetta document? His claim is so slimey and really really suspicious. If he has such " extraordinary" agreement like he said he had, then why hasn't he showed that particular part of the contract under a magnifying glass by now to completely dispute Taylor's claim? I smell another potential bait-and-switch like 2016. Also, the whole thing about "Taylor's father was also on the call" could be another set up similar to that phone call recording in 2016. The fact that both Scooter's camp/his "wife" and Borchetta tried to claim that Taylor's father to be on the deal is really shady, since they can just use Taylor's own father to discredit her again, while at the same time acting like Scooter couldn't discuss with Taylor beforehand about his next purchase on her masters bEcAUsE oF "NDAs". ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ *****And I bet this time, if both Borchetta and Scooter have the receipts that prove otherwise, they would have printed a million copies and make it rain down on both Wall Street and Twitter by now. Seriously, what are they waiting for? They don't have a reality show to promote by posting doctored videos on Snapchat. And their big investor just got exposed for their involvement with the Yemen genocide. And the chance that Scooter somehow makes it successful with this huge deal and return the profits to his investor is fleeting as long as this scandal with Taylor still happening. The only reason why Scooter is "silent"****** on all fronts is because Taylor is telling the hard, concrete truth. Well, at least now Taylor got her own lawyer Don Passman to be her receipt keeper and to speak up and dispute all the shady halftruths (look back at *). So both Scooter and Borchetta won't be brave and acting foolish like the KKKKKKK. ******[except for those gaslighting 'according to a scource' articles about how "tAyLoR hAD moNtHs tO bUy bACk hEr mASteR aND dEcIdED tO wALk aWaY", "sHe ThRoWiNg A TeMPer TaNtrUmP", "pLAYiNg ThE VicTiM, AGIAN!".] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------The End-------------------------------- Oh, and just in case this post blows up: WARNING PRIVACY NOTICE Any institution(s) or person(s) using this site of any of its associated sites for studies or projects - you DO NOT have my permission to use any part of this writing and my profile (pictures, text, conversations) in any form, both current and future. If you have or do, it will be considered a serious violation of my privacy and intellectual copyrights and will be subject to legal ramifications. And to be more specifically, I, the sole author of this post, prohibit BF, Junkee, Complex, PageSix, (especially) Perez Hilton, etc. etc. etc. from plagiarizing my ideas and my writing for your own profits, to make up another one of your uncredited hit job thinkpieces to gain some traffics and ad revenues. F! N! O! [Oh yes, I know you all are lurking on this subreddit and tumblr, looking for new materials for your next clickbaits, passing others' idea as your own, E.W./P.P./A.H.P./L.Y./E.B. (maybe not you, you're cool-ish)/B.H/S.S./J.Y.A./N.M./O.F./cont. And also, I also see you out there still trying to twist the public narratives and pay for your dirty, gaslighting, backstabbing hit pieces again "Yell", with your terrorism-and-genocide-funding money "Skook". Pay for as much as you want for those 'temper tantrum' or 'victimizing herself' talk-point-filled hit pieces, we swifties know all about your same tricks from 2016 by now. And you are not fooling anyone anymore!] https://twitter.com/TSwiftFTC/status/1146134805953708032?s=19 Must read!: https://twitter.com/wonderstruck713/status/1146488535786164224 And this! https://www.reddit.com/TaylorSwift/comments/c93o9i/lets_spread_this/ We Swifties must be smart and 2 step ahead of Scooter's shenanigans. He's the one behind 2016 and we ARE NOT going to fall for his set-ups! [I aslo heard that some people had leaked Scooter's address online and wanted to "pranked" his house with eggs or sum', and we CANNOT fall for that trap! Especially when Taylor's new record label boss Sir Lucian Grainge has been Scooter's mentor in the past and they are fence-to-fence neighbors to each other! And do not harrash Borchetta, either! The TS karma is real, and those who raised their tongue against her shall fail.] #WESTANDWITHTAYLORSWIFT #GIVETAYLORMASTERSBACK!
Sitting at a bar in my hometown over the holidays, i struck up a conversation with the young bartender who was having a slow night. We talked of life, love, boobies, and...forex. When the conversation turned to future ambitions he dropped the "F bomb" and his eyes lit up green as he passionately explained what forex was. To be honest, i didn't understand half the lingo he was spewing and my interest in the subject was dwindling. Then he brought out the numbers. Holy shit the numbers. On a bar order he showed me how he was going to go from $2000 to $9999999999999 in a number of years. I was getting pretty drunk at this point as the service was lag free when talking to the man. "If it was this easy" i slurred, "why isn't everyone doing this?" He explained to me that everyone in European Land was doing it. He explained he learned the Secrets from a prison Bazillionare who didn't pay his taxes. He told me about his 15 pip system (what is a pip?) and the magic of compounding profits. The bar was getting vibrant again and our conversation got choppy. Between the shots of fireball my buddies were buying me and the game of pool i was crushing at the conversation stopped. I don't remember when we left but i never said goodbye before stumbling out the door. I woke up feeling FANTASTIC the next day...ughhhh....and had to entertain my girl. In fact I had to visit with family and a few more friends. I did not even have time to think about Forex and went back to my holiday, delusion free. When i returned home i realized i spent WAY too much money on my holiday. Money, money, money. I wish i was rich. I need to be rich. Rich. Forex. What was that guy talking about? Billions? I could use some bilions. I tapped my IPhone and searched "4X" and eventually found a broker. Woahhhhh slow down, buddy. It's called forex and i bet there is a subreddit for this. Yep! I mean there is a subreddit for dragons banging cars. I didn't understand half the posts until i came across a post promoting babypips. I was going to need a computer and a couple beers for this one. I read ALL of babypips in one sitting. Granted throughout i was becoming aware of how much studying i was going to need to understand everything but i was getting my feet wet. I learned what a pip, candlestick, R and S levels, money management, and all that fun was. A WORLD was opening up to me and it was COMPLICATED. I was fascinated. I was impatient. I wanted to trade now! I mean, i just had to beat the spread, right? I opened a demo account on Fxtrade and watched as the charts loaded up. I had a full blown erection at this point. THIS IS SO COOL. Everything was moving so fast. I KNOW WHAT THAT IS. OOOO A DOJI! LOOK AT ALL THE PIPS!!!!!! At this point you are probably asking how much REAL money i lost. I'm sorry to disappoint you, you sad sad sadistic man. I are smart. At this point i realized mid boner how little i knew. I wanted to read charts, learn the candles, and check out the news. I felt the need to wear a suit as looked at Bloomberg and tickers. THIS WORLD IS AWESOME. I <3 FOREX! I decided to reward myself for the HOURS of studying i put in. Hours, ha. I was going to take my demo account and guess the market. I wanted to trade so bad and its just pretend money so yea, it's just pretend money. The next 4 hours of my life I got VERY possessive about that pretend money. I was yelling, biting my nails, jumping up and down. Oh, this was the fear and greed aspect people were talking about. WHY DOES IT KEEP GOING DOWN! My pips! My babies!!! At the end of 4 hours i was down 400 dollars!! I slammed my laptop shut and buried my head in my hands. I am such a shitty trader! Why couldn't i guess the market! Oh....that is right, i was gambling and you know what? I bet with a thousand more hours of studying i would still be gambling. I bet the gambling never stops. I have so much to learn and so much chart time ahead of me. This is not a get rich quick scheme. Hell, i am convinced you can't get rich without rainman powers and a zillion dollars of starting capital. It's fun, it's exciting, and it's a whole new world that has just opened up to me. So, if you are brand new like me to this world like me take heed to what i learned in my whirlwind introduction and don't be delusional.
You are gambling, even with a strategy
There is a 99.9999999999% chance you won't get rich
You are not rainman
Learn Forex because it's fun and exciting, not to get rich (see #2)
I look forward to learning from this community and i'm beyond excited to dive deeper into this world.Thanks for all the posts that are already here and thanks for the ones you have yet to write. People like me NEED to read them. Bring on the (demo) pips!
ECN. Used most by professional traders. Difficult platform for beginners
Minimum deposit $10000 (or $3,000 if under 25yo) * Well diversified -Oanda
Market maker. Second largest retail FX brokerage in the US. Easy platform for beginners.
No minimum deposit
Not well diversified, but well capitalized -Gain Capital (whitelabel forex.com) *Market Maker *Fair spreads *Minimum deposit $250 *Well diversified -FXCM Inc
ECN. Largest retail FX brokerage in the US
Minimum deposit $2000
Not well diversified. CAUTION: FXCM nearly went bankrupt in Jan-2015 due to a lack of diversification and low capitalisation. As a result FXCM LLC was bailed out with a large loan which may prove difficult to pay back. Be warned that their business may not be sustainable in the long term. -MBTrading
ECN. Mid-sized retail FX brokerage
Minimum deposit $400
International Only- -LMAX (whitelabel DarwinEx) *DMA broker based in the UK. Note that as a DMA broker LMAX eliminates the ability for LPs to last-look transactions. This may result in reduced liquidity during volatile times as liquidity providers would be likely not to risk posting liquidity to LMAX's pool. *Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $10,000 *Fairly well diversified -Dukascopy *ECN based in Switzerland, but available elsewhere depending on local regulations. *Tight spreads *Minimum deposit $100 *Fairly well diversified -IC Markets *ECN based in Australia *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Fairly well diversified -Pepperstone *ECN broker based in Australia. *Fair spreads on standard account, tight spreads on professional accounts. *Minimum deposit $200 *Not well diversified Software / Apps: Desktop/mobile
Apps are typically broker dependent. Some brokers have their own proprietary software, while others lease common software like Metatrader or NinjaTrader. Some software has a large development community for indicators and EAs.
Terminology/Acronyms: www.forexlive.com/ForexJargon - Common terms and acronyms FAQ: I need to exchange money, how do I do it? This isn’t what this sub is for. Your best bet is using your bank or an online exchange service. Be prepared to pay a hefty fee. I have money in one currency and need to exchange it into another sometime in the future, should I wait? Don’t ask us this. We speculate intraday in FX and shouldn’t be relied on to tell you what’s best for you. Exchange the money when you need it. I have an FX account, should I start trading demo or live? This is highly debatable. You should definitely demo trade until you have mastered how to use the trading platform on desktop and mobile. After that it’s up to you. Many think that the psychology of trading live vs demo trading is massively different. So it may pay to learn to trade live. Just be warned that most FX traders lose almost their entire first account so start with a low affordable balance. What’s money management? Money management is a form of risk management and is arguably the most important aspect of your trading when it comes to long term survival. You should always enter trades with a stop loss - the distance of the stop allows you to calculate how large of a percent of your account balance will be lost if your trade stops out. You can run a monte carlo simulation to figure out the risk of having a number of trades go against you in a row to drain your account. The general rule is that you should only risk losing 1-4% of your account per trade entered. More on this here: www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/06/fxmoneymgmt.asp www.swing-trade-stocks.com/money-management.html What about automated trading? Retail FX traders have been known to program “Expert Advisors” (EAs) to automate trading. It’s generally advisable to stay away from that until you’re very experienced. Never buy an EA from a developer because the vast majority of them are scams. What indicators are best? That’s up to you to test and find out. Many in this forum dislike oscillating indicators since they fail to capture the essence of what moves price. With experience you will discover what works best for you. In my experience indicators that are most popular with professional traders are those that provide trading “levels” such as pivot points, fibonacci, moving averages, trendlines, etc. What timeframe should I trade? Price action can vary in different timeframes. In longer term timeframes the price action and fundamentals are much more clear. Unfortunately it would take a very long time to figure out whether or not what you’re doing is successful on longer timeframes. In shorter timeframes you can often tell very quickly if what you’re doing is profitable. Unfortunately there’s a lot more “noise” on these levels which can prove deceptive for those trying to learn. Therefore the best bet is to use a multi-timeframe analysis, working from top-down to come up with trades. Should I trade using fundamental analysis (FA) of technical analysis (TA)? This is a long standing argument in these forums and elsewhere. I’ll settle it here - you should have an understanding of both. Yes there are traders who blindly ignore one of the other but a truly well rounded trader should understand and implement both into the analysis. The market is driven in the longer term through FA. But TA is necessary to give traders a place to enter and exit trades from a psychological risk/reward standpoint. I’ve heard trading Binary Options is an easy way to make money? The general advice is to stay away from binaries. The structure of binary options is so that when you lose the broker wins. This incentive has created a very scammy industry where there are few legitimate binary options brokers. In addition in order to be profitable in binaries you have to win 55-65% of the time. That’s a much higher premium over spot FX. Am I actually exchanging currencies? Yes and no. Your broker handles spot FX is currency pairs. Although they make an exchange at the settlement date they treat your position in your account as a virtual currency pair. Think of it like a contract where you can only buy or sell it as a pair. In this sense you are always long one currency while short another. You are merely speculating that one currency will appreciate or depreciate vs another. Why didn't my order fill? Even if price appears to cross over a line on your chart it does not guarantee a fill. Different charting platforms chart different prices - some chart the bid price, some the ask price and some the midpoint price. To fill a limit order price needs to cross your limit's price plus the spread at the time that it is crossing. If it does not equal or exceed the spread then it will not fill. Be wary that in general spreads are not fixed. So what may fill at one time may not at another.
Demo account Test our MT4 trading platform. our trading guides are a good starting point. Discover the advantages of CFD trading and spread betting, learn more why Forex (FX) is the largest financial market in the world, get insights into trading and investing in general, and how to start trading, or find out what trading with a regulated Spread betting demo account. A financial spread betting demo account lets you practise spread betting with virtual funds. Our demo account simulates our live account, so you can try out trading strategies without any risk to your own money. How to use a Stop Loss in Spread Betting 6 views | posted on April 10, 2018 An introduction to technical analysis 4 views | posted on April 10, 2018 CFD Trading for beginners 4 views | posted on April 10, 2018 Spread betting allows you to trade on stocks, commodities, currencies and much more. Identify the markets with which you're familiar. Do your research. Increase your chance of success by trading in markets where you have experience and knowledge. A: Many spread betting providers offer virtual trading and demo trading platforms nowadays which allow you to practice without spending anything and to develop your own tactics so you can make your mistakes on the practice ground (without costing you anything). For instance, let's take the case of a beginner who is trading on a demo platform and who might decide to bet £100 a point bet on a
What's the point of a demo account? A demo account is when you open a trial trading account with a broker who credits you a certain amount of 'demo funds' to trial the platform. Capitals Spreads spread betting video features. Like the videos/playlists to support us ʘ‿ʘ and subscribe to keep up-to-date! ... Capital Spreads: Demo Account for Beginners! by ... Minimum Account Size £100 Bonus 60% up to £6,000 Welcome Bonus! Leverage 400:1 Spread 0.9 Free Demo Account Yes Regulated Yes Regulation Regulated by the FCA US Traders Allowed No Mobile Trading Yes Trading on a Demo Account vs. Real Account. Transitioning from paper or demo money to real money? How to ensure the paper to live trading account transition is as smooth as possible. All FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 shares are quoted as well as a number of small caps. If you're new to spread betting you can take advantage of the free demo account which allows you to trade with demo money