Specific Reasons for the Delay
The projected cost of both hardware production and software development for this product exceeded our expectations. Despite encountering several challenges in the hardware production process, we ensured that we did not compromise the quality in any way or form. From the onset of the project, we had already selected a few top manufacturers in the industry to work with on the project. However, most of these manufacturers don’t have enough experience in developing expensive adult products with an advanced design process.
1. Update of Smart Layer Solution.
The first smart layer technology we developed, unfortunately, didn’t pass our production trial test. Since the planned release date was approaching, we had to discard several prototypes of expensive molds, and this cost of tens of thousands of dollars in terms of our research and development budget. As a result, we quickly reviewed our design process. We came up with a more stable, accurate, but more expensive solution: high sensitivity air pressure sensor and multi-axis sensors for user data monitoring. So, for us to get back on track with our normal production schedule, we had to spend more on the production process. So, we accepted the first quote from our manufacturers because we didn’t have enough time for a long negotiation. The only strict directive we gave the manufacturer is that the product is produced to the highest quality as agreed and demanded by us. We believe that we have the hardware part of the product under control. Still, we will continue to make the required tweak to our software algorithm as soon as we release the first version of the game. Since the game is expected to be updated regularly, the experience of real-time interaction with virtual characters will be improved and enhanced, as we continue to develop the ideal virtual experience that we aim to achieve.
2. Game development has been dependent on the production progress of Core.
Until May, the progress of the game development has been dependent on the production progress of hardware products. Since we have to synchronize both the hardware and software in real-time, any internal structural changes to the hardware will disrupt the balance of this synchronization. Following the update of the Smart Layer solution, we needed more time to rewrite many basic game operations. Fortunately, we've been using the Unreal Engine, which allowed us to quickly effect the changes to the underlying scheme. At the same time, despite having a limited team of developers, we spent countless days and nights designing workflows to ensure that after the game is released, we will still be able to produce new game content to enhance the overall gaming experience frequently.
3. Unexpected marketing challenges.
We faced several unexpected marketing challenges, as top marketing platforms like Google and Facebook ads were difficult to run. Despite being two of the most profitable and popular advertising companies in the world today, they currently do not support adult related products. This is also likely to have actively contributed to the lack of innovation or significant growth in adult products in recent decades. So far, a significant portion of the traffic to our website has come from organic searches. Likewise, our company’s expenses are being serviced by loans since our projected sales volume is less than expected. Despite paying more than budgeted for production, we still cannot influence the priority of the production at the manufacturing line. In tandem with our vision for top-quality production, we selected the top manufacturers to work with, and they have a very compact production capacity. Even though our company is now operating in a stable condition, we still have to take out loans from banks to cover our production processes. Also, earlier this year, all our team members voluntarily agreed to give up their salaries for three months.
4. Why is the development cost of our project so high?
Some of our supporters are wondering and asking why we still claim that our project is not profitable despite receiving more than 3000% of our expected amount. The fact is that we have spent several years developing this virtual intimacy system. A quick Google search will reveal that the average yearly salary for an Unreal Engine developer is around US$120,000. Besides, there are only a few great realistic game production developers, and finding one that is willing to work and develop adult gaming content will cost even more money. In the last five years, the amount of money we have spent on hardware and software development is way more than the current amount we have raised through crowdfunding. This is excluding our huge hardware manufacturing cost. Like most crowdfunding campaigns, in the beginning, we set the funding target for this project at the lowest possible target. For instance, a project that raised 250% of its funding target (raised 250,000 US dollars of its 100,000 US dollar target) appears to be more successful than a similar project that raises 41% of its funding target (raised 250,000 US dollars of its 600,000 US dollar target). Despite both projects raising the same amount, the project that gets 250% of its initial funding target appeals better, and so will naturally attract more supporters.
5. Please support us!
We appeal to you to help us spread the word about our product as much as possible. This project involves the production of a brand-new software and hardware system that has never been attempted in the history of this industry. Furthermore, this development is being designed from scratch. The cost of many years of research and development, coupled with high production and transportation cost in the middle of this epidemic, has completely overwhelmed us. However, thanks to your constant support, we are now producing the first batch of the product. Besides, the more supporters we gain, the more funds that we will have to continue to produce and improve gaming content.