Thankfully, that's not the case with Alas Vegas. Despite having funded nearly 5 years ago, the game has been sent to backers and is now available.
From the press release:
One of the RPG industry’s most notorious pieces of Kickstarter vapourware has finally been released, almost exactly five years since its crowdfunding campaign closed.
ALAS VEGAS, a game of ‘bad bets, bad debts and bad deaths’ by James Wallis, raised £21,000 ($30,000) at the end of February 2013. The Kickstarter promised a 100-page book, with rules for playing characters who start the game with amnesia, and a campaign set in a nightmarish casino city influenced by Hunter S. Thompson, David Lynch and Franz Kafka.
Five years later, ALAS VEGAS has fulfilled its Kickstarter obligations and is on sale to the public at last. A lot has changed since the crowdfunding ended. The published book is 320% longer than the promised one, and includes three more RPG campaigns, and material by game big-name designers like Robin D. Laws, Rich Dansky and Matt Forbeck. There’s even a standalone story-game, ‘Killing Bugsy Siegel’, by the legendary Kenneth Hite, Vegas tarot cards drawn by WFA-winner John Coulthart, and an in-game comic strip by John Kovalic.
What took so long? Designer James Wallis finds it hard to explain. “People I knew started dying in ways that were weirdly connected to things I’d written into the game.” After the bizarre random murder of a family friend became front-page news in the UK, work on the game stalled. Wallis again: “I don’t believe in curses, or fate, or warnings or anything like that. But after the second horrible coincidence, it was really hard to sit down and write more of the game. I had to really force myself to work on it.”
Has the game been worth the five-year wait? The initial reviews are strong. Mike Selinker, creator of Betrayal at House on the Hill, says ALAS VEGAS is the “Best indie RPG I've read since Mouse Guard, which has my vote for the best written RPG of this century. You should get it.” Reviews from R’lyeh calls it “the ultimate one-shot RPG” and Tabletop Gaming magazine says it was “worth the wait”. Former White Wolf writer Sean Jaffe is more succinct: “James Wallis is a god.”
ALAS VEGAS is published by Magnum Opus Press and is available in PDF ($15.95) and print ($26.95) from Indie Press Revolution, DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, Amazon and other online vendors.