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The Saga Of Battle Princess Madelyn Takes A Weird Turn

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Madelyn was a seven-year-old girl who wanted to be in a video game…so her dad, Christopher Obritsch of Casual Bit Games, decided to make that happen. Battle Princess Madelyn, a challenging action platformer inspired by Ghouls & Ghosts, launched its Kickstarter campaign in 2017 and the response was massive, with $212,665 raked in at the end.

It would take about a year for Battle Princess Madelyn to be finished, but it finally went out for sale December 6, 2018 on PC and XBox One, followed by a PS4 release on the 20th of that month, and a delayed Switch release this year.

Part of the reason the game took so long to make was that all the Kickstarter stretch goals were hit, and the team didn’t think they’d be making so much content. One of those stretch goals, a Limited Run physical version of BPM for Playstation 4, we are only just now hearing about….but here’s where things get weird.

On the same day that the PS4 physical for Battle Princess Madelyn was revealed, an unannounced Switch physical also appeared…but it had a different logo, different box art, and a new subtitle, “Royal Edition.” What was going on there?

Obritsch was unsatisfied with how the game turned out, and felt with all the stretch goals and elongated content, the project got away from him. Limited Run published a lengthy letter from Obritsch explaining that he wanted to publish Battle Princess Madelyn as he originally envisioned it: a much shorter, much tighter action tribute with no Story Mode.

Under ordinary circumstances, fans would be thrilled to play a Director’s Cut. But in this instance, this means three things:

  1. Backers of the original have to pay extra for the Royal Edition.
  2. There will never be a physical for the Royal Edition on PS4.
  3. There will never be a Limited Run physical for the original game on Switch (a Switch physical already exists, but in Japan).

Due to how much was altered between the original and this new version, Casual Bit Games claims it’s impossible to offer both at once. “The Royal Edition is completely separate as the code changes and gameplay changes made would have completely broken the way the old game worked,” they stated in a tweet. So couldn’t they have just put two ROMs on the carts and discs? Apparently not.

The backers are mad that switching to the Royal Edition isn’t an option. Collectors are mad that there are now two Madelyns to track down, three if you want the Asian Switch variant. Complaints are piling up; we’ll see if Casual Bit has a response. But from the conversations they’ve been having with irate customers on social media, there may be little they can do about the situation.