Matchstick is pulling the plug on its Firefox OS-powered Chromecast competitor: The company, which raised more than $470,000 on Kickstarter, told backers in an email Monday that it is going to reimburse them for their pledge. In the email, Matchstick blames copy protection woes for the decision to backtrack on the product:
“After struggling with the DRM development based on Firefox OS for most of this year, we realize continued development of DRM, though showing early signs of promise, will be a long and difficult road. We have come to the conclusion that we will not be able to reliably predict the completion date of the DRM development without significantly more research, development and integration. “
Matchstick launched its Kickstarter campaign for a Chromecast-like streaming stick powered by Mozilla’s Firefox OS last September. The company promised developers a more open product than Google’s Chromecast, and attracted backers by offering pre-orders of its streaming stick for as little as $16.
However, in February, Matchstick announced that it was delaying shipments of the device by six months. At the time, Matchstick said that the delay was necessary to make premium video services like Netflix, which are protected by digital rights management, work on the device.
Matchstick had also announced technology licensing partnerships with Philips/AOC and TCL at CES earlier this year, at the time saying that both companies would eventually ship 1 million matchstick-powered devices. It’s unclear what the cancellation of the Kickstarter campaign means for these plans.
Matchstick representatives didn’t immediately respond when contacted for this story.