It's that or nothing, basically
Harmonix is attempting to crowdfund a new Amplitude right now and there's been confusion as to why the studio went this route. There's a lot of confusion in general when it comes to crowdfunding, for that matter. In an attempt to set the record straight, the company has written a blog post detailing its reasons for going with Kickstarter.
To put it frankly: "We've sought other options out before coming to Kickstarter: there aren't publishing funds waiting in the wings or some third party who's eager to offset our costs -- either we fund the game here, or the game goes back on the shelf."
Publishers aren't biting, but clearly this is a game with an established fan base. The funding goal might seem like a lot, but that's just the reality of game development -- it's freaking expensive. In fact, $775,000 represents "less than half of the project budget." It is the minimum amount of money Harmonix needs to self-fund the rest of development on Amplitude.
"Even in the scenario where we raise the $800,000 or so on Kickstarter, we'll be risking more of Harmonix's money than we probably should -- all because we want to make this game so badly. Harmonix had successes in the past that let us keep the studio going and make small games, but at this point our coffers as a company aren't full enough to fund the entirety of Amplitude by ourselves. There isn't a secret vault of Rock Band money that we've forgotten about."
It's sad to see that the necessary funding likely won't come through based on where the campaign is at now and how much time is left. But if nothing else, this is a good learning opportunity.