Is kickstarter good for gaming?

kbrickley

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Kickstarter is bad for gaming because all of a sudden, Kickstarter is necessary for anything that's not the next Battlefield or Call of Duty game. Before Kickstarter, if you (general you directed at developers) wanted to make a niche title, you found a fucking way. Now, it's somehow necessary for the gaming community to subsidize your risk to guarantee you get something out of it? Bullshit. Fuck off.

There is nothing wrong with someone trying to reduce their risk a little. If a publisher comes to KS I doubt they would be well received by that community (I could be wrong but judging from the comments I have read they don't seem to be very publisher friendly). There also seem to be a lot of the Linux crowd in KS and they are definitely an anti-establishment crowd (or they would be on a REAL OS, like Windows :p )

Since 80% of the games I buy normally comes from publishers I am used to the occasional preorder. Especially if they offer a meaningful Collectors Edition. I love game soundtracks. I love strategy guides and art books. I love small little knick knacks (like coins or cards or stuff like that). And, since I only play SP games, I like extras at the start of the game (special configurations, extra weapon, whatever). Most of the current Indie developers don't offer these items. They also tend to make too many MP oriented games, which I don't like. KS forces them to offer these collector's edition extras, if they want the higher price points in their donation drive. KS also allows games with a more SP focus to get made. Publishers don't generally like SP games since they don't have as many extra revenue opportunities and that is a smaller gaming audience right now (unfortunately).

There are some good SP Indie games but I generally only buy an Indie game if it is offered on Steam or GOG. I rarely buy games directly from the developer. If more developers start selling their games on Steam, GOG, and Amazon I might purchase more Indie games. But KS right now gives me the confidence of purchases on Steam, GOG, and Amazon and the extras I expect to earn my dollar. I will continue to be picky about which KS projects I support since I have a budget. I can't spend hundreds of dollars on games a month. Nor do I have time to play that many games, unfortunately. Between work, exercise & bike commute, and other interests besides gaming there are only so many hours in a week. The two projects I have supported on KS were titles I might have missed (Grim Dawn) or titles that might not have been made (Project Eternity). I am not sure how many more titles I will support on KS but I don't see it hurting me or the game industry currently.

I think KS is like every other form of entertainment ... you only have to decide is the cost of the entertainment worth your time and dollar ... if it is then BAM, it is good (for YOU) ... if it isn't then BAM, it is bad (for YOU) ... for Daggah that answer is obvious ... for others the equation comes out different ... that doesn't make either group wrong ... but don't expect others to have exactly the same value calculation that you do :cool:
 

kbrickley

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Then I suppose yesterday, when I went to starbucks, I invested in a coffee rather than purchased one. :rolleyes:



Then find some other way to fund it. Venture capitalists, loans, whatever. One guy being unable to convince publishers hardly destroys my argument. Were you there for his presentation? Maybe he fucking sucks at making a sales pitch. The existence of a vast number of indie and small publisher/small budget titles from the last five years that somehow found a way to exist builds a better foundation for my argument than one interview with one guy for one title does to "destroy" it. :rolleyes:

Depends on whether you consider doing something you like an investment or not ... I like coffee myself ... I enjoy those quiet moments while I can sit and collect my thoughts for the next big argument with the KS trolls ... so yes, it is an investment in my sanity :p

So let's look at the various funding options:

1. Publisher - lots of cash but they are picky as to what games they support. They want big audience games (millions of purchases) ... they want expansion and continuing revenue opportunities (DLC, add-ins, etc) ... and they want something in return for their money (part of your revenues, ownership of your IP, committments to other projects, creative control, etc) ... they also like to put penalty and performance clauses in the contract ... which can increase the risk for the developer

2. Venture Capitalist - they also have lots of money but they have a very specific interest. They want you to sell your company or go public. They also want a voice in how your company is run (so they can make sure you are proceeding towards the sale or public offering). They are also only available to bigger developers who actually have a REAL company. Two guys in a garage aren't going to get VC money.

3. Loans - I don't know about your bank but mine wants lots of collateral to loan me money ... a small developer might own sufficient assets to put up for collateral or they might not ... in this economy getting loans isn't always the easiest thing to do so this might not be an option for people unless they already have lots of money to begin with.

4. KS or some other means of direct advance sales - you don't seem to be opposed to a developer who offers sales directly from his own website (like Chris Taylor was doing with his new space sim) but only those who go to KS. This mechanism allows a developer to sell his game in advance and use that money to develop the game. It allows independence from the contractual constraints of options 1 and 2 and only relies on his or her ability to sell their idea (rather than in hard collateral like option 3). You are unwilling to support this option ... THAT is definitely obvious to EVERYONE by now ... however, you also feel the need to impose your restriction on everyone else because since Daggah doesn't support this then anyone who does is bringing on the gaming apocalypse and must be stopped :p

;)
 

Parja

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There will no doubt be huge failures along with games that never get finished even if the developers collect a ton of cash.

For sure. It's the aftermath of those failures, though, that will decide if the crowd sourcing initiative survives or if it dies a horrible death. Specifically, these initial higher profile projects really have to succeed for crowd sourcing to survive. As with everything, as more and more people get burned on these projects, their faith in and support of crowd sourcing is going to diminish.
 

LeninGHOLA

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Am I the only one here who remembers the episode of South Park where a beggar comes to town and they give him money? Then the entire town becomes slowly infested with beggars? That's kickstarter in a nut shell. When it first started being used for gaming, I was immediately against it. Even when it was just a small or solo developer doing the panhandling, I opposed it. I predicted that, if it was successful, bigger developers and companies would start using it. I was right. I was ignored, laughed at, and accused of being a troll. What's next? What does it take for the "shut up and take my money" morons to get it? What happens when EA or Activision pop up with a game in Kickstarter saying "oh, this is a niche title we couldn't fund by ourselves. Please help us fund it!" and it happens to be a game you want? Where will you Kickstarter zealots draw the line before you realize you've been had?

You were trolling, not just accused of such. Otherwise your posts wouldn't have been deleted. It wasn't a conspiracy to censor your views. You crafted the idea that you were a Kickstarter pariah in your head, where you would hold true to your ideals and be vindicated in the end. That everyone would greet you with open arms once we awoke from the enchanted stupor laid down upon us by evil emotionally manipulating beggars. We would then call you our prophet.
 

Yakk

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Kickstarter support and Dev reputation go hand in hand for me.

Unknown Devs carry an inherent higher risk factor to them, thus less funding possibilities.

Well established Devs have more to lose with Kickstarter, so they carry less risk, there is still some, just less.

The backers just face the same decisions a publisher does in deciding who to finance.

I'm curious to see how people will react in waiting 1 to 2+ years on their projects though.
 

MorgothPl

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I'm on the fence... I'd love to pay Chris Roberts for new space game, but I remember how Richard Garriot killed his own MMO and turned it into crap.

I've too little money to invest it on the products that may not be completed. I rather wait, and get the box.
besides, if Kickstarter is good for gaming can be decided only after those AAA Kickstarter products like new Obsidian/ Robert's projects are finished and playable.
 

kbrickley

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Kickstarter support and Dev reputation go hand in hand for me.

Unknown Devs carry an inherent higher risk factor to them, thus less funding possibilities.

Well established Devs have more to lose with Kickstarter, so they carry less risk, there is still some, just less.

The backers just face the same decisions a publisher does in deciding who to finance.

I'm curious to see how people will react in waiting 1 to 2+ years on their projects though.

Yes, it does depend on how responsible the KS people are with their money ... if they fund every project (big or small) then they will get both failures and some very crappy games ... this doesn't seem to be happening yet though, especially for the big projects they seem to hold the developer to a high bar to achieve their minimal funding goals (let alone the stretch goals)

As to the wait time I think it will depend on two things, how many people come in at the low levels where they don't get anything until the game launches and how many updates the developer makes ... I think we are all used to the AAA dance where titles are announced years in advance (cough cough "Diablo 3" cough cough) and we have to wait and wonder what is happening ... the KS developers don't have the same constraints that publisher titles do so they could in theory provide lots of updates (the other project I supported, Grim Dawn, is in this category ... they provide regular updates) ... also, now that developers are offering beta test as a reward for the donation at higher levels there will be thousands of us who will see the game months ahead of the lower tiers ... that might help on the waiting (although it could also piss off the lower tier people) ... it will definitely be interesting to see how things play out :D
 

Seelenlos

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Am I the only one here who remembers the episode of South Park where a beggar comes to town and they give him money? Then the entire town becomes slowly infested with beggars? That's kickstarter in a nut shell. When it first started being used for gaming, I was immediately against it. Even when it was just a small or solo developer doing the panhandling, I opposed it. I predicted that, if it was successful, bigger developers and companies would start using it. I was right. I was ignored, laughed at, and accused of being a troll. What's next? What does it take for the "shut up and take my money" morons to get it? What happens when EA or Activision pop up with a game in Kickstarter saying "oh, this is a niche title we couldn't fund by ourselves. Please help us fund it!" and it happens to be a game you want? Where will you Kickstarter zealots draw the line before you realize you've been had?

Why are you so angry all the time? Just because people disagree with you doesn't make them morons or zealots.

I've back 3 projects so far. Shadowrun, wasteland2 and project eternity. Less than a hundred bucks. I have already gotten more entertainment value out of those three things in the last several months than a night out drinking...and there is still more to come. If all goes well I'll have a couple years of forum discussion and articles talking about the dev process and lore of these various projects.

To answer the question. Yes it is good for gaming. There will be some failures and sounds like that is already happening but I think there will also be projects that are successful. I trust the people behind the projects I backed, they have a good track record in game development and making the games I want. I will hopefully be getting several games in a few years that I would not likely have gotten and that makes it worth the risk for myself.
 

piscian18

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Kickstarter support and Dev reputation go hand in hand for me.

Unknown Devs carry an inherent higher risk factor to them, thus less funding possibilities.

Well established Devs have more to lose with Kickstarter, so they carry less risk, there is still some, just less.

The backers just face the same decisions a publisher does in deciding who to finance.

I'm curious to see how people will react in waiting 1 to 2+ years on their projects though.

One of the concerns I have is what if Obisidian gets working on Project Eternity and then decides to run to a publisher for additional funding. The whole "No publisher influence" Kickstarter clause kinda goes out the window and people who donated to project eternity just pre-ordered battlefield 4 the RPG.

I am just more confident in even losing money to Devs who are outside of publisher influence.
 

kbrickley

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One of the concerns I have is what if Obisidian gets working on Project Eternity and then decides to run to a publisher for additional funding. The whole "No publisher influence" Kickstarter clause kinda goes out the window and people who donated to project eternity just pre-ordered battlefield 4 the RPG.

I am just more confident in even losing money to Devs who are outside of publisher influence.

I think the risk of double dipping depends on the game type ... if the KS people start supporting FPS or licensed games then I would say that is a definite risk ... but since publisher money comes at a very high price for most developers (and companies like Obsidian know exactly what that price is from past experience) I think they would go that route upfront and not deal with KS (which isn't exactly a cakewalk either) ... I think the higher risk for double dipping is that a bigger developer might use a KS activity to shop for VC money (which might make their future projects go in directions totally away from the KS project that was supported)
 

Hornet

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One of the concerns I have is what if Obisidian gets working on Project Eternity and then decides to run to a publisher for additional funding. The whole "No publisher influence" Kickstarter clause kinda goes out the window and people who donated to project eternity just pre-ordered battlefield 4 the RPG.

I am just more confident in even losing money to Devs who are outside of publisher influence.

Technically that could happen, there's no any legal clause to prevent that.

But practically, I don't think that will happen. That would be a career suicide for the dev as it would guarantee that no one would ever support them anymore. Crowd funding would definitely be out of their future. Who's going to trust them anymore if they pull off something like that.

Therefore I don't see any compelling reasons why dev would want to do a one-off Kickstarter campaign only to do something that guarantees they will never be able use it again. We've now seen that crowd funding is a possible alternative for the dev if they have an idea that their fans would love but not the publishers.

Obsidian have also said that they would return to crowd funding if needed for future sequel (not the expansion pack). So the dev's reputation is at stake too.
 

Flogger23m

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I'd say yes.

Takedown and Star Citizen look good. Sadly it looks like many of the KS projects are more fantasy RPGs which all lookalike so I do think it is loosing its appeal. Next thing you know there will be CoD like clones popping up all over KS. Though just back whatever you are really looking forward to and whoever seems to be capable of actually delivering.
 

whitewarrior11

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Kickstarter looks definitely good, but real efficiency to fund Indie projects or otherwise unfunded projects (through conventional means, e.g. publishers or loans) can only be assessed in the future. So far, a lot of promising projects (not just video games, but technology, music and others) have been announced and they reached their funding. The future will actually tell us how many of these projects will meet their expectations.

I personnally think KS is a good thing, if only for the consumer-has-a-word part. Pre-orders is only a way for a pub and/or developer to put a sales number sooner. KS can actually mean a project isn't going to be produced if not enough backers get on the boat.

Maybe I am being overly simplistic or I do not see the real picture but that's the way I feel.
 

Ocellaris

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It is good for now since it generates interest, however it is going to turn ugly when a bunch of shit games are released. People like to point fingers and always blame the publishers, very often the developers and product designers are responsible for the bad games as well. Gamers are a sassy bunch and will rip apart damn near anything. Once some bad KS games start getting released, they will get ripped apart and people will stop donating.
 

Parmenides

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One of the concerns I have is what if Obisidian gets working on Project Eternity and then decides to run to a publisher for additional funding. The whole "No publisher influence" Kickstarter clause kinda goes out the window and people who donated to project eternity just pre-ordered battlefield 4 the RPG.

I am just more confident in even losing money to Devs who are outside of publisher influence.

Besides the dev taking a huge reputation hit if they sold out, the devs would likely lose their IP as well.
 

Youn

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yeah it seems like a bigger risk for the developers then the consumers. In a way it's worse then pre-ordering then finding out the game sucks... this way you pre-pre-order, try to have a say in the direction, then the final product sucks... those folks working on those projects will get a pretty big backlash of support in the future and won't be able to blame anyone but themselves. If they blame the supporters for following their suggestions too much then that's even worse.

Of course, we'll all start to see how things go as more and more projects come to the market. I'm of course hoping all the games rock and everyone is happy.
 

TwistedAegis

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And if someone viewed KS as an investment you'd be correct ... however, if you view it as an entertainment expense it is a different calculation ... everyone decides what their entertainment needs are and must match those to their budget ... for some that entails a monthly internet and cable charge ... for others a monthly netflix or audible bill ... for others a WOW subscription or something else

for many of us it includes some sort of gaming budget ... if viewed in that context, as a long term preorder, then the only measure of your financial risk is based on whether this is a game you want ... and whether they are offering it at a price point you find acceptable ... as long as you purchase into only those titles you really want and only at the price points that meet your entertainment needs then there is nothing wrong

Also, as many of us that are long term gamers can attest to, for some titles the expectation can often exceed the joy of the actual product (for products that fail to measure up) ... so, if you limit your KS choices to titles that you REALLY want you get a year or more of expectation and planning and watching the updates which will provide some entertainment there also ... if the game sucks then you are no worse off then if you had preordered a AAA title ... if the game meets your expectations (or occasionally even exceeds them) then you get the additional enjoyment of the game ... so unless you put an ROI on every hour of entertainment you pursue the measure of success becomes did you enjoy being a part of the game process and playing or did you not ;)

Great post, and caught me arguing both sides of the same point. I make the same calcuation when buying a game (entertainment value). I guess the long timeframe, and not actually purchasing a guarantee of a game, slightly differentiates it for me.
 

Droc

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Aside from supporting the people behind the games directly, I find it a great way to get games cheap. If I can pledge $10-$20 and get a full game on release when the release MSRP will land around $60 then heck yah.

I dont know much about KS despite being in on half a dozen projects, but Id like to see project due dates that if they dont hit them marks, they get blacklisted or something. I like to think its good people looking to get funding for projects...but the potential for people to cut and run is high.
The carmageddon one rubbed me wrong. I find it hard to send money to a guy who films himself with his Land Rover asking for money...

I also find its easing my guilt for the years of video game piracy.
 

Krenum

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I'd say with the Reincarnation of Carmageddon with Stainless and the best RPG team the genre has to offer working on Project Eternity.

Yes. Kickstarter is very good for gaming.
 

Winwolf

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Yes and no.

In one sense its great because like others have said, it gives a lot of devs and dedicated fans of a genre a chance to create and play games that otherwise might not have been made. It also provides the big players in the industry with a new way of gauging weather or not a game might be popular before they even begin to work on it. Typically we get clones of other successful games but if the big studio's are watching these kick starter projects and I'm sure that they are, then there is a chance that some more original titles might be made.On the grounds that games in that genre or a collection of games from different genre's might provide a preexisting user base that otherwise would have been a totally unknown factor.

The downside, and in my opinion we are already seeing this, is trends. The very issue kickstarter was supposed to solve for the game industry is just being replicated in a slightly different way. We are going to see one game in a genre get funding and then another half dozen in the same genre promising the same types of things and eventually people will be back to looking for what worked for other people instead of trying to create something unique. In the end money corrupts expression and what we end up with is 100 different things that are all exactly the same.

The only real saving grace is that a promising studio wont be ruined by a game that doesn't sell well simply because if the game doesn't interest people it will never get funded in the first place.
 
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