Publishers Accused of Trying to Exploit Kickstarter

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Crap like this is the height of scumbaggery. If that wasn't a word before today, thanks to publishers like this, it is now. :mad:

"We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter," he revealed on his team's own KS page. "I said to them 'So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don't get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits.'

"They said, 'Yes'."
 

Kueller

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So the publisher basically wanted something for nothing, I'm sure other pirates can relate to that...but they did not just want to play a game for free, like a normal pirate. They actually expected legal ownership of the IP they didn't want to pay for. It may not technically be illegal, but if someone tried to feed me that line of crap I'm pretty sure I'd have to kick them in the nuts.
 

Taco

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There is no way Kickstarter lasts in its current form. I'm amazed it has lasted this long without scammers tanking it.
 

Hybridchild

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bet 100 bucks it was EA any takers?

Nope.

I know game publishers have done some amazing stupid things over the years but expecting a studio to hand over hard work an IP for no real benefit is well beyond the stupidity of the past.
 

Methadras

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Show of hands of who thinks kickstarter is nothing but a rebranded ponzi scheme?
 

LeninGHOLA

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Show of hands of who thinks kickstarter is nothing but a rebranded ponzi scheme?

Kickstarter has been around for a few years and no major scams have come to the surface. Even FTL was released the other day, and people are pretty happy with it.
 

kbrickley

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Show of hands of who thinks kickstarter is nothing but a rebranded ponzi scheme?

Well it is certainly not a Ponzi scheme since we are not expecting money in return ... whether these development projects pan or not is a valid question and we shall see how these projects play out over the next 2 years ... but most of the big games are from actual developers who want to release a project ... we could still end up with Duke Nukem Forever but I was willing to gamble on a couple of projects :)
 

King of Heroes

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Show of hands of who thinks kickstarter is nothing but a rebranded ponzi scheme?

From what I understand, a Ponzi Scheme involves paying out investors from the investors own pool of money.

Contributors to a Kickstarter are not contributing in expectation of a monetary return, they're expecting a tangible product whose creation that is funded from the contributor pool. Based on that, I'm having a hard time seeing how a Ponzi Scheme could apply to this? Unless I'm misunderstanding how Ponzi Schemes actually work.
 

pothb

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Kick starter has huge potential to screw over people, but it also has huge potential to help the little guys get started.
 

Methadras

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From what I understand, a Ponzi Scheme involves paying out investors from the investors own pool of money.

Contributors to a Kickstarter are not contributing in expectation of a monetary return, they're expecting a tangible product whose creation that is funded from the contributor pool. Based on that, I'm having a hard time seeing how a Ponzi Scheme could apply to this? Unless I'm misunderstanding how Ponzi Schemes actually work.

I should have said pyramid scheme.
 

Sycraft

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Publishers love the idea of something for nothing. inXile (Wasteland 2) said after the success of their kickstarter a number of publishers, including some of the same ones who told them to pack sand with WL2, contacted them wanting to market and publish the game.

No big surprise, there would be no development cost (to the publisher) and there was already a demonstrated interest in the title so it is no-risk more or less.

I'm sure it will continue, hopefully developers are just smart enough not to say ok.
 

DeathPrincess

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Kickstarter has been around for a few years and no major scams have come to the surface. Even FTL was released the other day, and people are pretty happy with it.

Theres quite a few projects AWOL, and "eternally coming soon". Like the Eyez... (though people probably should have though about it a little first...)
 

Sycraft

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I should have said pyramid scheme.

No that is where old people get paid by new people. So a pyramid scheme is where I say "You buy in to my distribution company for $100, you then recruit people for $200 each, keeping $100 and paying me $100, they then recruit people for $300, and so on." The people at the top get paid, the people and when new "recruits" run out, the last people take it in the shorts.

That is not at all how kickstarters work. Backers are not in it for money, in fact KS doesn't allow that kind of investing (frankly there's all kinds of ways to do that sort of investing, if you are interested). Backers don't get rewards or part of the cut for bringing in other backers and so on.

If you think it is a scam of non-delivery then fine, that is just regular fraud. Thus far that doesn't seem to be the case by and large. Most KS projects deliver. Doesn't mean the backers are always pleased with the end result but then that is a risk you will take.

I am not that pleased with the FTL game that I backed. However they, as promised, delivered it.
 

Ualdayan

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I should have said pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme works on the assumption that you're going to make more money back than you spent, but eventually the base is so large you can't add more people to the pyramid and all those on the bottom that last joined the pyramid end up losing.

Kickstarter has tangible rewards laid out that people expect to receive. It isn't a vague 'you might get this and much much more!' It's preordering a product in a way that the maker is blatantly letting you know your money is going to be used to actually make the item.
 

pothb

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What I don't get is...... how is their apparent offer supposed to entice any developer to join them?

They aren't giving any money out. and the idea and everything is the developer's effort? Do they think everyone is as retarded as they are?
 

LeninGHOLA

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What I don't get is...... how is their apparent offer supposed to entice any developer to join them?

They aren't giving any money out. and the idea and everything is the developer's effort? Do they think everyone is as retarded as they are?

Likely the promise of extra development cash, a 3rd party QA team and future funding for sequels. Still, a terrible deal if the IP turns out to be gold.
 

Yossarian22

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Show of hands of who thinks kickstarter is nothing but a rebranded ponzi scheme?

Most of the projects are something copying something else/something on Hackaday/ or Please Give Me Money (I want to make an album l need lessons!)

Some Legitimate Kickstarter Projects:


GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls
Printrbot: Your First 3D Printer

Preserve Chicago's Living History of Improvised Music

I DRAW COMICS Sketchbook & Reference Guide
Printrbot: Your First 3D Printer
 

pothb

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Likely the promise of extra development cash, a 3rd party QA team and future funding for sequels. Still, a terrible deal if the IP turns out to be gold.

Going from the quote, it seems the only thing that might entice someone is the publishing. Which in this day and age, is not too hard as there are quite a few companies that are already doing it. No extra money for development, was mentioned. But that might be the case, might be included in "publishing."

Just seems silly.
 

Methadras

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No that is where old people get paid by new people. So a pyramid scheme is where I say "You buy in to my distribution company for $100, you then recruit people for $200 each, keeping $100 and paying me $100, they then recruit people for $300, and so on." The people at the top get paid, the people and when new "recruits" run out, the last people take it in the shorts.

That is not at all how kickstarters work. Backers are not in it for money, in fact KS doesn't allow that kind of investing (frankly there's all kinds of ways to do that sort of investing, if you are interested). Backers don't get rewards or part of the cut for bringing in other backers and so on.

If you think it is a scam of non-delivery then fine, that is just regular fraud. Thus far that doesn't seem to be the case by and large. Most KS projects deliver. Doesn't mean the backers are always pleased with the end result but then that is a risk you will take.

I am not that pleased with the FTL game that I backed. However they, as promised, delivered it.

I just meant it as funneling money to the end source and never seeing it again. Maybe that's called something else.
 

kbrickley

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I just meant it as funneling money to the end source and never seeing it again. Maybe that's called something else.

Although they are older terms and not totally applicable you could argue that these could be more of a grift or "snake oil" sort of scam but the response from Kickstarter on NPR indicates the expectation is that the successful campaign must release what they promised ... since these are games we might end up with "Duke Nukem Forever" but we are supposed to get something for our "donation"

Now to stay on topic, the publishers trying to get a third to do the kickstarter and then turn the IP over to them is a totally different type of scam ... I think any of the developers with a name where they could do this are also less dependent on what the developer can offer them ... the Faustian bargain might appeal to a smaller developer but they probably wouldn't have the name or reputation to guarantee a successful kickstarter ;)

Actually I think that even one of the hated publisher might be able to do a successful kickstarter, if (and it is a BIG IF) they offered a decent set of rewards for the donation ... I think what you wouldn't see if a publisher tried this is any of the super high contributors ... but if they provided suitable and interesting extras they could probably get contributors up to the $100 level (since that is no different than some of the more expensive AAA preorders or the super duper collector's editions) :cool:
 

teh_chem

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I'm sick of hearing about video games being kickstarter projects (and yes, I know that video games are a tiny tiny portion of the kickstarter projects). Let kickstarter give way to new technologies that might not have had a chance in a big corporate world. Not on stupid video games (and yes, said as someone that regularly plays video games).
 

Yakk

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Emm...

Whatever happened to an "investor" doing their due diligence?

Of course scumbags will want to try and con people out of their money. Being a smart investor is hard business.

For games, a developer is putting their reputation as "collateral", not just a company name, not to be taken too lightly... A hit has huge potential, and makes future financing much, much easier.

But a flop... Good luck after that...
 

Godmachine

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KS won't say who it was (probably don't wish to be sued) and are you all really surprised? KS is a threat to publishers attempting to cash in on the indie game craze that is now happening.

I'm sure that KS was contacted however by either Activision , Ubisoft and or EA. Those are the biggest cum stains in the business.
 

Jagger100

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KS won't say who it was (probably don't wish to be sued) and are you all really surprised? KS is a threat to publishers attempting to cash in on the indie game craze that is now happening.

I'm sure that KS was contacted however by either Activision , Ubisoft and or EA. Those are the biggest cum stains in the business.

Kickstarter probably doesn't know crap. Its the company that was asked to put themselves on kickstarter that knows who it is.

Kickstarter probably will have to implement some kind of feedback scheme though like ebay to catch repeat shady folks or folks that put out ks projects and don't finish.
 

Jagger100

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Going from the quote, it seems the only thing that might entice someone is the publishing. Which in this day and age, is not too hard as there are quite a few companies that are already doing it. No extra money for development, was mentioned. But that might be the case, might be included in "publishing."

Just seems silly.

When a company that supposedly develops without financial help from the publisher knows they have a commitment to publish waiting for them, the whole Indie thing is a deception at that point. And when they say, they were picked up after they developed the game, you only have their word for it. As we see hear publishers are not beyond conspiring with a developer to deceive the public.

This is just a sleazy step above that. Not only giving the public the illusion its an indie like ks project, but getting them to pay for it too.
 

mustang_steve

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I'd be fine if I whatever percentage of the kickstarter money I put in is the percentage of the IP I own and the percentage of gross revenue I get.
 

castun

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Show of hands of who thinks kickstarter is nothing but a rebranded ponzi scheme?

Show of hands of people who have really no idea how Kickstarter is supposed to work? Also, I suggest reading the terms of service posted below.


While there may be no guarantee made about the quality of the final product, if they don't deliver they're still held legally accountable.
 

Monkey34

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Kick starter has huge potential to screw over people, but it also has huge potential to help the little guys get started.

True. Kickstarter is going to have to change in the future I'm sure. There's an honor system there that's begging to be broken.
 

GaryJohnson

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Isn't letting the publisher have money for free just as bad as letting kickstarter keep their 5% (which could be like $50k+) for just hosting a webpage and a link to your pay-pal account?

This seems especially bad to me if you're a well known developer with an established fan base which you could draw to your own website to give donations without giving kickstarter anything.
 

castun

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Wish they were able to name the offenders too. I'm willing to bet there is some sort of NDA involved when publisher-developer negotiations happen though.
 
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