Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Glamour of Kickstarter

As we revel in another week of multi-million dollar Kickstarter funds, we also need to be aware that not all projects are meant to be. That’s the risk with Kickstarter. You could donate your money to a good cause, but the idea may be cancelled.

Most recently, funds were finalized for a sequel to Wasteland, a cult and critic hit that Take-Two didn’t want any involvement with, and a role-playing game Project Eternity, which is currently the most funded Kicksterter video game project, at just under $4 million. Which is great! It’s good to see that the community is willing to donate and help develop a new industry of gaming that is desperately needed. But, there’s no guarantee that there will ever be a final product.
Haunts, the turn-based horror game with macabre visuals, is one example. Reaching beyond its Kickstarter goal, it has a lot of promise. But now the game is in limbo, possibly to be scrapped, because programmers walked out.
Or how about this old school RPG, cancelled with 2 weeks left in the crowd funding timeline, though they’ve already met their goal.
“Ultimately, our pitch just wasn’t strong enough to get the traction we felt it needed to thrive. In game design, mercy killing is the law.”

I wonder how soon gamers will feel disenfranchised that projects are not being finished. Very few have made it to the point that they are being produced/finalized. There’s no real way to know for certain that something will be completed until it’s done. Those promises of “Give $10k and we’ll put your image in the game” are pretty empty, when it comes right down to it. There are no guarantees with crowd funding. Maybe that’s the appeal, or the thrill of giving. You don’t really know what’s going to happen until it happens.

I’m still a supporter of Kickstarter, but I hope this isn’t a growing trend of ideas falling through because of development. It will turn people off from funding these projects, and the really great concepts that would be completed, instead never see the light.


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