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Couchpotato June 22nd, 2013 06:00

PixelsorDeath - Creators Could Be Killing Kickstarter
 
The next newsbit doeasn't deal with RPG's but with kickstarter. Joshua Dennison of PixelsOrDeath wrote an editorial about kickstarters and backer awards.

Question is do you agree or disagree?

Quote:

To backers, this stings. The pride of helping fund someone’s passion simply isn’t there if everyone else can eventually have a piece of that pie, too. No matter how they’re acquired, behind-the-scenes documentary videos, “alpha” builds, and in-game perks aren’t exclusive anymore if everyone can have the same perks. Arguably, it’s even worse when, in a few instances, these pre-order bonuses are coming in cheaper than you could have initially gotten them with the crowdfunding campaign.

It could be viewed as a question of whether or not someone is willing to effectively pay a “crowdfunding surcharge” for early access, but again, occasionally the same “alpha” or “beta” access is being offered to everyone who pre-orders in the traditional sense.

In short, creators should be careful about alienating potential contributors. If creators are willing to make the rewards, they should be willing to cater to their backers, too. Internet culture is a touchy, fickle thing, and it doesn’t take much to alienate a vocal minority (a very vocal minority).

There’s a great deal at stake here. These crowdfunding efforts are the only chance that some of these creators have, and they could lose that resource if we’re all not careful. Games like Kentucky Route Zero and FTL: Faster Than Light might not have ever seen the light of day without Kickstarter, and we certainly wouldn’t have seen Dominique Pamplemousse in “It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!” without Indiegogo.

Places like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are fertile grounds for creative talent to take their would-be projects, but creators have to be careful not to squander the interest of supporters. We’re not in questionable territory anymore; crowdfunding is a widely-accepted practice, and creators have to be aware of their actions. It might only take a few more exclusives-turned-pre-order-bonus items for that vocal minority to denounce crowdfunding on the whole, potentially sullying the entire ecosystem for future hopefuls.

More information.

Roq June 22nd, 2013 06:00

In general, if one is backing a game, any money that the developers can get prior to launch can be used to make the game better so it doesn't make that much sense for backers to be too possessive.

Mr Smiley June 22nd, 2013 11:33

Quote:

The pride of helping fund someone’s passion simply isn’t there if everyone else can eventually have a piece of that pie, too.
What pie? Pure nonsense. "Pride" is an immaterial thing. If you didn't back a project in the first place, how can you possibly feel proud of backing it later? To me, the main reward is the game being made. Who cares if crowdfunding rewards are used as pre-order bonuses also?

Alrik Fassbauer June 22nd, 2013 11:37

Quote:

To backers, this stings. The pride of helping fund someone’s passion simply isn’t there if everyone else can eventually have a piece of that pie, too. No matter how they’re acquired, behind-the-scenes documentary videos, “alpha” builds, and in-game perks aren’t exclusive anymore if everyone can have the same perks.
Uh, this "Exclusivism" thing again.

Is this really this widespread elsewhere ?

I don't remember having experienced it thatway with products from my youth on, really. In fact, I grew up in a part of the country where it was common that everyone got everything. My grandparents taught me - a mind set most likely surviving vom WWII - that it was simply most important that everyone got at least something. In the aftermath of WWII, survival was the top priority.

I don't know how it was in the 50-60 (German "Wirtschaftswunder"), but in the 70s to 80s where I grew up, "Exclusives" just didn't exist. I guess that a part of us Germans stil is more "socialist" to some part - and I'm speaking of western Germany. Eastern Germany was a different story.

I noticed this "Exclusivism" for the first time with music records. At that time, it wasn't widespread, so it didn't bother me much.

But the number of exclusive record editions grew. I still have a box with a numbered edition of a certain CD single by Genesis here . that was the first time this "Exclusive Editions" came into my focus. And still, I although I bought it for myself (for a huge sum of money for me back then), I even then found it unfair that some people got exclusive things that others could never dream of reaching.

I guess that I'm indeed too much of an socialist : I strongly believe that everyone should be able to get the same things, if they wanted to. If I was a musiciand, I#d INSIST that there should be NO "exclusives / exclusive editions" at all be made from my recordings - and I thought so already 10 years ago or even 20 (hard to track down singles by Peter Gabriel, what really made me angry). I'd try to forbid my record company doing "Exclusives", because they are in my opinion only one thing :

Unfair.

Just take a look at the discography of the band called "The Corrs". Warner really broke a record in doing an insanely huge number of country-specific exclusives. For Asia, they did exclusives for almost all bigger countries, meanwhile Europe got only 1 version, usually. Plus, they didn't even stop at that - one moron had the idea of releasing singles in 2 parts : As 2 CDs which had different songs exclusive to them.
Warner did it with a few 90s Mike Oldfield singles, too (around and after TB II).
Japanese record companies are infamous for releasing "exclusive editions" of CDs of artists where the rest of the world only gets a "standard" edition of it. In the case of Enya, fans suspect that they even managed to put an more or less unfinished piece onto one CD, although it was never meant to be realeased in this unfinished state, as they suspect.

Sacred_Path June 22nd, 2013 12:01

It's a bad idea to screw over your backers by offering the same rewards cheaper later on.

Apart from that, I have no problems with backer rewards not being "exclusive". I want to contribute to games being made that I believe in/ like the concept of. I think helping create a game is a reward in itself… but of course, I haven't experienced a failed project yet.

Roq June 22nd, 2013 12:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sacred_Path (Post 1061204555)
It's a bad idea to screw over your backers by offering the same rewards cheaper later on.

Apart from that, I have no problems with backer rewards not being "exclusive". I want to contribute to games being made that I believe in/ like the concept of. I think helping create a game is a reward in itself… but of course, I haven't experienced a failed project yet.

Would the failure of some projects affect your backing others? I think I'm more concerned with my backed projects being crap, rather than that a few will turn out to be vaporware.

Sacred_Path June 22nd, 2013 13:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roq (Post 1061204560)
Would the failure of some projects affect your backing others?

Probably. I certainly don't know if I'd put up 100+ $ again for a project by an unknown individual/ indie studio if I had effectively lost money on KS; and I would probably be more frugal in general. Right now, I'm not worried because I've backed ~12 projects so the chances are very high some will deliver.

Quote:

I think I'm more concerned with my backed projects being crap, rather than that a few will turn out to be vaporware.
I was talking about crap games as well. Of course, there are different ways a game can be crap; it can simply have lackluster gameplay, in which case I wouldn't feel cheated unless features that were promised during the campaign were missing. But then there are games like Pool of Radiance or Might & Magic IX, that are practically unfinished even though you can play them from start to end. That's comparable to vaporware IMO.

ChaosTheory June 22nd, 2013 16:50

This argument could be made about DLC in general. Why should I pay full price for a game at release, then buy the DLC at full price, when I can wait a few months and get everything bundled together for far cheaper? Does the need to have something "now" or "first" really outweigh the logic of waiting until bugs are fixed, DLC is included and the cost of the total package is drastically reduced?

greywolf00 June 22nd, 2013 18:12

I tend to disagree. Backers directly influence the quality & scope of the game, people who buy it later do not. While I don't mind reasonable backer exclusive items, I've back far more projects without them and won't avoid projects that give them to other buyers later. I give them my money because they pitched an idea I liked and want to see made into the best game possible and will do what I can to make it happen. When people buy it later because it's a good game I know I helped play a very small role in that. If people stop backing, projects stop getting made or quality/scope suffers which is a loss to all gamers imo. Plus, I absolutely hate the massive casualizing of games going from major publishers to appeal to as many people as possible to ensure 1million+ copies get sold to justify their moronic budgeting. Giving developers free reign to run with their vision suits me just fine.

guenthar June 23rd, 2013 01:35

I think all of the extras you get from backing are not really the exclusives people should be paying attention to. The real exclusives are the bits of the game that you contributed to the existence of. That is the most important exclusive you get and any extras you get on top of that are bonuses.

rjshae June 23rd, 2013 02:47

This story is economic nonsense. People who back a Kickstarter do so because it's exactly the type of game they want; not because they are expecting a special deal.

Yes it's important to maintain the good will of your backers, but you can do that by being respectful and honest.

screeg June 23rd, 2013 18:36

What a load of crap. Why is there, in every crowd, some naysayer who says that eventually Kickstarter is going to implode and everything is going to go back to the way it was? I think these folks just want to swim against the stream so one day they might get the satisfaction of shouting out, "I CALLED IT!"

My least favorite argument is the one about how one day a KS project won't deliver. So effing what? Have you not heard about the 10,000 traditionally published projects that didn't deliver?

Sacred_Path June 23rd, 2013 21:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChaosTheory (Post 1061204583)
This argument could be made about DLC in general. Why should I pay full price for a game at release, then buy the DLC at full price, when I can wait a few months and get everything bundled together for far cheaper? Does the need to have something "now" or "first" really outweigh the logic of waiting until bugs are fixed, DLC is included and the cost of the total package is drastically reduced?

No, the analogy falls flat.

Everyone knows that games get cheaper as they get older. We know this from the start, and can make an informed decision whether we can wait for a game a little longer and buy it at a reduced price, or we're willing to make a day 1 purchase, or we want the game so badly that we even pre-order it.
On Kickstarter, it's often left unclear whether some rewards will stay exclusive to the campaign, and it's especially not made clear if the same rewards will be offered immediately after the campaign for a cheaper price. That's simply not foreseeable by the customer, and that's why I said it's an instance of screwing over your backers.


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