Rampant Games - The Ol Kickstarter Shuffle
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November 5th, 2013, 10:07
The mistake is to consider that people come to games to play quality games. People come to games for different reasons.
Game quality might be subjective in some parts but a number of games released through crowdfundng or other by the way, did not pass the objective parts.
The mistake is to think that players buy games with the expectation of playing games., even more quality games.
For example, the investors. Investors do not spend money on games. They invest.
An investor has ten hours to kill and will look at how to fill them from an investor's perspective. The purpose is not so much to play games than to fill time in an investing manner. Investors often compare means to fill time between them and compute return on hours etc Games, their gameplay, their mechanics? It does not matter most, what matters is to fill hours in a investing way.
Lets say there's this KS for a tabletop miniature games running for 60 days.
Lets say that it is backed for 150.
Lets say that the beta version of the rule set is released after one week in.
Lets make the ticket price for a movie theater seat 10.
Lets invest: 150, that is 10 tickets. Average time of movie: one hour and half.
So 150, that 15 hours filled by movies.
Lets say that the average duration of the table top miniature game is 2 hours.
Lets say that to assess the game, 8 games were tried. Total:16 hours.
Great, I made a better investment on that KS that I would have if I went to the move theater ten times. And that is without counting the hours invested in painting the minis, building up the table sceneries etc
Clear minded people, though, could say that not only I spent 150 to test what is not yet a game, but I also spend 150 on a project of a game, something that came with such flaws that it wont materialize as a quality game, but I also wasted 16 hours of my life to determine whether the product could deliver or not.
Not it is where the crowdfunding method kicks in: usually, what I did is what a publisher does. The accuracy of his assessment is his risk taking.
Now as a backer, I also knew that the game was not unfinished and the possibility of improving it exists. Evidence: it was done during the fund raising period as the beta rule set was corrected. And game was supposed to be released 6 months later.
Before the crowdfunding way, the game industry, especially the video game industry, was already plagued by the release of unfinished products with the prospect of later support to fix or even to turn a product into a game.
Crowdfunding pushes the slider even further by getting people to fund even more unfinished versions of products.
With a published game, the option of waiting one, three months to see how things come together, exists. It exists because the publisher took the risk of assessing the quality of the game before that.
With a crowdfuning process, the option is no longer on the table. Backers can not wait and see. If they do not back the project, there will be nothing to see later.
There is a whole crowd movement to declare, with no regards to facts, that crowdfunding will do good to gaming, that it will end the big, bad corporations habits that ruined gaming.
Tough luck: the crowdfunding will do no good to gaming in terms of quality.
And there is a way out though: claiming that what makes a game a quality game is totally subjective. That way, no bad game will be ever released through crowdfunding, only games are subjectively good or bad.
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