It’s been a long time since I wrote anything because life is hectic, job and yada yada…
So here I am back with one of the most hot topic for gamers that is Crowd Funding and the platform KickStarter.
In recent times we have seen a lot of Kickstarter funded games getting a lot of attention in the community. Divinity: Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity, Shadowrun Hong Kong, Wasteland 2 being some of the main examples. Let’s see what Kickstarter is and its implication on gaming world.
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is basically a place where someone with an idea present it to the people and ask for funding to start the project. If enough people take interest and project’s funding goal is met then the project starts with the money given by the people or it goes to its demise from Kickstarter. Kickstarter is not just for gaming, any project with a potential can be posted there for funding.
The question obviously arises that when there are so many publishers out there, then what is the use of Kickstarter at all. The answer is quite simple “Freedom”. When a developer is working under a publisher then there is always a pressure from publishers to make the game in a way that it sales more and more and appeal to most of the gamers even if it means compromising some features and all. Also there is a denial for several genres from publishers because of limited audience for those. Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland 2 are prime examples, when they approached publishers then it was advised to them to cut off several complex features so game would appeal to more people. Developer were stubborn (Thank God for that) and they posted the project on Kickstarter and amassed amount many times more than the pledged goal.
For consumers also Kickstarter is a really good place. The reason is that when you are backing up the project there then you get the product at the release date on half the price it launches. For example a friend of mine backed up Wasteland 2 project with $20 and he got the game on Day 1 when game was released for $40. But yes there is a catch that he had to put faith in the developers and project that it will complete with his hard earned money. To be honest for the most of the time game don’t get cancelled. There are rare occasions only for that.
Yes there are a few. One being that sometimes games or projects don’t turn out as promised at the earlier level. Developer usually say that what they thought in the beginning, it was not possible with the technology they worked with and all. Sometimes it’s true and sometimes they just make excuse to hide their failure as they have taken money from the backers. It leaves the backer feel like being cheated and it might affect his decisions towards other projects he wants to back up. There have been several cases where even when the project was backed up to more than the pledged goal, developers didn’t made the game and left it. These things do left a sour taste in mouth but then every coin has two sides. There will always be some complications.
After some bad cases Kickstarter has changed its Terms and Conditions which now put more pressure on the developer to make the project once it’s backed to the pledged goal. It’s better for everyone actually and might scare some of the scammers off. People backing up the project should look carefully and do a Google search maybe about the project they want to back up. No one wants to get conned with their money right. Blindly backing up project is certainly not a good idea at all.
Overall Kickstarter have helped many games to get released without the help from the big publishing houses and many of them have performed very well in sales. People loved those games as they were something new. They were not the old wine in new bottle things, it was wine that was new for a change. There are still ongoing projects on Kickstarter and many of them looks promising. Star Citizen is one of the highest funded game which have been funded with more than 78 Million Dollars, that project is still going on though. There are hundreds of other examples as well. Head over Kickstarter and see if there is something you want and back up the project to contribute in development of the game. I hate piracy but what I hate more is publishers cutting features or downgrading a game from it’s promised level. Platforms like Kickstarter offer a direct chance to get involved in development of game and the chance to really make good games (which obviously big publishers ignore for making sales). So again, check Kickstarter for any games or something else you want to support.