Comment of the Week: Kickstarter — All Risk, No Control
Earlier this week, Game Front’s Ron Whitaker explained why he’s done backing projects on Kickstarter. His editorial sparked quite a bit of discussion amongst our readers, with arguments made both in favor of his argument and against it.
This week’s top comment comes from Game Front reader R.J., who expounds on how Kickstarter lets backers assume the risk of a traditional investor, without the degree of control that would normally come with it. He writes:
“What is said in this article is exactly why I haven’t contributed to any projects. I genuinely admire the attempt to fund something that might otherwise find funding, but the fact is that somebody is getting a business opportunity without having to meaningfully share in the benefits, as they would with traditional funding. You might get some swag or a copy of the game, but that is about it. Yes, a publisher or even some bank that gave a loan to an indie developer takes a risk, too, but like Ron said, they have some manner of control, and they stand to profit if the project succeeds. Some projects do a better job than others as far as keeping people in the loop, but you’re probably not going to get too much communication with that $100 pledge.
“Take the Broken Age example; if a developer said to its publisher, “We’re eight times over budget, and we still need more money in order to finish the game,” you can bet that the publisher would sit down with the dev leads for a long discussion. In fact, it never would have gotten to that point because the conversation would have occurred well before then, but the folks that pledged are supposed to just accept that somebody as experienced as Double Fine apparently had no clue how much it would cost to make the game.”