Friday Flame War: The Kickstarter Ponzie Scheme
It seems like a long time for something to sink in, but this week the Internet as a whole got a wakeup call about the crowdsourcing service known as Kickstarter, thanks to some somewhat incomprehensible news from Double Fine.
Despite having raised an astonishing $3.3 million on Kickstarter – well beyond the $400,000 the initial pitch asked for – Double Fine has announced that Broken Age (formerly known as Double Fine Adventure Game) is nowhere near finished. It will instead be broken – ha-haw – into two parts, the first of which will release in early 2014 and the second sometime later as a free update.
This caused no end of anger, and for good reason: How is that only needing 300K to complete the game, getting more than 10X that amount made completion impossible? But weirdly, much commentary has focused on how naive gamers need to calm down, because making games is hard, or something. I’m not entirely sure what this argument means aside from “shut up, plebs”, but apparently people who funded Double Fine are supposed to STFU because their pea brains just didn’t understand how game development works.
But come on, what the hell did they do with all that money. After all, if this had been funded by a traditional publisher that expected a return on investment, you can bet your bottom that they’d be demanding more than “our bad” after delays and budget problems like this. And I know said publishers would laugh if they were told “but you didn’t understaaaaand!” This fiasco has been enough for our own Ron Whitaker to declare his breakup with Kickstarter. But what about you? Why not spend Friday afternoon shouting at each other about it?!
1) Is this an understandable situation, something gamers just lack the experience to fully get and therefore, should just be quiet and let Double Fine get this out in whatever form they can, regardless of the promises they made?
2) Did Double Fine just prove that Kickstarter is a terrible waste of money, really a means of enabling bad businesspeople to grab your money, consequence-free?
Sound off in comments. Flame on.