Why I’m Done With Kickstarter

Kickstarter has become a powerful force in funding games, but I’m done backing projects.

When Kickstarter launched in 2009, no one could have known the huge effect it would have on gaming. Some small games popped up on there from time to time, but it wasn’t until February of 2012, when Double Fine Productions launched the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter (now known as Broken Age), that things went big. Thirty days and $3.3 million later, Kickstarter was a brand new platform for funding not only indie games, but larger projects as well.

Fast forward to today, and we’ve seen games from Obsidian Entertainment, inXile, and even a second title from Double Fine funded through Kickstarter. There have also been a large number of smaller titles that have been funded the same way.

Last night, Double Fine sent a message to backers of Broken Age (of which I am one), explaining that despite receiving over eight times the funding it originally requested for the game, Double Fine wasn’t going to have the money to complete the game. It also outlined a plan to raise the necessary funds using game sales through Steam Early Access. Whether that will be successful remains to be seen, but this news was the last straw for me. As of today, I’m officially done backing projects on Kickstarter.

You see, backing a game on Kickstarter makes you, the backer, the de facto publisher of that game. Unfortunately, you don’t have the power that publishers do. You can’t cancel the game if it’s off track or over budget. You can’t exert any measure of control over the development process, and you don’t get to see any work in progress that isn’t spoon fed to you by the developer. You’re basically assuming all the risk with none of the benefits, except that at some undefined point in the future, you’ll get a game and some swag. Maybe.

That’s right, there are NO guarantees on Kickstarter. Sure, the terms of use for project creators say that projects must fulfill what they say they will, but as any business owner can tell you, there are a lot of loopholes that can pop up in the process. Regardless, the expectation is that when you make a pledge, you’ll get what you agreed to on the date you were told you’d get it. Unfortunately, this is all too often not the case on Kickstarter. Project delays are common, and as we saw today, sometimes even the most experienced project directors and companies don’t always get it right.

Today’s news isn’t the first time I’ve been down on Kickstarter. I’ve spoken loudly before about my belief that there’s a spectacular crash on the horizon for the service, and that I think that all it will take is one well-placed failure to irrevocably damage customer confidence in the service. I’ve heard those same thoughts echoed by developers using Kickstarter.

“But Ron,” you say, “these sort of risks are inherent when you’re funding a creative endeavor.” Sure, I get that. I also understand that you might be completely comfortable with those risks, and that’s fine. Personally, the whole Kickstarter craze has given me a new appreciation for the people whose job it is to vet projects at a game company. That is one group of people who earn their money. It’s also a job I really don’t want.

That’s why I, as an individual and a gamer, am making a choice. I’m not funding any more Kickstarter projects. I’ll still keep an eye on the service, and I’ll use it as a way to see what’s coming up that I might want at launch. But I’ve decided that I’m not going to provide speculatory funding for games anymore. I’ll do my funding of games the old fashioned way: on Steam, or at retail, where I can see exactly what I am paying for, and get it immediately.

Read more of Ron Whitaker’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @ffronw and @gamefrontcom.

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39 Comments on Why I’m Done With Kickstarter

Kevin

On July 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm

The fact that people have been trying to justify this and defend Double Fine is what annoys me most about it. Seriously how do you get eight times 400 grand and still go over budget? And of course, Double Fine expects the poor folks they haven’t yet nabbed money from to foot the bill for their inability to keep to a budget that had been paid for 8 times over.

Chris

On July 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

But then again sometimes Kickstarter can fund a game that is actually worth all that pain. Like Star Citizen. God i want that game to come out.

But i digress, Kickstarter serves its purpose. i didnt back anything from double fine, because i didnt feel the management had the right “Stuff” To stay on budget, and release a quality game. I felt like they would blow all their money away Kingdoms of Amalur style. I didnt get that feeling with Star Citizen, and despite them blowing of publishers to get a fully crowd funded game, i feel that they wont waste the money.

If you made a couple of poor choices, pick up and soldier on. If you cant, then you just are not meant to play the market.

Mike

On July 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Star Citizen is different than pretty much any other Kickstarter. Not only did it start as a crowdfunding venture (where I paid a substantial amount of money to help push it) than a kickstarter, they are continuously giving status updates and glimpses of their work as its being made. In short, they’re giving progress reports, something all these ventures should do. Cloud Imperium Games is the gold standard of developer in this example…and Double Fine is not. Should have just made a sequel to Psychonauts or Brutal Legend Schaffer…

rickshaw

On July 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I just think we have become mugs, Steam Early Access plan is another muggins concept and people are falling for it hand over foot. crowd funding got to the point of stupidity.
I funded Star Citizen at around $380,000 at the time of my donation $60 and its now blown out to a crazy $12,464,285 ! ! And they keep adding more and more and more money ads!! What the heck is going on!? Why are we falling for it? I even bought one of the ship upgrades $40 at 3mil or something saying they reached a milestone now they want more!! jesus!..I invested $100! what heck was I thinking!
Just when does this become stupid just when do we eventually see the light.
Developers are constantly changing game ideas as the money keeps pouring in, this just isn’t the way to go.
I understand dreams I have them all day everyday but they can’t all be put into reality you got to draw a line & get on with it..
What it seems to me is begging is now a corporate niche, which in these terms equals to a rort.

Mike

On July 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

You do realize that they gave examples for what the money was going for for each tier right? The 9 million mark was so they could build their own studio, not have to rent existing, EXPENSIVE, studios. It allows them a level of self reliance to the point of not needing ANY outside influence that could adversely affect the game. Chris Roberts has answered all of these question in interviews and panels. You do realize the scope of the game that is being created right?

P.S. Ooooh! A whole one hundred dollars? At the $380k mark? Pffft, I was a vice admiral pledge when it was less than $50k. Why? Because I’m making an investment in something that could be beautiful, and ground breaking in how games are made with the line so very thin between developer and gamer. If the fact that people are willing to spend their money on things like ships and merch scares you, then go onto RSI’s new site and reclaim your money. They stopped asking for money at the 9 mil mark, and are closing pledges shortly.

Red Menace

On July 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm

I’ve been holding my money in reserve until someone actually follows through on a Kickstarter to a finished product to prove to me it is a viable.

ImRon

On July 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I’m Ron! I’m mad! My precious Money went poopy!

Foehunter82

On July 4, 2013 at 1:00 am

@Ron: There is one problem with your last sentence: You often DON’T see exactly what you’re paying for if you buy it on day one. You wind up having to wait a while to see how it turns out to keep from getting burned. Either way (crowd funded or old-school), you have risks. I see your point though, and I agree that there likely is something bad on the horizon for Kickstarter that will hurt it’s image in the future. Do I think it will kill Kickstarter entirely? No. Depending on how it’s managed, I figure it could go two different directions: 1) It will be modified to require status updates on a monthly basis, or, far worse, 2) Kickstarter will wind up partnered up with mainstream game developers as a means to minimize risk for both Kickstarter and those funding Kickstarter projects.

I don’t, however, necessarily think that Kickstarter needs a professional vetting team to kick out projects they think don’t pass muster. I just think that status updates should be required, and that these updates should demonstrate clear progress made on a project.

Chris

On July 4, 2013 at 5:30 am

@mike No need to gloat how much you put in. You will get your rewards ingame. I myself have only invested on the 30 dollar package until i can afford more. i WILL be throwing more money at it, possibly until i have LTI on all the ships, but there is 0 need to belittle a smaller donation to feel superior. we supported the game, because we believe the same as you

Chris

On July 4, 2013 at 5:36 am

Also, in terms of Star Citizen, dont listen to mike.

You can continue the pledge. the only thing going away soon (july 6th is the las day) is Life Time Insurance. basically its a benifit for pledging early that gives you your pledge ship with base equipment anytime it blows up or gets jacked. this ingame insurance is free, but only available to early pledgers. there is another grade, which you can get ingame, that you pay for that will do the same thing, but for only 1-6 months Real Time.

If you can only afford the 30 buck package now go ahead and get it. the Original and Veteran Backers get to keep purchasing ships with LT Insurance till Nov 26.

Ron Whitaker

On July 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

@Red Menace: That’s my new policy. I’ll watch Kickstarter to see what’s coming, but I’ll keep my money safely ensconced in my pocket until the game is done.

@ImRon: Actually, when I dropped the money on every Kickstarter game that I have backed so far (and there are several), I basically wrote that money off. I Knew going in that there was a chance that those projects would never materialize. I knew that once I pledged, I was basically hoping that whoever I pledged to would deliver. I knew that I had way of getting my money back if they failed. That’s part of the deal.

All I am saying is that I’m not doing that anymore. If you feel like you want to, then more power to you.

Ron Whitaker

On July 4, 2013 at 6:40 am

@Foehunter82 – I see what you’re saying, but if the game’s at retail, I have options. I can read reviews, I can watch trailers, and I could maybe even play a demo. In the case of Kickstarter, we’re often throwing money at projects based on nothing more than a handful of concept art and a dream. I’m not saying that everyone should walk away from it, but I am saying that I personally am done.

I also think you’re right that the inevitable big failure won’t kill Kickstarter. I think what it will do is make people a lot more conscious of the risks, and the number of multi-million dollar KS campaigns will dwindle rapidly.

Siannah

On July 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

There is a risk with every Kickstarter and every backer needs to be aware of it. And yes, the time will come where a high-profile project fails.

That being said, I’m still continue doing Kickstarters. Why? Simple: if we don’t, we probably won’t getting a Project Eternity, Elite: Dangerous, Star Citizen, Planetary Annihilation, Project Giana, Shadowrun Returns, Torment: Tides of Numenera or Wasteland 2 – at all.

Relying on publishers alone, isn’t an option and proven time and time again.

Patches

On July 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

The producer Double Fine who help boost the fundraising option, is also the one who gives same fundraising a serious faith crisis… Ironic…

I personally had more bad experiences with fundraising (games) than good one… 2 examples…

MechWarrior Online: Still waiting for more substance (that was promised), like more battle type (only 2 last time I played: Assault and a CTF), fix the delay for ballistic guns or the Meta (you know, we where supposed to play for a House and such)…

Project Zomboid: I ‘fundraised’ them on Desura. But they take so much time fine tuning (or whatever) the game, by the time it will be ‘official’, it will be made obsolete by game like ‘The last of Us’ or ‘Dying Light’…
Zomboid was supposed to fill the gap until a prettier, 3D version of Zombie survival would be created…
At least, that’s what I though. And I would have never ‘purchased it’ if I knew it would take so long between the ‘Demo’ and the ‘Alpha-Beta-whatever’…

keenan

On July 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm

author made a bad investment, only thing I’ve kickstarted is the upcoming Carmageddon. supporting a purely hype built fanboy driven company like doublefine you deserve to have more money asked from you. may as well support EA’s kickstart campaign

R.J.

On July 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm

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.

quicktooth

On July 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

And your lack of endurance is what is killing the games industry, Ron. It’s killing it because NO ONE of the formal publishers will take risks. They ALL drive us gamers away (in lots of control freak ways) and stifle legitemate innovation and fun because they will do nothing new (as they are utterly scared). Sure they allow a piddling few things happen (like Mirror’s Edge), but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the Indie scene. Yes numbers of those indie folks fail. It has come down to this: there is NO WAY EXCEPT KICKSTARTER that we can see good and interesting games made. With or without risk, with or without problems. If you’re part of the games journalism process pull your finger out and HELP. If even someone like YOU won’t participate, who will? It’s cowards like you that mean we can’t have nice things. Literally. You b!tch and whine about lack of innovation and fun, and then you pull a stunt like this. *I* participate, AND assume risk. I’m willing to do it so that we can ALL have fun. Join in or get out.

quicktooth

On July 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Important addition: I’m disgusted by Double Fine’s current efforts, they all look extremely greedy, and I didn’t back them in the first place. I’m not that into adventure games. I don’t want to be snide, but I must respectfully add that Double Fine failed (at least to a degree) when they released Brutal Legend, so they aren’t perfect. We can factor that stuff in in choosing who to back- that’s why I’m backing Project Eternity etc. I still want another Psychonauts, and I’d love to see it, so maybe if Double Fine make one of those I’d back it. Their current efforts are a black mark against them, so who knows. We need to think more like investors, I think.

Clock Face

On July 5, 2013 at 2:32 am

Kickstarter isn’t the problem. People ABUSING Kickstarter is the problem. You don’t need to give up on it entirely, in fact it’s imperative that you continue to have faith in it as there are so many good and challenging games that are financed through it that mainstream publishers wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. Just be more wary in future. You wouldn’t boycott the film industry because of Uwe Boll. Same should apply here.

Ron Whitaker

On July 5, 2013 at 5:58 am

@quicktooth: If I’m going to have to think like an investor, instead of thinking like a gamer, I’m going to want more in return than a crappy t-shirt. I think that’s the thing that bothers me the most. Despite the money that gets thrown at these projects, the people behind them are behind schedule, out of cash, and haven’t delivered yet.

It’s not just Double Fine either. I have multiple projects that I have backed that were funded successfully that haven’t delivered, despite being well past the date they set for themselves. It’s no different that an investor would think. “Wow, I’ve invested in four game companies and all four have failed to meet deadlines and stay on budget. I think I’ll invest in another sector going forward.” As I said in an earlier comment, if you’re comfortable backing things, go for it. It’s your money.

It’s not like Kickstarter is the only way for indies to fund their games. There’s an awful lot of venture capital out there looking for a home, and a good bit of it is going to games. Even if Kickstarter ceased to exist tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the end of indies.

@keenan – It’s not just Double Fine, as I mentioned above. I have multiple projects that are in a similar boat. I’ve backed a ton of stuff, but I think my tolerance for Kickstarter has expired.

Seth

On July 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

I’m mostly with Ron on this one. Kickstarter is in danger of eating itself with spectacular failures (which is what it is) like this. Backers on Kickstarter have no control over the creative process or its costs, and have no way of ensuring that the project is delivered. More traditional funding tends to obtain a stake in the process and a means of control.

In some senses it’s the classic get a million people to send you a dollar con. Most people won’t miss a dollar enough to make a fuss.

Obviously there is always an element of risk with projects and if you can’t afford to lose then money then don’t invest.

This is following on from the Kobe beef spectatular. Kickstarter needs to get a handle on this stuff so as not to taint the large amount great projects that are going on here.

I’ve tended to stay away from video games projects for precisely these reasons – you’re often funding unknown development costs rather than manufacturing costs. That said I’ll continue to support other small projects.

Ron Whitaker

On July 5, 2013 at 7:35 am

@Seth: This is kind of my issue, too. We’re basically investing in these games. We’re throwing money down a hole and hoping a game pops out. There’s really no recourse for us as backers if a game never materializes.

I also don’t think it’s something Kickstarter is going to “get a handle on” They say over and over again that backers should vet the projects that they back. Since KS itself gets a nice cut of every funded project, it’s in their interest to have as many projects on thew service as possible. I’m not saying that they condone fraud, simply that they have no vested interest in (and no financial incentive to) digging deep into every project that comes along. They’re just the middleman.

The big issue for me isn’t the money I’d be out. If I didn’t have the money to lose, I wouldn’t throw it down the Kickstarter hole. It’s the lack of consumer recourse and protections that’s ultimately driven me away.

David

On July 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

The biggest issue I’ve seen with kickstarter lately is basically people that don’t understand what kickstarter is when they pledge there. I remember with the oculus rift, around when dev kits were first shipping, I saw a lot of comments that made it pretty clear they were both expecting this to be the final consumer version, and that they were treating kickstarter more like best buy.

I’ve had mostly good returns on kickstarter so far (only had 2 so far out of 16 that I can definitely say failed), so I’ve gotten some good use out of the service so far. It does depend on yoy paying attention to what it is your pledging for however, and thinking about if it’s actually doable, which I can almost guarentee there’s a large amount of people using it right now that just go “OH MAN THAT’S SO AWESOME” and then wonder why there are delays.

Ron Whitaker

On July 5, 2013 at 9:48 am

@David: The issue I have right now is how many people are decrying the expectations of the backers. Where do those expectations come from? They come from the developer who’s Kickstarting something. No one got upset when Double Fine said that they got a lot of extra money and wanted to make a bigger game that took longer. They’re upset now because Double Fine didn’t follow through on their updated promises, and on top of that, they said they’re out of money. Double Fine created the expectations that people have, so they shouldn’t be surprised when folks expect them to live up to them.

R.J.

On July 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

I’m of the opinion that if people are going to keep swinging around the term “investment” when it comes to Kickstarter, they need to reevaluate how they look at this. Investments typically come with some sort of return on that investment beyond a token bit of swag, such as a piece of the profits something might earn, and they also typically come with some amount of control, or at least the ability to get some information. That one little share of a public corporation might not give you much control, but at least you do get to have a vote at shareholder meetings.

As Ron pointed out in the article and his comments, the people behind these various projects are the ones that create the expectations that drive the funding, but they also completely control where these things head and leave the people that funded them holding the bag if something doesn’t pan out. If you get a loan from a bank for a business and that business falls through, you’ll still be on the hook to the bank. The fact that Kickstarter comes with no real obligation like that makes it rather risky in my eyes. Yes, you run similar risks when you make an investment, but at least there is a chance you can get something meaningful back when things do work out.

I’m completely with Ron on this. It’s not so much that there isn’t a profit or whatever to be made from giving to a project, its that my money would come with very little in the way of protection. I can’t back out if a project takes a turn that is contrary to what the dev said before, I can’t exert any real influence to try to steer something another direction, and I don’t even get the benefit of them at least knowing they are under a financial obligation.

Will

On July 5, 2013 at 10:46 am

Don’t just back mega budget video games, try some of the smaller, already finished projects like Maelorum or Holdfast or some other board game.

David

On July 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm

@Ron Agreed, and that’s understandable. I meant more kickstarter in general. With Double Fine, it’s perfectly understandable for people to be annoyed with double fine for what happened. They screwed up, and while I think they’re doing as well as can be expected to make up for it, people who backed can understandably be annoyed by the whole thing. I’m talking more in general with kickstarter as a preorder service instead of what it really is. So hopefully stuff like this will help those people understand what sort of risks there are involved with this sort of thing.

Earnest

On July 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm

The Veronica Mars Kickstarter was the end for me. Kickstarter is no longer a simple fundraising service, it is an investment platform, and the problem is people see none of the benefits (a share of the profits) they’d see if they were actually investing in projects. It makes me mad because I feel like the rich and famous are now using these crowdfunding services to prey on their fans.

natthavat

On July 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I’m Natthavat! I’m mad! My precious Money went poopy!

kevin

On July 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

Very lame point of view:

“I backed a failing project on a crowdfunding platform – sob – blub – crowdfunding sucks !!”

Grow an adult sense of rational proportion you child – extrapolating from your choice of floundering project to concluding that the whole paradigm sucks is a just a tantrum triggered by frustration at your choice.

Noel Huelsenbeck

On July 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Hi Ron –
Interesting commentary. Are there any statistics on what percentage of projects fail to deliver on Kickstarter? Or stats relating to gaming Kickstarters versus other types? We’re doing a clothing Kickstarter and it would seem that might be better suited since we’re just changing one part of our existing supply chain, which might be a lot easier than developing a game.

I’ve backed many projects on Kickstarter, no games though, and so far my experience has been positive, which is why I created my own project. Maybe they need to limit the funding to the amount requested, that way people don’t get crazy with the money. Seems if the $3.3 million dollar project fails that wouldn’t be good publicity for Kickstarter and they wouldn’t want to that scenario to happen again. As you mentioned you already publicly declared you won’t back anymore projects.

Joyjoy

On July 8, 2013 at 4:56 am

@Kevin

Shut-up you pompous Donkey. The only thing I got from the article is be weary of the misfortunes inherent with crowd funding. And that K.S. is not for me.

Get bent

Ron Whitaker

On July 8, 2013 at 6:11 am

@Kevin – The Broken Age Kickstarter hasn’t failed yet, and I’m saying that it will. Double Fine also isn’t the first Kickstarter to make these errors that I have backed. Reaper fell months behind delivering on their Bones project. John K’s Cans Without Labels is months overdue on fulfilling. It’s not all in games, and it’s not every project I backed. I still have money floating out there on dozens of KS projects.

The issue here is that I’m tired of giving out my money without a guarantee of a return. If I was getting the returns inherent to investing, I might be more willing to pony up some cash. But since I’m throwing out money on crowd funding, that money is essentially gone. There’s no guarantee I’ll get anything for it.

If the games have merit, I’ll still support them. I’ll just do it once the game is finished.

Ron Whitaker

On July 8, 2013 at 6:35 am

You also might want to read closely what R.J. said above.

“If people want to give money to these projects, that is fine since it is their money, and some interesting projects can be made, but between what you get in return (swag, good feelings, etc.) and the control you have (little to none), Kickstarter funding is much closer to a charitable donation than an investment.”

That’s dead on target, and that’s the point of all this. I’m not going to be an investor that’s assuming all the risk and getting none of the return anymore.

Michael

On July 8, 2013 at 8:35 am

I think the problem is, Kickstarter is, ultimately, the WORST of all worlds of the creative/sales process. It’s why I absolutely find Kickstarter to be a bad idea. I see people here throwing around the term “investment” in reference to funding games as though that’s what this is. It’s not. You’re not going to see your money appreciate, you’re not going to be rewarded any more than you ultimately would’ve been if you’d waited to purchase the game after it’s release.

You’re PURCHASING!

Except what Kickstarter offers is a bad deal. You assume the risks of an investor: you put your money into something with no real guarantee of any return…but you’re only rewarded with the ability to make a purchase of a product. At best: your investment allows you to be a consumer…at worst your purchase comes with the risk of giving you nothing.

Kickstarter bugs me because it hides what it is. It’s not an investment vehicle, it’s an online store where there’s a pretty good chance that your purchase can get lost while shipping and leave you with nothing.

There’s something nice, and awesome, about the idea of crowdfunding. But Kickstarter has perverted that idea by refusing to enforce any real sort of rules and requirements, and by letting projects absolutely DESTROY their goals. The quality of projects isn’t examined. It astounds me that they refuse to do any real diligence on their projects, and instead pass that onto the backers without giving them appropriate tools to vet projects.

When double fine put their project up, where was the breakdown of costs? Knowing now that eight times that amount wasn’t enough for the project, how the hell did anybody ever think that $400,000 would have been an appropriate amount? If I were to walk into a bank today to ask for a loan to make something, I would have to give a detailed analysis of what I would need that money for.

Kickstarter expects us to have that same responsibility while just taking the creators at their word that the amount they’re asking for is what they actually need.

Timfads

On July 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

So you are saying you are done with KickStarter because you want to be a publisher even though KS clearly states that is not how KS works and because Double Fine is also clueless about how KS works? Mother of those are KS fault or issues with KS, but it is your call. As for myself I will gladly stick with supporting an alternative means of funding a game that remains the creator’s game and not a corp’s or demanding fans game.

Tim

TimFads

On July 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

@Red Menace: Check out any project Greater Than Games did. They hit each one and send out everything they said they were going to. They even sent me thier latest expansion a couple of weeks early.

Kevin

On November 10, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I stopped a few months back because these people have no financial control and no accountability.
I have backed 29 projects and only 9 have ever finished and shipped an actual product.

I have been screwed by John K., video game creators, board game creators, playing card creators, and sauce makers. Everyone I carefully selected based on their history in their fields of work and they all seemed reliable, but in the end there is no deadline and zero responsibility.

They set a goal and then when they achieve (or even greatly surpass) it they lose all the money somehow. I’ve read that John K. didn’t even try to make his cartoon, but used the money to shop himself around to networks. What a jerk.

What is even worse is that the people running Kickstarter empower these actions and support the creators over the contributors of these projects. They do nothing to mediate or resolve anything. They get their cut and walk away.

Well I will never give another dime to anyone ever again on any of these projects. I am out over 2K because I believed in these projects. Even if I never received any rewards these people used my money for things other than what they said they would.

Here is the list so far of what my money has been used for:
A honeymoon for the kickstarter and his bride (was suppose to be cards)
House remodeling and a move (was suppose to be cards)
Restaurant supplies (was suppose to be sauce)
Career shopping (was suppose to be a cartoon, another was suppose to be a game)
God knows what (some games)

Drachehexe

On January 5, 2014 at 11:43 am

Class action lawsuit should be in the works…

This is why I never have, and never will, back a crowd funded project. Even trustworthy developers could have a tragic event causing the game to go forever unfinished. I’d rather pay 30 bucks for a finished game than 15 bucks and keep my fingers crossed.

I call this the John Romero syndrome. Do something notable and you’ve pretty much printed your own money. All of a sudden you’re working harder on spending your money than on your next game. In Romero’s defense though at least Daikatana was released…