GamerSushi Asks: The Kickstarter Process?


Kickstarter. It’s the newest buzzword. And not just in the video game realm, but in every realm. Anyone anywhere that has a dream can take to this crowd-funding service in order to make their pet project a reality, and now artists all over the world (and all over the talent spectrum) are heading there in droves. After Double Fine’s successful Adventure project, Kickstarter was heralded as the savior of the industry, in that it could provide a new method for publishing titles that don’t always get their fair shake. But are people hopping to Kickstarter too quickly on both sides?

A few weeks back, Ben Kuchera had a nice editorial on PA Report about the Ugly Side of Kickstarter, looking at what all goes into a successful Kickstarter venture. Not only are there a ton of fees that supporters (and project leads) are unaware of, but frankly, many of these people don’t understand how to spend your money in the right way. And what happens to the first crowd-funded game that severely disappoints its backers? What then?

There are even other avenues worth considering that are just now starting to crop up, as well — for instance, this Kickstarter sham that tried to steal people’s money, or the fact that 75% of videogame Kickstarters fail. Sure, there are plenty of successful and responsible campaigns such as Wasteland 2 or The Banner Saga, but more often than not these new ideas seem to be just that — ideas, with no proof of concepts or backing to show others.

But on top of all of that, there is the question of Kickstarter and begging. I’ve heard it said by some that Kickstarter projects are just fancy ways of panhandling. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that (I think it depends on the project, honestly), but I do know that lots of well meaning people are trying to jump start projects without any idea how to finish them in a realistic manner. And really, should that person get my money?

What do you guys think about this? Is Kickstarter the savior that people seem to think it is? Are you already tired of hearing about the Kickstarter projects that are going around everywhere? Do people think critically enough about each project? Go!

Sources – PA Report, Kotaku and Kotaku

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

3 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: The Kickstarter Process?”

  1. I honestly feel that the Double Fine Kickstarter was the best thing and the worst thing to happen.

    It allowed a proven developer to get funding for the type of game that people want to play, but that publishers don’t want to fund.

    But it was too much of a success, inspiring the dregs of the Internet to try their hand at free money from strangers.

    The new trend of rebooting old franchises using Kickstarter might be a cool thing, but since people are always clamoring for new IPs instead of sequels, it strikes me as a little odd that this has become a thing.

    I am already at the point of ignoring any story (except for this one, obviously) that has Kickstarter in the headline. It has already jumped the shark and while it will surely bring us some really cool stuff, it will also bring us more disappointments. It’s not the game-changer that so many wish it to be. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its uses.

  2. If you back something that has no proof of being real or if you list something on kickstarter without reading about the fees then you deserve everything coming to you.

    You can’t really sum up kickstarter with a simple good or bad because it’s user based, hopefully people are going to do good things with it but yes sometimes it’s going to be misused.

    I am totally in support of kickstarter because to me it gets the same bad reputation as eBay. “eBay is just full of scammers trying to make a quick buck”. No, you are an idiot if you fall for those people. I have over 120 eBay purchases and I have never had a problem. The same thing applies here in my opinion.

    My point is use your damn brain. No one is putting a gun to your head and making you back a project. If it’s too good to be true (I’m going to make a game for $5,000!!11) then it probably is.

  3. Oh man, Kickstarter’s more of a pain than they let on. Not only do I follow a podcast that got its funding through them, but a team I put together was getting ready to put one up before we scrapped it. Our team had a budget of about $1,800 to cover development programs, but we ended up having to factor in at least double that for shipping and costs of all the shit you have to give people for donating. Not every project is going to succeed, and even if you do, the headaches keep coming. You have to factor in Kickstarter’s 5% cut, as well as Amazon’s processing fees and taxes and whatnot from the US government. You really don’t make as much money as others say, and if you raise more than your budget, sometimes you end up with less. If you’ve got a dedicated team behind you that’s willing to put in the boatloads of additional work just to get the funding, by all means go ahead. Our team was dedicated, but we ultimately chose not to seek funding due to cry-wolf syndrome and potential copyright issues.

    I honestly don’t see Kickstarter as being panhandling. it’s pretty much the same as a greenlight process, except to the audience instead of the publisher. Besides, I’m happy to fund the right devs, which in turn frees them from the restrictive grip of publishers. I’m telling you, if Crytek left EA and self-published their games, I’d throw money at them like nobody’s business.

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