Is there a danger of kickstarter saturation?

Man of Honour
Joined
25 Oct 2002
Posts
30,483
Location
Hampshire
I've noticed in recent months there has been a massive explosion in the number of kickstarter ventures in the gaming market, perhaps due to some early successful fund-raising attempts.

However, as more and more people jump on the bandwagon (typically to resurrect old ideas in some way shape or form, whether it be bringing back a forgotten genre, or making a 'spiritual sequel' etc), is there a danger that the novelty will wear off and people will start saying "you know what, I've contributed to 3 projects now but won't see any fruits of that for a couple of years, I'm getting fed up now - I can only fund so many projects!".
 
Soldato
Joined
22 Nov 2009
Posts
11,464
Location
London
It depends entirely on your reasons for contributing in the first place and how much you put in I would think.
 
Associate
Joined
14 Nov 2007
Posts
1,562
That's definitely going to happen, it's on what scale I'm not sure of. IF the current big ones come good, then I can see it continuing to be successful after they land, maybe even becoming more commonplace.
 
Caporegime
Joined
8 Sep 2006
Posts
36,076
Location
On Ocuk
Not just that but what's stops a company from making a kickstarter that clearly had the funds there in the first place?
 
Soldato
Joined
2 Jun 2007
Posts
6,839
Location
Mornington Crescent
Personally I don't see any problem at this time. I've funded 'No time to explain', and am currently funding the Double Fine Adventure and FTL. I fund projects because they are making games I want to play. Sure, it may take time to create the game, but I can't see my taste in games drastically changing over the next year. Plus its probably cheaper to fund than it would be to buy it, and you often get extras, either a demo/alpha/beta that you can play and see the progress of the game.

And to be honest, in my eyes one of the key problems with the industry is the publishers. Its kinda similar to the music industry. You have the developers who want to make a fantastic game, they know exactly what they want to make. But then you get publishers telling them 'No, people don't want this, they want that. And they want it released tomorrow.' Cutting them out of the equation means that the developers are free to state what they want the game to be, and if its an idea that people want to see, they will fund it, and get the game they want. And perhaps to a higher quality than you would get from a game with a publisher as the dev is able to put their heart and soul into making it, as a game that they want to play.

That said, you aren't going to get any AAA games through kickstarter, the publishers do have far more money than any kickstarter project could hope to generate, as well as being able to afford advertising and so on, so its not a be all, end all solution. But like Steam, it provides an amazing platform for indie and lesser known developers to do what they want to do.
 
Soldato
Joined
2 Jun 2007
Posts
6,839
Location
Mornington Crescent
Plus you have to remember that kickstarter isn't just for video games. Order of the Stick hit $1.2million for a reprint of the comics. And there's been loads of board games on there that I'd love to fund and be able to play, but the international shipping costs are far too high, since most of them are based in the USA.

Wish the website was easier to navigate though.
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Mar 2005
Posts
11,255
Location
Newbury
I think lots of people will try and jump on the bandwagon, but only a few will make it really big.

I've only funded 3 games so far, DFA, Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun returns. All games that I really want to see made. I think for me to consider funding a game on it, I need a few things from a project.

  • A genre that's rarely done now.
  • A team or name that I can put some amount of trust in (at least some history of games that you can see their capabilities in).
  • An idea I can get behind, preferably an old franchise that I liked.
I'm sure there will be a big surge to start with now, with everyone riding the DFA wave, once it settles down I think it will only be a few of the medium sized companies that use it. I doubt you'll see bigger developers trying to use it, they'll still go through the publisher/self-publish route.
 
Permabanned
Joined
29 Sep 2006
Posts
2,954
As long as the games actually come out and are decent then im sure kickstarter will be fine long term... its if it all goes to pot and we get 2nd rate pap released then it will die on its jacksy.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
21 Nov 2004
Posts
42,023
Hopefully this won't happen. It hasn't worked well in all situations though. Take Nexus The Jupiter Incident as an example - I don't know what the current status is, but it was taking a very long time to get any kind of cash together (and that was a pretty well known title, certainly in recent years).

Still, I like the idea. I o wonder what will happen when these projects start closing down though, taking peoples money and leaving the industry with a bad reputation.
 

uv

uv

Soldato
Joined
16 May 2006
Posts
8,435
Location
Manchester
RPS said:
Excuse me… sorry, coming through… pardon me… hi, sorry, can I just get past… Uughhh, phew. Hello, gosh, sorry about that – just trying to get past all the Kickstarter projects to drink my coffee. Hang on, what’s that sound? Oh no. Oh God no! It’s a Kickstarter AVALANCHE!
:p
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Mar 2005
Posts
11,255
Location
Newbury
Still, I like the idea. I o wonder what will happen when these projects start closing down though, taking peoples money and leaving the industry with a bad reputation.

I doubt that's going to happen with the medium sized devs, but it's a risk that you take when using Kickstarter to fund anything. If you don't feel you completely trust the developer to provide a complete game and can't afford to risk it, you shouldn't be thinking about it. Those people should just wait until after the projects are complete, it's not like these games are exclusive to backers, and they'll all end up on Steam or something in the end.

Certainly companies like Double Fine, which has a number of projects running normal through publishers and DFA is just a side thing for them aren't going to evaporate away with the money.
 
Associate
Joined
5 Jan 2010
Posts
785
I think simply put that it'll take longer to generate the funds in the future, as the hype at the moment is making it seem more lucrative than it truly is. I'd bet a lot of people have pumped money into these ressurections to be part of the initial bandwagon, even if they never played the originals. Also people just liking the concept and wanting to donate to the cause rather than the game. In the future people will be more selective and only back games they're really interested in. Hopefully there's some kind of legal protection against companies having a kickstarter and a publisher at the same time.
 
Soldato
Joined
24 Dec 2002
Posts
3,551
I have had these thoughts about Kickstarter too - but not only that. In the current market we have the ability to see, read and sometimes even play a game before we open our wallets for it. If Kickstarter continues to grow we will start to get some really sucky games out of it. It's just numbers - they can't all be as awesome as we'd hope/expect.

Imagine, for example, if Duke Nukem Forever was a Kickstarter project. Hell, everyone would have jumped on that. Lets further ignore the extra-ordinary development lifecycle (just for arguments sake right now). So, at the end, this game everyone couldn't wait for, turns out to be, well, terrible... or at best, average. Disappointment. Faith in Kickstarter diminishes - or people want better guarantees before they commit. You're buying games on word alone - imagine if wordsmith extraordinaire Peter Molyneux starts a Kickstarter project! He'll promise the multi-verse ;)

Another possible problem I see occurring is publishers getting in on the act. For example, can you imagine Activision saying, yeah, we'll fund and publish this game - but you gotta get a million off Kickstarter first? Of course... it'll still be owned and run by Activision - just they'll have got our cash up front. They may even start their own form of Kickstarter. Then they get the commission that Amazon currently get - an even nicer kick back. There is nothing to say the people funding Kickstarter projects have to be involved beyond getting the game and a couple of "freebies". Not everyone is Double Fine Studios.

Ultimately, I see Kickstarter skyrocketing in popularity - and then dying all of a sudden when people have had enough. Shame, but I think it's own popularity will be its downfall.

But for now, I'm eagerly awaiting the Double Fine Adventure and will find it very hard not to play the beta before release ;)
 
Soldato
Joined
22 Nov 2009
Posts
11,464
Location
London
Another possible problem I see occurring is publishers getting in on the act. For example, can you imagine Activision saying, yeah, we'll fund and publish this game - but you gotta get a million off Kickstarter first? Of course... it'll still be owned and run by Activision - just they'll have got our cash up front. They may even start their own form of Kickstarter. Then they get the commission that Amazon currently get - an even nicer kick back. There is nothing to say the people funding Kickstarter projects have to be involved beyond getting the game and a couple of "freebies". Not everyone is Double Fine Studios.

I really can't see that happening because it would be a complete betrayal in most peoples eyes and you would lose any hope of ever getting money for another project ever again. Getting some free cash up front then taking it to a big-name publisher to fund the rest and have them slap the fans in the face with stupid demands and compromises to turn a profit?

You'd have to be pretty gullible to finance a project run by 1 of the big publishers no matter what it was. They prove time and time again that they are far more interested in turning a profit than creating a good game so it would always fall below your expectations.
 
Soldato
Joined
28 Mar 2005
Posts
11,255
Location
Newbury
Imagine, for example, if Duke Nukem Forever was a Kickstarter project. Hell, everyone would have jumped on that. Lets further ignore the extra-ordinary development lifecycle (just for arguments sake right now). So, at the end, this game everyone couldn't wait for, turns out to be, well, terrible... or at best, average. Disappointment.

Giving DNF a finite budget upfront could have saved it years ago, so I'm not sure that's such a great argument. Rather than pouring money and elongating it's development cycle continuously, if they'd had set a sensible time-scale and plan it might have been released at a point where the work they'd done was still up to scratch for the times.

DNF had the opposite of what most publishers want (within a budget, and as quick as possible), and in the end that did more harm than good for it.

Faith in Kickstarter diminishes - or people want better guarantees before they commit. You're buying games on word alone - imagine if wordsmith extraordinaire Peter Molyneux starts a Kickstarter project! He'll promise the multi-verse ;)

Except it's not just word alone for a lot of the projects. People like Tim Schafer and Brain Fargo are well recognised names in the industry, and track records that people can look at and form an opinion. In the same way I'd be able to look at someone like Molyneux and be able to avoid his project like the plague.

Personally, I would have to think long and hard about supporting unknown two bedroom programmers with a great indie idea, but then a few dollars is relatively low risk to me. It would be supporting a great idea, that might never be possible otherwise. I've probably got $5 in small change on my desk, it's an insignificant gamble to me.
 
Top Bottom