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Crowd funding, One Year Later
May 5, 2013 6:37 AM   Subscribe

What does the crowdfunding landscape look like for game developers one year after Kickstarter exploded onto the scene?
posted by Artw (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
This article is about game developers; I'd love to read a similar treatment for what the game-playing landscape looks like. My impression is we're in this weird Kickstarter bubble now, where a lot of big projects got funded but precious few have been released. "Success" for a Kickstarter isn't reaching the funding goal; it's finishing the project.

It's a hardware project, but Ouya surprised me in actually shipping stuff close to on time. Too early to tell if it's going to succeed as a console, but at least it's not a total fake. I haven't kept up with the game releases; the most recent one I know is Star Command, and what they shipped was months late and significantly diminished from the originally described game.
posted by Nelson at 11:01 AM on May 5, 2013


It seems okay, but not a patch on FTL. Most of the gameplay seems to revolve around precise positioning of crew which is actually kind of a pain on the phone.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on May 5, 2013


Defense Grid 2 development under way, coming first half of 2014
posted by Artw at 11:17 AM on May 5, 2013


It's a hardware project, but Ouya surprised me in actually shipping stuff close to on time. Too early to tell if it's going to succeed as a console, but at least it's not a total fake. I haven't kept up with the game releases; the most recent one I know is Star Command, and what they shipped was months late and significantly diminished from the originally described game.

And here, students, NO DO NOT MAKE TOO MUCH NOISE, is the rare and beloved Realistic Ouya Believer. As you know, these unique creatures have been hunted to near extinction by the hordes of entitled gamer nerds demanding a new console have the turnaround, perfection and experience of companies decades old.

OH THERE HE GOES. We hope we still have enough mating pairs.
posted by jscott at 12:54 PM on May 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, our game, Zombies, Run! was funded on Kickstarter and we launched right on time. We were also the biggest videogame project on Kickstarter in 2011 (which at the time meant 'only' $73k); but because we're a kind of weird fitness/game/storytelling thing, we tend to get overlooked by the usual gaming places. FTL has already been mentioned above, and was a fantastic game.

I think we both benefitted by having extremely clear visions of what we wanted to do, and also the fact that we didn't promise the world! Being famous is great and all, but it can lead to unrealistic expectations (even moreso if you inflate them yourself).
posted by adrianhon at 12:57 PM on May 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


And here, students, NO DO NOT MAKE TOO MUCH NOISE, is the rare and beloved Realistic Ouya Believer. As you know, these unique creatures have been hunted to near extinction by the hordes of entitled gamer nerds demanding a new console have the turnaround, perfection and experience of companies decades old.

It's funny because it is sadly too true.

I backed Ouya. I did it with eyes wide open, with completely realistic expectations based on the project's very reasonable publicly set expectations.

Since the project was funded, it's been pretty frustrating, but not because of anything the Ouya team has done. No, it's been frustrating because I've spent the time since the end of the project having to listen to hardcore gamer nerds, many of whom did not back the project in the first place, tell me repeatedly that I've been fooled, and either:

1) The project is a scam and doomed to failure because it lacks things everyone knew it lacked from the get-go.

2) The project is a scam and doomed to failure because it lacks feature parity with consoles that cost 3-5 times as much (some of which don't even exist as purchasable products yet!).

3) The project is a scam and doomed to failure because OMG WHY WASN'T I CONSULTED?!?

Pick 1 or all 3 or any other variant of "OMG YOU ARE ALL STUPID BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEEDS THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN MINE". Meanwhile, the project is delivering close enough to on time that I'm not concerned, and is delivering what it claimed it would in the first place.

I guess that's not as important as whining about the project, though.
posted by tocts at 1:56 PM on May 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I backed Ouya and mine just arrived yesterday.
posted by mike3k at 7:38 PM on May 5, 2013


I have also received my Ouya, and once it gels a little more I'm hoping there will be a mefi thread about it. Right now, though, it's not so gelled.

I've backed 13 successful (as in successfully reaching their funding goal) Kickstarter projects, and so far 4 of them have come through, which I think is pretty good. None of the ones that have come through were video games (one was the Ouya), and 4 of the ones that haven't come through yet are video games, but I didn't really expect them to have been finished by now (well, except Double Fine Adventure).

Meanwhile, my one attempt at a video game Kickstarter project from a couple years ago went either really well or not so well depending on your perspective (I have both perspectives on it simultaneously).
posted by luvcraft at 8:48 PM on May 5, 2013


In every Kickstarter discussion I'm always reminded that if a project is funded and not delivered, the rules say "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill." As far as I know that refund rule has not been applied at any scale, but some day it will be. And it's pretty much impossible to fulfill, especially for some $1M+ project where the money was spent on salaries. I hope most project creators are clever enough to do their project through a company and not have personal liability.
posted by Nelson at 8:01 AM on May 6, 2013


Nelson, that Kickstarter rule is a (relatively) new thing; I've got a few projects that I backed that evaporated. Two are nearly three years out and still working ever so slowly.
posted by caphector at 5:25 PM on May 6, 2013


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