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[Column] General: Talking Crowdfunding with Mark Jacobs

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In today's Free Zone, we take a small break from the gathering of worldwide news on the F2P phenomenon and talk with Mark Jacobs about crowd source funding. Jacobs offers his expertise on how the industry will be changed as a result. Check it out and then leave your thoughts in the comments.

It's clear that Mark is intrigued by the phenomenon and its potential within the game publishing landscape. “I think Kickstarter has had an interesting effect on the whole VC <-> publisher <-> distributor <-> developer relationship,” he states. “It is still very, very early in the whole crowdfunding movement, but as Project Eternity and Star Citizen have shown, it can take the place of publishers for certain types of games.” 

Read more of Richard Aihoshi's The Free Zone: Talking Crowdfunding with Mark Jacobs.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,036Member Uncommon

    Star Citizen really ripped people off, charging hundreds of dollars so you can start with a good ship.  There's never been a more blatant pay to win cash grab. 

     

    Cannot wait for project eternity, that game is going to be awesome.

  • Nemesis7884Nemesis7884 ZurichPosts: 880Member Uncommon
    i supported star citizen with the minimum possible and i will ripp 500-buck-shipps appart with my tiny vessel WUAHAHAHA
  • ComafComaf Chicago, ILPosts: 1,154Member Common

    Hard for me to read something from Mr. Jacobs without wanting to reach into my monitor and personally inviting him to lunch.  I would aim our discussion at Dark Age of Camelot and ask him if there was any hope of him re-accessing the IP and returning it to it's former glory! 

     

    (P.S. I forgive you for Warhammer - but sir, you really should have "Reduxed" DAoC - that is what they promised us! :))

     

    Nice post as well.

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  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    I think you really have to approach Kickstarter projects with the mind-set that you are not actualy BUYING anything but rather DONATING money toward a creative project/work. In the sae way you might DONATE money to help some talented kid get started on a muisic or art career.... or to get some mural painted or statue built or park cleaned up in your community.

    In other words, it's really not a Consumer/Business realtionship it's a patron/artist relationship. If you don't approach it like that you are in for disappointment.

  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    I think you really have to approach Kickstarter projects with the mind-set that you are not actualy BUYING anything but rather DONATING money toward a creative project/work. In the sae way you might DONATE money to help some talented kid get started on a muisic or art career.... or to get some mural painted or statue built or park cleaned up in your community.

    In other words, it's really not a Consumer/Business realtionship it's a patron/artist relationship. If you don't approach it like that you are in for disappointment.

    This is like a science startup - there will be more coming back to the money people, at least one or 2 more times, because crowdfunding does not fund the WHOLE project. Game production is very expensive, so crowdfunding is a beginning not the end all.

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    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Originally posted by botrytis
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    I think you really have to approach Kickstarter projects with the mind-set that you are not actualy BUYING anything but rather DONATING money toward a creative project/work. In the sae way you might DONATE money to help some talented kid get started on a muisic or art career.... or to get some mural painted or statue built or park cleaned up in your community.

    In other words, it's really not a Consumer/Business realtionship it's a patron/artist relationship. If you don't approach it like that you are in for disappointment.

    This is like a science startup - there will be more coming back to the money people, at least one or 2 more times, because crowdfunding does not fund the WHOLE project. Game production is very expensive, so crowdfunding is a beginning not the end all.

    Yeah, GrumpyMel puts it well. As a backer, one way to look at crowdfunding, is how much risk are you willing to take on to see a "dream" have a chance? To that end: "Pledge only what you dig and don't dig too deep into your pockets", applies imo. Mark Jacobs is right: Cost, Time -> Scope = Risk of the project and preferrably a solid crew in a niche genre/area.

    As for mmorpgs, I think primarily as rallying flag for either polishing off and social engineering etc or for a smaller scale of project. But the warning is even greater for mmorpgs: Eg so many don't even make it out of development and so many after development have a "limping along" feeling gained fairly or unfarily to them. Eg  Copernicus, Dominus to name recent egs that flunked in development. And then the ones that are released: TSW, Rift either "have problems" so change their charging plans or lay off their devs etc... All of which just feels very negative and off-putting even if they are chugging along ok-ish.

    Just last week, for example, this site's Garrett Fuller wondered why no one seems to have gone this route yet with a hardcore, fantasy-themed MMORPG.

    Huh?

    Greed Monger

    Citadel Of Sorcery

    Pathfinder Online

    Topia Online

    And The Repopulation did a mmorpg ks to supplement. As said, to KS a mmorpg, it's a tougher nut to generate interest: Higher risks because of costs, deliver time, bigger scope so more things can and do and will go wrong etc etc - and a market saturated with titles already.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    Well one thing, the tools for making a MMO have improved immensely.  If a project has a good financial manager you could crowd fund it, as Mark mentions, with an experienced team.  Now if you are attempting another fantasy Wow clone you are wasting everyone's time.  You need to separate yourself from what is in the marketplace.

    As to the list in the post above, I don't give one of those games a chance, none have developers that have a clue.

  • KabaalKabaal Edinburgh, ScotlandPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon

    The biggest problem i see with crowd funding for MMO's is that it will produce just the same amount of mediocre games vs good ones as normal methods do. Right now no-one has seen what will be produced from it but if the first batch are terrible then it will kill the whole thing. It's new, shiny and different so people are pledging, once it gets tarnished it will fade into nothing. The type of people putting money into initiatives like Kickstarter aren't the usual investors that are willing to take the good with the bad in order to make a profit, it's all down to the faith of gamers which is a finicky thing.

    I do hope it turns out some shining gems but i fear they'll be too few and far between for it to survive.

  • VladamyreVladamyre South Shore, KYPosts: 225Member
    Mark Jacobs should be banned from the video gaming undustry for eternity, even his children and their children, if he has any, should be banned for the horrible expansions that ruined Dark Age of Camelot.

    In a world of sharp knives, you would be a spoon.

  • darker70darker70 stokePosts: 813Member
    Originally posted by adam_nox

    Star Citizen really ripped people off, charging hundreds of dollars so you can start with a good ship.  There's never been a more blatant pay to win cash grab. 

     

    Cannot wait for project eternity, that game is going to be awesome.

    No it did not the ships that investors put money into are their insurance policy as when the ships get blown up,a new basic model is then awarded the player so the better the ship the more incentive to invest as much as the player can afford.

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  • zellmerzellmer Fakesville, WIPosts: 442Member

    Doesn't look to be helping Path of Exile with grinding gear games begging for cash and asking people to buy in game items to support it...

    Just looks like it's just getting closer and closer to being shelved before they ever feel it's "finished".

     

     

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,558Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vladamyre
    Mark Jacobs should be banned from the video gaming undustry for eternity, even his children and their children, if he has any, should be banned for the horrible expansions that ruined Dark Age of Camelot.

    Forgiveness is paramount, one of the keys to happiness and lasting peace in life.

     

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