Deception or Belief: A Crowd Funded Paradox - MMORPG.com

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imageDeception or Belief: A Crowd Funded Paradox - MMORPG.com

While reflecting upon games we’ve lost it occurred to Tim Eisen that we’ve recently lost another member of the MMORPG family. The original idea behind a crowd funded MMORPG has died, and it means nothing.

Read the full story here


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GdemamiMadFrenchieSlapshot1188waynejr2
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Comments

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper British Columbia, CanadaMember UncommonPosts: 2,284
    it started as a good thing. then greed took over and now its mostly one other way to swindle some quick cash out of people's hopes and dreams.
    TorvalGdemami
  • blorpykinsblorpykins Member RarePosts: 311
    One of the titles I backed on KS blames ex employees for missing deadlines and not being able to deliver on promised rewards and mechanics from stretch goals and pledges.

    actual developer quote regarding status of a KS pledge reward:

    "That promise was made before we knew we were going to do monthly releases. Also just doesn't make sense and was likely made by someone no longer here."
    TorvalAlomarAzaron_NightbladeRobbgobbKyleranGdemamiinfomatz
  • ShaighShaigh Member RarePosts: 1,539
    Sanya Weathers wrote about the problem with mmorpg kickstarter 5 years ago. It explains why so many projects have run into problems.

    • "a no-frills MMO with minimal QA testing and a rough launch will take four years and ten million dollars."
    • "At minimum, you need an experienced project manager, a server programmer, and an animator on board - because those are the three roles that are the hardest to fill. We call them unicorns. Sorry, but "idea guy" is completely useless, here."
    • "But what about just using Kickstarter as a proof-of-concept?" "This is the hope and prayer of practically everyone using Kickstarter, because none of the pros really think they can raise everything through crowdfunding. They just want to get enough done to go trolling for publishers and partners."

    She was wrong about other things though, people were willing to spend millions on kickstarter mmorpg and experienced developers have gone to kickstarter to make mmorpg. 
    blorpykinsTorvalAzaron_NightbladeobiiKyleranGdemami
    The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,574
    Shaigh said:
    Sanya Weathers wrote about the problem with mmorpg kickstarter 5 years ago. It explains why so many projects have run into problems.

    • "a no-frills MMO with minimal QA testing and a rough launch will take four years and ten million dollars."
    • "At minimum, you need an experienced project manager, a server programmer, and an animator on board - because those are the three roles that are the hardest to fill. We call them unicorns. Sorry, but "idea guy" is completely useless, here."
    • "But what about just using Kickstarter as a proof-of-concept?" "This is the hope and prayer of practically everyone using Kickstarter, because none of the pros really think they can raise everything through crowdfunding. They just want to get enough done to go trolling for publishers and partners."

    She was wrong about other things though, people were willing to spend millions on kickstarter mmorpg and experienced developers have gone to kickstarter to make mmorpg. 
    And how many KS MMO projects have been picked up by major backers or publishing houses to date ? Crowfall might qualify, but they're hardly a team of industry neophytes...

    I recall Jeromy Walsh announcing 6 months ago that CoE had already been "approached by several major backers". The ensuing silence has been deafening. 
    TorvalGdemami
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthMember EpicPosts: 4,287
    edited August 11
    What are Kickstarter's actual MMO success stories so far? We all know CoE and SC have made boatloads of money, but what KS mmo's that have actually made it to launch, and how are they currently doing? The list seems to limited to Shroud of the Avatar and Albion Online as far as I can recall... with the Repopulation having some serious issues in delivering a finished product, Pathfinder Online being the laughing stock of the mmo community, and a couple of others (like Smedley's project) getting cancelled entirely?
    Post edited by Azaron_Nightblade on

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  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYMember UncommonPosts: 1,816
    I think the real takeaway is that kick started MMORPGs can work, but it's the exception. CU, Albion, hex, shroud of the avatar all have at least mostly made good. The depopulation, etc not so much.

    You have to be careful but you needn't be 100% disavowed.
    obii

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

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  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,574

    itchmon said:

    I think the real takeaway is that kick started MMORPGs can work, but it's the exception. CU, Albion, hex, shroud of the avatar all have at least mostly made good. The depopulation, etc not so much.



    You have to be careful but you needn't be 100% disavowed.



    Perhaps the lesson there is that the indie projects with a limited scope can succeed, but those with a laundry list of features run into all kinds of difficulties.
  • AsheramAsheram Member RarePosts: 2,688
    Dual Universe just aquired $3.7 million from some private investor.
    TimEisen

    image
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgMember EpicPosts: 6,574
    Asheram said:
    Dual Universe just aquired $3.7 million from some private investor.
    In terms of big MMO's with high production values, $3.7M is peanuts.
    KyleranNildenGdemami
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 3,055
    edited August 11
    I thought this article was a pretty good bit of part hard truth and part tongue in cheek philosophizing.

    It made for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read on what's been a hot-button topic here on the site lately.

    Thanks Tim!
    Post edited by MadFrenchie on
    TimEisenKyleranAzaron_NightbladeGdemami

    image
  • blorpykinsblorpykins Member RarePosts: 311
    edited August 11
    What makes the indie developer an indie developer?  Is it team size?  Is it the amount of money they have to work with?  I'm watching a handful of games and all of them toss manpower out onto the table - even Star Citizen does this and by all rights they're firmly in the heavyweight category where tools, budget, manpower assets are concerned.

    Ashes of Creation being a new kid on the block still, soon as they were done with Kickstarter they made new hires happen.  I gotta admit, that was a pro move as I see it.  And then I watch other titles that are still developing on crowdfunding dollars and they've stagnated completely... patch  schedules are static, team size doesn't change, it's like there's no spark left in the project and they're still unable to say when they plan to see a commercial launch.  SOON(tm)

    Star Citizen, the king of SOON(tm), at least they put on a good show where dev is concerned.

    I think I'm rambling now... anyway, I do wonder what a good team size is or if there's an average team size that can be assumed based on past crowdfunding dev team experiences.
    Post edited by blorpykins on
    Gdemami
  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXMember UncommonPosts: 540
    I am cautious of anything to do with MMOs these days much less contemplating kickstarting them.
  • TimEisenTimEisen Columnist Member RarePosts: 2,979


    I thought this article was a pretty good bit of part hard truth and part tongue in cheek philosophizing.

    It made for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read on what's been a hot-button topic here on the site lately.

    Thanks Tim!



    Appreciate that. That was a great conversation. It certainly made an impact on this column.
    MadFrenchieGdemami
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
    "Basically if a Ninja Turtle used it, or close to it, I like it."
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,295
    Maybe KS is just not suitable for MMO development? Just a thought...

    KS success for MMOs is at best, proof of interest in a concept that will always require additional non-KS funding to develop. That seems like a misuse of KS for some reason (typically marketing or prototyping) other than its intended purpose.
    KyleranGdemami
    You say you never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He's not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And say "Do you want to make a deal?"
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 3,055
    edited August 11
    TimEisen said:


    I thought this article was a pretty good bit of part hard truth and part tongue in cheek philosophizing.

    It made for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read on what's been a hot-button topic here on the site lately.

    Thanks Tim!



    Appreciate that. That was a great conversation. It certainly made an impact on this column.
    It's cool to see you guys using the topics here as topics for continued columns such as this.

    As someone who isn't much interested in throwing loads of money at a promise and a hype video, what do we do?

    Obviously some of these projects seem to be more...  How should we say it...  Modest, about their promises.  CU comes to mind (think the only thing that seems revolutionary are the spell interaction system and the number of folks the engine will supposedly handle)..  Contrast that to CoE's 18 month timeline.  Should we continue looking to fund those like Jacobs and Co, or have we already reached a point where the original status quo (publishers) was a more ideal situation than crowdfunding?

    Is the first generation of KS MMORPGs also the death knell of the KS MMORPG?  The money being raised doesn't seem to indicate so...  But fatigue is already beginning to show among the base.  Will that translate into waning funding?  Like you, I have my doubts, and they do not stem from the opinion that these games are all going to come out and show us true quality.  At best, I expect they will be roughly the same level quality as the releases we've already got.  Revolutionary features will be pushed or shuttered, scopes will retract heavily as the developers struggle toward "release," whatever that means anymore.  At worst, they fold without ever reaching MVP.
    Post edited by MadFrenchie on
    Gdemami

    image
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLMember EpicPosts: 7,561
    Oh Crap!

    I almost feel bad after reading that article. I feel like we have beaten down @TimEisen and he's thrown in his Glass Half Full card and joined us. Part of me wishes he was still the hopeful voice shouting "Yeah.. BUT MAYBE!!" in the face of the dark thoughts.

    I always kind of dreamed about someday having a point/counter-point column with him where he would speak hope while I spoke doom...

    Gdemami

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  • francis_baudfrancis_baud Member RarePosts: 224
    I don't know... on one hand I agree and I also think exactly like that when I'm in a slow day / kind of depressed. Otoh crowdfunded MMOs seem to be the only way to get any kind of design or technological innovation because established studios just don't want to risk losing so much money trying.

    Look at the recent MMO releases which are mostly eastern ones... It's all the same debilitating, repetitive mind-enslaving crap they serve over and over again. "4 more hours killing those creatures and you'll get a chest, a wonderful chest." There's little tactics and strategy, the gameplay could barely be qualified as multiplayer so let's forget about the benefits of socialization, we learn nothing, it's just about using effective techniques to get players hooked for a few more weeks until the next patch is ready to get released.

    At least many of the indie studios are trying something different and it seems to me like they have more respect for the players' intelligence than the dozens of linear & grindy "MMO" games that get shipped every year just because this model has proven to be the most profitable to date.
    Gdemami
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 3,055
    edited August 11

    At least many of the indie studios are trying something different and it seems to me like they have more respect for the players' intelligence than the dozens of linear & grindy "MMO" games that get shipped every year just because this model has proven to be the most profitable to date.
    I get that way of looking at it, but allow me to offer a specific, alternative perspective:

    The indie studios are insulting your intelligence by expecting you to fund pipe dream-level MMORPGs without a staff or realistic plan to do so.  They're giving you false hope through the use of hype and highly unrealistic timelines, which they're all too happy to sell on until you attempt to point at the timeline and go "so what happened?" at which point they get to simply shrug and say "development, man, what can you do?"

    You can stop using downright predatory tactics to convince folks to hand you money for ideas.  That's what you can do, Mr. Developer.

    Somehow, in the buzz of crowdfunding freedom, we've forgotten that the publishers served a very large, very important purpose: to filter out the harebrained schemes from the legitimate endeavors.  We've proven thus far we're not at all very good at it ourselves.
    Post edited by MadFrenchie on
    Slapshot1188francis_baudIselinKyleranGdemami

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  • CalavryCalavry GilmoreMember UncommonPosts: 47
    Thank you very much for the great article @TimEisen
    Gdemami
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,200
    I do not believe they put that much thought into weather their idea is great or better than anyone before.
    I feel they simply realize there is zero risk ,so why not use someone else's money with no guarantees and nobody to answer to.
    So it then becomes easy employment,be your own boss and have no pressure,make a great living from nothing but promises.

    The assumptions are however correct,there is no way in hell a developer that put some serious effort into their game can know how much money they have or will have to work with and how long it will take not knowing how much money and how many they can afford to hire.

    So it starts out as basically lies,manipulation,deception,promises that no way can be guaranteed and then spend some money on websites to help promote the promises.Those advertising websites then claim no sponsor and not paid but also know that by joining in the deception and fake promises they might weasel out some money from the developer.

    Overall it is one big sell job without a product to sell,go figure how that ever made it this far.You know why it works in real life and anywhere not gaming,well because if you pre-order from Ikea and they cannot deliver a few weeks later,you'll get your money back,devs won't give you any money back.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,295
    Wizardry said:

    Overall it is one big sell job without a product to sell,go figure how that ever made it this far.You know why it works in real life and anywhere not gaming,well because if you pre-order from Ikea and they cannot deliver a few weeks later,you'll get your money back,devs won't give you any money back.
    Mark Jacobs does give full no questions asked refunds at any time, with Camelot Unchained. It's one of the main reasons I have respect for CU but very little for other MMO crowdfunded projects.

    The other big reason is that they're building their own engine and assets. 
    Slapshot1188Gdemami
    You say you never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He's not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And say "Do you want to make a deal?"
  • TimEisenTimEisen Columnist Member RarePosts: 2,979


    I make up to $95 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $6Oh to $80h… it was all true and has totally changed my life... Go this site and start your work.. Good luck... www.Jobzon3.com



    In a twist of irony this spam acctually aids in making my
    point of what the internet has become.
    Gdemami
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
    "Basically if a Ninja Turtle used it, or close to it, I like it."
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,057
    TimEisen said:


    I make up to $95 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $6Oh to $80h… it was all true and has totally changed my life... Go this site and start your work.. Good luck... www.Jobzon3.com



    In a twist of irony this spam acctually aids in making my
    point of what the internet has become.
    The internet has been this way for a really long time, pretty much since the advent of the WWW. Spam and scam isn't a new thing.
    The artist or album content may be offensive or controversial.
    Avatar Artist: Howard Blake, Peter Auty (vocalist)
    Album: The Snowman
    Featured Tracks: Walking in the Air
  • TimEisenTimEisen Columnist Member RarePosts: 2,979

    Torval said:


    TimEisen said:





    I make up to $95 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $6Oh to $80h… it was all true and has totally changed my life... Go this site and start your work.. Good luck... www.Jobzon3.com






    In a twist of irony this spam acctually aids in making my

    point of what the internet has become.


    The internet has been this way for a really long time, pretty much since the advent of the WWW. Spam and scam isn't a new thing.



    I agree but social media and a few companies using ad tech combined with paid reviews has substantially elevated it.
    MadFrenchieSlapshot1188Gdemami
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
    "Basically if a Ninja Turtle used it, or close to it, I like it."
  • esc-joconnoresc-joconnor TokyoMember UncommonPosts: 522
    I think crowd funding has one use for studios that can actually pull off what they say they plan to do, to show investors that there is demand for their product. Maybe a differend kind of system should be in place, not crowd funding, but some kind of early pledge system. Like a pre-pre-pre order, but nothing is paid if the product isn't delivered.
    Iselin
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