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Crowd funding

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  • TopherpunchTopherpunch Apex, NCPosts: 86Member
    I think small game publishers are great and I applaud any game companies that can do it on their own. I really wish we had more indie game companies that would do stuff like this. Honestly I think outlets like Kickstarter are great for any creative person(s) to do what they love doing.

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  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Revealing: Publishers trying to sneak onto Kickstarter:

    Project Eternity Discussion: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60336-feargus-urquharts-qa-on-kickstarter-comment-thread/#entry1194849

     

    @ Feargus

    With the popularity of Project Eternity, Wasteland 2, Double-Fine, etc. Do you think Publishers might look at making games like these or are they too far gone? 
    It seems the publishers aim at multi-platform games which includes the console market. These Kickstarter projects show there's a huge interest with PC gaming. Or is this market just too niche for the Publishers to look at, so they're not concerned at losing money with these games?

    Obsidian Entertainment
    @Steven We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter. I said to them "So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don't get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits" They said, "Yes".

    Steven:
    I meant to clarify, publishers don't mind losing money if devs go direct to Kickstarter, since they wouldn't have funded these games anyway. Which doesn't seem to make business sense if they could make money from thse games.

    Obsidian Entertainment
    @Steven As for games like this, I think they will consider it, however so many of them support traditional distribution and sales forces that it's hard for them to consider games that would only ship digitally. It then gets pushed to their digital divisions, who have very small budgets (less than $500K).

     

     

  • worldalphaworldalpha Milton, ONPosts: 403Member
    I'm considering an IndieGoGo campaign (Canadian / worldwide equivalent of a Kickstarter) for my game, but only to raise funds to promote the game.  The game is going to happen whether we get the financing or not, it is just that much more exposure for the game if we raise the funds and spend it wisely on advertising.  In the end it benefits the players, as more players should mean more fun playing the MMO.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    Working on Social Strategy MMORTS (now Launched!) http://www.worldalpha.com

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,928Member Uncommon

    I'm confused on one issue.  Are the people giving money considered investors or is the money a gift with the promise that it will be spent on the product?

     

    It would take a VERY special project and developer/producer for me to give money to. 

  • CariusDCariusD Orlando, FLPosts: 2Member
    Everyone is considered a investor. You get can get your money back if they don't make the goal, they now have risk assessments, and technically you can make a request for them to return the money.
  • tkacidtkacid Calgary, ABPosts: 17Member
    Agreed
  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member

    I've supported 4 projects now via kickstarter and one other that isn't via KS but is crowd sourcing. WIth the exception of Pathfinder Online Demo all of the others have been Game makers from the "old school" who are making games in the style that I grew up (1990s) playing. A style and depth I much prefer over current attempts.

    So, yeah, I love it. Pathfinder Online being an exception because they are explicitly making a Sandbox MMO in the vein I like, I don't think I would support a company using KS to make an MMO these days. Most certainly not if they are attempting another themepark MMO.

    I have no issue at all, however, supporting companies/people that have made games in the past that I have played and that are attempting to make similar type games now that current investors/publishers won't give them a shot for.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    I will tell you what I think about this when those biggest kickstarter projects I am interested in will release.  (Wasteland 2, Shadowrun Returns ,Project : Eternity)
  • MogusMogus Anderson, OHPosts: 169Member

    I think involving the game community from the start is a fantastic way for developers to gauge the overall interest in their efforts. It's inspiring and exciting to see something you are working so hard towards is appreciated by the community with more than just words.

     

     

    www.greedmonger.com
    Did you like Ultima Online? Then you'll LOVE Greed Monger!

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Gamasutra: Star Citizen, crowdfunding and new hope for the mid-tier

     

    StarCitizen

     

     

    "A lot of it is to do with the scale," he said. "When I used to make games [in the 1990s], if you sold 50,000 or 100,000 copies, it was a huge deal. Then it was several hundred thousand. Then it was a million. Now we're seeing games that sell 20 million.

    "If you can manage a business that sells 500,000 copies of a game, it's a good business. But EA or Activision aren't interested in that business, because in their cost structure, they have to be making $100 million dollars plus in revenue, no matter what. They're only interested in something that sells four or five million units."

    It's a reflection of the same story that we've been hearing for the past two or three years: mid-tier developers -- the ones that are somewhere between low-cost productions and high-budget, high-profile releases, continue to be squeezed out. The publishers, by focusing on blockbusters, have created a vacuum that talented developers with an understanding of social media have been only too willing to fill.

     

     

  • zombiecyborgzombiecyborg San Francisco, CAPosts: 8Member

    This thread has a ton of really interesting infographics/data and articles. Thanks to everyone who posted.

     

    As to the OP...

    The idea of private funding isn't new - but the internet is making it easier. The concept of asking for donations, or sponsorship, isn't most certainly not a recent development. So the idea - and the type of sponsorship - is totally okay to me. 

    I think most of the problems that arise come from the advent of technology - it's just so much easier to commit fraud when paired with the anonymity of the internet. And while fraud isn't new (donating to charity doesn't guarantee your money is actually used for charitable purposes, after all), it's just that much more obvious when it happens online.

  • GatesGTGatesGT Port Crane, NYPosts: 4Member

    I really like that crowd funding is something that is becoming more and more of a reality.  It allows like you said to give directly to the people creating the games that you find interesting.  On top of that depending on what they are doing in their crowd funding you can get a little something for your investment.  

    The inovation though is the main that attracts me to things like crowd funding.  Most investers won't pay for a game that they find difficult to anticipate a return on their investment.  Games that come with a fanbase such as a 2nd 3rd or 4th installment on an origonal successful idea or games based off popular culture like starwars will be funded because its easier to guess at how much the game will make.  Investers are only interested in making their money back which isn't bad but it means they won't take risks on innovative ideas that don't have a massive fan base that could end up being a cash sinkhole.

    I feel that not just crowd funding but the ability to release your game without having to go threw a publisher to create and distribute the game via retailers has really unleashed a new generation of gaming.  New ideas, some good some bad are flooding the market and we're seeing that we have more options than the 2nd 3rd 4th, 5th remake of games where ultimitly we may end up with final fantasy XXVIII

    That's not to say that it is perfect.  In some cases I can see your donation going into a game that ultimitly falls short of its goals.  Cases like Kickstarter you can get your money back if they don't meet their goals but that's not always going to be the case.  In the end though it was your choice to invest in the game.

  • KanethKaneth Posts: 1,927Member Uncommon

    I truly believe that we'll see the next great game to come from crowd funded gaming. Hell, Minecraft is more or less a success story from crowd funding, it just didn't come from a place like Kickstarter.

    With Kickstarter, you'll see the ability for small groups of programmers to be able to come together and create their games while staying true to their original vision of their game. Publishing the game is even becoming easier where digital downloads are becoming more of the norm. If the game is good, word of mouth with also carry the day for advertisement (again, look at minecraft).

    It's going to be a very interesting time for gaming once these early crowd funded games start to be released.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common

    I just think MMOs are too costly to make for crowd funding to be viable, not to mention about as risky as you can possibly get.

     

    Its great for certain genres of gaming though

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    gamesindustry.biz: Kickstarter: Funding revolution or digital panhandling?

    Topics Considered:

    (1) LOW QUALITY PITCH (aka living off past-glories, household name status)

    Implications:

    • Mostly negative: Sets bad precedent for other projects to show bare bones presentation and promises
    • Adds perception of increased "risk" associated with Kickstarter projects overall
    • Bad as public are not as professional as publishers at assessing risk/requirements for a project
    • Probably not going to prevent Braben or Molyneux from achieving funding given their names and the well chosen genre to crowdfund.
    (2) Should established games-makers use Kickstarter platform, and does this have a negative impact on indies eg "kickstarter fatigue"?
     
    Mostly this is fallacious:
     
    • Each project can be assessed on it's own merits by individuals
    • Each project has more responsibility to coordinate with backers beyond mere customers
    • Trend might add competition to indies and bigger recognition of names is an advantage, but a good pitch, idea and demonstration of experience of being able to deliver is more or less an even playing-field for criteria that are important for backers to consider.
    • Crowdfunding platform will change over time; perhaps more targetted eg indie-video-games category could be added - although defining "indie" is somewhat tricky.
     
  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    RPS: The Kickstarter Successes: Where Are They Now?

    do_dont

     

    Of all the many interesting discussions raised by the Kickstarter phenomenon of 2012, there’s one that’s only going to get more contentious: release dates. When a gaming project sets up a Kickstarter, they put an estimated date for the delivery of their stretch goals. And since these inevitably include a copy of the game, in doing this, developers are announcing a release date, often before they’ve even drawn any concept art. That’s not really how games development works. And so far, people don’t seem so hot on the guessing. Below is an epic list of all the $100k+ Kickstarters successful this year, and how they’re doing at keeping us up to date.

     

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by MumboJumbo
    ^Above comment is prescient:
    Joystick: Police Warfare Kickstarter suddenly and mysteriously canceledThe Devs update:

    "Thank you so much for the incredible response to the game," reads an update on the Kickstarter. "We're shutting down the kickstarter account but this is by no means the end of Police Warfare. News will be coming."
     

    Thought the money is withheld untill the time has elapsed, and goal reached? that kinda makes perfect sense to do that..

    image
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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,667Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CariusD
    Everyone is considered a investor.

    The word "investor" doesn't seem to appear anywhere on the Kickstarter site. Are you sure about that?

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
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  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Six most important lessons from Kickstarter so far

     

    • Nostalgia's not enough anymore
    • Your backers aren't the entire audience
    • Kickstarter can be just the beginning
    • You need a clear and realistic plan -- no matter who you are
    • Don't try your backers' patience
    • People want cultural capital

    THE PEOPLE VS. THE DEVELOPER: A new customer species is growing, and why Kickstarter might have a problem

    FansToFlames

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Gamasutra: From Torment to Eternity: Chris Avellone on RPGs

     

    Did Obsidian start thinking about running a Kickstarter because of Double Fine's success?

    Chris Avellone: As soon as Tim Schafer did his Kickstarter, we became aware of how much support there could be for products that publishers might discount. I'd pretty much lost hope that we'd ever see another adventure game that wasn't on the DS or the iPhone. And then suddenly Kickstarter happened, and I realised that "holy shit, we're going to get another adventure game because of all this." Then Brian Fargo moved really quickly, and suddenly it was pretty clear that people also wanted an old-school RPG.

    -

    But the cool thing about Kickstarter is that you can see within 30 days whether people are going to like your project or not. Which is much better than finding out at the end whether they like it or not.

    -

    And that's not normally a conversation you can ever have with players, with the traditional publisher model. I mean, for example, there's been certain design elements that other Kickstarters have had, that they've announced in their Kickstarter, where the players have just lashed back and said, "No, we don't want those things". As far as I'm concerned, that ends up being great, because you don't have to waste any resources implementing things that the player never wanted in the first place.

    -

    But the nice thing about Kickstarter is that people have already paid for the title. So anything else that happens after that is great, but we know what our budget is, and practically speaking, that's all we're really focused on: "We're going to make a game for this amount of money."

    -

    Why is it that this style of game became non-viable, in a commercial sense? Why wouldn't publishers support this type of project?

    CA: I don't know if I have a good answer for that. I do know that there's one technical limitation: when you're developing an RPG for the consoles -- which most publishers want because it generates the most revenue -- it's often very difficult to control a party of characters, with either the PlayStation controller or the Xbox controller.

    -

    A lot of those [Infinity Engine] titles were PC-only, and that's not really an appealing pitch to any publisher. They don't really want a PC-only title, because that's not going to maximize their revenue.

    -

    It seems like the market was in a mindset where "We can only do blockbusters." Perhaps now it's fragmenting a bit, and there are more niches available?

    CA: I think so. I do know that usually when we're discussing budgets for games, they can range anywhere from $20 to $30 million for development, but that doesn't account for all the marketing budget or any of the auxiliary resources like quality assurance or production support or localization, or even paying for sound effects and audio and things like that. The budgets for [triple-A] games are just insane, but they generate a lot of revenue.

    -

    CA: It's good to see that level of support. It seems like with smaller projects, and/or indie projects, that's the best time for people to experiment with new innovative mechanics that might not [be viable] on a larger, more expensive scale. And seeing them proved out in one of those smaller titles I think is healthy for the industry. You need that experimental test bed to showcase why these ideas are cool.

    Cont'd...

     

    The full article is worth reading.

  • DarthRichardsonDarthRichardson Los Angeles, CAPosts: 7Member

    I recommend Indie-Go-Go because you get to keep your earnings whether you reach the goal or not. That's pretty sweet. I can design a kick-ass presentation package complete with business plan, executive summary and private placement memorandum if you really want to juice your crowdfunding potential.

    DM me for more info on crowdfunding options. I would be excited to help promote ambitious up-and-coming devs out there!

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member

    Gamasutra: Why Kickstarter's not going to change its all-or-nothing policy anytime soon

     

    It was bound to happen eventually. Video game crowdsourcing via Kickstarter finally had its first so-close-it's-unfair moment, when M.U.L.E.-inspired trading sim Alpha Colony missed its $50,000 goal by just $28. image

    >

    • Creator protection
    • Backer protection, too
    • Drama
    • Benefits, even in failure
    • Second chances

     

     

  • UmbroodUmbrood gbgPosts: 1,847Member Uncommon

    Considering I have been bitching on this site for almost ten years that I would like to see a shadowrun MMO.

    Once I learned about there being one in the works how could I NOT put my money were my mouth was?

    I pledged I think 200$ and I really have no idea what that will give me when and if that game gets launched.

    For me it was just a question on how much I was willing to part with, knowing that there is a good chance I will never see the money again.

    I did not buy the game, even though I assume that for that money I will at least get a copy, what I did buy though was a bit of hope that this thing will actually be real!

    For ease of mind I consider the money gone, treating it like a lottery ticket that have the possibility to pay out HUGE is probably a recipe for dissapointment.

    It was more on the line of 'Now I have talked the talk, can I walk the walk?'

    I just had to!

    And I would do it again if something as close to my heart showed up on kickstarter.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Jerek_

    I wonder if you honestly even believe what you type, or if you live in a made up world of facts.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • MattTreckMattTreck Mount Olive, NCPosts: 5Member
    Croud funding seems to be an excellent option for companies and players alike. That being said, sometimes publishers can be of better assistance. It usually depends on the type of game.
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