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Kickstarter; what are the risks?

ScarfeScarfe londonPosts: 281Member

I don't know myself, but presumably like any funder in any business your money is entirely at risk should the company fail, but without any of the legal framework you would put in place with alternative investments.  

What about fraud; is there realistically going to be any legal recourse for several thousand people each pledging tens or hundreds of dollars?  

I've seen games taking the Kickstarter route that I would love to see come to fruition, but I am loathed to put my own money on them.   

currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101

Comments

  • GrayGhost79GrayGhost79 Webster, MAPosts: 4,813Member
    Originally posted by Scarfe

    I don't know myself, but presumably like any funder in any business your money is entirely at risk should the company fail, but without any of the legal framework you would put in place with alternative investments.  

    What about fraud; is there realistically going to be any legal recourse for several thousand people each pledging tens or hundreds of dollars?  

    I've seen games taking the Kickstarter route that I would love to see come to fruition, but I am loathed to put my own money on them.   

    If they don't reach their goal then no transaction is done. You are never charged and they never see a dime. That money is only a pledge until the Kickstart is successful, if it fails to reach its goal in the allotted time it's like it never happened. 

    Each pledge tier has a reward associated with it. The reward is all you are garunteed with your pledge. Some simply offer to name you as a supporter on their websites or inside the product in some cases. 

    Since no money is exchanged prior to the end of the kickstarter the time frame for a dispute isn't an issue either. If you don't get what your pledge garaunteed you simply dispute the charge or do a charge back and viola!

     

    Kickstarter has does a great deal to protect you so I wouldn't be to concerned. However, its always wise to be cautious and research before you start sending people money :) 

  • PsiKahnPsiKahn Woodside, NYPosts: 126Member

    This link should give you a good sense of what legal protections backers have: http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/accountability-on-kickstarter

    I know a lot of people are expressing skepticism about Kickstarter but it seems to me that the public actually does a pretty good job of weeding out the wheat from the chaff.  Projects that sound sketchy or don't seem feasible generally don't get many backers, and as you know if they don't meet their funding goal, they don't get to keep the money.  I've donated to a few things myself, usually about $50, and I go into it knowing that there's a chance that the whole thing could collapse and be a total disaster.  Sometimes it's worth the risk.  It's not my life's savings.  People gamble away a hundred bucks in an evening all the time.  It's worth it for me to give something really great a chance.  Games have been big money this year on Kickstarter I think in part because publishers aren't doing a great job of giving the public the kind of games that they want, so I fully support alternative means of getting that content out there.

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

    You have very little recourse for a project that never goes anywhere.  Once they've met their "goal," they get your money.  There is no refund process after that, for products that never materialize.  It's just one of those things were you have to actually look at what they are trying to do, who's trying to do it, and how likely they can succeed.  If their "goal" is too high or too low, that's a good indication that they haven't planned much of it out.

    For any Kickstarter project that's a game, I'd caution against donating any money unless they have an actual playable demo to show.  That doesn't mean it's playable to you, but even just a video of some pre-alpha gameplay or the engine tools or something.  If all they have is a wish list of features their game will have, then it's never going to get anywhere.  The main problem is that a lot of the people with these projects have zero experience making games, and often don't even have the right tools to make them in the first place (programming IDE, licensed engine, 3dstudiomax, etc).  That's like paying someone to build your house, but they need money up front to be able to buy tools and stuff.  And they swear they know how to build the house, honest!

    Some exceptions:  well-known companies that you've dealt with before.  Black Island Studios, for example, has a something like a kickstarter up for a new game (it's not actually a kickstarter, but similar).  They have no gameplay demos up, but it's safe to assume that they have the talent in place already, so donating wouldn't be too risky.

     

    For what it's worth, Kickstart does a pretty good job of filtering out bad goals.  Stuff that obviously just isn't feasable, or examples of what the product will look like rather than the actual product (picture of some MMO's used as an indication of what they plan to make).

    You make me like charity

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    Good things already mentioned. I'm adding this item.

    I have always thought that the smart way to ask for Kickstarter money is to have part of what you want already. I haven't calculated it but I know that Kickstarter takes a cut of what is raised but I'll bet you could find a sweet spot where you make people think the project isn't going to get funded so they add in a little just for fun, then throw your own funds at it finishing off what seemed like a goal that wouldn't hit the mark by those that want to support underdogs and pity donations.

    This says it's 5% that goes to Kickstarter itself. http://www.pbs.org/idealab/2010/11/the-pros-and-cons-of-using-kickstarter-to-fundraise316.html That's not bad if you considered it interest on a loan but it's not even a loan.

    It wouldn't really be manipulation, it is getting funded, it would just be a way to share some of the cost.

    Then again, the point of that would be just getting some extra when you already have what you need and instead using it to determine interest level. Sadly, if you aren't getting funded that might give you the hint that what you thought would be great, others might not.

    You might even find out something better, maybe you use Kickstarter just to advertise your game and ask for very little. Basically using someone elses money to pay Kickstarter to advertise your release. There are a lot of people going there, it's probably worth the fee, especially when it's someone elses money. Big shame, will have to give away some freebies in the game to those supporters. YOU get to choose those things and can make them money appropriate.

     

     

  • ScarfeScarfe londonPosts: 281Member
    I agree with you on the advertising front.  Some of these firms are asking for absurdly small figures; $25k or something which can only cover a minute part of their overheads over the development of a game.  Got to be free advertising.    

    currently playing: DDO, AOC, WoT, P101

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