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Problems with Kickstarter etc. starting to show.

KarbleKarble Member UncommonPosts: 750
At one point in time, games were made by small teams. They had a fair budget and timelines that were not unruly. This proved successful in the early years. Then World of Warcraft happened and everyone thought they had to 1up this large game with a huge budget and tons of people working on it.

Fast forward to the last 3 years and there has been a turnover in the industry. Now games from big publishers that either fall short or fail or go over budget and timeline....shed many employees. These employees seem to think they have the vision to then launch new companies and have gamers fund a large chunk of development.

This sounds nice at first...until you look deeper at these games and the current track record of success. Shroud of The Avatar is currently floundering, trying to find cohesiveness while turning it's partially crowd funded model into an expensive cash item shop. This was not what original backers had envisioned I am sure. Original backers were probably hoping for something more along the lines of a polished 3D first person UO style game. Instead it seems there is a clunky dated engine, combat that doesn't work well, sound effects that are not good, a jumbled UI etc.

This is just the latest example and there are at least a few more I have personally been involved in that turned out either lackluster or broken.

My point here is that maybe we should go back to the drawing board. Let a bunch of people toil away on a project until it's fully cooked and then release it. Otherwise public trust and money will dry up as faith in this new system is broken to the point of oblivion. And yes I still have some hope in a few projects in the works at the moment, but it's been a rough few years now to be honest.


  • ErillionErillion Member EpicPosts: 10,254
    I have backed some Kickstarter/crowdfunding  projects lately and they have come out great. So i am not so sure if there are that many problems with the system as you described.

    Of course one has to carefully choose what one supports e.g. Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun games) or inXile (Wasteland 2)  based on the quality of the teams.

    >>>Let a bunch of people toil away on a project until it's fully cooked and then release it.>>>>
    The problem with that is that the kind of games i like usually do not get the money needed from publishers and investors to create it until they are fully cooked and release ready. Thats why Kickstarter games have been created in the first place. Ask the gamers what they want and let them put their walllets where their mouths are.

    The real problem i see is the lack of patience amongst backers. They want the highest quality but many do not want to wait for it. The instant gratification crowd should not back crowdfunding games.

    Have fun
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    In the early days of gaming, you didn't need that big a team, the coding was far less complex, as were the art assets, after all, used to be you could install a game from just a couple of floppy discs.
    Games have evolved, the coding, is far more complex, art is a 'thing' and voice overs are pretty much expected.
    There is no going back, and while there are certainly developers out there who perhaps should concentrate more on the optimisation of their game engines, rather than how many pretty pixels they can squeeze into things, the truth is that there are a great many games out there that look great, and play well, that don't have clunky game engines.
    Of course the ones that don't have that will always stand out because their so bad.
    As for the instant gratifcation thing, totally agree, too few people have the patience to wait, but i would also say that it also pays not to jump into backing games that may or may not be as described, kick starter is a minefield in that regards.
    Personally i will continue to wait and see, i will endeavour not to be trapped into buying a pre-order, nor will i be suckered into day 1 dlc shenanigans, and i am afraid for kickstarters, its pretty much a no go, these days, i buy a finished game, i have the patience, and hopefully that will pay off dividends both in time and money, by not having to endure tedious or mediocre games, or engage in a pointless 'will this game ever release' debates, except of course, as an entertained bystander, which is probably the best position from which to do so. :p
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    The pendulum swings. Sooner or later Kickstarter games will have a worse reputation than the dreaded "publishers", and everyone will be begging EA and Blizzard and UbiSoft to save us from the nightmare...
  • Jonnyp2Jonnyp2 Member UncommonPosts: 243
    Games had larges budgets and teams long before world of Warcraft came along...  

    Anyone can envision their ideal game, few can actually execute it.  Crowd funding tends to reward developers based on empty promises rather than actual substance.  That said most of the devs working on Kickstarter games are not "bad" people looking to turn a quick profit, they're just naive to the realities of game development.  

  • ShaighShaigh Member EpicPosts: 2,129
    Erillion said:
    The real problem i see is the lack of patience amongst backers. They want the highest quality but many do not want to wait for it. The instant gratification crowd should not back crowdfunding games.
    Its BS, stop blaming customers for stuff that are project leads fault.

    The problem is developers that can't give a proper estimation on how long development will take. With inexperienced project lead its lack of experience but when experienced people like Richard Garriott says it can be made in 1.5 years you wonder if he ever saw the chart on how long it takes to make an mmorpg.

    The latest in hero's song, they make a lot of promises and say it will be done within a year. Its a game that has been mentioned on plenty of mmorpg sites and even gained the supportive mentions from kickstarter staff themselves.

    At least some devs own it, they aren't happy about the delays but its also one of the reasons why these people have such a hard time with big publishers. Having a year of delays means budget gets blown up which means profit margins gets killed. Regular investors don't usually care about the product, they want to be paid off for risking their money.

    Harebrained, inxile, larian and a few others still are the good guys, their delays were quite small compared to many other developer that just never seem to finish their products.
    Iselin: And the next person who says "but it's a business, they need to make money" can just go fuck yourself.
  • KarbleKarble Member UncommonPosts: 750
    I may be looking at this wrong. After all, it is a personal choice to invest your hard earned $$ in anything you believe has potential.

    Maybe there could be a new future market developing similar to the stock market.
    Perhaps dividends can be payed quarterly from the profits to those who invest in a game title. This would cut into the profit margin game developers receive, but allow them the initial capital to quickly hire teams and get to work full tilt on titles they may be struggling to get off the ground.

    Right now the only benefit a person gets is a pixel house in the game world or perhaps an initial month or so of Premium membership benefit once a game releases, if it's released at all several years from now. The dividend model gives people of all interest a chance at investing in something they believe in, either for the $$ from dividends or the belief in the IP.

    I am also not one of those players that can't wait. I have invested in Mortal Online over a year before release (broken on release) and others. Whether you call it kick starter, early access, founder packs, etc...I have tried it due to ideas that sounded solid from teams that had some industry vets or good ideas. Would be nice to see a new model.
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