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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Crowdfunding

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33 posts found
  SBFord

MMORPG.COM Staff

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12035

 
OP  6/10/13 6:47:31 PM#1

In his latest column for MMORPG.com, industry insider Matt Miller takes a look at the latest fad in game development: Crowdfunding. See what Matt thinks before heading to the comments to add your voice to the conversation.

For the uninitiated, the way Kickstarter works is this: a project goes out and asks for a certain dollar amount in order to achieve a goal. Usually that goal is “deliver the product”, and by pledging (backing) a specific amount, you are usually gifted the product upon release. Higher amount pledges get more “rewards” as well. When the campaign is over (it only runs for a limited time), then your payment method goes through immediately and then Kickstarter takes their cut and delivers the rest of the money to the developer. If the campaign fails to make their funding goal in the time allotted, no one is charged, and the developer gets no money. (Indiegogo operates a little differently from what I understand).

Read more of Matt Miller's Crowdfunding.

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

  User Deleted
6/11/13 10:23:10 AM#2

My other hobby is boardgaming, and especially Kickstarter is now widely used by boardgame publishers, even the larger, more established ones. Most projects seem to turn out alright, though I know of a number (from friends) that still have to deliver their product, 6 - 12 months after funding. I myself have not participated in any, because I still think the whole prospect is tenuous. Of course it could mean waiting longer (and without some additional benefits like better components) for a game to be available, but at least I know what I'm buying and I know that I will actually get it. Pricing so far hasn't made the proposition any more attractive: once out at large, the Kickstarted board games are almost never more expensive then when backed.

With MMOs, another aspect comes into play: the product could be years away from appearing, if it does at all. Talk about tenuous. Of course, proponents will argue that without backing the product wouldn't be made at all. Well, personally I feel there is enough to choose from already, whether it be boardgames or MMOs. And the incentives to back an MMO are all virtual (early access, in-game gear)... They can't (I imagine) promise things like life-time memberships and such, when the payment model isn't known yet.

To me, with regards to MMOs especially, putting money into a project that is years away from appearing (if at all), is being unrealistic. So much can happen in the meantime, and besides the project failing, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the MMO backed is the MMO produced.

I suspect, where Kickstarter has been and is a great success for board games, it will have trouble finding the funding needed for MMOs. If not, I will be happy to wait for a few years to try your game once it is actually produced and published. In the meantime I will be playing a handful of the many excellent MMOs available today.

  Keilani

Novice Member

Joined: 10/01/11
Posts: 17

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6/11/13 10:53:01 AM#3

I have never pledged on a Kickstarter so far nor am I actually planning on doing so. I find it a bit too risky to put my money into an mmo, seeing it in beta state and then shutting down because it was too buggy and too much work was needed to fix it. I prefer waiting for the final product before I decide to invest my money in it.

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 3864

6/11/13 10:53:55 AM#4

Crowd funding is prob the best thing to happen to PC game since steam..

Yes you will not 100% fund an MMO on there if your planning on spending millions in development, but you will make enough cash to start development and then maybe run another kickstarter campaign to get more cash.

They have a choice of either getting some real investors to back them or gain more cash from crowd funding.. either way the devs will still have a shit ton more control over the game than if they went to AAA publisher.

I am already playing a fews games that got funded on kickstarter and they are some of the better games I have played in recent years.

 

Also thinking about it of all the upcoming MMORPGs the only ones I am really looking forward to other than EQN are all crowd funded.

 

So for me I think Crowd funding is the best thing to happen to PC gaming for a long time and I am happy to support games that I want to play. Dont get me wrong I dont go crazy.. i usually stick to the average price of a game so say around £30, thats not somthing i will miss realyl and at the end of it i could get to play somthing that I actually want to play and not another wow clone.

My 3D models
http://dragon3d.webs.com/

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

6/11/13 10:58:06 AM#5
Originally posted by SBFord

Kickstarter takes their cut and delivers the rest of the money to the developer.

...who marches directly into the nearest Ferrari dealship and drives away in a brand new sports car, laughing.

Damn skeptics, stop that!

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6453

6/11/13 12:24:54 PM#6

Pretty good way to scam people too, if you are just making up a project.  Better have an idea who the people are behind the funding before you invest any money in it, just a matter of time before someone does a big scam.

I have not seen anything yet worth funding yet except perhaps Star Citizen.  Most of the other kickstarters are just throwing money away, you won't see a decent product come out of them.

  Shadowguy64

Novice Member

Joined: 4/11/13
Posts: 880

6/11/13 12:33:12 PM#7

Crowdfunding seems to be a way to push the risk of loss off of the developer and onto the funders.

 

Imagine if Curt Schilling's company had used crowdfunding instead. Curt would still have his fortune and the crowd would be shit out of luck.

 

I have participated on ONE Kickstarter, Star Citizen, but I will not participate in any others. I am not a venture capitalist, a bank to give interest free loans, or a philanthropist.

  MMODesigner

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/13
Posts: 7

6/11/13 12:35:08 PM#8

Kickstarter goes through good effort to ensure that the products and companies are actually trying to deliver on their products. It looks bad for KS to have high-visibility products vanish off the face of the Earth once funding is secured.

  Alverant

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/12/07
Posts: 258

6/11/13 8:17:28 PM#9
It can't fund an MMO so I'm skeptical about trying to use it for that purpose. I'll gladly fund a music album or book if I like what it is going to be. But I only support up to the point where I'll get a physical copy of what I'm funding.
  Khalathwyr

Tipster

Joined: 6/02/04
Posts: 3147

Google is your friend.

6/11/13 10:24:21 PM#10

Gotta love articles that present information half arsed. The first PFO KS was solely for the tech demo so that GW could secure some other investors. None of that money was used toward the making the game. If you kept up with the blogs, seeing as the most recent one talks about where the money went, you'd know that and wouldn't misrepresent.

 

The second KS was for funds to make the game and anything over the goal would be toward adding more features and getting the game done faster.

 

I agree that people need to learn to read and to read the fine print. KS is indeed pre-ordering if you pay attention to what project you are backing and at what level you back. The only issue is that the number of folks out there you just come running to the sound of a cattle call and who plug in their card information before reading anything way outnumbers the rest of us with common sense. Thus they they have a louder voice when in their perception they have been "screwed", "ripped off" or "scammed".

 

Indeed they have, but not by the entity/company they think. #lookinthemirror

"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 1 / Naysayers 0

  Livnthedream

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

6/12/13 4:02:33 AM#11
For an mmo I feel its terrible. Using it as nothing but a marketing tool is terrible. Its a great service that is being continually misused.

http://chroniclesofthenerds.com/nerdfight/

Y U NO FLIP TABLE?!?!?!

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 3864

6/12/13 4:17:46 AM#12
Originally posted by Livnthedream
For an mmo I feel its terrible. Using it as nothing but a marketing tool is terrible. Its a great service that is being continually misused.

How is it being mis-used?

 

The games I ahve backed on there are all games that I want to see get made, without funding they would not get made.

They dont have the option to go to AAA publishers as all they want to make is the next WOW clone and we all know how good that has been for the MMORPG industry over the years since wow released.

Kickstarter is not only the best thing to happen to PC gamnig for a long time but also the best thing to ever happen to the MMORPG industry. Hell its even kicked SOE into looking at making EQN a sandbox game..

Because of Kickstarter I am now interested in the future of MMORPGs again..

 

 

My 3D models
http://dragon3d.webs.com/

  Livnthedream

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 582

I like this planet, YOU get off!

6/12/13 4:59:31 AM#13
Originally posted by Caldrin

How is it being mis-used?

 The games I ahve backed on there are all games that I want to see get made, without funding they would not get made.

Because many of the highest grossing titles had no need to go to Kickstarter. Do you honestly believe that Torment, or Project Eternity or Shroud of the Avatar actually needed crowdfunding? Do you honestly believe that they just could not get enough outside support? Seriously?

They dont have the option to go to AAA publishers as all they want to make is the next WOW clone and we all know how good that has been for the MMORPG industry over the years since wow released.

False, because there has been no "wowclones".  You can make an argument for cookie cutter mmo, but a clone is nowhere close to the same thing. Even then, the games that are coming out of Kickstarter are nowhere close to AAA quality. They cannot come up with enough money to do it. These games cost WAY more than you can reasonably secure from Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is not only the best thing to happen to PC gamnig for a long time but also the best thing to ever happen to the MMORPG industry. Hell its even kicked SOE into looking at making EQN a sandbox game..

Because of Kickstarter I am now interested in the future of MMORPGs again..

I would love to see your source that Kickstarter is what made SOE change what EqN is going to be. Even without that I do not deny that Kickstarter is the only way for certain games to be funded. I even support Kickstarter being an avenue for such games. Its the other companies using kickstarter for what amounts to free money and marketing that bothers me. Garriot has no place on there, neither do fully fledged studios. Even Jacobs is an iffy case. Considering just how close he came to failing his Kickstarter its no surprise he had to go there for his funding. While I am looking forward to see what he can do with the game, I am going to be very surprised if it enjoyes any type of actual success.

http://chroniclesofthenerds.com/nerdfight/

Y U NO FLIP TABLE?!?!?!

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11352

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ESO, and Combat Arms

6/12/13 5:39:20 AM#14
Originally posted by Caldrin

So for me I think Crowd funding is the best thing to happen to PC gaming for a long time and I am happy to support games that I want to play. Dont get me wrong I dont go crazy.. i usually stick to the average price of a game so say around £30, thats not somthing i will miss realyl and at the end of it i could get to play somthing that I actually want to play and not another wow clone.

Singleplayer games? Sure.

MMOs? What success stories (successfully releasing, not just successfully getting your money) do we have in MMOs from KS? I'm interested in what you are basing that statement on.

 

  DamianoV

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/20/04
Posts: 12

6/12/13 6:41:44 AM#15

I personally think crowdfunding could be an interesting tool for MMO developers.  Expecting a AAA game to be fully funded this way is unrealistic, of course.  However, to generate some data points showing investors that there is interest in whatever design concept is being put forward it is nearly invaluable, IMO.  Also, "boutique" games and experimental designs conceivably could be able to gain some footholds in this way, an outcome nearly impossible to see happening via more traditional funding routes.

I have pledged to a handful of efforts related to MMOs so far on Kickstarter, some of which funded, some of which missed their goal.  As for what rewards I find enticing, the probability of eventual success is just too low, IMO, for any promised rewards to be all that interesting... I'm just looking to encourage some experimentation.  Anything that looks like it might not have me feeling like I've already played it a thousand times within 5 minutes of first logging in, for example.  (It helps being fortunate enough in my situation that throwing a hundred bucks or so at something interesting every couple months isn't a major imposition.)

 

Blogging semi-regularly at http://damianov.wordpress.com

  Betaguy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2356

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

6/12/13 6:44:08 AM#16
Originally posted by SBFord

In his latest column for MMORPG.com, industry insider Matt Miller takes a look at the latest fad in game development: Crowdfunding. See what Matt thinks before heading to the comments to add your voice to the conversation.

For the uninitiated, the way Kickstarter works is this: a project goes out and asks for a certain dollar amount in order to achieve a goal. Usually that goal is “deliver the product”, and by pledging (backing) a specific amount, you are usually gifted the product upon release. Higher amount pledges get more “rewards” as well. When the campaign is over (it only runs for a limited time), then your payment method goes through immediately and then Kickstarter takes their cut and delivers the rest of the money to the developer. If the campaign fails to make their funding goal in the time allotted, no one is charged, and the developer gets no money. (Indiegogo operates a little differently from what I understand).

Read more of Matt Miller's Crowdfunding.

 I consider it no better than a bum standing out in front of the liqure store asking for change.  It is the new way of "Internet bumming" in my opinion.

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 3864

6/12/13 7:04:10 AM#17
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Caldrin

So for me I think Crowd funding is the best thing to happen to PC gaming for a long time and I am happy to support games that I want to play. Dont get me wrong I dont go crazy.. i usually stick to the average price of a game so say around £30, thats not somthing i will miss realyl and at the end of it i could get to play somthing that I actually want to play and not another wow clone.

Singleplayer games? Sure.

MMOs? What success stories (successfully releasing, not just successfully getting your money) do we have in MMOs from KS? I'm interested in what you are basing that statement on.

 

Of course we have none yet.. Kickstarter is still pretty new and only recently have MMOS been funded on there... it takes years to make an MMO its not instant.

 

Also at the end of the day no one is forcing people to fund games, its a choice people can make for themselves.

 

Myself I am happy to throw £30 towards a game that I like the sound of and would really want to play.

My 3D models
http://dragon3d.webs.com/

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 3864

6/12/13 7:27:46 AM#18
Originally posted by Livnthedream
Originally posted by Caldrin

How is it being mis-used?

 The games I ahve backed on there are all games that I want to see get made, without funding they would not get made.

Because many of the highest grossing titles had no need to go to Kickstarter. Do you honestly believe that Torment, or Project Eternity or Shroud of the Avatar actually needed crowdfunding? Do you honestly believe that they just could not get enough outside support? Seriously?

I dont know too much about Torment or Eternity, but Shroud of the avatar is a new project by a new company that did not have any major AAA publishers backnig them.. so yes without kickstarter they prob would not have made the game unless they could ahve fonud funding from a big publisher..

They dont have the option to go to AAA publishers as all they want to make is the next WOW clone and we all know how good that has been for the MMORPG industry over the years since wow released.

False, because there has been no "wowclones".  You can make an argument for cookie cutter mmo, but a clone is nowhere close to the same thing. Even then, the games that are coming out of Kickstarter are nowhere close to AAA quality. They cannot come up with enough money to do it. These games cost WAY more than you can reasonably secure from Kickstarter.

The games I have backed and have got have been pretty high quality games and I ahve been happy with them. Also nearly all MMOS since wow have been trying to copy it as clsoe as possible and we all know that.. msot people are bored as hell of these cookie cutter/clone MMOs. So they cant come up with the kind of money to match AAA games? Check out Star Citizen it just hit $10m fround crowd funding. It also does not need to cost 10s of millions ot make an MMORPG. Most people with projects on kickstarter are passionate about making their game and have already put a shit ton of their own time into it.

Kickstarter is not only the best thing to happen to PC gamnig for a long time but also the best thing to ever happen to the MMORPG industry. Hell its even kicked SOE into looking at making EQN a sandbox game..

Because of Kickstarter I am now interested in the future of MMORPGs again..

I would love to see your source that Kickstarter is what made SOE change what EqN is going to be. Even without that I do not deny that Kickstarter is the only way for certain games to be funded. I even support Kickstarter being an avenue for such games. Its the other companies using kickstarter for what amounts to free money and marketing that bothers me. Garriot has no place on there, neither do fully fledged studios. Even Jacobs is an iffy case. Considering just how close he came to failing his Kickstarter its no surprise he had to go there for his funding. While I am looking forward to see what he can do with the game, I am going to be very surprised if it enjoyes any type of actual success.

Of course that is my own opinion about SOE but basically we have a spat of MMORPGs get funded on kickstarter, all of them Sandbox type MMORPGs.. loads of polls and stuff on different forums with people saying they want a sandbox game over a themepark.. then all of a sudden SOE announce EQN is gonig to be a sandbox game.. sure i could be wrong but still.
 
Sure Garriot is loaded and I am sure he put some of his own cash into the game but it still needed more cash for it to go into full development. he is not a multi billion $ company.
I do agree with you on that big $ billion companies have no place trying to get funded on kickstarter.
 
 

 

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  dontadow

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 1041

6/12/13 8:22:11 AM#19
I had a rant about this the other day. It is getting misused. There are people posting and asking folk to pay for their vacations and all sorts of luxiaries under the guys of being ap ublisher or writer. 
  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5155

Opportunist

6/12/13 9:23:11 AM#20

Great article Matt.

"A few MMOs have been funded on Kickstarter, but even a record setting Kickstarter campaign won’t be enough to fully fund an MMO."

Thanks for stating that.  I keep getting shot down when I bring this up.  A recent successful mmo KS campaign didn't explain how they actually planned on fully funding the project.

I have supported on KS project for a game (Planet Explorers) because I'm willing to take a risk.  It is moving along pretty well and I think it will see the light of day.  One thing that was key for me to even consider funding was that they had a working alpha build of the game.  While not a guarantee it at least assured me they had already put some serious effort into the project.

I've also early funded an indie MMO (City of Steam), not through KS, but through their own site.  I won't do that again and I am less likely to ever fund an indie MMO again.  Late in the project, after the funding drive was over, the developer changed the direction of the game dramatically towards a much more conventional and rote design.  I wouldn't have funded the game as it stands now.

The lesson learned here, is that even if your game does see the light of day, it may not be anything like what you "bought into".  Even though that wasn't a KS campaign the premise holds true for KS games too.

Another thing I found out about KS is that the Paypal campaign, if they offer it, opens up reward tiers that were previously unavailable and exclusive.  For the Planet Explorers KS I would have waited and paid through PayPal to get a reward tier I really wanted compared to what I ended up with.

Just like traditional payment models are evolving, I also think crowdfunding will change as it matures.

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