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General Gaming  » Are kickstarters a way for big developers to shift blame?

20 posts found
  fantasyfreak112

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/13
Posts: 523

 
OP  1/15/14 12:18:13 PM#1

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

So why is this blame shifting so widely entertained? Do fanboi's refuse to accept their favorite developers can no longer compete in today's market or are known developers just amazing at marketing themselves? Camelot Unchained hype vanished virtually overnight. If the 35million dollar Star Citizen fails will it damage all future kickstarters?

 

 

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3542

Hipster

1/15/14 12:24:35 PM#2
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

So why is this blame shifting so widely entertained? Do fanboi's refuse to accept their favorite developers can no longer compete in today's market or are known developers just amazing at marketing themselves? Camelot Unchained hype vanished virtually overnight. If the 35million dollar Star Citizen fails will it damage all future kickstarters?

Of course CU hype ended overnight, it funded and now needs a couple of  years of work before anything will be seen.

if a large KS like SC fails then yes, it will do some damage to KS, how much depends on other KS games coming out successfully or not.

  CrazKanuk

Elite Member

Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 1216

1/15/14 12:42:15 PM#3

I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you saying that Kickstarter is a way for developers to prove that AAA Publishers are the problem? A la Brad McQuaid? 

 

Let me put some silver lining on your glasses. I don't look at it as shifting blame, I look at it as someone being accountable. In the case of Brad McQuaid, there were ENOUGH people who said that MS shouldn't have pulled funding and should have allowed him to do it right. Kickstarter is simply a way for someone like him to say, "Thanks for your faith in me. If you give me your money, I will make the game, and finish it, the way I want and the way you expect it to be done." 

 

Once that's done, though, all bets are off. If you do a bad Kickstarter as a AAA developer, you now don't have anyone to blame but yourself. Do you? It's actually the perfect model for purists. If someone has a vision and they don't want it to be obscured by a big publisher, Kickstarter is perfect.

 

Yes, if a KS like Star Citizen fails to produce anything, it will tarnish the funding model. As it stands, though, it's only stood to further progress the model, with them taking on additional funding outside of Kickstarter, etc. At this point, they likely have enough money in reserve that even if they wanted to call it quits, they could easily pocket a few million themselves and hire a small country to finish coding their game. I don't see it failing, but I don't see it meeting or exceeding expectations either. Each additional dollar injected into the project just raises the bar. So, now, what they said was possible for $2,000,000 needs to somehow be made 20 times better! How could it fail! 

Crazkanuk

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  fantasyfreak112

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/13
Posts: 523

 
OP  1/15/14 12:53:15 PM#4

The problem was that Vanguard was in no way obscured by Microsoft. They simply pulled funding from a terribly designed game and it was honestly a very smart move. Even in beta I could tell the games entire foundation was irreversibly flawed and no one but Sigil was to blame.

 

Now we have these guys saying the only reason they couldn't make the perfect sandbox was because of AAA publishers, which is nothing less then a outright lie.

  SEANMCAD

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

1/15/14 5:53:23 PM#5


crowdfunding and early access is a god send for gaming for two reasons.

1. it allows game developers more creative freedom which has proven to bear much great fruit.

2. the cycle between builds to market is shorter so that the developer can respond to player requests in a matter of months instead of years.

 

Can it be abused? absolutely but two things on that.

1. It hasn't happen yet in any large measurable way

2. Verizon doesn't seem to interested ....yet

 

Correlation does not imply causation

  Beelzebobbie

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/03/09
Posts: 422

If DaoC was so fun why don't you just play it?

1/15/14 5:57:59 PM#6
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

 

If I remembered correctly and I am not saying that I do but I think EA pushed for an early release date on warhammer when the game wasn't ready at all. So in this case I feel alot of blame goes to EA.

  kilun

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/25/07
Posts: 691

1/15/14 6:03:49 PM#7
Originally posted by Beelzebobbie
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

 

If I remembered correctly and I am not saying that I do but I think EA pushed for an early release date on warhammer when the game wasn't ready at all. So in this case I feel alot of blame goes to EA.

The publishers have deadlines to meet.  And almost all of them don't push it back.  Very few publishers will say, ok push it back another 6 months to iron it out.

This is why Kickstarter has got to have successful launches.  When Star Citizen is awesome, it'll bring crowd funding to a whole new level in gaming.  When it is absolutely horrible it will probably kill gaming with the amount of funding it has received thus far.

  Fearum

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/15/11
Posts: 1092

1/15/14 6:09:50 PM#8
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

So why is this blame shifting so widely entertained? Do fanboi's refuse to accept their favorite developers can no longer compete in today's market or are known developers just amazing at marketing themselves? Camelot Unchained hype vanished virtually overnight. If the 35million dollar Star Citizen fails will it damage all future kickstarters?

 

 

I guess you were in the room when all of these big events transpired to know the truth. 

  SEANMCAD

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

1/15/14 6:42:51 PM#9
Originally posted by kilun
Originally posted by Beelzebobbie
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

 

If I remembered correctly and I am not saying that I do but I think EA pushed for an early release date on warhammer when the game wasn't ready at all. So in this case I feel alot of blame goes to EA.

The publishers have deadlines to meet.  And almost all of them don't push it back.  Very few publishers will say, ok push it back another 6 months to iron it out.

This is why Kickstarter has got to have successful launches.  When Star Citizen is awesome, it'll bring crowd funding to a whole new level in gaming.  When it is absolutely horrible it will probably kill gaming with the amount of funding it has received thus far.

Kickstarter and early access take a different approach to release and development and as a developer myself (although not for games) its a much better approach.

Basically instead of a hard full release date you have a multiple releases as the game is built. This approach is common in business development and it works really well because you get feedback from your customer quicker.

This all said, if there is any developer on the planet I would say might abuse kick starters it would be EA.

 

Correlation does not imply causation

  Wellspring

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/02/09
Posts: 105

1/15/14 6:51:30 PM#10
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

The problem was that Vanguard was in no way obscured by Microsoft. They simply pulled funding from a terribly designed game and it was honestly a very smart move. Even in beta I could tell the games entire foundation was irreversibly flawed and no one but Sigil was to blame.

 

Now we have these guys saying the only reason they couldn't make the perfect sandbox was because of AAA publishers, which is nothing less then a outright lie.

How are we to know Microsoft's involvement in the development of Vanguard?

It could have reached beyond simply funding the game. Who knows what restrictions and pressures they put on the developers at the time.

Had it not been rushed and forced to release early, who knows what could have happened.

Besides, we all make mistakes. It's what you learn from those mistakes that matters most. I think Brad learned a lot from his experience with Vanguard.

  funyahns

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/02/12
Posts: 316

1/15/14 6:55:43 PM#11
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

The problem was that Vanguard was in no way obscured by Microsoft. They simply pulled funding from a terribly designed game and it was honestly a very smart move. Even in beta I could tell the games entire foundation was irreversibly flawed and no one but Sigil was to blame.

 

Now we have these guys saying the only reason they couldn't make the perfect sandbox was because of AAA publishers, which is nothing less then a outright lie.

 Eh Vanguard got put out too soon.  If they had more time it would have been fantastic.  In its current form it is better than 90% of the field.   The game was not terribly designed, it had tons of great ideas that sadly didn't get fulfilled

  User Deleted
1/15/14 6:59:34 PM#12
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

So why is this blame shifting so widely entertained? Do fanboi's refuse to accept their favorite developers can no longer compete in today's market or are known developers just amazing at marketing themselves? Camelot Unchained hype vanished virtually overnight. If the 35million dollar Star Citizen fails will it damage all future kickstarters?

 

 

 

Kick starters are a method for independent developers to create their products and market them directly to you, the consumer, that otherwise would not exist. They remove the middleman from the equation allowing you to decide if a product should be made rather than allowing a publisher to nix a great idea because it doesn't fall into the normal niche or cater to the groups they want to market too.  Intrinsically, it has nothing to do with shifting blame or any of Brad McQuaid's public baggage.

 

If anything, for all its faults, kick starter is changing the industry, allowing foe some great titles that otherwise would not see the light of day to reach your PC, and making big publishers that used to consider "you" a niche not worth marketing a product too sweat.  It even threatens their control of the market and ability to monopolize it through service fees and weird DRM policies because there is an alternative to them.

 

Frankly, leave kick starter out of this and don't associate it with developer egos or twitter wars that are going to occur anyway...

  SEANMCAD

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

1/15/14 7:03:53 PM#13
Originally posted by Crazy_Stick
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112

It seems many kickstarters are used as a way for known MMO developers to shift all the blame for their most recent failed MMO onto the AAA publisher. For instance, Microsoft wasn't breathing down Sigil's neck when they decided to use a outdated engine for Vanguard. No one forced them to make a clunky, buggy game that wouldn't run smooth on virtually any computer.

 

Every decision that caused Vanguard to fail rested on Sigil's shoulders alone and Microsoft pulled it's funding because the games finances were poorly handled and the game so poorly designed.Warhammer & Tabula Rasa were other disasters that had no one but themselves to blame.

 

So why is this blame shifting so widely entertained? Do fanboi's refuse to accept their favorite developers can no longer compete in today's market or are known developers just amazing at marketing themselves? Camelot Unchained hype vanished virtually overnight. If the 35million dollar Star Citizen fails will it damage all future kickstarters?

 

 

 

Kick starters are a method for independent developers to create their products and market them directly to you, the consumer, that otherwise would not exist. They remove the middleman from the equation allowing you to decide if a product should be made rather than allowing a publisher to nix a great idea because it doesn't fall into the normal niche or cater to the groups they want to market too.  Intrinsically, it has nothing to do with shifting blame or any of Brad McQuaid's public baggage.

 

If anything, for all its faults, kick starter is changing the industry, allowing foe some great titles that otherwise would not see the light of day to reach your PC, and making big publishers that used to consider "you" a niche not worth marketing a product too sweat.  It even threatens their control of the market and ability to monopolize it through service fees and weird DRM policies because there is an alternative to them.

 

Frankly, leave kick starter out of this and don't associate it with developer egos or twitter wars that are going to occur anyway...

its really pretty amazing how well crowd funding works. When I first heard about it I thought it was the crazy idea but its proven to be a gold mine.

Last year 100 million dollars was crowd funded. That is the price of 2 AAA games. I can say with much confidence that I have already had more fun out of crowd funded games and innovations (Oculus) then 2 AAA games.

For me a game does NOT have to be complete for me to have a lot of fun with it.

Correlation does not imply causation

  Clywd

Novice Member

Joined: 8/28/10
Posts: 247

1/16/14 12:55:18 PM#14

I was also there in the Vanguard Beta and could see the disaster coming, when they announced the release date. The game had fabulous concept and was great fun to play. Unfortunately it had technical issues. And technical issues can be solved with a little bit of time and effort, which was not given to the team. Thus imho the only problem of the team were their high ambitions. As others already said, Vanguard is nowadays one of the best games we have, though it lacked the support from SOE for some years (seems they are updating it now again).

So, now Brad McQuaid is starting a small game with a small target audience with a much sharper focus. He has my hopes (again).

Edit: The kickstarter for "Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen" with a lot more information can be found here: Kickstarter

Currently playing: EQ1
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Waiting for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

  Notimeforbs

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 297

1/19/14 12:03:03 AM#15

I think Kickstarter is a great resource for anyone who might have a great idea and the ability to deliver the idea with the proper funding.  I think all it's going to take is for one really great game to be made by the funding from Kickstarter before all these ridiculous publishers realize they don't own the market.  The people own the market.  It's just been the situation that we literally had no other options to choose from.  It was either investing in their monopoly or quit playing games.

That being said - I do worry somewhat about how Kickstarter will affect accountability.  Frankly... since we as investors really have no way of saying when we should expect milestones to be met... developers can literally take as long as they want for whatever reasons they concoct.  And... well... we really have no option of saying, "No - enough is enough.  We want some sort of proof of concept, proof of life, a playable alpha.... something."  So really... all kickstarter does is allow developers to respond to no one.

Honestly, I'm all for "release when it's done."  But I also know whips have to be cracked in order for things to get done.  I'm not saying it needs to be released before the design has been realized.  I'm saying that investors should have some legal protection against potential lethargic con-men.

  iridescence

Elite Member

Joined: 6/12/12
Posts: 1343

1/19/14 2:17:23 AM#16

Big publishers do mess up games all the time due to their greed so his story is not so implausible but if I'm gonna back his campaign it'll be based on what I think of his planned game a lot more than something which may have happened seven years ago. Of course you are only getting one side of the story so if that's the only factor making you trust the guy with your money maybe you should reconsider but he certainly may be telling the truth.

 

Hype for things like CU will come back when its released. There isn't much news about those games right now as they're being developed so not much to fuel buzz and rightly or wrongly I feel that the fate of Kickstarter as a viable platform is pretty much tied to the success of Star Citizen which has become its poster child. So I'm rooting for SC even though I didn't back it.

 

  Brenelael

Guide

Joined: 10/19/06
Posts: 3971

Pointing out the Obvious to the Oblivious since 2006

1/19/14 9:49:32 AM#17

Mostly what publishers are to blame for is pushing deadlines and putting too much faith in Focus Groups. Set in stone deadlines means that things will make it through development only "Half Baked" and Focus Groups means that a small group is the deciding factor on which mechanics make it into the game and in what form. Crowd Funding does away with both of these issues as the deadlines are set by the Developer themselves and can be easily pushed back a little if need be. The Developer's "Focus Group" is also the entire community that supported the game as well which gives them a much better conduit for feedback directly from those that will be playing the game.

 

Skipping the "Publisher Model" gives the Developers a lot more freedom as to how their game will turn out. Publishers have their noses in every step of the development process with good reason... They want a return on their investment. In crowd funding the only thing the "Investors" expect is a game they really want to play. It takes an unbelievable amount of stress off of the Developer's shoulders and allows them to make the game that they and the community wants and not what a Publisher thinks will make the most amount of money in the short term.

 

Bren

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  Lanfea

Elite Member

Joined: 10/19/04
Posts: 214

1/19/14 10:43:57 AM#18

blaming is a two edge sword.

 

mark jacobs (camelot unchained) himself stated in a recent given interview that he should never accept the contract from ea for warhammer, because it was clear that he only had 3 years development time. you can blame mark for taking the job and the money, but you can also blame ea for their ignorance to belive that they can 'develop a wow killer within 3 years'. last quote was from a ea ceo during a press conference on the gc leipzig back in 2008.

 

brad mcquaid (pantheon) made - in my eyes - the mistake that he (vigil) wanted too much with vanguard. too many (new) features right from the start and when microsoft pulled their funding and soe took over vanguard was still 1-2 years from beeing finished. why microsoft pulled their funding? well, there are many rumors about, but the plausible one is that it was around the time microsoft internal company politics went more in developing console games and put a hold on pc games.

 

richard garriots point of view was clear right from the start, as he said shortly before release that tabula rasa is far away from the mmorpg concept he made and was cleared by ncsoft before starting the development. and if i remember correctly even jake song (now creator and lead designer of archeage) who worked on tabula rasa back in the days stated once, that the whole development team was dissapointed that ncsoft forced them to a simplified version of the orginal concept.

 

why the big companies handled warhammer, vanguard and tabula rasa how they had done it? my best guess is money. they have to answer to their shareholders and investors, who normally don't have a clue about game design. their task is to make money, doesn't matter how. pure capitalism. a lot of people on this board - including myself - are in mmorpgs for ideologic reasons and capitalism and ideology aren't compatible.

 

but now people like mark, chris, richard, brad and others are building their visions of a mmorpg with small funding and with help of people with a similiar ideologic background. these will be games for a minority not for the masses. if they can reach a constant player base of around 50k subscribers over years it would be a sucess. and as i stated in another discussion on this board, i more likely invest my money in a dream instead giving it to a company which can't deliver a product equal to the money they put in in. why should i reward someone who is obviously selling me a low quality product? but lets not forget one thing ... at first the independent companies have to proof that they can deliver a high quality product for much less money.

  plat0nic

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/03
Posts: 303

1/19/14 5:47:59 PM#19
I still don't understand the OP's point about how kickstarter is used toe shift the blame at all and I dont' think that's how it plays out


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  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17372

1/19/14 9:51:01 PM#20
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112 Camelot Unchained hype vanished virtually overnight.

 

 

except they send out updates ALL THE TIME!

The game is not even in Alpha therefore there is no reason to update anyone else other than those who gave money.

They essentially have 3 to 4 updates per month.