In the wake of the Chronicles of Elyria shutting down, one topic has permeated throughout the MMO community – Kickstarting MMOs. As a result of the shut down, many are questioning whether or not Kickstarted MMOs are worth pumping money into – especially given how difficult MMO development is even with a large enough studio and publisher backing.
Personally, I don’t support Kickstarters. Part of my reasoning is down to disclosure – I can’t adequately cover a game if I have a financial interest in its development. I see this different from purchasing a game after release for coverage because at that moment the development is done and my only financial interest is whether or not the game I bought was worth the money. But if I were to support a Kickstarter project, I feel that my objectivity and ability to be critical about the project would constantly be in question from this simple act. As such, it’s not worth the hassle.
The other reasoning is down to financial – just like with pre-orders, I don’t typically buy games until they are released. I don’t like supporting something that isn’t complete yet – and with Kickstarters that volatility is heightened due to the simple fact these games may never actually see the light of day. Chronicles of Elyria isn’t the only Kickstarted video game to go belly-up during development, though it’s the most recent example of the volatility of this type of investment.
As with all investments, there is that inherent risk involved with supporting a Kickstarter, but I just don’t see an upside personally. If it’s a game I’m interested in (like I was with Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverance), I can wait until the game is released to enjoy the title and support the studio.
Obviously, my mindset here is different than some, and I'm definitely eager to know your thoughts. Would you ever support a Kickstarted MMORPG project again – or any game for that matter? If so, why, and conversely – why not if you’re swinging the other direction? If you have supported a Kickstarter - failed or otherwise - why did you? Has the recent example from Soulbound Studios, as well as many other developers who were unable to deliver on the Kickstarter promise moved you away from supporting projects like these?