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KickStarter Launch Interview

William Murphy Posted:
Interviews 0

MMORPG: Congrats on the launch of the Kickstarter! Can you share what it was like to get that started? Why was everything so hard to nail down after the initial announcement?

Mark Jacobs: Unfortunately, real life has a nasty way of intervening when least expected. We ended up having to spend more time on getting the latest version of March on Oz out. Once we did that, as we got closer and closer to launch, we then had to deal with unexpected snow, illness, the lead concept artist’s computer melting down, etc. Even with all that, we only missed our target launch window by 4 hours. Then, in deference to our European backers and because it was Friday evening here, we set the following Tuesday as our new date.

MMORPG: Let’s talk about some of your Kickstarter goals, for those of us with less money, what do you feel are the best values?

Mark Jacobs: I think both the $50 and $110 tiers are really great values, and the ones with 3-year renewable accounts ($1 per year after that) such as Warrior Forever and Hero Forever are also very good.

MMORPG: You've quickly risen to 600,000 pledged. What will you be doing over the next several weeks to keep the momentum going?

Mark Jacobs: More and improved tech demos, more concept and modeled art, more design talk, etc.

MMORPG: There aren't a lot of smaller reward tiers, for gamers without a ton of money but who might want to pledge.  Have you thought of opening up smaller tiers?

Mark Jacobs: Well, we have the $25 tier, which comes with the game, a month subscription free and other stuff for those who don’t wish to spend very much. FYI, that $25 pledge is in line with other game-based Kickstarters and lower than some entry points.

MMORPG: Looking at your goals for players with plenty of loot, you offer some really nice rewards, what do you think players will like the most?

Mark Jacobs: I actually have no idea what players will like most since it's very much a matter of personal preference. That’s one of the reasons I spent so much time on your forums, gathering data about what people wanted from us so I could include them either in our pledge tiers or through the Founder’s Exchange.

MMORPG: Many people might think because the game is so PvP-centric you would offer Kickstarter goals for players to get ahead, this does not seem to be the case.

Mark Jacobs: Thank you. I agree it is tempting to use the lure of pay-to-win to sell more stuff , but I refuse to do that, even if it means the Kickstarter is unsuccessful.

MMORPG: What are the hardest parts of constructing digital rewards for players? You offer a lot of customization, but is there anything you wish you could offer that you can't?

Mark Jacobs: Wow, yeah, it was hard, and there were a lot of things I and your forum posters thought of that were just either too close to “pay to win” or just not really feasible. I also had some tiers I thought would be fun, but they simply did not have enough value to make them worthwhile to create.

MMORPG: You have worked with some major investors before in the early days of Mythic, what is it like to work with fans now who are investing in the game?

Mark Jacobs: So far, it’s great. We’re getting tons of feedback, advice, suggestions and even some criticism. I think it is all fantastic.

MMORPG: How much say will the backers have going forward in development? Will it be organized and sort of a "democracy" of players, or more of a "player consultant" sort of deal?

Mark Jacobs: A little bit of both actually. It will be a democracy at times, For example, our backers will get to vote on and determine one of the races for each realm. Other times, we will go to them and ask what they think about certain ideas we have for our game. No matter what happens, we will always be open and communicative with them.

MMORPG: The big one - what happens if the goal of 2 Mln isn't hit? Where does Camelot Unchained go from there? There are definitely plenty of people who want to see it happen, regardless.

Mark Jacobs: If we don’t fund, the odds are that the game doesn’t get made. Now, if we hit $1.99M, that would be a different story as opposed to it not funding because we only raised $1M. If we didn’t even reach half our goal, there would be no real purpose in trying to re-launch the Kickstarter, get additional outside funding, etc.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.