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Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance? 170

Posted by timothy
from the pair-a-dimes-shift dept.
jfruh writes "Most gamers probably know that legendary game designer Tim Schafer turned to Kickstarter to help raise money a new adventure game; aiming for $400,000, he managed to raise more than $3 million. But you might not know that a host of other game projects are doing well on the crowdfunding site, with creators ranging from industry famous to unknown. By bypassing corporate funding and appealing directly to their audience, these developers are sparking a renaissance in quirky, personal games that probably wouldn't be backed by a big label looking for a sure-fire hit."
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Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance?

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  • Let's wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa (555446) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @02:02PM (#39613291) Homepage

    As somebody who put in money for Wasteland 2, I'm negative about Kickstarter. I'll even join the official backlash team.

    Let's wait until a single good game has been released under this model. Or really, a single good game has been released from somebody who doesn't already have a large fanbase and nostalgia helping him get attention.

    Furthermore, there's really no accountability under this whole scheme. What if the game released is totally amateurish? What if the developers just pocket half the money? What if the money ends up not being enough and the game is only half completed? What recourse do the "donators" have?

    System seems ripe for being abused...Leisure Suit Larry's kickstarter suggests the money is needed to make the game, glossing over that the game has already been under production for at least half a year. Presumably they already had the money, it doesn't mention where the donation's going.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @02:07PM (#39613305) Homepage

    buy a consumer product. If you want to make an investment, make an investment.

    Kickstarter is not a store, nor is it a brokerage. It is a place to donate and support things you'd like to see happen. Don't send any money their way if you're hoping for some sort of guaranteed return. It's a kind of participation, activism, or expression, not a kind of transaction.

  • Re:Let's wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @02:11PM (#39613329)
    Well right now we're seeing many popular projects from people who are industry veterans going back 20-25 years. These are people with established reputations as being able to manage teams, and million dollar budgets. The only thing developers have to lose in this deal is their names and reputations, which if any of them wishes to remain in the industry, that will be a huge incentive not to rip people off. I think that's why you see people putting their trust in these bigger projects. It's also why it is harder for less known people to have a successful kickstarter campaign. The community backlash from someone abusing kickstarter would be career suicide.
  • by forand (530402) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @02:35PM (#39613435) Homepage

    What you are suggesting is called investing, not donation, it legally requires far more hurdles for a fledgling business to jump through to obtain. Furthermore, until the recent signing of the JOBS Act it was illegal for average people to make such investments within the US.

    While I would love to be able to invest directly with local businesses there is a real concern about fraud when dealing with hundreds of thousands of small investment options. The SEC, or anything like it, is incapable of ensuring a limited risk to fraud for investors. We are in the infancy of crowd funding and while I yearn for a well regulated and open marketplace to invest in local business I think it reasonable that we take it one step at a time and not rush into things.

  • Re:Wasteland 2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Sunday April 08, 2012 @05:54PM (#39614355)

    Really? Well then I guess that the answer is no, this will not launch a gaming Renaissance. So far in my scans of these posts, I have seen a sequel, a remake, people fixated on return on investment, and the established developers getting priority over new, unproven programmers.

    That sounds just like our existing games industry to me! The established industry still has an avenue for potentially unprofitable ideas. It's called indie developers.

    Also, the idea of giving money to games you want to see made is not new, as people do the same with pre-orders. Some people had Duke Nukem Forever on pre-order for a decade!

  • Re:Wasteland 2 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @08:35PM (#39615187)

    The pattern seems to be of remakes of and sequels to classic-style games from the 1990s, of a type which the mainstream games industry claims no longer has a market. The people with experience making such games have found a way around the traditional middlemen. I think there's room for this pattern to continue for five years or so, tapping the veins of creativity that were cut short by the consolidation of the gaming industry, before I'd start demanding completely-new titles (which may or may not be supportable through the Kickstarter model).

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.