The Advent of Kickstarter

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Recently there has been a surge of support for the production of video games via the collaborative social funding website Kickstarter.

Now, I am a fan of Kickstarter, and I fully support what they are doing. My issue is fear. I have several fears in regards to Kickstarter, and I was all ready to do a big long post about it. I even had a good chunk of it finished and I though “Oh, I can finish this up later in the week. I’ll bide my time, and then the people will see!” Unfortunately, the good folks at CheckPoint and The Penny Arcade Report decided to write about the exact same thing a day before I finished my post.

BALLS!

But seriously, they brought up some very interesting points. From the economic “bubble” that Kickstarter is creating to the potential for scamming. I grabbed this tidbit from the PA post.

“Not all Kickstarter projects will succeed. It’s inevitable that some will fail. This is one reason why Kickstarter is very particular about using the term ‘backer’ and avoiding the term ‘investor.’ Dent explains, ‘It is not actually an investment in the legal sense of the word. The contributor is actually buying something to be part of the game.’ Backers get tangible rewards in exchange for their dollars: shirts, videos, forum access, and (typically) a copy of the game if and when it is completed. It’s a purchase, not an investment.”

This is frightening, because there are an abnormal amount of games being funded through Kickstarter at the moment. You may all be aware of the huge support garnered by Tim Schaffer’s “DoubleFine Adventure,” and may also be aware of the hugely popular “Wasteland 2″ project. What you may not know is that over 50 other games, with less than stellar business plans, have also been funded in the time since DFA created this boom. A huge issue here is the lack of reputation and experience these “developers” have. Many of them underestimate the true cost of making a game. Some of them don’t factor in taxes. A few of them (and...
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