It's been more than 3 years since Kickstarter rose to the fame after Tim Sherfer decided to ask for $3,00,000 for his game. He ended up getting much more than that as the fans made sure that the game will be made.
Since then, so many gaming and tech projects have been put on Kickstarter, many of which have been successfully funded. But even after these 3 years, there are a lot of projects that just can't keep up their promises. So, what's the reason? Why is it that most of these games and tech related products always fail to deliver? Is their something we can do about it? Well, that's the crux of this article. What can we do? It turns out, there is not much we can do except being cautious about backing up projects. We will delve deeper into it, but before that, let's talk about one of the recent sellouts – Oculus Rift.
Oculus Rift promised to correct all the wrongs of early 90's era and it did to some extent. Just when it a heading in the right direction, they sold out on us. Yes, they were bought by Facebook for $2 billion. So, everything you had ever expected it to be is gone now. The chances are, it's not going to be geared towards gaming facet anymore as Facebook has acquired it. While the motives behind this sudden acquisition are still muddy and vague, we presume that it's because they want to bring some aspect of virtual reality in the social media as well.
For better or for worse, the fact of the matter is, they sold out and we can't do anything about it. If you are one of the Kicktarter backers of their project, you must be disappointed, but that's the risk you take every time you back up a project on Kickstarter. Once the money is in their hands, they are the one who decide the fate of the project. You don't get to say anything about it except for some shady feedback through their so-called forums. I don't even know if they even take glance at forums and care about our feedbacks.
Baking a Kickstarter project like Oculus Rift is like investing a huge sum in something you are not at all sure about. So, take your pick before pledging. If you are going to turn a blind eye on their background and reliability, the chances are, you are going to be robbed of your money in no time.
While the Rift acquisition might actually turn out be beneficial for everyone's interest, the odds are, they are going to morph it into something unrecognizable than what we have come to appreciate. So, say goodbye to your favorite VR product, at least for now.
The good of Kickstarter
Many dying genres on the brink of extension are resurrected, thanks to Kickstarter. If it wasn't for Kickstarter, we would never see ideas like Text Murphey and Broken Age come to fruition. They are never going to succeed if they don't have sufficient funds. But to do that, they either need to be backed up by some publisher or they have to do it all by themselves. We all know that latter is not even a possibility. So, those that have something new and innovative to share with us, never get a chance to do that because if lacking funds.
The Kickstarter has, however, changed everything for indie developers as they have a chance to pitch their ideas or early footages and ask for funds from us in advance. It's C2B business in accounting terms. In other words, they don't have to bend to any publisher's will. They are free to do things at their own pace without anyone watching ever them.
Moreover , the customer and developer collaboration is something that is only going to flourish as Kickstarter matures in due time. It's still is fairly new. So giving some time is only fair.
Besides the trust and collaboration, there is one other indispensible aspect of Kickstarter which wouldn't have been possible otherwise. It has played a big role in bringing back some of the best games to fruition. Moreover, the dying breed like adventure and space Sims are once again in full flow, thanks to the Kickstarter. Projects like Star Citizen and Shadowrun are testimonial to the fact that there are still a lot of Sim and adventure game fans who cared enough about these games to back them up with their money in advance.
The bad facet
Only 1 in 3 video game that have been successfully backed on Kickstarter, have launched up until now. Rest of the games have either been canceled or are still in limbo. The aforementioned facet should be more than enough for you to realize that pledging your hard earned money on a Kickstarter project is tantamount to more risk than investing in shares.
Unless you are sure about it, you shouldn't place your bet on it; otherwise you are going to fall prey to scammers. Well, I don't mean to say that they are all scammers. Some of them just go bankrupt before they can launch the game, others just don't have the required expertise. Some others just abandon the project and start doing something else. Who can stop them from doing it? You can't, neither can any of us, because when you pledge something on Kickstarter, you also tick on their 'Terms and Conditions' box, which states that you are on your own once you have pledged something.
As long as the project is not fully funded, you can withdraw your money, except for $1 which is going to be retained by Kickstarter team. Conversely, if a project has been full-funded, your money is gone! You can't withdraw it anymore and they get to decide as to what to do with it.
You should head on to Kickstarter and peruse every terms and conditions of it before using it. On the other hand, if you are just a lurker like me who is too cautious to pledge anything before the project actually launches, there is no harm in looking into some of the potential hits every now and then. As long as you don't pledge much on something like others do, you fine. It ensures that even if the project is a failure, you are not losing much money after all. So don't get all pumped up and exhilarated just because some innovative prospect had popped on Kickstarter. It might as well be a scam!
Read Is Kickstarter still a good place to fund your game or invest your money?