I’ve got to admit. I am not… pleased with the idea of larger companies using Kickstarter. I don’t know if they are trying to remove risk or just let their customers take all the risk but… it doesn’t seem right.
The campaign itself seems to make that pretty clear: better feedback from customers, particularly those that are looking to use the product for applications other than gaming, before product launch. On top of that, though it’s not mentioned in the campaign, the ability to gauge how much interest there actually is in the product before committing to manufacture is a huge boon compared to only finding out no one wants this after they’ve already made and shipped a bunch of them.
Given that it’s a major company with the means to make things like this already, I don’t think it’s a “let customers shoulder the financial risk” situation.
They can get feedback from customers and pay for research to get that information before launch without asking for money upfront. I just don’t think Kickstarter should be used as a place for large, established companies to take money from smaller campaigns which are often from those just starting. It’s hard enough for those without a marketing team to get noticed.
This complaint keeps coming up, but I don’t think it bears out. First, the idea that established companies suck funding away from less prominent Kickstarters has never been substantiated to my knowledge - if anything, they tend to get people to visit Kickstarter who didn’t previously and those people then back other Kickstarters. I know that’s sure what happened with me when Double Fine pitched the project that became Broken Age, and I’ve now backed over 300 other projects. Now, certainly most people have to make decisions about how to allocate limited funds, but a company launching a product through another channel is still competing for the same overall dollars - it’s not like that money is already allocated to Kickstarter.
Secondly, there’s no inherent reason that the benefits of crowdfunding should be limited to a particular size of company. Just because someone could finance something through other, more traditional means doesn’t mean that it’s the best way for them or the consumer either one.
Yeah when EA and Microsoft and heck let’s throw in Facebook and Google start their campaigns, I just think it’s not really meant for that.
You don’t really have to agree, but as for it bearing out, I guess that is wholly dependent on what you think Kickstarter’s goal actually is.
Cooler Master might be an established company, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re flush with millions they can throw away on experimental ideas. This seems like a great way to both gauge interest from fans and also gather feedback before sinking a whole lot of money into a failed endeavor.
Heck if anything I’m so sick of naive individuals running botched campaigns because they have no idea what it takes to actually build physical products that I’m far more confident contributing to an established company anyway.
Kickstart was built for that. This is from 2012, when they set out a set of guidelines and actual rules to try and stop the habit of turning kickstarters into just a means for producers to stock stores:
Backing a project has always been about joining a community just as much as it is getting stuff. That’s one of Kickstarter’s defining traits, and we want that to always be true. We’re incredibly proud of the ways that Kickstarter has helped creators bring their work to life and get it out into the world. Watching independent stores use Kickstarter to promote the work of independent creators has been amazing, and we hope it continues.
They don’t really limit it based on employee size, but they went through a bit of a process trying to clarify what they intend at that time and basically removed bulk purchasing to tighten and clarify their intentions.
So it’s not about whether or not I feel confident in Cooler Master, and yes, there is finite amount of space to get notice, just ask Steam creators, but it’s also what the founders intend.
I think big companies using these kinds of services is great. Less waste on mass runs of half baked ideas that will only end up in poor foreign landfills. We should all be more supportive of an increasingly tailored manufacturing sector for that reason, whether from big or small companies.
Facebook was originally intended to connect Ivy League students with each other. Just because a site had a particular goal when conceived doesn’t mean that mission can’t grow or change.
And Kickstarter is still full of small, independent projects, quite a few of them first-timers, and those projects are connecting people with their dreams. My friend Patrick Leder now runs a small boardgame publisher with two very successful, widely discussed boardgames already crowdfunded (with expansions) in Vast and Root and more projects coming. (The first Leder Games title is a much more modest affair, but it does bring his KS total up to 3.) This is what he does for a living, and it’s been a dream of his for that to be the case for many years. That’s something Kickstarter made possible. It didn’t stop being possible just because some established companies have also been using it.
I am not sure Facebook is really the best poster child for evolving into something… good. Should we rewind a few months and go over all the problems with that company, how they treat their customer data, and have become one of the larger polarizing and misinformation sources for mankind… and that’s before we talk about the governments using them against people voicing dissident.
Bigger is not always better, and it isn’t very difficult to find some failures alongside those successes. Success is not an issue really for these bigger players anyway. I don’t think they’ll have directing their marketing team and any other staff they put on the project to get foot traffic to their project.
I actually finally uninstalled the apps. I plan in the next month to send out a farewell and please message me with other contact info post and PMs on it to do a complete adios.
There have always been plenty of failures, both the unfunded and funded but failed to deliver varieties, on Kickstarter. I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest larger companies using the site has changed that for the worse. And if Kickstarter wanted to stick to ths sort of low level independent project originally conceived, they have all the tools they would need to restrict the type of project that’s allowed. It’s pretty clear they don’t want to limit things in that way.
Well, like I said. They have adjusted their policies, and they signaled out and basically banned the Bulk Order problem, as in they didn’t want to become a service for stores to orders hundreds of a product. In fact, they claim not to want to be a storefront at all. That’s coming from them, not me. They have a vision. I don’t think this approach lines up with that. So i’ve said something, not just to people here but to them. I also took issue with bulk orders.
Ultimately it’s up to them what they want to be and whether or not they want to be the storefront of a bunch of large companies with entire marketing teams and marketing budgets and years of experience to turn to. I’d would rather not see Samsung’s new foldable phone starting out on Kickstarter. I guess you’re okay with that though, and that’s fine.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with it, no. That said, I don’t think there’s a serious risk of the really big companies getting into crowdfunding, at least not for their flagship products. For one thing, a big component of crowdfunding success is a customer base that trusts you - or is, at the very least, enthusiastic about you. Not too many people are actively fans of that kind of corporation. EA, for example, has been voted the worst company in America more than once. For another, very successful crowdfunding endeavours typically source a few million bucks, tops. (Star Citizen is a gross, exploitative anomaly.). That’s pocket change to the big corporations. It’s not the sort of thing that even registers as worth their time. I’m not absolutely ruling it out, but I think it’s unlikely.
For all the people who wished Pathifinder: Kingmaker was turn-based instead of RTwP, I present to you:
MY favorite Dudes on a board, boardgame with a aliens theme is getting a update on kickstarter! Using the word ‘excited’ is a understatement!
Boardgaming in 2018!
Wow, that speaks to me on a very deep level. The games they mention as inspriation… it’s like my top 10 RPG list of days gone by.
Too bad I don’t know this company at all. They don’t seem to have done anything prior. Are there known developers in this company? I am too skeptical for Kickstarter any more.
Kudos for 1 hell of a KS page though.
More than two years ago, we established Ceres Games for the sole purpose of developing a complex party-based RPG that would resurrect those qualities found in the classics of the 80s and 90s. Led by industry veterans Peter Ohlmann and Timothy Drude, among whose numerous titles include The Settlers II, Knights and Merchants, and the SpellForce series, we found other RPG enthusiasts to join our project early on.
Ceres Games is fully independent and not affilitated with any publisher or investor. A successful crowdfunding campaign will allow us to stay on this path.
Our team is currently comprised of international developers who love the computer role-playing games of the past. This passion is the guiding force behind Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen .
I noticed another throwback CRPG launched on KS today, this one follows more along the lines of Dragon Age: Origins, with some goofy formation stuff…
EDIT: this one touts Mark Laidlaw’s involvement, has a stretch goal for a writer from Tell Tale to join and also has a secret writer who they can’t name yet, but is totally going to be Chris Avellone.