X years later how do you feel about kickstarter?

I feel like the kickstarter era is over for major game funding outside of companies like Obsidian. The same goes for other media projects. How do you feel? Do you kind of groan when you see another kickstarter project? Or still get excited?

ho ho.

Ok well, for me personally, yes probably Kickstarter is over, in that it is extremely unlikely i will back another, certainly not for a game. I feel the promise it offered has often been exploited by the devs running them, and sadly it is going to be ‘back to the Publisher Master>Slave relationship’ for you.

This is not a 100% thing, i might be tempted, and those that have managed a good track record are still in with a shout of getting my money, but those that have fumbled or dropped the ball, well sorry.

I guess I would mostly say indifference right now. I jumped in on a few of the bigger game ones over the past few years and been satisfied with the results, but I haven’t been tempted to back one in quite a while now.

It would probably have to be a project run by either someone I know on a more personal level or a developer I really like to get me to back again. If someone like Illwinter was to kickstarter some new project, I would probably donate without even reading about the project in detail, but that would be a rare occurrence. I also don’t browse or look for new projects so it would have to jump out at me most likely in a dedicated separate thread here or other big announcement to get me to notice it.

The gold rush is over, but I don’t see why Kickstarter is over for a) those companies that have delivered good products (eg. InXile with Wasteland 2) and b) the right mix of star devs and a star IP. If Toys for Bob somehow got the Star Control license and asked for $1m to do Star Control 4, I bet you’d all back it (and if you didn’t, we might not be able to be friends anymore). But if Uber Entertainment tried it, they probably wouldn’t have much luck… oh wait, that already happened. People are going to be a lot more discerning in general now, but I don’t think it’s dead yet for big projects.

I will still back a game for a small indie dev, if they show they have something more than vaporware to offer. But $10-$15 is my limit now. Gone are the days where I was drinking the cool aid and tossing $100 or more at the promise of a game w/ just concept art being offered.

Side note, I super duper cannot wait for Darkest Dungeon. :)

I’ve always been a modest backer of Kickstarters, and I have no issue continuing to be. I will back projects created by friends and acquaintances (Doom that Came to Atlantic City, Word Realms). I will back game projects I really believe in if the creators make the case that they can accomplish it (Case of Charles Dexter Ward). And I will back promising indie games if the price makes it low-risk (Interstellaria, Province).

I feel like Kickstarter has been superseded by Steam Early Access, for the most part.

My feelings on Kickstarter haven’t changed much, but I’ve mostly avoided the stinkers. The only high-profile “failure” I’ve backed was the Ouya, which did deliver, even if the final product wasn’t up to snuff. Only a couple of campaigns I’ve backed have fallen significantly behind their estimated delivery date, and only one project has ended up being a total failure, with the guy behind the project vanishing off the face of the earth.

That said, a lot of the projects I’ve backed have been things other than video games. Things like tabletop games, music, and books are far safer prospects than video games, since the creative part is often already done, and the project is just to fund printing the dang thing. Nine of the eighteen projects I’ve backed have been music, books, tabletop games, or tech projects that aren’t specifically video games, and of those, six have fully delivered, and another two are still on schedule. Out of the nine video game projects, one is still an active campaign, two have delivered fully, two have delivered partially, two are still on schedule, and two are behind schedule but still in active development.

I really dislike that Kickstarter itself takes a huge cut of the proceeds. But I do like to back interesting looking games, particularly from small UK based developers.

I’ve learned that there is no point in me backing Kickstarters for videogames unless it’s a developer I love and want to support extensively (Obsidian, inXile now, Double Fine, Dejobaan, Failbetter, etc), or very occasionally if it’s cheap and the concept is fantastic, original, and precisely pushes my particular buttons. I have so many games competing for my time and attention that there is zero sense in effectively preordering ones that may never materialize and that I probably won’t get to before they’re in a bundle or 75% off in a Steam sale assuming they do come out. Yes, some projects may not succeed without my support, but mostly I can’t get worked up about that. And I’ve almost never backed projects that weren’t already raking in the funding as it was, so meh.

Mind you, I’m actually really pleased with my backing track record. Of a few dozen videogame projects, only one came out a dud (Starlight Inception), and maybe two or three are confirmed to have failed without releasing a game. Everything else that’s actually released has been somewhere between solid and fantastic, and most of the ones that are still in progress appear solidly on track for success. I just haven’t gotten around to playing most of them for any serious length of time and every single one of the ones I haven’t gotten to would have cost me far less to just pick up after release.

I’m still pretty gung ho about funding boardgame projects, because those aren’t necessarily easily available if you don’t get in on them at the Kickstarter, and you often get meaningful bonuses like promos and free expansions and the like (or at a minimum a convenient way to go all-in on a game), plus they typically do free shipping (and most online boardgame retailers have a high threshold for that), at least to US addresses. And I’ve only had one of those fail (Doom That Came to Atlantic City) and even that was rescued. (Well, okay, probably two - I’m in on the base level for Up Front’s reprint. Which would have been an amazing deal if it weren’t for the legal difficulties that the publisher turns out to have had that has almost certainly diverted the entirety of the cash to repaying their previous creditors rather than producing our games.) And I often get in on PDF tiers of tabletop RPG Kickstarters because there are savings to be had and plenty of cool ideas to poke at, and the investment is small.

How huge is their cut? 10-15% ?

I backed three different games about a year ago. I never backed for more than I thought I might pay for the game if it were released, so I never dropped over like… $40 on a single game. One of the games I backed has released its closed beta, which was pretty cool. They’re coming along nicely. Another game is about to miss the release date of its alpha, and probably its beta. They haven’t shown as much progress on the game as I would like to see, even though they’ve done consistent updates about how the game is going to work. They just haven’t SHOWN how its going to work, no in gameplay videos or anything. I’m beginning to get skeptical that it won’t run into some sort of trouble that will prevent them from finishing. And the developers of the third game I backed (Confederate Express) essentially took the money and ran.

All in all Kickstarter isn’t something I’d normally ever do, and I"m surprised I even backed what I did, but I think I’ve scratched the crowd funding itch and don’t need to go back to it. I’m not going to flip out if none of the games ever deliver what I paid for, because I didn’t spend that much money on it, but (and maybe I just didn’t pick well) my experience with developers running off and other developers not seeming to really develop much of anything has kind of soured me on the whole thing. Maybe if, in the future, some reputable company has a kickstarter for something that just blows me away I might back it, but short of that I’m probably done with KS.

Think smaller. It’s actually 5%. Not huge by any definition I’d use, but that’s me.


A game I backed in 2012 still isn’t out, but I have also backed some new albums from indie bands I liked and they came out in a timely manner. I think for games and hardware Kickstarter is risky. For music/books/movies it is a bit better, as those can be easier to produce.

I kinda stopped kickstarting, and honestly the potato salad thing kinda ruined it for me. Joke kickstarters going “viral” and earning more than some of the local bands/artists I like kind of soured me on the service, that sucks. Some guy making a joke post, while funny and more interesting than it should have been, making more money than some charities or half-starving touring act make in a year is just wrong. The system is a bit broken.

I will kickstart a computer game in a beloved genre like a TBS (that looks good and has some prework completed) and board/card games of known heritage (Omen Reign of War is a good example).

I think I would be more tempted to kickstart than early access since there is at least some type of timeline in a kickstarter. I would be swayed by feedback from people on these forums if the early access was to generate praise.

I would also be apt to kickstart a big project if someone big stepped up to bat like SimTex. Julian Gallop is a good example of someone who I backed because of his reputation and I like his designs.

I’ve blown more on AAA games this year that were either flat out busted or underwhelming than I have on failed kickstarters since it’s inception.

I still love Kickstarter, and I feel it’s totally fascinating to watch campaigns succeed and fail (I kinda study it, really). I totally see a fatigue surrounding it though, which completely makes sense.

I still don’t understand how that makes the system broken. The system is doing exactly what it’s implemented to do: connecting people with a pitch to people that want to give them money. It just so happens that apparently people want to give more money to stupid shit. But that’s been true forever.

Kickstarter is going strong. Crowdfunding is thriving. Gamers (and the sensationalizing press that follows them around) came and went, and Kickstarter et al are better for it (if a little bruised).

Opinions on the issue likely correlate with the colors of your profile’s 15 piece pie chart. For instance, the boxers I’m wearing were from a kickstarter project, and they’re the best I’ve ever had. Same goes with some posters on my wall, the salt I use for cooking, my shoelaces, some musical scores, etc…

However, I do think the early access model with a strong attendant platform like Steam better suits the crowdfunding of games.

So you wouldn’t back a bunch of former LGS folks making a new Underworld?
Makes me a sad panda.

I admit, I’m not a fan of early access. As a developer that seems like an absolute nightmare to support and one bad build can kill you.
Moss if you don’t like Kickstarter taking a cut, most of the more established developers have supplemental funding on their own website. Kickstarter gives some great visibility for the project.
as someone recovering from publisher development the freedom of kickstarter is amazing…and scary. But with seasoned developers-like those mentioned above, Fargo, Roberts, Double Fine exc, the risk to me is very low. They will ship. It will at least be ‘ok’. It’s not a learning curve on how to make a game, or even how to make the game they are thinking of. Roberts knows how to make a space shooter. Fargo obviously just made one the the best tactical RPG’s ever. Those guys get at least 40 bucks from me even when I’m not into the title.
I throw some money at smaller projects that seem interesting, but I never do early access. i don’t want to be sick of a game before it is fully cooked. Seems silly, but i’m looking at it from being inside the industry and seeing half baked stuff all the time. I see no pleasure in unfinished games, and only makes me cringe.