Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
 
Kickstarter scam revealed

I absolutely predicted this one. Given the way Kickstarter works, it was only a question of time until some people tried to use it to scam gullible gamers waiting for the next big thing. This time they have been caught. But are you sure that every remaining Kickstarter project is legit? I'm not.

Although overall I would say that the probability of somebody getting Kickstarter funding, honestly trying to produce a game, and horribly failing with the project is still a lot bigger than an outright scam.

Comments:
Like I said in my comment on your original Kickstarter post, I approach this much like I would charity or patronage... that is to say, I ask the same sorts of questions. Is this legitimate? How can I tell? Do I know anything about the individuals in question? Do I have reason to believe they might actually be able to do what they say they will?

Some Kickstarts clearly meet the bar on this one. Example: the Ogre Deluxe Edition being promoted by Steve Jackson Games. Why? Well, it's existance is promoted by Steve Jackson Games directly on it's website, and they have produced other Ogre titles, they clearly hold the copywrite, etc. They are a gaming business that constantly produces games. This is about as solid as you can get.

Link for the interested: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/847271320/ogre-designers-edition

Many Kickstarts have far less to go on. Some have only a little less, some seem to be pure "scam and vapor." I don't think that "Kickstarter" as a site or as a process can be classified -- each project has to be evaluated individually. But that's true of every charity, every artistic patronage, etc.

Some are legitimate and will produce wonderful results. Some will go to honest attempts that fail utterly. Some will be scams. The important point -- you are not making a purchase! If you send money via a Kickstart, you have no legal recourse. Kickstart is not a store, and if you approach it as one, you will be disappointed sooner or later.

It's not a bad place for people that consider themselves Angel Investors, though.
 
@jonreece

Are you being sarcastic? It's about the stupidest place in the world for an angel investor. They invest to eventually reap profits...this isn't an investment in the first place, there is no possible way to make a dime from something that you like you said, is a Charity.

Wannabe angel investors would have far more luck in a freaking in game economy like Eves if they actually wanted to invest to make money rather than give it away freely with no possible chance of even recouping it..
 
There are a several obvious scams on Kickstarter and it's a pity that the site doesn't eliminate them.

However in the final analysis we are responsible for our own due diligence and can't expect someone else to do that for us.
 
@J. Dangerous --

My bad. You are correct, I shouldn't have pointed to Angels, as they are serious investors. Misleading and sloppy of me -- thanks for catching it. (Again, not sarcastic, but sincere.)

But I'm not being sarcastic at all -- my entire point is that the quality varies greatly. It's up to you, the Kickstart supporter (I won't say investor, you are right there) to pick and choose wisely.
 
Honestly, we see this even with games who've had generous funding from publishers over several years.

It's always sad to see the shutdown/cancellation notices from these guys... The overall theme seems to be, "We tried. We failed. We're really disappointed about it, and disappointed that we let you down."

I know I'd be pretty cut up if something I was working on and enthusiastic about for several years ended up getting deleted.
 
Slashdot has a post with similar concerns to what Tobold raises here:

http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/05/07/2154238/how-long-before-the-kickstarter-bubble-bursts
 
Mythic seems a suitable name.

But there's this real, new one coming out called 'Vaporware', I'm totally pumped about it and will hassle all my friends to put money into it...
 
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