Tobold's Blog
Saturday, October 20, 2012
 
Kickstarter failure

Normally the failure of a small independent game with a measly $29k budget wouldn't cause any headlines. But when Haunts: The Manse Macabre failed, the news were all over the internet. Because Haunts had been funded by 1214 backers on Kickstarter. It doesn't look like there was a scam or anything, but making a video game is always a risky business. And now this project will either need to find a white knight to rescue it, or just be dead.

Supporting a game on Kickstarter is not some sort of pre-order; it is a risky investment in an industry that always had more misses than hits. Lots of people dream of making a game, and few have the skills required to actually pull it off. Expect this sort of story to happen more and more often.

Comments:
I wonder why they couldn't keep any programmers working on the game with $28.7k from Kickstarter?! That's about $24 per person btw.

Venture Capitalists do their homework, Crowd Funding is more akin to gambling.
 
When you give someone money to work on a project, but then they don't want to work on it anymore, what happens with the money? :o
 
If you read the comment thread, the guy making it has offered to pay everyone back out of his own pocket and all the people who comment basically say "hey, no need!"

I think everyone who throws into a Kickstarter project is very well aware that they may never see anything for their money and are fine with that. If it becomes the norm that projects don't complete then maybe that will change, but we aren't there yet, are we?

There's a vast difference between being scammed out of your money and losing your money because a project turned out to be over-ambitious and I think most Kickstarter "investors" both know that and are able to tell one from the other.
 
What is all the fuss about? Projects fail all the time. No one has been scammed and from all if it - seems the guy is still pushing the project in good faith. I am still having buyer's remorse over SWTOR and Diablo 3. Prefer to throw that amount of money per year over 10 indie games even if 8 of them fail.
 
Am I missing something here? I've backed kickstarters before...you don't get charged until the kickstarter succeeds, so if it fails you're not out of any cash, and if it is backed then you're notified of their intent to bill your card at that time. So if this one failed, no one's out of any money so far as I'm aware. That's also why the game is probably dead without some other funding source.
 
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Okay nevermind, gotta RTFAs linked to. This was a backed project, and it met its goal, which it turns out must have been miniscule compared to minimum development costs, I am guessing....that or they set a low goal to guarantee getting the funds but were hoping for some big stretch goals to actually provide the money they'd really need. Earnest pleas aside this still smells of scam, whether they intended for it to be or not, and it's typical of the kind og kickstarter I try to avoid.
 
You get charged when the project gets fully funded. It hasn't succeeded yet in the sense that the projects goal has been completed.

Basically if you don't view your kickstarter as charitable donations you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Even if it isn't a full blown scam, there's hardly an guarantee that the people behind the project have the necessary managerial skills, artistic ability, or coding skills to get the project done. There's an argument to be made that since most Kickstarter projects have failed to attract a regular investor they are highly suspect in the practicality department.

Especially a 29000 game, presumably for a game that is more complicated than Pong. That pretty much screams wishful thinking to me.
 
I suspect the biggest issue is that the quality of projects on Kickstarter is likely to degrade on the back of the recent publicity regarding success stories, or in some cases "funding success stories". People will try to cash in on their web-based popularity, without necessarily planning to do much that they would not have done anyway. Then there will be a correction.

Basically, it's a good idea if you want to apply a bit of patronage to a project you're interested in. I wouldn't call it 'charity' as such, it's more like buying a busker's CD. With luck you'll get something listenable, and with luck you'll get something you like from the Kickstarter project. You are supporting something you want to continue with money you can afford to lose, and that is one of the better ways of spending money.
 
Read the update on Kickstarter. Feel bad for the guy. Especially after reading the RPS article.

This one doesn't seem like all that huge a failure as much as stalling... But when do you call something a failure? Anyone can sit on code for a while and hope that someone will pick it up and rescue it. Anything's 'possible'... but there ARE varying degrees of possibility. Think about Starcraft: Ghost. That shit is dead. Blizzard have said so, and they own it. If they don't want it made, it's not getting made.

Let's think about City of Heroes. Apparently that was making money, just not enough to justify its existence to NCsoft, who axed not only the game, but also the studio maintaining it. Those developers got jobs elsewhere, so it wasn't about the internal redistribution of resources, either - they just didn't want it to exist for some reason. Competition? Either way, they made a token claim to have sought a buyer for the IP and assets, but how high was the price tag? How long does the 'for sale' sign stay up? Does that mean CoH/V 'failed'?

Compared to those fairly solid absolutes, this Kickstarter project seems fairly hopeful.
 
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