Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Kickstarter vs. Gamefound

Two weeks ago, Kickstarter changed their rules on running multiple projects at once. Basically, you now need to deliver on your previous Kickstarter project before starting the next one, although companies with several successful deliveries and good standing can run up to 3 projects in parallel. That caused some consternation in the world of board game Kickstarters; there is a relatively low rate of fraudulent projects in this domain, so the necessity wasn't really felt. And a company might be waiting half a year for their game to be produced and shipped from China, so the ability to already start working on the next game was appreciated.

Now specifically for board games, there is an alternative to Kickstarter called Gamefound. Same crowdfunding platform principle, just limited in scope to these games. So people were asking why Kickstarter would want to drive creators away from their platform to Gamefound. It looks like Kickstarter was shooting themselves in the foot by helping their competition.

But that might actually have been a clever move. It creates at least the perception that Kickstarter is the higher quality platform with better customer protection. It makes Gamefound look like the dumping ground for dodgy projects not allowed on Kickstarter. A company wanting to run several projects in parallel, would want to put the project where they would be most certain of fast delivery on Kickstarter, and the not-so-fast projects on Gamefound, because that way they gain "experienced creator in good standing" points on Kickstarter.

As this is all relatively new, we will have to wait a while to see how this works out in the end. Will Kickstarter end up with the "better" projects? Will Gamefound have more problems with fraud? Or will Gamefound be forced to also introduce similar rules?

"That caused some consternation in the world of board game Kickstarters; there is a relatively low rate of fraudulent projects in this domain, so the necessity wasn't really felt."
I mean that is pretty narrow-minded, as if the rule was specifically added to target board game projects. It's the "why do we have speed limits? I don't speed!" argument.
No, there are dozens of low goal, bullshit projects (even creating perpetuum mobiles and the like) - that are perfectly within the rules! Why? Because their rewards never mention to deliver said miracle machine, but you get a thank you note or your name of a plate. So probably some people abused it by launching campaigns back to back and just scamming people out of their money.

Could it be changed for specific categories? Sure, but initially it was launched as a blanket rule.
I would argue that bullshit projects wouldn’t even be affected by the rule: You would simply make a new fake company selling a new fake product instead of using the same account several times. The interest of creating a “history” of successful projects only applies to people who actually plan to deliver and have repeat business.

Wouldn’t it be better to strengthen the rules against fraudulent projects rather than just allowing each creator just one of them?
Hmm, I guess Kickstarter could go with what you said, mark first projects as higher risk and push a successful history as something projects would want, creating a tighter bond and maybe allowing Kickstarter to later add some paid "upgrades" for parallel projects etc.
Seems like a rule with good intentions that won't actually do much good. Like you mentioned in the comments a scammer can just create a new business name to get around the restriction.

So this only hurts legit companies who work on multiple projects at a time.
I see Kickstarter and similar services as "virtual begging for money". So, in that sense, it isn't different than real-life begging. Some people/associations are legit. Others are scammers. That's it.
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