Polygon recently did an installment of Polygon Live where Polygon staffers Chris Plante and Russ Pitts discussed whether Kickstarter has been a success or failure by video gamers until now. If you’re interested in watching their segment, it is embedded to the right.
However, I found the input from the crowd particularly interesting. Sentiment was mixed. There were some really interesting thoughts on Kickstarter’s future dominance and some of the shortcomings (perceived or otherwise) of crowdfunding.
A few choice reactions to the question of whether Kickstarter has failed gamers include…
I would say ‘not yet’. It’s already given us a new Shadowrun computer game and it’s going to give us (barring catastrophe) a new Elite game, a new Syndciate game (more or less), a new Torment game, a new Obsidian ‘old-school’ fantasy RPG, a new post-apocalyptic RPG, a new Tim Schaefer 2D adventure game and a heck of a lot more. These are things that would not exist without Kickstarter. Even if we got a rush of failed Kickstarter products that would not deny the products we have already received or will have soon.
… In ten years Kickstarter may have become the Myspace of crowdfunding ventures, hugely important but overtaken by later ideas. In particular, the fairly arbritary nature of the time limit is something that we may see disappear, as Star Citizen’s huge success by removing any such limit on its own crowdfunding scheme has shown.
I would say that it hasn’t failed, but there is potential for developers to sell Snake Oil through Kickstarter: lots of promises and show, but no follow up or the developer won’t be able to support the claims they make.
The question I have as part of the discussion is what the impact is of the development time after funding projects on Kickstarter. Having contributed to 5 videogame projects now, I’ve yet to see a single of them release.
It’s not just the developers that are new to this whole kickstarter thing. The investors are too. Just as some learning needs to take place within the developers on how to do it right, there needs to be learning among investors on what to expect and what red flags to spot, before investing money. Kickstarter will not survive if investors simply see a game that sounds “cool” and throw money down. It takes more than “this sounds cool” to get the job done.
Im not a PC gamer… but Kickstarter brought me to Shadowrun Returns and Wasteland 2… and thats a pretty good thing.