Self-proclaimed to be a useful platform for funding creative ideas, Kickstarter is definitely the end result of a great idea and decent effort. For those of you who haven’t gotten the memo, this is a place where people with great ideas but lacking the funds to realize them can turn to the community without either party facing danger thanks to the rules and guarantees the platform sets.
This isn’t an article about Kickstarter being a bad thing, because I’ve seen it produce great works so far. The problem I’m having is the amount of attention it’s generated for the video game aspect of things. We’ve seen records break as the gaming community does their best to help fund a game they’re really looking forward to seeing, and that’s completely fine; why not help be a part of something you want to realize? I’m not even concerned about the number of devs who’ve been sticking to Kickstarter and assuming them to be their ticket to paradise.
The real issue I’m having is why so many gamers are flocking to Kickstarter and readily tossing their money at the first thing they see that’s even a little bit interesting? I’m not telling you how to spend your money, but I am a little concerned at the fact that people are readily tossing their money when we haven’t even seen a real, significant project come to fruition through this means.
According to Kickstarter, nobody gets charged unless the project director meets or exceeds his requested goal. In other words, you’ll get charged your $20 or whatever amount only after he reaches the $100 he asked for, or even after he reaches $200, $400 or $200,000. On the other hand, you’ll never be charged if he only reaches $99 of the $100 he asks for, so on and so forth—all or nothing funding, as they put it.
Seems safe, but what happens once all the funding has been met and delivered? We’ve already had one case where a project was canceled due to problems with the company, so what happens when this happens after everyone has been charged? There’s no guarantee anymore once Kickstarter is out of the picture; all they do is merely recommend you cancel funding or else you’ll “damage your reputation.” Sure, you could sue for your money, but you might end up spending more on the legal process than what you’re even fighting for to begin with.
I know there’s no 100 percent method of safe funding, but it just seems to me like we would want to wait and see one of these games work out as intended before being a bit looser with our money. Kickstarter is too unproven for the video game industry to be so carefree at this time.