What exactly did you give that money for?
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 November 2012, 2:56 am
One of the major "successes" of Kickstarter video games was Shadowrun Returns, which aimed to collect $400,000 and got $1.8 million instead. Only now they announced the game being delayed from January 2013 to May/June 2013. And the game will be somewhat different than what they presented on Kickstarter, having an isometric view instead of a top-down view, and cutting some social features. So while it is still possible that if you gave them money you will get a game named "Shadowrun Returns", that game might look and play differently than what you imagined or were told before. And you might wonder whether giving money to "Harebrained Schemes" was such a good idea.

I'm already experiencing something similar with a different game, the only game I ever Kickstarted: Banner Saga. The Kickstarter project said the focus was on a single-player campaign, but when I got beta access the game only had a multi-player part. I assume the single-player campaign will still come later, but on the "backers get beta access" part of the deal I got screwed, getting the opposite of what I wanted.

I am sure that many games change a lot during the development process. Most of the time nobody even notices, because that all happens behind closed doors. But Kickstarter games are somewhat different in that the initial pitch of the game is very public, and people give money because they liked certain aspects or features of that pitch. So if those aspects or features get changed over the development of the game, some of the backers will most likely feel cheated.

Ultimately what Kickstarter for games is, is a charitable donation to game developers to do whatever they want with it. Personally I feel my charitable donations are better placed elsewhere, as game developers tend not to be starving, and there isn't exactly a lack of games out there. But as Kickstarter feels more like "investing" than "donating", there will be a backlash coming when people realize that they don't always get what they thought they gave money for.
Tobold's Blog



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