Niche Gamer-cast Episode 48 – Are Kickstarters Becoming Advertisements?

red ash 08-03-15-1

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Niche News of the Week

Topic of the Week

With the Red Ash Kickstarter coming to a close, we’re reminded of an ongoing question that no one seems to want to talk about: Why are we seeing Kickstarter’s getting funding via outside companies? Is this disingenuous to small-time backers?

Are Kickstarters becoming a new form of courting publishers? What does this mean for the future of crowdfunding, now that we’re seeing more and more Kickstarters openly (or in some cases, quietly) receiving large investments alongside fan donations?

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  • OverlordZetta

    I’ll answer your question with a question!

    Is it disingenuous if the Kickstarters lay out their desire to attract a publisher from the getgo? As eager as people probably are to fire at Red Ash, Yooka-Laylee just got a publisher recently, and Bloodstained and Shenmue both have theirs as well.

  • Cody Long

    crowd fund a self-tipping fedora for brandon? I think it needs to happen.

  • Cody Long

    We discussed this in the podcast actually!

  • DeusEx

    “Are Kickstarters Becoming Advertisements?”

    Short answer: yes.
    Long answer: yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

  • Misogynerd

    Publishers and Kickstarters hmm… interesting topic. I would prefer they got one from the beginning and just used them to produce the physical copies for backers who want physical copies or for advertisement/marketing. Any port, translation or other use of publishers just shakes the consumers trust. Mighty No. 9 just looks fucking stupid with that pre-order and retail version shit. At least Shovel Knight released the game before showing us physical copies. Physical copies somewhat baffle me for indie titles.

    There are far more egregious problems with Kickstarter that Broken Age created and we forgave or excused them because we didn’t see the consequences until others started replicating it and failed miserably.

    EDIT: Watched some more of the podcast and please stop with the: “THE INTERNET WILL KILL ME FOR SAYING THIS XD! thing you did with the Tales statement”

  • Psichaos

    I definitely feel Kickstarters are being used as a sort of advertisement, though I’d say it’s becoming more of a “extended preorder” than an effort to appeal to any publisher. I think in some cases, like Shenmue and Red Ash, they already had a publisher and funds to develop a game prior to the formation of a Kickstarter and merely used it in order to gauge interest before investing any time developing it whereas in other cases publishers are just latching onto massively funded Kickstarters in order to get a slice of that pie.

    Honestly, I’m quite uncertain how I feel about the industry seemingly shifting to Kickstarter. On one hand, it gives consumers a chance revitalize projects that may have been otherwise dropped due to publisher uncertainty of the market. Yet, there’s not really refunds with Kickstarter backing, thus there really is no incentive to create a quality game once the Kickstarter gets fully funded, which I find to be a glaring issue. A customer should be entitled to a refund if they’re unhappy with the product at any point during and after its development and that’s not really an option with Kickstarter projects.

  • ShinMegamiSensei

    Your name rules

  • Haze

    One hell of a topic guys
    we’ll be seeing this subject evolve for years

  • Misogynerd

    By the way didn’t do this in the article but great review for the poop enema game.

  • Misogynerd

    I also like yours, some nice wordplay. Chose mine for GG since I lost my last account so I thought the contrast between a cute puppy and Misogyny was hilarious.

  • Misogynerd

    I think the biggest problem are some of the things the Kickstarter creators do like just having concept art, tiered rewards that end up costing the company more than planned, make circlejerk events like Iga playing Castlevania with fucking Egoraptor and lacking information on how the money will be broken down into. Plus having 20 strechgoals since the pitch comes out.

    like what happened with Broken Age. In a better world though the game should’ve stopped at Act 1 or release in a complete state.

    I would say the utter failure of Red Ash for the disaster that was the Mighty no. 9 Kickstarter was consumers exercising their rights.

  • Cody Long

    Thanks a ton!

  • Cody Long

    I don’t think I vocalized the XD, hmm. Definitely something I’ll try next time ;)

    thanks for listening though!

  • DanTheMan

    If you wanna piss on someone, make sure you ask for permission first.No one likes surprise golden showers. Be a responsible pisser.

  • JackDandy

    I think it should be a thing you do from the getgo, definitely

  • Misogynerd

    Try sounding like a giggling valley girl. My problem with that though stems that it’s the most overused “joke”/statement by TGWTG contributors, Countdown Youtubers, and “Edgy people.” Like you might get some hate mail by saying a noncontroversial statement like: “I don’t like X franchise.” Still you aren’t gonna get shot, lynched or burned in real life by saying that.

    Sure the internet is vocal but at most yeah people will call me a faggot and move on, big deal.

  • Kiryu

    People are too sensitive nowadays,disagreeing=hating.

  • Reyhip

    I wouldn’t go so far as to call them just advertisements. Kickstarters have some risks to them inherently, as there’s already plenty of people that think croed funding is BS. This is more gathering votes on consumer interest in a way that matters to both fans and the companies interested… By forcing them to vote with their wallets. This way, companies can gauge real interest, gain seed funding, and give the chance to get some early feedback on what people do or don’t want. Signing a free petition that costs nothing but 15 seconds of time isn’t a true gauge of interest because there is no real skin off your back to say yes.

    And like anything in business, there will be good examples like Shovel Knight or what I believe Bloodstained and Yooka will be (disclosure- I did fund Bloodstained) and those that abuse it for personal gain (pretty much everything Inafune has done).

    It all really comes down to trust and what amount of dollars you are willing to risk for these projects. If you really want to say yes to a project but are afraid of being burned, stick to the low tiers. At least if you lose a say $5-10 contribution, you only did as much damage as a trip to any fast food joint would run you. Don’t go buying he ultra premium experience to fly to silicon valley to see the game that potentially won’t ever finish for $5,000.

  • KefkaFollower

    Plenty of people of people abuse kickstarter.
    Still, I want kickstarter stays in the business.

    It made possible games Wasteland 2, Pilars of Eternity and Faster than Light between many others. These game would never existed otherwise. The most we would get without kickstarter would be watered down mobile version of these games.

    Think kickstarter as making an inversion and assume risk, not preordering. Be responsible when you choose who backup and remember you choose to take a risk if things go wrong.

    To back up projects from veterans of the industry, people who will burn its reputation if the things go wrong, is not that risky. It had work for me so far.

    I have my wallet where my mouth is. I have backed “The mandate”, from people unknown to me and without too much research. I take a risk there. If things go wrong for me, I will take my part of the blame.

  • Mr0303

    Kickstarted nowadays is just an expensive PR campaign with no risk to the developers. The high profile projects use it to prove interest right before acquiring a publisher. Even projects that have much more positive feel about them than Red Ash like Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained adapt this practice. They obviously don’t really need to be crowd funded. It is a core problem with Kickstarter that the backers have no control over the project once it is funded. It is not dissimilar to donating to a box of dreams.

    BTW, the community spotlight at the end of the episode was hilarious. Good show.

  • Yabloko Molloco San

    “Nobody… nobody trusts anybody now”

  • Nonscpo

    Brandon you have got to speak into the microphone, I can barely hear what your saying from my mobile device at max volume.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    Speak a little louder next time. Listening to this now. This is very comfy and lazy fun. I really like it!

  • Paige

    Love these podcasts, keep it up!

  • TheCynicalReaper

    Hey! Thanks for the shout out! You rock too, mate haha

  • Rob van Haaren

    Most campaigns in GoFundMe are of the ‘personal crowdfunding’ nature, with people raising money for medical bills, coverrme.com is a free crowdfunding site. CoverrMe is a new crowdfunding platform that introduces “Visual Crowdfunding”, a method of raising money online that allows Funders of campaigns to leave their footprint on fundraising pages.

    see coverrme.com