Kickstopper

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Look. Here's the thing, and this thought came to me after another article earlier in the month on here about some billionaire and his kickstarter.

You are giving up your money for someone to make something that they are going to sell to you for a profit. A profit you will not share.

Do you know what investing is? It means you put money in and you get that money, plus some more for fronting it, on the backend if the project is successful and you lose it all if it flops.

Here, you lose your money and get none back even if the project is successful. And if you WANT the product, you get to give more money, to buy it, like every other person who didn't fund it.

This is stupidity.

Now - BEFORE the flames!! - if it's a human interest you have, if you're funding someone's surgery or you're out to help the little guy get one thing done so they might make it on the map and you are just moved in your heart to put money out for something you feel for - FINE. That's called charity though. Charity is great. Investment is okay, it's good for some and it's a powerful force that drives economic growth and personal wealth sure.

Paying people to make a profit and you receive nothing (and for the record, a t-shirt, a sticker, a special note somewhere in the credits is pretty close to nothing compared to a profit share - might be neat, but it's not a return on your investment) is just getting taken advantage of and you are volunteering for it. Please stop. For your own sake, for all our sakes.

Entitled:

Ickabod:
God help us all if EA figures this out. They'll want money up front, at time of purchase, and afterwards as microtransactions.

WE ARE DOOMED!!!!

And what revered classics would EA Kickstart? Populus? Ultima? Wing Commander?

All of these are already Kickstarted, more original than EA could ever make them as they are led by their original creators.

Kickstarter's whole history is a story of EA's long and repeated failure to notice or appreciate their own intellectual property.

You serious? You honestly can't think of any? Well I will give you a small taste of what EA can do.

Since they own Bioware, they can make a kickstarter for Jade Empire 2, KOTOR 3, the new Mass Effect game because why the hell not? Dragon Age 3 because again in EA's minds, why the hell not?

Oh hey, did you know what they said about them needing large sums of sales to just break even for Dead Space 3? Well since that didn't happen, looks like this is their chance to pull a kickstarter for Dead Space 4 and tell the fans to shove it where their mouth is (or in this case, their wallets).

I'm just going to let that sink in for you, because that is only a small example on how this can be AND HAS BEEN abused.

Jove:

You serious? You honestly can't think of any? Well I will give you a small taste of what EA can do.

Since they own Bioware, they can make a kickstarter for Jade Empire 2, KOTOR 3, the new Mass Effect game because why the hell not? Dragon Age 3 because again in EA's minds, why the hell not?

Because neither of these are likely to attact the kind of fan devotion ones that were so far being successful on Kickstarter, including Veronica Mars.

Bioware in general is already getting distrusted by hardcore fans as it already lost it's identity and lead talent, with Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 specifically being dismissed as failures.

I think you are missing the part of Kickstarters, where they are not truly relying on a title being as widely recognized as possible, by the many, but on it being as revered as possible, by a few.

Sure, Dragon Age is a big household name. But is it beloved?

EA lost that game by it's horrid reputation alone, and by the lack of auteur talent in it's hands. If they would still own Will Wright, (or even Molyneux!), or they just recently bought Bioware, then at least some people would overlook their other faults, just as they ovrlooked Warner for ignoring Veronica Mars so far.

Jove:
Oh hey, did you know what they said about them needing large sums of sales to just break even for Dead Space 3? Well since that didn't happen, looks like this is their chance to pull a kickstarter for Dead Space 4 and tell the fans to shove it where their mouth is (or in this case, their wallets).

Again, I'm not sure Dead Space even HAS that kind of fandom, or at least enough fans like that. Sure, there are people who found the first game refreshing, were kinda-sorta interested in where the plot keeps going, and there are even some people who didn't hate 3's generic shooter atmosphere as much as others.

But just look at any news report about Dead Space 3's failure, and you will see people gleefully celebrating how it got what it deserved for having microtransactions, and they hope EA will go bankrupt, and if this means losing Dead Space, well, too bad.

You might have gotten used to game site commenters not being representative of a game's overall success: after all, even Sim City 2013 sold 2 million. And that's exactly the point.

So far, what became successful, was entirely divorced from what the games-industry-following, news-site-tracking, games-as-art debating, Jim-Sterling-watching gamer wanted.

The 50 thousand most obsessive hardcore fans could rage and cry boycott, but the millions of casual buyers who recognize the brand still end up buying it, without any context of approving of the previous installment's artistic direction, or being the fan of the (already fired) lead designer's style.

That's exactly what Kickstarter changes, giving a voce to the 50k over the millions, so the kind of things that *we* would reject will get rejected, because literally we are the ones who are funding games, our subculture, not just a larger mass of "gamers".

Entitled:

Lieju:

Entitled:

Again, this is not actually true. we have data showing that rather than other projects getting overshadowed, a blockbuster project coming to Kickstarter leads new backers to Kickstarter, and results in all projects getting more funded, including the small ones, and the ones in unrelated categories.

For now. But there is no unlimited source of potential backers, so I don't think a situation where big projects bring in new people who will spend money on unrelated KS projects can last.

If big projects will stop bringing in new backers, then obviously they will stop growing as the site's popularity hits a plateau. therefore there would still be no reason to worry about them syphoning away more and more people from other projects.

You are missing the bigger picture of what that statistic means: So far, we only had bigger and bigger projects to begin with, solely because they brought in newer and newer fans.

The idea that in the future, the backers will start ignoring smaller projects, requires not one, but two hypothetical changes:
First, that Kickstarter runs out of new backers. And THEN, that the old Kickstaretr users change their backing habits, and let big projects start to syphon away people from small ones, which we know they didn't do until now.

First, KS will run out of potential backers eventually, because there isn't an unlimited amount of people to begin with, and of all people there is a limited amount of people who will want to fund projects like these.

Secondly, how can you claim that?
Again, humans have limited funds, and while there are people who wouldn't fund smaller projects anyway, they would spend that money on something else if the kickstarters by big companies didn't exist.
The fact is that there is a limited amount of funds available, and all these projects are competing for them.

I'm not saying this is necesarily a bad thing (it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but I don't really know what, if anything, we should do about it). But I don't think basing your arguments on the idea of unlimited growth is a good idea.

Mylinkay Asdara:
Look. Here's the thing, and this thought came to me after another article earlier in the month on here about some billionaire and his kickstarter.

You are giving up your money for someone to make something that they are going to sell to you for a profit. A profit you will not share.

Do you know what investing is? It means you put money in and you get that money, plus some more for fronting it, on the backend if the project is successful and you lose it all if it flops.

Here, you lose your money and get none back even if the project is successful.

You get the product, though. (And at least some kickstarters will offer you the product or other things, so you get those as well)

Money isn't the only thing you get out of investing, and the big argument for KS is that it is diminishing that aspect; the developers don't have to think 'but will this sell?', and are instead be more free to take risks.

I mean, I know people working in entertainment industry, and they are constantly told to add sex and dumb things down to appeal to a larger growd, and avoid things that might piss off their potential audience (such as casting minority or non-traditionally attractive people). And considering those people telling them these things don't even necessarily have that good of an idea of what will be successfull, it leads to stagnation and pandering to people that wouldn't be interested anyway, or that aren't as big a part as the producers think.

The concern a lot of people have is that companies that could take the risk are getting a piece of the pie for projects they'd do anyway.

Lieju:

First, KS will run out of potential backers eventually, because there isn't an unlimited amount of people to begin with, and of all people there is a limited amount of people who will want to fund projects like these.

[snip]

No argument here. Like I just said, Kickstarter will eventually hit a plateau. Either when it overtakes all entertainment industry funding, or sooner.

The question is, what will happen after that?

Yes, in a certain expanded sense, projects are competing the the same pool of money that is present in the economy. But what DragonStorm247 was worried about, is that big projects are having a negative impact, that they are overshadowing small projects in a disproportionate way.

And this is not the case. Of course big famous projects are collecting more money than small obscure ones. That's just the way life is.

But is there any sign that small projects are getting disproportionally less money than they ought to be without the big ones? This would requre some kind of statistical clue to showing that people are actually flocking AWAY from small projects.

Right now, the opposite of this is true, people are flocking TO small projects, helping them. And even if growth will stop, there is nothing to indicate that the flocking won't just stop itself, but reverse it's direction and make small projects smaller.

Lieju:

The concern a lot of people have is that companies that could take the risk are getting a piece of the pie for projects they'd do anyway.

The very existence of would-have-been-made-anywys projects is proof that these projects are bringing in growth from new markets, this time, from the would-have-bought-a-finished-movie market.

By the time Kickstarter will hit a plateau and all projects stop growing, big projects will be so common, that not just we, but not even the publishers will know which projects "would have gotten made" in an alternate universe without Kickstarter. It will simply be the default funding model.

In that environment, complaining about how big products are "taking away" revenues from small ones, will make even less sense than in this one, given that the small ones' only limit is their fame, while in the past decades, they also had to combat obstructive executives, and entry level advertiing costs.

Entitled:

The very existence of would-have-been-made-anywys projects is proof that these projects are bringing in growth from new markets, this time, from the would-have-bought-a-finished-movie market.

Only if you assume those people who backed those projects that would have gotten made anyway only used the same amount of money they would have used on the finished product.

Entitled:
It will simply be the default funding model.

I can't see that happening. Sooner or later there will be a high-profile project that fails misarably (and a lot of other smaller projects that also fail, by being scams or more likely not managing to deliver what the backers wanted and were promised) and this will drive people away.

Also, a lot of products are targeting people who only decide to buy it after they see it. A lot of shovelware and mediocre stuff is like this. And a lot of people who play games (and watch movies) casually only decide to buy it after they see it. You can go see the newest romcom starring that one kinda cute guy because you're bored and happen to see it's in theaters, but you wouldn't feel passionately enough about it to fund it to see it in some time in the future.

I think it will be an alternative method of funding, but it won't become the default one, except for cult-stuff or other stuff that targets very specialised audience.

Lieju:

Entitled:
It will simply be the default funding model.

I can't see that happening. Sooner or later there will be a high-profile project that fails misarably (and a lot of other smaller projects that also fail, by being scams or more likely not managing to deliver what the backers wanted and were promised) and this will drive people away.

I think, you should also factor in that the biggest projects are made by stable established studios, so on a long term, the bigger the project get, the more likely they are not to be outright scams.

Sure, they can still fail by not being as good as it was promised, but it is a problem with all media, every time you mistakenly trust a trailer to pick your cinema choice, or a game reviwer that was actually bribed by the publisher, you risk your money on entertainment.

Kickstarter doesn't bring a radically excessive increase of that problem.

Lieju:

Also, a lot of products are targeting people who only decide to buy it after they see it. A lot of shovelware and mediocre stuff is like this.

???

If anything, shovelware is a textbook eample of buying WITHOUT getting informed, based solely on a convincing boxart.

Lieju:

And a lot of people who play games (and watch movies) casually only decide to buy it after they see it. You can go see the newest romcom starring that one kinda cute guy because you're bored and happen to see it's in theaters, but you wouldn't feel passionately enough about it to fund it to see it in some time in the future. .

All works being primarily funded by crowdfunding, doesn't exclude the rest of the masses from also buyig the finished product afterwards. It just pulls away the focus from them.

Besides, I'm also wondering whether being cacual viewer is something that people desire to be, or just a side effect of our old business models being based around incorporated publishers struggling to find as much mass market appeal as possible with their pitches. After all, aiming at the "mass market" inherently means that publishers prefer the works that many people find "meh", over the ones that a few go crazy over.

Maybe if crowdfunding would get more popular, those romcom viewers could also find their niches that they could truly care about.

Lieju:

I think it will be an alternative method of funding, but it won't become the default one, except for cult-stuff or other stuff that targets very specialised audience.

Maybe, but we diverged from our original topic.

Even if I would be wrong about this one detail of exactly were the growth of the model will stop, doesn't change the fact that there is absolutely nothing to suggest that when it does, the big projects will start disproportionally overshadowing small ones.

if you are right, then as growth stops, the bigger cults will keep funding their projects a few million dollars, as they do now, while smaller indies will keep recieving their current tens or hundreds of thusands, as they do now, but there is no reason to believe that the bigger cults would then continue to grow at the expense of other projects.

Entitled:

Lieju:

Also, a lot of products are targeting people who only decide to buy it after they see it. A lot of shovelware and mediocre stuff is like this.

???

If anything, shovelware is a textbook eample of buying WITHOUT getting informed, based solely on a convincing boxart.

I chose my words poorly. I meant that they are impulse buys, something you see at a cheap prize and buy them out of curiosity or as a gift or something. Sometimes you just want instant gratification.

Entitled:

Besides, I'm also wondering whether being cacual viewer is something that people desire to be, or just a side effect of our old business models being based around incorporated publishers struggling to find as much mass market appeal as possible with their pitches. After all, aiming at the "mass market" inherently means that publishers prefer the works that many people find "meh", over the ones that a few go crazy over.

Maybe if crowdfunding would get more popular, those romcom viewers could also find their niches that they could truly care about.

You can have a niche that you truly care about, and be a casual viewer of other genres. In fact, it's impossible to be perfectly informed on every genre ever.
I myself am a casual player of fighting games. I would't be interested enough to fund one (and those kinds of projects would likely be very anti-casual gamer anyway) but when I feel like playing a game like that I buy or rent some existing one.

Entitled:

Maybe, but we diverged from our original topic.

True.

"Crowdfunding was, to use an unfortunately tarnished phrased, "indie" in the purest sense of the word, at least, theoretically."

No it wasn't. It has always been a way to fund your product by going directly to the people who want that product. That remains true for a home tinkerer as much as it remains true for Warner Bros.

I see nothing wrong with this at all. I don't care two poops about Veronica Mars and didn't back the project. If others thought the project was worth backing, then good for them.

At the end of the day that is all that matters. If the project is appealing to people, no matter who is producing it, it will get funded. If the project is not appealing, or the terms or rewards don't seem right, the project won't get funded.

Keep in mind that past a certain level, I think $25, these backers are getting the movie as well. So its not like they are required to pay twice over for the movie.

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