Jungle Adventure Headed to Kickstarter Disaster

Jungle Adventure Headed to Kickstarter Disaster

Activision co-founder says everyone turned against his Kickstarter campaign as soon as they saw the price.

David Crane, co-founder of Activision and creator of Pitfall, set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund Jungle Adventure. He asked for $900,000 but so far only $21,629 has been pledged, and the campaign has eight days to run. Crane had hoped that Kickstarter was capable of putting "the same indie effort into larger game designs", but now wonders whether "people won't let go of what they think [crowdfunding] is."

"They look at my project and say, you're asking way too much money," Crane said. He feels that "everyone turned against me as soon as they saw [the price]." The topic was a hot button issue in an Ask Me Anything Reddit session with fans and backers, in which one commenter asked how Crane could justify the budget when other people could put together indie games working part-time on nights and weekends. "Believe it or not, the Kickstarter budget is real," replied Crane. "It is a simple matter of multiplying the number of professionals needed to make the game by the number of months they have to work."

Professionals in this instance means people like David Bergantino, John vanSuchtelen and Bill Wentworth; all of them high profile names - former Viacom/Nickelodeon executives with decades of experience - but people like that don't come cheap. It begs the question why Crane didn't try to get venture capital funding, a question that Crane refused to answer when asked it in the AMA.

Another problem is the lack of any real information about Jungle Adventure. Beyond some art and the video seen here there isn't much for pledgers to get to grips with, and the video hardly sells the concept. Crane claims that this information paucity was a deliberate strategy as the game was supposed to be developed with full backer participation, something that couldn't happen until the Kickstarter concluded. However this does mean that people were being asked to pony up the dough pretty much on a whim, plunging on a project supported by David Crane's reputation and not much else.

Source: Gamasutra

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...it's Activision. They can get that kind of money without really trying. I think people are more likely to donate when it's a smaller developer who wants funding with fewer strings attached than usual game development provides. A massive producer like Activision? Not so much.

Unless he's not a member of Activision anymore? I have to admit I don't really know game industry 'faces' as well as I should.

No, people turned against as soon as they saw the creator's resume.

i'm going to say this is because of "activision" being in the vague area around this kickstart,

a lot of people who play indie games and look for them on kickstarter actually DONT like the major publishers, especially EA and Activision

others see that activision has plenty of money, and they probably find it arrogant of them to ask for it

being famous only works if people actually like you :)

Price isn't the problem, seeing as Wasteland had an asking total of 900k.

I could talk a bit about my view on all of this but I think it can be best summed up with one youtube video of a futurama clip.

Could it be that the video, meant to entice people into donating their money, looked like something posted on Newgrounds after a drunken 3-day weekend?

Seeing as Amanda Palmer got more than a million dollars when she kick startered an album I'm calling bullshit.

I think its not that its a lot of money, its that the game is created by Activision (or at least by one of its founders). That company does not have good rep, and is so damn rich that dropping 1 million would barely do anything to their bottom line.

That or if we take a more baby eating and puppy punching vision of activision, the purpose was to gather a 1 million dollar bonus and push out a bad game that some people made on company time or something.

So the video that tells us absolutely nothing, the fact that the guy is from Activision, and the general lack of information surrounding the game had nothing to do with it? Nope, clearly it was the price of the game.

You know, the same price that Wasteland 2 was asking for.

The game that got more than triple that amount.

The game that people were actually interested in.

anyone else recognize a lot of the sounds in the clip from TES2: Daggerfall?

actually this is quite sad after looking him up on wikipedia

he left activision in 1986, and i'm pretty sure the responce is due to people linking him with activision, and thinking that activison dosnt need money

this is probably a very good project that's getting a lot of misdirected bad attention

Wasteland 2 asked for that amount of money and it reached it's goal and even surpassed it's original goal without any problem.

Money isn't the problem, the problem is Activision themselves (or at least that's what the article makes it to belive).

Hmmm... let's look up some previous successful game budgets:

Double Fine: $3.3 million

Shadowrun Returns: $1.8 million

Shadowrun Online (that's right, Shadowrun pulled two Kickstarters this summer, and both were successful): $558 thousand

The Banner Saga: $723 thousand

Wasteland 2: $2.9 million

Yeah... I'm thinking his problem wasn't the amount.

Edit:

Tahaneira:
...it's Activision. They can get that kind of money without really trying. I think people are more likely to donate when it's a smaller developer who wants funding with fewer strings attached than usual game development provides. A massive producer like Activision? Not so much.

Unless he's not a member of Activision anymore? I have to admit I don't really know game industry 'faces' as well as I should.

While he helped found Activision, he hasn't been associated with them since 1986. This is not an Activision game, it's a game made by a guy who left Activision 26 years ago and recently put together a small team to make this game.

Azuaron:
Hmmm... let's look up some previous successful game budgets:

Double Fine: $3.3 million

Shadowrun Returns: $1.8 million

Shadowrun Online (that's right, Shadowrun pulled two Kickstarters this summer, and both were successful): $558 thousand

The Banner Saga: $723 thousand

Wasteland 2: $2.9 million

Yeah... I'm thinking his problem wasn't the amount.

Edit: Note to everyone, while he helped found Activision, he hasn't been associated with them since 1986. This is not an Activision game, it's a game made by a guy who left Activision 26 years ago.

i wish we could draw attention to this fact, i'm not sure he himself realizes that this project is getting negative attention because people think this is a kickstart by activision, not by an ex-employee of activision

as is he dosnt have any chance

Planetary Annihilation recently broke its $900,000 goal. This is a team of developers who made Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander, they understand and are proven at making ground breaking RTS's.
Pitfall isn't exactly something i'm craving right now, and if it's jungles you want Crysis is awesome and cheap, MGS3 is also awesome.

My god... The guy is just making Pitfall! again, but somehow even uglier.

First of all, I'm surprised he got any money at all for this idea, and secondly, how is that even possible?

Perhaps Activision shouldn't try to be "indie" and ask for $900,000 while being, you know, ACTIVISION.

I don't know about you guys, but if I was the co-founder of Activision and didn't have 1 million dollars to spare I'd be incredibly depressed.

Zombie_Moogle:
Could it be that the video, meant to entice people into donating their money, looked like something posted on Newgrounds after a drunken 3-day weekend?

I agree.

If people were given anything other than that piece of crap video maybe there would be some backers.

The point of kickstarter was to KICKSTART a project that, because of funding, would otherwise be impossible. To do so, the people who chip in would probably want some feeling that the money they've pledged is going towards a project with some merit.

David Crane does not show this merit. The last game he worked on was in the late 90's. He left Activision, which, although not making the literal fuck-ton of money it is now, was still a pretty decent company to found his own, which eventually went bust. To which he found another company, which makes cheap games like "Texas Hold Em'."

The point of Kickstarter is for a lesser established company to get funding. You've had your hands in the kettle long enough that you should have MORE than enough money, personal or business, to fund this project.

That's why people aren't caring. If you also tout yourself off as a 'co-founder of Activision', it tends to taints peoples perception of you. For one: it almost sounds like a 'Yeah, I'm still working there' kind of thing, and two, you are associating yourself with a game company that nickles and dimes is user base for everything, and is only graced from being the worst company because its competition is EA.

I'm sorry, but I feel no sympathy for this guy. If he wants his project to come to life, has the money to do so (which I would wager he does), but doesnt want to spend it because hes afraid of losing money on the return, then I don't really see why he should get the money in the first place. I'd much rather fund a studio that needs the money because they actually need the money than some guy who just wants the money.

Its gonna start getting ugly on Kickstarter soon.

"It begs the question why Crane didn't try to get venture capital funding, a question that Crane refused to answer when asked it in the AMA."

I thought you couldn't do that. Isn't the point of an Ask Me Anything, that, you know, you can ask anything?

Besides, this seems shady.

Why didn't they try for VC? And why wouldn't he answer that question?

That makes me not want to give him any money.

You know what, I have a different criticism: It's too soon.

Kickstarter is very young, and the payoff for a lot of these games hasn't yet seen the light of day. The nice thing about it is that it bypasses the normal model for receiving funding, incentivizing innovation and establishing a community right off the bat. We can easily test these concepts on smaller, indie games where the community investment is smaller, and even failure or shortcomings arn't a horrible dissapointment. Worst case scenario, we get no or a half baked concept and helped out a budding indie developer whose failure is at least a learning experience. But for a guy coming from a major studio, it feels like too much of a community investment, and like money is better spent experimenting with people who otherwise would not have gotten funding. Besides, his connections to Activision just make it sound like a project that wasn't good enough to get proper financial backing. Give it a few years when the games being funded start churning out, and we get a handle of what this new marketplace looks like, and maybe we will be up for getting the advantages of alternative funding methods out of larger projects. In the mean time, a collectively thinking community will prefer the idea of funding 45 games that need 20K to one game that had another alternative.

Also, and I suppose I shouldn't underestimate this...the guy made 1 memorable game like, 2 decades ago, and is proposing a new game that looks pretty bland. So there's that.

Edit:

Azuaron:
Hmmm... let's look up some previous successful game budgets:

Double Fine: $3.3 million

Shadowrun Returns: $1.8 million

Shadowrun Online (that's right, Shadowrun pulled two Kickstarters this summer, and both were successful): $558 thousand

The Banner Saga: $723 thousand

Wasteland 2: $2.9 million

Yeah... I'm thinking his problem wasn't the amount.

I may have to retract my previous statement. I think I have some valid points, but I also think that this game failed simply because it doesn't look very good.

To all the people saying it's Activision's fault for being Activision, I have to point out David Crane left Activision a loong time ago, as soon as he saw the new CEO was starting to treat videogames as a commodity, not as a form of art/entertainment.
That having been said, I don't think people confusing his employment is the only reason this isn't reaching it's $900,000 goal. That's probably part of it, sure, but, as OP pointed out, there is quite a dearth of info on the game, and that trailer isn't exactly the most engaging thing ever.

His Kickstarter FAQ:

Part of the $900,000 will also go toward production costs for the behind-the-scenes documentary that will follow the entire game development process.

Part of that $900,000 is to fund a documentary that will be shown on Gametrailers.com as well. Which hey, that's totally cool and all I guess, yet instead of throwing that in there as the initial price, perhaps it should of been a stretch goal.

Or better yet, dialed back a little bit on how in-depth it was going to be. Dead State is doing something similar, yet instead of being pushed into the overall price of the kickstarter, it was added later as part of the reward tiers. As in, if people only wanted the game and not this, then they just paid the amount for it, otherwise anything above the radio tier got them it as well.

I wonder if this guy realizes that the Planetary Annihilation kickstarter is up to 1.35 million on the platform of "we made supreme commander" and "in this game you can blow up planets". If you have something people want they will throw money at you.

Litchhunter:
Perhaps Activision shouldn't try to be "indie" and ask for $900,000 while being, you know, ACTIVISION.

Perhaps The Escapist should start providing the full story instead of trying to catch people onto the Activision hate train. As has been stated by lots of people before you, and anyone with a bit of thought left (just because he founded Acitvision over 32 years ago, doesn't mean he bothered to stick around for so long), he left the company back in 1986. That is decades before the Activision we know of today that is pumping out yearly CoD releases.

I'm not gonna blame you too much for just taking the article for what it is, but The Escapist has yet again proven that it will let out important details just to get some action stirred up.

Krantos:
"It begs the question why Crane didn't try to get venture capital funding, a question that Crane refused to answer when asked it in the AMA."

I thought you couldn't do that. Isn't the point of an Ask Me Anything, that, you know, you can ask anything?

imageMost people pick and choose what to respond to, and the more upfront call it AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything). On some AMAs no one cares, but on some a particularly notable question that goes unanswered becomes a sticking point.

And then it can just be an outright disaster like Woody Harrelson's AMA, which was treated like little more than an extended text-based advertisement for his new movie. Reddit did NOT take well to that.

Krantos:
Why didn't they try for VC? And why wouldn't he answer that question?

No idea. I gave to another Kickstarter project that said upfront that they'd tried for investors but people willing to give money wanted them to hand over their IP. They said no.

Maybe they said no because they felt it was too good an asset to sell, maybe they said no because they "inherited" it when their founder died and they didn't want to let go control of something left to them. I don't know. I don't even know if they're being honest, but it sounded like the truth. Plus they actually had a playable demo, so I gave money. They made their goal. Not quite to the first stretch goal (unless Paypal explodes this week or something), so it wasn't a Double Fine extravaganza of cash or anything, but still they did it.

Meanwhile, I remember looking at David Crane's kickstarter and saying "Hmmm. I'll look again later." and forgetting about it until this. It didn't sit as well with me or excite me even though I admit to having the same kind of retro-y fondness for his stuff that I have for the Giana Sisters. Two things that meant something to me years ago, only one got my money.

I don't know but going by the picture in the article, that game is NOT worth the budget. Having famous names helps but this is a corporate attitude trying to manipulate kickstart and the people who donate to the causes that flopped.

Ergo - (from their persepctive) the problem is clearly not the management style or expectations. But the people who donate don't know what they want.

But the marketing/explaining of what they wanted to do didn't do a good job at all, they didn't give incentives to make it worth it, and again, the retro style 80's picture above didn't give me goosebumps on what some of my old classmates could whip up in a week.

I agree with the poster above, theEscapist isn't really being forthright with the reporting here. More information is needed than just the word 'Activision'

NLS:
he left the company back in 1986. That is decades before the Activision we know of today that is pumping out yearly CoD releases.

To put it in a better perspective he left activision before a LOT of people on this forum were even born.

Litchhunter:
Perhaps Activision shouldn't try to be "indie" and ask for $900,000 while being, you know, ACTIVISION.

You were born 9 years AFTER he left activision. You are complaining about a guy who hasn't been in a compony your entiry life(+9 year)

The teaser didn't tease. That's all there is.

Gametrailers/viacom/spiketv. Activision. High price tag.
Not surprising really, nice to see people arent stupid.

 

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