Some of the reaction to recent high profile Kickstarter campaigns such as those from 22 Cans and Frontier Developments has been quite negative, specifically complaints about developers who are established enough to get traditional deals “resorting” to crowd funding. It’s hard not be irked by such actions when the language invoked is that of charity: “pledge”, “please help”, “support”, “donation”, “how you can help”, “we need your help”, “spread the word” all being fairly common.
This language is unhelpful and has probably taken us off message with Kickstarter. Crowd funding is a genuinely interesting way to finance a game, and I don’t resent more established names going down this route per se. After all, in this depressingly monochromatic landscape of big shooters, what model 2012 publisher would back a god game, a space game or an adventure game? Yet there are enough potential customers clamouring for such titles to justify their existence. Kickstarter is a viable solution to this long standing industry chicken and egg’er. Undeniably, there are problems with Kickstarter, but this particular one is mostly about stance and perception.
So I have a pledge to propose for world renowned and famous developers taking this route. Drop the language of charity, and be a little more candid with your pitches. Then we can all just get on with playing the next Populous.
This article originally appeared on the Pixels on Toast blog.