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Op Ed

Gamasutra - How long before the Kickstarter bubble bursts?
We are still in the early days of our Kickstarter relationship, the early days of falling in love. Everything our partner does is wonderful. We gloss over the risks, we ignore the downsides, because the glory of falling in love is everything.

I think we have about six months left of that period. Towards the end of this year, some Kickstarter projects are going to start slipping. Some will see their teams collapse amidst bicker recriminations. Some pledgers are going to start getting very angry.

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47. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 15:00 ASeven
NKD wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:54:
ASeven wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:47:
Exactly, people are making the mistake that putting money into a Kickstarter project is investing in that project. Wrong. Putting money into a Ks project means you're buying the finished project when and if it happens, nothing more and nothing less.

That's not entirely true either, because if you are buying a product, then you are obligated to receive that product or receive a refund. Kickstarter doesn't have refunds unless you want to dispute the charge or file a lawsuit that will probably go nowhere.

But an investment may or may not get you anything. A investor can and does end up making investments that earn them nothing. You have recourse when purchasing a product that is not delivered, with an investment you have no recourse if you do not get the expected return.

Yes but when you put down your money on a KS project, regardless of what you put it, you don't expect to receive anything else other than what's on your reward tier. An investment is more complex and organic than that and in fact receiving what is described for you when you pay is exactly what a purchase is. I would define KS projects better as a purchase with an element of risk, the project you backed may or may not be completed even if the funding was successful. A good example of a risky purchase is buying a lottery, for instance. You don't get refunds and it's a risk getting one yet it's still a purchase you made, not an investment in the economic sense of it.

Of course, the problem here is the lack of refunds from failed projects or outright scams that manage to get enough backing to go on. I think that it will be inevitable for KS to start putting policies into their ToS to protect people from those. To be honest there's really not that much more KS can do.
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