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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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35. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:33 Beamer
 
Tumbler wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:24:
Too much stupid shit that has no chance of ever coming to fruition or living up to promises keeps getting kickstarted made by big publishers.

Two sides of a coin I guess, your comments seem to paint the gaming industry perfectly and I see Kickstarter as the complete opposite. A lot of stuff that the gaming industry seems to salivate over gets passed over or barely makes it on kickstarter, FPS's, and the ideas and games that the industry scoffs at, Wasteland 2, Double Fine Adventure game, gets a tidal wave of support.

The difference, Tumblr, is that when the publisher releases something stupid you do not buy it. When a game ships buggy you do not buy it. When a game gets canceled because it sucks or the developer goes out of business you do not pay for it.
With Kickstarter you do.

Right now I'd wager most people spending lots of money do not think there is a good chance of that money just disappearing with nothing to show for it. Like that guy that just spent $10k to be a villain in Carmageddon. Honestly, does anyone have much faith in Stainless being able to go from 10 years of horrible crapware to a fun game? Someone bet $10k they will. Sorry, that's a stupid gamble, and if the game sucks, or does not come out, I doubt that guy will rush back to kickstarter. If Pebble sucks, or does not come out, I doubt any of those hundreds of thousands of people spending $300 for a prototype will come back.


Here's the test for a bubble:
1) Are people spending lots of money?
2) Is the money being spent someone foolishly, without much due diligence or regard for how reasonable the promised returns are?
3) If the promises don't come true, will people become much stingier?


In the dot com bubble all of this was true. People threw stupid amounts of money at companies that had little chance of a return, and when those companies started failing people got gunshy and stopped giving money to anyone, causing even good companies to fail.
In the mortgage crisis all of this was true. People threw stupid amounts of money at mortgagees that had little chance of making their monthly payments, and when those people started defaulting the lenders got gunshy and stopped giving money to anyone, even those that could clearly afford it.
In kickstarter this will be true. People are throwing stupid amounts of money at things that most likely have no chance of actually coming out or being good, and when they get burned they'll stop funding indiscriminately and start very seriously considering what they're willing to gamble on, and as a result good projects that deserve money will go underfunded, especially ones that can't market themselves.

Good things will still get funded. Bad things will still get funded. But the amount of funding, or at least growth of funding, will slow.


And yeah, I know, a lot of you are saying "I use kickstarter plenty and I don't think I do it stupidly." I've put over $1,500 into projects and I do not think I've done so stupidly. But collectively we probably are being somewhat stupid and reckless (I've definitely put some money into some things I think are long shots, maybe just $5 or $10, but 20,000 people doing that is a lot of money to risk), and some individuals out there are being entirely stupid.
 
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34. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:29 Creston
 
Prez wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:23:
Joking aside, who wouldn't want another REAL Bioware game? As in Baldur's Gate 3, not Dragon Age 2. Kickstarters make that a real possibility - enough Bioware employees (former and current) get tired of denying the obvious fact the EA has all but destroyed the Bioware brand and start their own project. I would love to see it myself.

It'd take a systemic amount of failures to deliver before I lose hope in the entire system.

For you, me, and I'd wager a whole lot of other people.

Isn't that being talked about? I'm sure I've seen the BG3 name pop up here and there in the last few weeks.

Creston
 
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33. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:28 Eberron
 
Beamer wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:18:
Yeah, and most restaurants fail, too. Most bands fail. Most movie production houses fail. So long as some make it big people will keep trying.

Most Kickstarters also fail. I would say it's much higher than 40%. Here's one struggling right now:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/732317316/starlight-inceptiontm
 
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32. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:27 ASeven
 
Creston wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:12:
Btw, one thing that's highly annoying is all these fucktard websites falling all over each other to try to be the first to predict "the Fall of Kickstarter!1!1!1!!11eleven!11!"

Cunts.

Because these guys can't see the forest for the trees and try to target any business model that threatens their beloved industry. This while they ignore EA going down to 1999 stock price levels, one of the biggest red flags I've ever seen in any industry. They simply aren't concentrating on the business model that has now taken a huge step towards a fall and a crash, the publisher's business model. They won't see it because, well, who will pay for the ads in their sites when the crash happens? So they do the classic bait and switch and try to transfer attention elsewhere.

Kickstarter is not a bubble in the economic definition of it, not even close. Due to the nature of its own business model Kickstarter relies more on a per project model where the probability of risk aversion in case of a project failing is minimal.

These people saying Kickstarter is a bubble should do well to study 2008's Real Estate market crash, or the 99 Dot Com bubble, or even the 79-83 gaming industry crash to understand what a real bubble is. Kickstarter ain't one, it's just a project that is relied heavily on individual backing and not massive conglomerate of investors. When Kickstarter loses its shine it will be because even better business models have risen and Kickstarter goes the way MySpace went as people flock to a better alternative model.
 
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31. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:24 Tumbler
 
Too much stupid shit that has no chance of ever coming to fruition or living up to promises keeps getting kickstarted made by big publishers.

Two sides of a coin I guess, your comments seem to paint the gaming industry perfectly and I see Kickstarter as the complete opposite. A lot of stuff that the gaming industry seems to salivate over gets passed over or barely makes it on kickstarter, FPS's, and the ideas and games that the industry scoffs at, Wasteland 2, Double Fine Adventure game, gets a tidal wave of support.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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30. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:23 Prez
 
Joking aside, who wouldn't want another REAL Bioware game? As in Baldur's Gate 3, not Dragon Age 2. Kickstarters make that a real possibility - enough Bioware employees (former and current) get tired of denying the obvious fact the EA has all but destroyed the Bioware brand and start their own project. I would love to see it myself.

It'd take a systemic amount of failures to deliver before I lose hope in the entire system.

For you, me, and I'd wager a whole lot of other people.

This comment was edited on May 8, 2012, 14:28.
 
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29. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:21 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on May 8, 2012, 09:38:
That's kind of the definition, though. Why did the original dot com bubble burst?

Hmmm... The dotcom bubble burst because there was NOTHING of value behind these companies. In many cases it was a website, and there was nothing behind it. No assets or anything. (Yes, companies were still insane for putting that much money into it, but suits at companies excel at being retarded with money.)

I'm not sure it has too much in common with the housing bubble (which exploded due to extremely high demand in the 90s); and neither really have much in common with a potential KS bubble, whatever that may turn out to be. KS is quite a different animal than the other two.




There will be some inevitable high profile failure that results in a burst. Does that mean kickstarter will end? Did pets.com failing end the internet? But for a long time afterwards there will be far less money to get via kickstarter. Perhaps kickstarter itself will become friendster and someone else will come along with a safer way to do this. Or maybe the whole thing will prove to be some giant fad.

There's this site now where you actually invest in the company in exchange for a cut of the profits. Forgot what it's called, argh... ( I think it's these guys )Anyway, there'll be quite a few copycats.

I'd wager that multi-multi million dollar watch is going to be that high profile failure. Zeyenz, or whatever those glasses were that have repeatedly slipped, should be their roadmap for how to avoid it.

That watch thing baffles me, but apparently the ironic hipster Apple crowd will buy anything. I don't really know that one failure is going to hurt KS all that much, however, even if it's high profile.

Say that Double Fine doesn't deliver on their game, (don't lynch me, it's just hypothetical,) but Fargo and Weisman do. Will that make people give up on KS altogether? I know if I get one excellent game out of Fargo / Weisman, I'll happily support again in the future.

It'd take a systemic amount of failures to deliver before I lose hope in the entire system.

Granted, that's just me talking. The majority of people will probably abandon ship at the first sign of failure.

Creston

This comment was edited on May 8, 2012, 14:28.
 
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28. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:18 Beamer
 
Tumbler wrote on May 8, 2012, 13:50:
There was an article that talked about the failure rate of App developers. I think 60% of app makers fail to turn a profit. (ie Succeed)

Well if 40% are succeeding there is only one thing that matters here. Are 40% of people going into the gaming industry to start careers succeeding?

Yeah, and most restaurants fail, too. Most bands fail. Most movie production houses fail. So long as some make it big people will keep trying.

A bubble is about investing, not working. And a bubble bursting doesn't mean everything ends or disappears, it just means that money becomes harder to come by because people get smarter.

Too much stupid shit that has no chance of ever coming to fruition or living up to promises keeps getting kickstarted. Again, I'm not just talking games here.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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27. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:17 Tumbler
 
nin wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:04:
I'll kick in $50 towards the EA takeover kickstarter! $100 if I get to fire everyone at bioware!



Not EVERYONE. Some of their writers are actually really, really good. Just fire Walters, Hudson, Laidlaw and Gaider.

I'm in for $100.

Creston

Take. My. Money. I'd throw in extra if they'd hosted an awards style event where they went through every employee and told of their exploits in their more recent games, then handed them a pink slip when they come on stage.

That'd be the fucking oscars of Gaming.

And here we have Sally Someone, she is the marketing director of Bioware and was a key figure in adding the Jessica Chobot character to the game. Please come forward to accept your pink slip. You're Fired, we're all so grateful that we could be here tonight and fire you in person.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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26. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:12 Creston
 
Btw, one thing that's highly annoying is all these fucktard websites falling all over each other to try to be the first to predict "the Fall of Kickstarter!1!1!1!!11eleven!11!"

Cunts.

Creston
 
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25. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:11 Creston
 
nin wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:04:
I'll kick in $50 towards the EA takeover kickstarter! $100 if I get to fire everyone at bioware!



Not EVERYONE. Some of their writers are actually really, really good. Just fire Walters, Hudson, Laidlaw and Gaider.

I'm in for $100.

Creston
 
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24. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:11 Eberron
 
The going rate for most of these games is $15. (I spent a little more on Wasteland and Shadowrun because I wanted the box sets and T-Shirts because I'm a fan of the IP.)

Even if the games suck they can't be that bad for $15.

Most people will wait until they're released but the entire point of Kickstarter is that without preorders these games would have less of a chance of being developed at all. It's tough to invest in a niche game if you don't know how big the niche really is and Kickstarter codifies that.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:10 Prez
 
There's no evidence that there's a bubble to burst at all - it's only people wishing and hoping it is a bubble because this threatens the stranglehold the greed-driven, creativity-crushing powers-that-be currently hold. Them and the arrogant know-it-all's who believe people shouldn't be given what they want because they are too stupid to figure out what it is they want on their own (One of them is posting in this thread right now, but thankfully I have him on ignore so I am spared his self- important, idiotic blathering).

There will be some failures and setbacks, maybe even some spectacular ones, but all it will take is one high-profile project like the Tim Schafer one or Wasteland to be released and be great and I think people will be sold on kickstarters. The failures will make people wary, but the successes (assuming they eventually come) will win out in the long run.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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22. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:08 nin
 

Eh, you can have the rest. I'm mostly just interested in watching the bio offices looted and burned.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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21. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:05 ASeven
 
nin wrote on May 8, 2012, 14:04:
I'll kick in $50 towards the EA takeover kickstarter! $100 if I get to fire everyone at bioware!



Fixed.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:04 nin
 

I'll kick in $50 towards the EA takeover kickstarter! $100 if I get to fire everyone at bioware!


 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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19. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 14:00 ASeven
 
Yosemite Sam wrote on May 8, 2012, 13:53:
Heh so is everything a friken bubble now, the word de jour, and not even in its proper context.

Pretty much this.

Here's a real bubble.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 13:53 Yosemite Sam
 
Heh so is everything a friken bubble now, the word de jour, and not even in its proper context.  
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17. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 13:50 Tumbler
 
I don't think Kickstarter is a Bubble. Kickstarter is the "App Store" of game development.

There was an article that talked about the failure rate of App developers. I think 60% of app makers fail to turn a profit. (ie Succeed)

Well if 40% are succeeding there is only one thing that matters here. Are 40% of people going into the gaming industry to start careers succeeding?

I don't think they are. I think the publishers are positioned only to exploit that work force rather than see studios come up and succeed. I think we'll see more and more people at these larger companies ask themselves, "Why am I not building my own games? Why am I working for people that are going to fire me if I don't work 60 hours a week for pennies? I can make the same pennies making my own game and not deal with these assholes."

I'm a lot more interested in the games I'm seeing on Kickstarter than I am in the upcoming new releases from the AAA gaming industry. I think that says it all about where we're headed. Ac3, Blops2, dead space 3, Max Payne 3, Sequel, sequel, sequel. Enough of this shit. Who fucking needs the same god damn games over and over again. Am I the only one who feels like the whole thing is falling apart? I can't think of any games I'm dying to play as I was in the past. Mass Effect 3 fucking blew me out of the water. Maybe swtor had a lot to do with it as well. I had pre-orders in for Borderlands 2 and was planning on buying Bioshock Infinite 2. Now? Fuck them both. And they canceled Prey 2?! I'm not buying anymore of these games unless their on clearance for $10 or less. I just see all these companies trying to steal my money. Buy our new games, you'll love it! (You won't, but we'll have your money!)

I'll keep spending money on kickstarter as long as the ideas and games look better there than they do from the "big guys". Bubble my ass, the gaming industry is headed straight for a wall and it's going to be a grisly scene when they hit.
 
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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16. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2012, 13:31 Beamer
 
nin wrote on May 8, 2012, 13:27:
Eberron wrote on May 8, 2012, 13:20:
CARMAGEDDON!!!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stainlessgames/carmageddon-reincarnation

Another that seemingly had funding elsewhere. Wonder what's changed?

Well, that 600hp Range Rover with the new Carmageddon Reincarnated logo certainly wasn't free...
 
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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