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Op Ed

Gamasutra - Black Isle is a great case study in how to NOT crowdfund your game.
Even if you decide to look past all of this shadiness, it's pretty impossible not to raise a critical eyelid at the crowdfunding scheme itself.

Where it has become common practice to offer backer rewards for those putting funding toward your game, Black Isle has decided this isn't necessary. If you pledge $10, you'll be granted access to a special Black Isle forum. If you put down $20, they'll even let you post on the forum.

There is no way to receive a copy of the game by pledging -- even if you decide to put down $10,000 -- because the money isn't actually going towards a game at all. In fact, the money will be used to build a prototype, which Black Isle will then show to investors in the hope of gathering up moolah elsewhere.

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24 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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24. Re: Op Ed Dec 25, 2012, 11:52 Orphic Resonance
 
i dont think enough kids today know what black isle means ... dont have as much cachet  
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23. Re: Op Ed Dec 24, 2012, 13:00 Dev
 
Way back when, I signed up for the fallout MMO newsletter from interplay. I just got an email to that email address that linked me to the black isle page. LOL  
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22. Re: Op Ed Dec 24, 2012, 12:14 Creston
 
Julio wrote on Dec 24, 2012, 05:06:
Blue's missing out on the green here! $10 to read the forums, $20 to post lol.

SSSSSHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Dec 24, 2012, 07:30 nin
 
Wallshadows wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 21:15:
Dev wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 19:03:
Hilariously, $10 only gets you super secret forum access thats READ ONLY.
You have to give them $20 if you actually want to post there.

The top 20 contributors get to be put on some kind of Hero board too!


"Top 20 Biggest Chumps"

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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20. Re: Op Ed Dec 24, 2012, 05:06 Julio
 
Blue's missing out on the green here! $10 to read the forums, $20 to post lol.  
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19. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 23:20 Creston
 
This is just the Caen brothers trying to squeeze more money out of a company that by all rights was already dead ten years ago.

Creston
 
Avatar 15604
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 22:59 Axis
 
This fund is part of an official government grant to identify individuals qualified for the "Wee Cerebrum" study.

You can check the "Hero Board" for current top applicants...
 
Avatar 57462
 
Yours truly,

Axis
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17. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 21:15 Wallshadows
 
Dev wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 19:03:
Hilariously, $10 only gets you super secret forum access thats READ ONLY.
You have to give them $20 if you actually want to post there.

The top 20 contributors get to be put on some kind of Hero board too!
 
Avatar 50040
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 19:03 Dev
 
Hilariously, $10 only gets you super secret forum access thats READ ONLY.
You have to give them $20 if you actually want to post there.

The Half Elf wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 18:59:
I thought this was interesting as well

Forbes info
Thanks for the link!
BTW, that titus mentioned there I believe was that french company that bought out interplay and subsequently failed under Caen's leadersihp, if I remember right.

Speaking in general now, not to a specific comment:
As I recall, the total they spent on fallout MMO development over the 4 years in question from the contract was something less than $1 million, out of the $30 million they were contractually obligated to in order to keep the fallout MMO IP. And I recall at least part of that time where it was less than Caen's salary, much less his salary and inflated bonuses. Didn't he end up having to take a paycut, and then firing all the executives, and hiring his brother as an executive so he could still siphon a nice chunk of change from interplay's corpse?

I documented a bunch of this a long time ago on blues, complete with source links. Maybe I should go dig it up.

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2012, 19:10.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 18:59 The Half Elf
 
I thought this was interesting as well

Forbes info
 
Avatar 12670
 
"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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14. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 18:18 Dev
 
Further info:

The site seems to heavily discourage copy/pasting. Even in firefox with noscript, I can't seem to copy paste.
Also amusingly, a friend with adblock says it blocks out huge amounts of the site, perhaps the stuff from invested.in ?
Clicking on updates reveals such gems as:

This is a real effort at creating a game
They also talk about how they really only want to communicate with people who aren't naysayers, and they are determining that by who donates.
The 2nd update goes into some weird rant about how you shouldn't donate money because you might cause people to get depressed over how the world didn't end. I think they were trying to be funny with that one.
Update 3 talks about how every player is in charge of a community, they mention mayor and city planner, then talk about how you will have to do missions in addition to that. They also mention how they've had to throw out previous work (masthead's fallout efforts?) and starting from scratch, and are going to avoid anything looking like desert.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 17:17 Dev
 
Jerykk wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 17:12:
Good to see that Interplay's cash grab is failing miserably.
Half a percent of visitors tossing money their way isn't a bad rate when you compare it to spam email. By pure numbers the total cash might be a failure, but if that percentage continues as the story grows (remember its the holidays right now, so the story is just starting) then they could pull in some significant money.

Edit: What IS encouraging through, is the amount of comments on the black isle site of people with a clue who see this for exactly what it is. I have no idea why they allowed comments on the main page with direct viewing for all visitors. I predict they will disable that as soon as they notice how toxic that is, perhaps with a moderation attempt first.

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2012, 17:32.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 17:12 Jerykk
 
Dev wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 16:55:
nin wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 16:39:
ASeven wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 16:36:
This screams scam so clearly and loudly I'll be surprised if anyone at all will give them money.

I'd love to see a tally of number of people/amount pledged. I suspect they won't through, for obvious reasons.

I did a little more digging, they are using a crowdfunding site called invested.in to process the payments. Which actually does have stats.
http://invested.in/projects/find
Type v13, or black isle into that search box.
94 Contributors
Raised $3,075

More info on the site:
http://invested.in/help
They are very skimpy on any details. Looks like very little in the way of controls or rules.

Edit:
17566 Views
not sure if those are views on the black isle site, or the invested.in site. But that means that half a percent of viewers are investing into it. Ugh.

Good to see that Interplay's cash grab is failing miserably.
 
Avatar 20715
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 16:55 Dev
 
nin wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 16:39:
ASeven wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 16:36:
This screams scam so clearly and loudly I'll be surprised if anyone at all will give them money.

I'd love to see a tally of number of people/amount pledged. I suspect they won't through, for obvious reasons.

I did a little more digging, they are using a crowdfunding site called invested.in to process the payments. Which actually does have stats.
http://invested.in/projects/find
Type v13, or black isle into that search box.
94 Contributors
Raised $3,075

More info on the site:
http://invested.in/help
They are very skimpy on any details. Looks like very little in the way of controls or rules.

Edit:
17566 Views
not sure if those are views on the black isle site, or the invested.in site. But that means that half a percent of viewers are investing into it. Ugh.

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2012, 17:02.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 16:39 nin
 
ASeven wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 16:36:
This screams scam so clearly and loudly I'll be surprised if anyone at all will give them money.

I'd love to see a tally of number of people/amount pledged. I suspect they won't through, for obvious reasons.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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9. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 16:36 ASeven
 
This screams scam so clearly and loudly I'll be surprised if anyone at all will give them money.  
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8. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 16:26 Dev
 
The actual link (I decided to edit the URLs to remove the linking part, don't really want to drive traffic or search engine rankings to them, but I left enough for ppl to copy/paste to check it out):
blackisle.com

They ARE doing some form of crowdfunding, but its NOT kickstarter, or indiegogo or anything else like that. They are doing it all through their own website. I'm guessing that's to avoid even the minimal controls and rules that places like KS have in place.

This is pretty simply a money grab by Caen bros, who are basically trying to milk interplay's corpse dry. If you look at their financials for the term in which they were trying to dev fallout online, their BONUSES seemed to be more than the miniscule amount they spent to work on fallout online.

Be sure to read the FAQ:
blackisle.com/frequentlyasked.html
Will my contribution get me a copy of the Project V13 game if it is released?
No.

What do the funds go to? Here's one item:
Interplay's corporate expenses
aka Caen bros pockets.
They talk about how they will refund if they don't bother to make a forum, but they say they will only refund money thats not spent. Then in the very next section it says its "non-refundable" anyway.

Oh also I noticed that they promise "immediate access to a private forum" despite the fact they haven't even made one yet!

I wonder if they are going with that bulgarian masthead company again, with the one mostly failed MMO to their name. Whatever they are doing, if they had any work done at all, its going to have fallout references removed, and still trying to cash in on fallout. I mean look at the name, they using V13 as the game name (which beth doesn't own) and black isle as the studio name (despite that its basically black isle as a name only, nothing else). Basically handwaving and shouting, HEY LOOK AT ME, GIVE ME MONEY BECAUSE YOU THINK OF FALLOUT WHEN YOU SEE THIS!

This comment was edited on Dec 23, 2012, 17:36.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 16:13 Cutter
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Dec 23, 2012, 13:31:
The blackIsle FAQ says

Your pledge payment will be a deposit and may be held or transferred to Interplay's wholly owned subsidiary, PV13-Online, Inc. Your payment will be used to develop and produce the Game, including the website cost; content development for the Game, website, and forum; development of a prototype, proof of concept, and/or tech demo; and Interplay's corporate expenses associated with the foregoing (the Game Costs). In exchange and depending upon Your pledge level selected, You will receive access to the private BlackIsle.com/Project V13 discussion forum, as outlined on the pledge page.

Company the money goes to: PV13-Online, Inc

Look who owns it

http://goo.gl/lyllm

(Sorry for url shortener, but you know how bluesnews is with long urls..)

Motherfuckin' Caens! If ever some assholes just belonged in prison...permanently.
 
Avatar 25394
 

"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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6. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 15:25 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
I glanced at this topic and felt a stab of fear in my heart, thinking: "oh no, Project Eternity is a sham!"

Then I realized that they literally mean Black Isle, aka the current, false, Black Isle. Obsidian is safely toiling away on Project Eternity. All is well.

 
Avatar 54863
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Dec 23, 2012, 13:31 eRe4s3r
 
The blackIsle FAQ says

Your pledge payment will be a deposit and may be held or transferred to Interplay's wholly owned subsidiary, PV13-Online, Inc. Your payment will be used to develop and produce the Game, including the website cost; content development for the Game, website, and forum; development of a prototype, proof of concept, and/or tech demo; and Interplay's corporate expenses associated with the foregoing (the Game Costs). In exchange and depending upon Your pledge level selected, You will receive access to the private BlackIsle.com/Project V13 discussion forum, as outlined on the pledge page.

Company the money goes to: PV13-Online, Inc

Look who owns it

http://goo.gl/lyllm

(Sorry for url shortener, but you know how bluesnews is with long urls..)
 
Avatar 54727
 
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24 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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