For the second Newbie Blogger Initiative challenge, it’s asked of us what our opinions are on crowdfunding, specifically Kickstarter and Early Access games. Here are my thoughts.
Early Access and Kickstarters, for those not sure what they are, are games either not yet started or finished, but are asking for money. Although both are within the same ballpark of each other, they are different in how they work and I’d like to tackle them separately.
Kickstarters work by asking you to donate a lump sum to the creator and they promise you a reward for your donation depending on the amount of money you give. This goes towards giving the creator a lower risk chance at creating what they want. Some people see this as an investment, which may look like one on the outside, but on the inside the mechanics are completely different. It’s a donation, plain and simple, anything beyond that goes outside what Kickstarter is promoting and is a misunderstanding by the donor or creator.
I fully support what Kickstarter is doing here. I don’t donate more than I’m willing to lose, because it’s a gamble on a promise. I love how it opens up for indie’s, small business or inventors the chance to ask the crowds to fund their dreams, and not depend on publishers or large investors. It lowers risk for those who can’t, or won’t, go towards higher risks, and lastly it helped save Massively from sunsetting.
Early Access works by releasing the game in an early state, before it’s ready for full release, and asking for people to pay for it either with an upfront fee or in-game store transactions (or both). These funds are assumed to go towards completing the game or helping to recoup money for investors before the game is finished. The difference between this and Kickstarter is that early access games are at least in a state you can start testing or playing around with, while Kickstarters tend to be mostly promise and ideas.
I like the idea of early access games as well, but only for the small budget indie games. Large games that use this to try and bring in money they don’t need are hurting early access with their greed.