Given the recent news of Double Fine essentially announcing that their Broken Age project which was Kickstarted for over 3 million dollars will need more funding for the project to be delivered the way the audience would hopefully like I figured I'd give some of my thoughts on Kickstarter and all of this in general.
If anything all this stuff really just makes me take a good hard look at how game are made. We criticize games that are made in a year being full price, and want more games where they give the developers time to make the product they want to make. But at the same time, how expensive is that? Those real true big AAA titles that break new ground and get all that development time, how much funding does that require on the publisher? Not just initial funding either, all of it. Quality takes time from people who know what they are doing and love to do it. Those people cost a decent amount of money for their time and that time obviously costs the publishers more and more money.
Kickstarter effectively turns the audience into a pseudo publisher. Now we are starting to see that being a publisher isn't all bells and whistles. Maybe the big reason publishers deal with it is because they actually have hundreds of millions in the coffers and can determine if they want to make the risk. But when it is put on us as an audience who simply wants the game we are interested in funding, we now have a new layer to ask ourselves. Do we want the game bad enough to put in the financial risks involved with this project? Not just initial funding either as stated. To deal with delays, the idea that the studio and project we are funding may need more from the consumer and it's audience again and a risk everyone is forgetting. What if the audience doesn't like the game? That happens. Even some of the best made games in the industry have troubles finding a big audience and not everyone likes them. What if you go through all of this risk all of this funding, delaying, getting asked for more and at the end of the day the product they deliver you is something you don't even enjoy?
That is Kickstarter and people would be wise to remember it. Your investing in a long term project idea, not a delivered product. That project and the ideas that make that project change and grow and evolve with time. It is very easy of us to take to this with open arms because screw the publisher but their job isn't exactly as EASY as we would like to think it is. Going through all the hassle involved in getting a project off the ground and into development only to find out that an audience may not like this product or that it is too expensive to keep funded probably sucks on everyone ends, not just on the developers. Regardless if people think publishers are evil and only care about money I imagine people working at those places a ton of them care about quality games. But you need money to make a game for a living, that is how the system works.