#1 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -


#2 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Many big publishers sit on beloved, but niche IPs, and lack the confidence to market them. Should publishers have their own 'kickstarter-style' crowd funding portals, and test the waters for such games? Have small teams of passionate develepers pre-produce a pitch, and then see if enough crowd funding potential is there, to get them done in earnest.

Name a franchise you were passionate about 10-20 years ago - it's almost certain that the rights rot away in some big publishers pocket. I'd love to get pitched more niche projects by the big guns like the EAs and Activisions of the world - for the treasure trove they sit upon is unbelievable.

#3 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

No. They all ready have the money. Stuff like kickstarter is well..KICK STARTING your stuff.

#4 Posted by VierasTalo (742 posts) -

Yeah, publishers shouldn't. "Hey throw money at us and we'll publish this game that other people developed for us." Meh.

#5 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

no cos you just end up with 100's of whinny pissants moaning that its not qute right or doesn't live up to their lofty expectations and the internet has enough of that already.

#6 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

no cos you just end up with 100's of whinny pissants moaning that its not qute right or doesn't live up to their lofty expectations and the internet has enough of that already.

Like it could get any worse. And what else is the internet for? Whining and porn - mostly.

#7 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2689 posts) -

Yes, and the answer is simple - such a system will provide that games we want in a very safe and secure way. For most KS games there is a level where you pay $30-50 and get the game so it not like you are giving them money for NOTHING – you get the game. A Kickstarter succeeding is a good indicator of interest, it pre-sells the game, it builds marketing momentum, and to be honest that is the only way me might see certain IPs show up again. Also with an established publisher/developer behind the project there is safety that the projects will be completed or that any shortfalls because of delayed do not end up with our money gone and the game not in our hands.

Nearly half of all Kickstarter projects are not started by people WITHOUT money. These folks have the cash to record their first demo tape, to embark on the photo essay journey of the Southwest on a motorcycle, or anything else...they just rather no spend all their saving to do so. Just because a developer or a publisher has money, does not mean they should use Kickstarter. Otherwise near half the projects on that site would be unfair too because those folks have money as well.

Kickstarter can provide us with games that just would not show up because internal marketing spreadsheets say there is 9% too little interest to proceed with the project. If we want some of those past, favorites that are still owned by publishers to come out again we are going to need to allow them to use all the tools to make those projects are reality.

#8 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

No, because that decision would lead to publishers simply pushing anything experimental into their crowdfunding, resulting in a super-boring core line-up. It'll lead to a "standardization" of the boring-ass sequel future we're looking toward, and the franchising of games is getting SUPER-boring.

The proper response to that is "but games have ALWAYS been super-franchised!"

And that's true; back to Wizardry, Ultima, and Pac-Man, there has been a lot of franchising in games. But in the case of Pac-Man, the only Pac-Man games that have been even close to as successful as the original are Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Championship Edition, and Pac-Man CEDX, all of which involved significant leaps in technology, programming, and design to allow a deeper and, more importantly, different gaming experience. The same can be said of the Mario brothers; of the original five American Super Mario games, they were all significantly different from each other. The Lost Levels was much more similar to the original Super Mario Brothers, but it added an intense amount of difficulty not really seen in Mario since. Think of the drastic changes (and improvements, in most cases) between those first ten Final Fantasy games, between pre-Ocarina of Time Zelda games, between those early Sonic and those early Star Wars games.

Now think about the differences between the last five Call of Duty games, the three Uncharted games, the three Dead Space games, the three Gears of Wars, etc. The changes and improvements are significant enough to make the next product worth buying (or, in some cases, not buying,) but the major change is that there's a new story to be played. That's not inherently a problem, but it gets harder to stomach when most of the promising games coming out are mostly games I played two years ago painted a slightly darker hue. Sequel-itis feels a lot less noticeable when drastic changes are happening from game to game; look at Saints Row, or The Darkness, or The Witcher, or even Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3. I don't feel "burned" at the prospect of those new franchises. I'm immediately excited because so far, they've done more than iterate, they've expanded and improved the possibilities, presentation, and technical ability of their game. (Well, Skyrim is probably the least technically stable Bethesda game, but damn if it isn't pretty.)

But that isn't most of what's happening right now. Mostly, we're getting slightly polished sequels until interest really dwindles, and THEN we get the Hey Barry to try and save the franchise before it goes caput. And I'm getting bored. Not of all games, just of this sequels thing. I'm currently getting Borderlands 2 because I'm planning to play it with a gang of friends and also because it sounds like they fixed a bunch of things. But if day before release reviews come out and are just "it's more of the same, which is cool I guess" I'm swapping my pre-order money to other stuff. After that, I'm probably most interested in the divergent sequels of this holiday, Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3. (of course, I'm also getting Dishonored and X-Com because I'm not a crazy person.)

This year's been a weird year. I'm kinda with Brad; what games have a shot at GotY? ...Journey? Fez? Spelunky? Dust? The Walking Dead, if they can overcome their technical issues? Diablo, I guess, but not with me. Weird year for games, folks. Really exposing the current issue with sequels, though.

#9 Posted by That1BlackGuy (217 posts) -

Admittedly in some aspects it could work, but my concern is how publishers would go about handling these projects. Given their leverage, it wouldn't take much for them to work the system. Gaining all the profit while half-assing the handling and over-saturating of niche IPs is something I wouldn't put above them since the bottom line is what's most important.

#10 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

No. The PR backlash from angry fans would be too great. It's better to see those IP die then deal with obnoxious fans.

#11 Posted by Brodehouse (9872 posts) -

Whatever gets good games made and doesn't involve anything immoral or unethical.

Right now the only way you see old IP revitalized is if a studio or an executive is able to pitch it well enough (Look at EA with Syndicate, and Dead Space which was originally a System Shock revival).

Kickstarter is basically doing the gameplay portion of that, if not the IP. People wanted old 1990s style CRPGs back and were upset that BioWare, Obsidian, all the old studios are making action-RPG hybrids. Now we has Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun in active development.

What's the pure production cost for a big retail game? 40 million? 50? Obviously marketing pushes it closer to 100, but how much does 2 years for 100 artists, programmers, producers, office space, electricity and software tools... How much does that cost? If its 50, that means you need 825k pre-orders at 60 bucks a pop. That's a lot, but there's been plenty of games that got that (Mass Effect 3 had 3.5 million sales week one, Skyrim was 5+). I don't know. But just imagine if your favorite developers could make exactly the game they wanted with nothing except money holding them back.

Online
#12 Posted by believer258 (11796 posts) -

I don't really want to see old IP's, though. How 'bout some new ones?

Online
#13 Posted by Ramone (2961 posts) -

I don't see why not, if people are stupid enough to pay a "big" publisher to publish a game then let them do it.

#14 Posted by Totoni (41 posts) -

If they want to, I guess they can, but why should they? They have the money to finance their games and crowdfunding, while telling how many people want the game and are willing to help pay for it to be made, is not designed for people who can fund themselves, more for people who can't.

#15 Posted by TheHT (11142 posts) -

Sure. If I want a specific product and no developer has a kickstarter for it or anything, I've got no problem with a publisher taking my money to invest in a product they otherwise wouldn't take a risk on.

If they start crowd-funding things like Call of Duty though, well, it'd be really weird. I wouldn't go so far as to say that would be ethically wrong or anything, but it's a strange direction for the industry to go in.

#16 Posted by _Mattallica (200 posts) -

Publishers shouldn't be publishers if they need crowd funding, developers on the other hand...

#17 Posted by mosespippy (4117 posts) -

Most publishers are crowd funded. It's called the stock exchange.

#18 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

no, the kickstarter funding thing is fishy as fuck.

i can understand developers using it when they dont have the money, but companies that have the money but are just worried something might not be profitable so they use this? gross gross gross. thats a terrible road to go down as well.

if that sorta practice became common place, think of it man! "want another ____ game? well pay us to make it or we wont" the fuck.

#19 Edited by A_Talking_Donkey (262 posts) -

Well, if it means we can get another good Mega Man game...

#20 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

I say sure why not. If a publisher funds a game that was unlikely to come out using something like Kickstarter, they can go ahead and try. I'm guessing anyone who signs up early will be able to get the game at a discounted (while up front) price and games that don't have enough people interested in them just won't get published. Though, more than publishers, I think this is a good venue for smaller developers. . . Still, I don't see why anyone would be against this. Just don't buy into it and get the game when/if it ever releases.

#21 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3228 posts) -

There are other ways for publishers to know people want a game. Give me a break.

Keep this up and kickstarter's just another marketing tool in six months or whatever.

#22 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3855 posts) -

I don't think it's a bad thing but it does feel kinda gross, especially if it were a bigger publisher. I dunno, depends I guess. I voted no but I could change my mind.

#23 Posted by sodacat (214 posts) -

Yes, but it shouldn't be done in the way of Kickstarter. These days there are more games that are cancelled during development than there are finished games. Instead of cancelling them, they should show off their concepts, demo whatever working code they have, and then say give us your money. If they reach a pre-buy threshold the game goes back into development.

#24 Edited by Ares42 (2622 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

Most publishers are crowd funded. It's called the stock exchange.

Except there's one really major difference that makes crowd funding sorta disgusting, profit allocation. Stock investors actually get a profit-cut for taking the risk, while through crowd funding the costumers take all the risk while the developer gets all the profit. The fact that crowd funding exists at all shows a sorta scary trend that people don't really care about their money at all. Either that or they have no clue about economics. Yes, there is a place for crowd funding as far as it comes to non-profit projects, but as soon as we're talking about something that could generate a decent profit-margin it's getting really shady.

Just imagine if say you were 1 of 100 that spent a hundred bucks kickstarting Angry Birds and all you got was a copy of the game while they got millions and millions in profit.

#25 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

As a guy in the "crowd": no, use your own money. 
As a guy who also likes to earn more money instead of spending them: 

#26 Posted by Zereta (1365 posts) -

Sure publishers have money, but they also have a whole stable of IPs. Some IPs you see over and over again, like the Halos, Gears of Wars, God of Wars etc and some IPs they just hold onto because of their perceived lack of interest, like Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, Syphon Filter.

Crowd funding could be a way for publishers to bring out games that they don't necessarily want to fund themselves but have a lot of popular support.

It makes people put their money where their mouth is. People scream for their favourite IPs to be released again and when publishers do release a game like that, they just don't buy it. Buy crowd funding some games, the game only gets made if there is enough fan support. In that case, everyone wins, right? The publisher's game gets sold a good amount of copies and the fans get the games they want to play.

If you ask me to fund a Halo game, I'd tell Microsoft to "Fuck off" but if they turned around and said "Hey, you guys want a new Killer Instinct, right? Well, here's a Kickstarter for a Killer Instinct 3 and here's some early work we've done. If this is a game you want, donate and we'll work on it. If we can't even get enough money for this from the fans, obviously this won't thrive out in the wild, so we won't make it.

I think that's completely justified and in fact, I encourage it. It means more games come out, and more games coming out means more to play! :D

#27 Posted by Maginnovision (487 posts) -

I'm not into any of these kickstarters. I'm not giving anybody any of my money so they can try and make some, since the end product may not be what I expected. I'm much better off waiting to see how it turns out and see if it's for me since I won't make any money off of their project being successful.

#28 Posted by Dagbiker (6969 posts) -

I would buy into a Viva Pinata 3 kickstarter

#29 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2689 posts) -

People keep saying KickStarter is fishy, but I find something once a week that is in my interest there. I have back 12 projects in the past four months, and I always got what was owed me...photos, postcards, coffee cups...all relatively on time. I have three or four long term projects still in the works, but those folks keep me informed with updates.

Probably the worst sort of deal on KickStarter is if you merely pay them $1 - $5 and you get a sticker. Even a nice sticker is worth 50-cents, so that is a poor deal. But, if you give them money and they give you some cool "swag" or the "game" then it is worth it. If I pay $30 to $50 and get the game its like buying it...its just I'm voting with my wallet, with my "actions" and with my fandom for the idea of the projects. I lose nothing unless the game makers can't make anything...but that percentage of that happening is REDUCED not increased if well know developers of publisher get into KS.

Are there idiots on Kickstarter? Sure. But, I have made friends of people I have supported who are just cool people into what I am into...who better yet MAKE the stuff I'm into. I have collected some keepsakes from around the world and some neat stuff from my support. That is my experience maybe because I care about the projects I support.

I feel richer for the experience even when I give $30 to get a $8 tee-shirt and a 24-cent postcard because cool people have 'made - done - will-do' a fantastic thing with my money.

#30 Posted by Laiv162560asse (487 posts) -
@Ares42 said:

@mosespippy said:

Most publishers are crowd funded. It's called the stock exchange.

Except there's one really major difference that makes crowd funding sorta disgusting, profit allocation. Stock investors actually get a profit-cut for taking the risk, while through crowd funding the costumers take all the risk while the developer gets all the profit. The fact that crowd funding exists at all shows a sorta scary trend that people don't really care about their money at all. Either that or they have no clue about economics. Yes, there is a place for crowd funding as far as it comes to non-profit projects, but as soon as we're talking about something that could generate a decent profit-margin it's getting really shady.

Just imagine if say you were 1 of 100 that spent a hundred bucks kickstarting Angry Birds and all you got was a copy of the game while they got millions and millions in profit.

Great point and word for word you've said what I was going to. Crowdfunding can be a good route for start-ups who have a nice idea but not enough money or freedom, although in most cases the question should still be asked of whether they sought proper investment first. When it comes to established publishers where it is common knowledge that they can fund any venture they want to, to take all the risk for them in exchange for none of the profit allocation just shows a mad attitude to your own money.