Harmonix is bringing back Amplitude via Kickstarter

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DrDarkStryfe

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#1  Edited By DrDarkStryfe

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/harmonix/amplitude

https://twitter.com/AmplitudeGame

PS3/PS4 Cross-Buy, and they are asking for $775,000. The deadline is Friday, May 23rd at 5PM EST.

66 hours remain in the campaign, and the amount pledged is over $580,000. The new $35 tier that was introduced today was gobbled up in less that few hours. Harmonix will be doing a live stream starting at noon tomorrow which people can call in and ask about Amplitude.

No Caption Provided

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chemystery

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#2  Edited By chemystery

Oh wow. That might actually be a kickstarter worth backing, and I never back any of them. I bet they make their goal no problem.

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buemba

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Mmm... Though I loved Amplitude I'd feel weird backing a project from a major studio to work on an IP that's owned by Sony.

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StarvingGamer

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#5  Edited By StarvingGamer

Didn't Alex write an article about this? What happened? Did they pull it?

EDIT: NM, went to the internet, found my answer

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DrDarkStryfe

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Yeah, the topic was locked when the article went up. Looks like it was unlocked shortly after the article went down.

It's up to $67,000 now, so there is a hell of a climb to go.

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alex

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#8  Edited By alex

@starvinggamer: Talked it over with Jeff and we agreed to pull down the article due to some of the concerns expressed re: my former employment there, and our general thing about not posting about Kickstarter campaigns. FWIW, we've never had a hard rule about not posting KS campaigns, and in this case I somewhat naively thought it would be no big deal since it's a well-known studio, and a game people remember fondly. But obviously some people took umbrage with it so it seemed smartest to just take it down and not turn this into a big thing.

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RonGalaxy

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Alex's headline was actually kind of snarky about them asking for so much money. And Alex is the last person I would think of when it comes to giving a company that kind of treatment, even if he worked there at some point. His original article didn't seem weird at all to me.

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cocabis

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@alex: Mh, people get "offended" way too easily. It was a news article, I read it, found out new stuff, moved on. But I guess people like to get that news from other sites.

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bacongames

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Also I think it's super cool that a ton of the same team that made Amplitude is still at Harmonix. If anything that's the coolest part to me.

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xyzygy

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#12  Edited By xyzygy

@buemba said:

Mmm... Though I loved Amplitude I'd feel weird backing a project from a major studio to work on an IP that's owned by Sony.

This is what I don't understand... if the IP is owned by Sony, who would publish it if it's crowdfunded? And how does that work? T

hey're asking for quite a lot... 18 days to go and only 67,000 raised. At this rate they'll never make it.

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abendlaender

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#13  Edited By abendlaender

Wish them all the best, but I would be surprised if they make it. 750.000 in 18 days for a console exclusive Amplitude game seems impossible to me.

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RonGalaxy

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Holy crap, people really overreacted to alex's story (just go look at jeffs tumblr).

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Seikenfreak

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Backed (saw article on Kotaku first)

The discussion on Jeff's Tumblr about Alex putting the article up and then it being removed is weird. I didn't see the article here so I don't know what sort of tone it had or whatever, but I can't imagine Alex would write some bat shit crazy excited article about Amplitude and telling people to back it. I'm guessing he wrote a news post like any other game announcement? And some people are getting weirdly butt hurt about his connections in the past?

I don't know. Seems like a mountain made from a mole hill. The Giant Bomb staff in general seems to be friends with multiple people (Drake and Pope at least) at Harmonix. Continuing on this Amplitude avoidance route seems like they'll have to spend the rest of this games life's cycle walking on egg shells and trying to act like they aren't friendly with Harmonix? Seems like a whole lot of work and tip toeing around when you could just have a standard game announcement about it posted and the vast majority of GB viewers should know by now they are friendly with some Harmonix staff.

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StarvingGamer

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@alex: I'll admit I did a sort of double-take when I saw that it was a Kickstarter article (mostly because of the number of times Patrick has said that you guys don't do Kickstarter articles) and that you were the one posting it. It's a weird gray area to be sure and even though it shouldn't be a big deal, I get why people would be woogy about it. I appreciate your commitment to integrity.

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sammo21

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I saw them post on Twitter it was Amplitude. Then I was super surprised it was Kickstarter, but I still supported at the $20 level. Still waiting on my Dance Central collection on PS4...

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Thiago123

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#18  Edited By Thiago123
@alex said:

@starvinggamer: Talked it over with Jeff and we agreed to pull down the article due to some of the concerns expressed re: my former employment there, and our general thing about not posting about Kickstarter campaigns. FWIW, we've never had a hard rule about not posting KS campaigns, and in this case I somewhat naively thought it would be no big deal since it's a well-known studio, and a game people remember fondly. But obviously some people took umbrage with it so it seemed smartest to just take it down and not turn this into a big thing.

Thank you for this honest update. I have to admit - my first reaction to the article's headline was, "hmmm..." Not because of your past employment there specifically, but just because of the crew's friendship with the Harmonix guys in general. I know that you guys don't have a hard rule about it, but to not really cover any other games' Kickstarters, this one really stood out (as does Double Fine games). This is nothing you didn't realize already, and if the article had stayed up, I'd still be watching GB everyday anyway, so it was refreshing to see your post. You guys rock, keep it up.

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71Ranchero

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The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

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ArtisanBreads

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#20  Edited By ArtisanBreads

@71ranchero said:

The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

I don't, but if your goal is JOURNALIST INTEGRITY #1 Giant Bomb isn't that and hasn't had that (though it's a virtually impossible goal anyways). They are friends with a lot of developers and that is what it is. I absolutely don't care. I think that it's all pretty transparent and I do think they promote their friends games more than others for sure but won't stop me from coming here or anything.

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abendlaender

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The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

It's not THAT ridiculous. I personally didn't really care but to be fair it does look a bit weird, when the first KS ever to get a proper news article is one started by close friends of the site.

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ReCkLeSs_X

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Cool that they're bringing it back - weird that it has to be through Kickstarter though. As far as the news story by Alex, I think it was a very smart move to remove it.

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Gaff

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@71ranchero said:

The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

It's not THAT ridiculous. I personally didn't really care but to be fair it does look a bit weird, when the first KS ever to get a proper news article is one started by close friends of the site.

I don't blame people for having a short memory but... Technically, the first Kickstarter to get a proper news article on the site is http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/yeah-so-shadow-of-the-eternals-is-back-on-kickstar/1100-4697/

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71Ranchero

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@71ranchero said:

The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

It's not THAT ridiculous. I personally didn't really care but to be fair it does look a bit weird, when the first KS ever to get a proper news article is one started by close friends of the site.

That sounds like a great reason for a kickstarter to get a proper news article.

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Dallas_Raines

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So, this is pretty much the game equivalent of the Veronica Mars kickstarter. It won't be long till Capcom starts crowd funding Megaman games.

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freakin9

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DrDarkStryfe, how do we know you didn't work at Harmonix at one time too? *takes out gun and starts waving it around*

I was loving how seriously people were taking this, but probably the right move to avoid the internet false outrage avalanche bandwagon hysteria.

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Gaff

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ArtisanBreads

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#28  Edited By ArtisanBreads

@abendlaender said:

It's not THAT ridiculous. I personally didn't really care but to be fair it does look a bit weird, when the first KS ever to get a proper news article is one started by close friends of the site.

That sounds like a great reason for a kickstarter to get a proper news article.

They actually do care about that, hence why they took it down. This site is certainly a weird mix but they are also trying to have journalistic integrity.

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joshwent

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Welp, now I guess I can scrap the shitty rip off of Amplitude that I hoped to make someday.

@alex I really admire the thought that all you guys put into your relationships with the business, and I'm not trying to critique your decision, but I think a post from you about this game is more than fine. It's been clear since the start that you guys have no intention of covering even close to everything games-wise, and that we instead get games that you think are interesting or that more folks should know about. We don't really come to GB's articles and featured trailers to see what all the hot new releases are, we come to see what you want to share with us. This game is clearly something that might tickle your pickle, so it easily fits with all of the other coverage that you do.

Furthermore, I hope these kind of concerns don't set a bad precedent for the site as a whole. GB has thrust a lot of great devs into its weird spotlight; Brad Muir, Dave Lang, etc. And I could see users voicing similar concerns if their future games (many of which will probably have Kickstarters of their own) were also written up on the front page, but those concerns, if heeded, would just end up with all of us seeing less cool stuff than we would otherwise. If Bastion was in development now instead of 4 years ago, they very well might have utilized Kickstarter, and I'd hate to think that the amazing "building the bastion" videos may have been scrapped over similar concerns.

Basically, Giant Bomb really isn't a site about video games. It's a site about all of your personalities and how you intersect with the world of video games. Jeff has said countless times over the years that reviews are a subjective medium and should never completely strive to be otherwise, because they represent the specific experience that the writer had. Similarly, I think the content that you post on the main page here is just as subjective, and we're all the better for it. I could care less if you feature a game from a place where you worked, a game that you've pledged money to yourself, or a game that you're fucking making. If it's something you think I should know about... post that shit! ;)

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Clonedzero

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I didnt have an issue with him posting the article.

I just find it ridiculous that a large successful and established studio would use kickstarter. Especially one that seems to be playstation exclusive....Come on...

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Behonkiss

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#31  Edited By Behonkiss

I didnt have an issue with him posting the article.

I just find it ridiculous that a large successful and established studio would use kickstarter. Especially one that seems to be playstation exclusive....Come on...

Sony owns the rights to the Amplitude IP, and no major studio is going to sink much money into a music game after the Guitar Hero/Rock Band rise and fall. It's ridiculous to call any of this ridiculous. Then again, that's what I expect from the GB community.

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bacongames

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@71ranchero said:

The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

It's not THAT ridiculous. I personally didn't really care but to be fair it does look a bit weird, when the first KS ever to get a proper news article is one started by close friends of the site.

Both the Broken Age and Massive Chalice got kickstarter articles, the former getting upwards of two or three. I think it's a weird case of coincidence where a high profile gaming kickstarter crosses over into the personal interest of the site AND it happens to be from Harmonix which is closer to GB than most others in the industry. That it was Alex, one of only two news people, was the last factor that probably lined it up for people. Had it been Patrick I'm sure people would have been on him about posting a KS article for slightly different reasons.

Personally what irks me is that they've addressed this before in various places and rather well I thought. They're aware of the issue and have debated it amongst themselves multiple times and have come to the conclusion that rather than keep themselves unhappy and locked away for the sake of some absolute editorial integrity, they'd rather get out there and have those relationships. It just strikes me as out of touch for some to treat it like we're back to square one as if they haven't.

It's all a judgement call in the moment and really if they commit to reviewing a friends' game or posting an article about them, I fully trust them to do their job and do it well. I expect and have received nothing less from this crew over the years and this case is no different.

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Seikenfreak

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#33  Edited By Seikenfreak

@joshwent: +1

So wouldn't even discussing a Kickstarter game on the podcast, or somewhere else on the site, equate to giving it publicity? Should GB not mention Amplitude on this weeks podcast or Bombin in the AM?

And what happens when the Windjammers Kickstarter hits from Iron Galaxy? Are we not going to see coverage on that?

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Clonedzero

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#34  Edited By Clonedzero

@clonedzero said:

I didnt have an issue with him posting the article.

I just find it ridiculous that a large successful and established studio would use kickstarter. Especially one that seems to be playstation exclusive....Come on...

Sony owns the rights to the Amplitude IP, and no major studio is going to sink much money into a music game after the Guitar Hero/Rock Band rise and fall. It's ridiculous to call any of this ridiculous. Then again, that's what I expect from the GB community.

If Sony owns the IP rights, that means Sony is into the idea if they're allowing this in the first place. A big established studio like harmonix should not be asking for handouts on kickstarter when they could fund it by other means. If thats "not possible" as their tweets suggest, then maybe don't make it.

And Harmonix are the music game guys, they're in development of several other music games right now. They even announced rockband is coming back at some point this generation. So what are you talking about? Plenty of publishers are investing in music games with harmonix.

So why is Amplitude a kickstarter when all their other music games aren't? Especially when Sony owns the IP rights and could easily be the publisher if they wanted.

This whole thing is gross.

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abendlaender

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@gaff said:

@abendlaender said:

@71ranchero said:

The idea that people have an issue with this being covered at GB is ridiculous.

It's not THAT ridiculous. I personally didn't really care but to be fair it does look a bit weird, when the first KS ever to get a proper news article is one started by close friends of the site.

I don't blame people for having a short memory but... Technically, the first Kickstarter to get a proper news article on the site is http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/yeah-so-shadow-of-the-eternals-is-back-on-kickstar/1100-4697/

That has nothing to do with short memory! That was almost a year ago!

Okay, okay my fault. As people pointed out there were other articles. Still, it's not THAT surprising to see other people looking at this funny but just to reiterate: I didn't have any problems with it. If I didn't trust GB to handle this properly I wouldn't be on this site anymore.

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HeyGuys

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#36  Edited By HeyGuys

That's kind of lame, they should fund their own projects.

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D4RKSH33P

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Both the Broken Age and Massive Chalice got kickstarter articles, the former getting upwards of two or three.

And I felt just as gross for each of those articles too. I personally believe that if you are going to pick and choose giving endorsements or mentions or eyeballs to a project that is not funded then you need to do it for many more. It's probably unfair, but so is the ability to cause someone to make their living or not.

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freakin9

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Shouldn't people be bitching at the people who fund these projects?

People act like if there was an avenue for you to make money, with no risk, you wouldn't jump on that.

That's the point of these projects, they don't really want to risk their own money having to suffer a loss, so they use a service that has a history of funding projects like these.

Should people be getting a cut? No, not at the levels people are donating.

Honestly, it's easy to get outraged if you just think about these things from their most base level, that being, they COULD risk their own money... but... why would you if you could avoid it.

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Gaff

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@clonedzero: I count two known games currently in development at Harmonix.

Fantasia: Music Evolved, published by Disney Interactive.

Chroma: co-developed with Hidden Path, no publisher known yet.

That's it. Let's face it, it's not the heydays of Guitar Hero / Rock Band / Dance Central anymore, the music genre is back to being niche.

On a side note:

With the medium sized, independent developer rapidly going extinct, the few that are left are going to have to resort to crowdfunding to fund their own projects. Or work on licensed games. Whether you like it or not, crowdfunding is here to stay.

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Puchiko

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So if Jeff got cancer and he started a kickstarter to pay for medical bills (like some others have) and the site reported on it, people would get upset as well? This is their site and and they can report on anything they want IMHO.

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Shortbreadtom

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@xyzygy: You forget that they are currently at 78,000, and it's the FIRST day. This is an 18 day project, rather than a regular 30 day. Nearly 80 grand in less than 12 hours means that they have a real chance of making it

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joshwent

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This could only be deemed "unfair" if the sway that GB has was taking money away from one Kickstarter and giving it to another. This certainly could be the case with some individuals, but it doesn't reflect the actions myself, any donors I've ever known or any others I've heard about.

If there's a game that someone would want to help fund, and they see it on this site and then do so, it has no significant effect on any other Kickstarter. Featuring a game here that has a Kickstarter might definitely help that project get funded, but there's nothing unfair about it at all.

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D4RKSH33P

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@joshwent said:

This could only be deemed "unfair" if the sway that GB has was taking money away from one Kickstarter and giving it to another. This certainly could be the case with some individuals, but it doesn't reflect the actions myself, any donors I've ever known or any others I've heard about.

If there's a game that someone would want to help fund, and they see it on this site and then do so, it has no significant effect on any other Kickstarter. Featuring a game here that has a Kickstarter might definitely help that project get funded, but there's nothing unfair about it at all.

Tell that to the guy who is working on his own and Kickstarter is his only way of making his personal project a reality. His message to Alex to check out his project or try a demo prior to a project launch will be ignored 100% of the time mostly on the fact that it is a Kickstarter project and not on any of it's merits as a game. Why should big companies get preferential treatment?

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rmanthorp

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#44 rmanthorp  Moderator

Can we please move the discussion away from Alex posting about the kickstarter and to the actual kickstarter.

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davidmerrick

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For those feeling weird about the Bomb Squad's relationship with industry figures like Drake, Lang and Muir, they had a comprehensive discussion about ethics on the Bombcast a couple years back.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

In summary, they say they know how to keep their professional and personal relationships separate, and that the former shouldn't have to cancel out the latter--in fact, it's pretty unreasonable to cut out all friendly relations. Also, that friendliness doesn't translate into favours. I think it's Jeff who states in the clip that if an industry figure expected that their friendship would result in a high score on GB, then that relationship wouldn't be much of a friendship to begin with.

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TheHT

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It seems like a potentially weird line. I mean, Double Fine putting out a kickstarter seems worthy of a news article rather than any other smaller group, as does this, just from being a bigger name. I suppose with Double Fine and this there could at least be another story there about balancing all the projects they're working on, or if someone like EA came out and did a kickstarter somethin about how big publishers are turning to kickstarter. But the distinction between a game announcement from an established name versus a kickstarter announcement from an established name seems kinda flimsy.

At the same time, I get where Alex is coming from posting a news story about something people here might actually want to know about. Not unlike the crew talking about the Frog Fractions 2 kickstarter on the podcast or UPF or whatever. A "no kickstarter talk ever" policy would be ridiculous, though I see how a front page news article could be seen as different from just a mention or conversation somewhere else. Ehh, I'm just not bothered by this. Some full disclosure note in the article about Alex' past employment connection probably would've been appropriate, but even then I'm sure there would be some who see it as some afront to integrity.

Honestly if the crew wanted to showcase kickstarter campaigns they're interested in, not that this was purely just that, I'd probably still be fine with it. Sure it's not fair to the hundreds of other kickstarter campaigns that might want attention, but at the same time, there are hundreds of other kickstarter campaigns. It's like how I wouldn't expect the crew to review every single game or none, I also wouldn't expect em to talk about every kickstarter or none. If they went into this whole thing with the mindset of covering whatever interests them, I think kickstarter campaign talk should be no different.

Anyways, I never played the old Amplitude games, but I remember when Blitz came out people compared the two, and I enjoyed Blitz (and that PSP game). Or was that Frequency? Is Frequency even a thing? I don't even know. Video games y'all.

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bacongames

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@d4rksh33p: The issue if I remember correctly largely stems from kickstarter email solicitations to write about one's game. On multiple occasions, particularly Patrick, he said the guaranteed way not to get your kickstarter written about is to bug them with another email about it. Here, there was no concerted effort on the part of Harmonix, nor DoubleFine in the past, to contact them to get stories written. They announced the kickstarter themselves and, as with DoubleFine, it's a well liked and known mid-size game dev going to kickstarter with something people might be interested in.

The site is predicated on them picking and choosing games to cover based on what interests them and on rare occasion that includes kickstarters. In a lot of ways you can see it is as a self-fulfilling prophecy since these kinds of kickstarters are in the middle of a specific ven diagram that smaller and more obscure devs don't have the opportunity to get into. Although I will say they've generally posted more frequently on funded or failed kickstarters and the stories of going through them but even then they know the influence they might have. That goes for anything, reviews, site trailers, quick looks etc. David Galindo, maker of Cook, Serve, Delicious!, basically cites the GB QL as the lifeline he needed to stay in game dev.

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noblenerf

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Can we please move the discussion away from Alex posting about the kickstarter and to the actual kickstarter.

It's a lot of money to ask for a game Sony should be funding on their own.

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Blu3V3nom07

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If its on Kickstarter, why can't it have the chance to come to Xbox?

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71Ranchero

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@rmanthorp said:

Can we please move the discussion away from Alex posting about the kickstarter and to the actual kickstarter.

It's a lot of money to ask for a game Sony should be funding on their own.

You are assuming that this game would ever have a chance of being funded by Sony in the first place.