Colin McComb on crowdfunding

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Wasteland 2 writer Colin McComb shares some thoughts on crowdfunding on his blog.<blockquote>3. TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER: Most traditional publishers won’t touch a game of the size Kickstarters generally fund. Brian Fargo got almost $3 million for his Kickstarter. 61,000 backers. How does this compare to Black Ops 2? 11,220,000 in the first week. There’s just no comparison to that scale. There is no reason for a publisher to look at the numbers for WL2 – a non-console game – and think that they need to start considering funding similar games. This is a blip on their radar. Consider: Halo 4 had a budget of over $100 million. $3 million is practically an accounting error. It’s a few months of development time. Why would a publisher turn away from their lucrative franchises and blockbusters to develop an indie game?

    4. CROWDFUNDING: That brings us to the last option: crowdfunding. While it’s certainly admirable to want to open the game’s possibilities to all backers, no matter how much or how little they contribute, it’s a simple fact of human behavior that people want to get value for what they put in. Telling someone who contributes $10,000 that they can have a downloadable copy and a special digital pet is not going to motivate them… especially if someone who contributes $20 gets exactly the same thing. Consider: if you back a project at $20, don’t you want to know that you’re getting more bang for that than a $5 backer? I don’t know how to incentivize a higher-level backer other than offering them something that is not available to the lower-contributing tiers.

    Sure, it might be a little strange to see names in the game and know that they came from wealthier patrons – but is that worse than *not* knowing where design decisions came from? And more: the names in a game are hardly real design decisions. They are essentially window dressing. They are not dialogue structures. They are not combat mechanics. For the most part, they do not fundamentally alter gameplay.</blockquote>
  2. Jabberwok

    Jabberwok Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jun 7, 2008
    I guess someone somewhere must have been debating whether it's okay for backer names to show up in crowd-funded games. I don't see anything wrong with it.

    However, while reward tiers probably persuade people to give more, I think a lot of large donations are made just because someone wants to see the product made, like the rest of us, and not only because they get exclusive treatment. For example, if Notch goes and contributes a bunch of money to a project, I doubt it's because he cares whether his name is in the credits. The great things about this is that we can choose to impact whether a certain product will ever exist, and not just whether or not we will personally own it.
  3. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    Hmm I'd rather have a Wasteland 2, with the names of donors spread around the game world, than no Wasteland 2 at all.

    Some people will find literally anything to complain about. (I assume someone was complaining, hence his post)
  4. Radman

    Radman It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 12, 2007
    I was thinking the same, some people will moan and moan.

    At the end of the day we wouldnt have Wasteland 2 or any of the decent indie games that are on the way if it wasnt for the likes of kickstarter.

    We'd be stuck with a never ending stream of Call of Duty games and Halo's...
  5. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    i dont know... one of those ideas sounded nice.

    say this:

    10k range:
    you purchase 1 "share". that share entitles you to a cut, post any maintenance/distribution fees for that quarter, for no more than 5 years, deposited every quarter into a bank account you specify. 10% of the post fees profit will be divided among all those who contribute that amount. and then set a max of like 20-50 backers for that level. conditional on you signing their legal agreement stating that and providing the routing info you want them to deposit the money on, along with yearly financial statements for the game.

    i think something like that would be not too difficult to set up.
  6. God is Dog backwards

    God is Dog backwards Mildly Dipped

    Jul 25, 2003
    Nice article, with which I agree, so far as indie devs go. My problem is when people like Molyneux or David Braben pop up asking for people's money (with half-hearted kickstarter pitches - in Braben's case, he didn't even have a video at the start). As, unless I've missed something, those guys have had plenty of money for a long time and plenty of opportunity to 'return to their roots' in the past, but have chased brighter lights.
  7. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    I'm with wes, if kickstarter wanted to be more appealing it would sell shares in games or companies rather than buying bigger preorder packages. Right now it's hardly the best for buyers.
  8. TheWesDude

    TheWesDude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 25, 2005
    yea, once you get past the collectors edition or boxed sets, all they can really do is offer tickets for their launch party or in-theme stuff in-game like npcs or such.

    and i know if i was a $20-40 "backer", i would not want them spending $50-100k for their launch party.