Crowd funding may not be the future but it’s the best solution for small projects

          Crowdfunding is something I’m indifferent to really. I may think it’s stupid to pump more money into projects that certainly will never meet anyone’s expectation at this point (*Cough* Star Citizen *Cough*), but to each their own. Crowdfunding, in my eyes, is really for smaller projects that would certainly never receive the funding otherwise.

          Sadly, the biggest known names in crowdfunding so far are never going to release their products or disappointments. That is the real shame with crowdfunding, as soon as you open yourself up to the public you invite dreamers who probably never released any product into the market before. One game that really did not endear me to the idea was Shenmue 3 which asked for funding from fans… before SONY would provide the rest of the funds.. .on SONY’s stage show about the games the PS4 will have (“Yu Suzuki speaks up on Shenmue 3’s budget, Sony’s support and more”, 2015).

          For comparison I’ll look at two games, Battletech and Star Citizen. Star Citizen is a game being developed by Chris Roberts, who previously made Wing Commander which highly influenced other space based games, since 2012 and raised $102,483,347. What is most worrying about Star Citizen is how Roberts talks about the game, almost never saying “We are finalizing the game and it will be released” but “We want the game to be massive and so are still adding content”. This would not be a problem except that the game has been in production for 5 YEARS and there is still no release date in sight. In other words Roberts is a dreamer who had tried this before but couldn’t do it due to most of the money was corporate and they wanted a released product.

On the other hand we have Battletech, a mechwarrior game, made by Harebrained Schemes LLC. It started on September 2015, raised $3 171 743 08 and, shockingly, will be released late 2017. Unlike in any Chris Robert interview, the Battlemech team all sat down and recorded one video where they said something akin to “We know our fans want to make the game better but we can’t just keep adding content or we’ll never release it” from 6:37 – 7:03 (“STAR CITIZEN: The Hypocalypse – A Rant”, 2015). While the audience for Battletech is a lot smaller and the game did not go mainstream, the fans were happy and the team behind Battletech were realists and not dreamers alone.

 

References:

STAR CITIZEN: The Hypocalypse – A Rant. (2015). YouTube. Retrieved 7 April 2017, from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpyUYDdgxoQ

 

Yu Suzuki speaks up on Shenmue 3’s budget, Sony’s support and more. (2015). Polygon. Retrieved 7 April 2017, from

http://www.polygon.com/2015/6/24/8842103/shenmue-3-budget-sony-kickstarter-yu-suzuki

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14 thoughts on “Crowd funding may not be the future but it’s the best solution for small projects”

  1. While the dedication of a person’s work, and them handling someone else’s money is a problem, why do you think people rely on crowdfunding as a source for finance? Is there no other way for them to get funds?

    Also, what reasons could there be for the creator of Star Citizen to keep pushing the release dates back?

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    1. People like crowdfunding because they get to feel like they are a part of the creation process. That feeling can also, sadly, be exploited by developers who will use the fact that people already paid for a product to be made because those people already invested into it.

      As for Star Citizen it’s more of a case where the developer being a creative individual more so than a grounded one. The team behind battle tech avoided the usual traps of fundraising development because they observed so many people fall for those traps and actually learning. The developer of Star Citizen also tried to do this in the past with another space based game so it’s a track record at this point that the guy is too much of a dreamer.

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  2. Sony could actually fund the whole development of Shenmue 3, not just the part of it. And in the end fans would be happy that Shenmue 3 is going to be released, and Sony as it funded the whole game, so it may be and exclusive for PS4.

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    1. They are greedy F***ks though so they want to save money. They were the Company that cultivated the atmosphere for Michael Jackson to end up dead and to sell his, then (50% of SONY’s catalog), extensive music catalog rights to pay off child abuse allegations.

      Notice I said cultivated and not did it themselves. They let the media do that for them.

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  3. Your argument was very well created and had strong points making your stance quite relevant. It’s true those seeking crowdfunding should show results of the fans funds soon enough to keep the momentum going.

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  4. It was interesting to read about crowdfunding from the person, who is in “games,” I totally agree it’s a solution for small projects. But as I also wrote about this theme, I would like to say not all big projects are less worth of human’s attention than small ones who gain the amount of money more likely. It’s so sad to see how absolutely amazing projects went unfunded just because they were too epic.

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  5. Wow, I had a feeling that crowdfunding may be a bad idea since you may be “scammed” by a company & may never get what you want, major companies shouldn’t do that then.

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    1. Crowdfunding is like the wild west. You might get scammed or you might find a mountain of gold. There is no certainty there, even a funds return policy is missing for all the most popular crowdfunding sites.

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