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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