Monday, 15 April 2013

Kickstarter: A Love Hate Relationship

Oh Kickstarter, how I love / loathe thee...

I have extremely mixed feelings about Kickstarter, I have a Kickstarter profile and have backed a number of projects.  I really like the idea of a way that people who couldn't get a project off the ground have a way of accessing money if enough people like the idea.

I love that it is is getting board games a bigger name and that there are components being made for games that otherwise wouldn't.  I like that there is support of 'Indie' markets where there might not be otherwise.

I love browsing it looking for projects and I like the communities that develop on there on a popular project. It's great that some developers are responding to the comments sections.

I love getting free stuff and exclusive offers / options, and being able to buy add-ons and seeing how much / little some projects achieve. I like checking what stretch goals we might have achieved today.

All of these things are great, funky, cool, boo-yah.  (Or something)

But all is not right in the state of Kickstarter...

I hate that there are things I feel like I'm missing out on when I don't get all the add-ons I might want and know I can't get them later.  I hate having to look at so many things with SUCH HIGH postage because I  live in the UK, not the USA

I don't like some of the communities that look down on people that haven't been involved in a kickstarter before or who whinge about a manufacturers decisions (especially in regard to free stuff).  I loathe the elitism of people who think they're better because they've sponsored more / higher / better kickstarter projects.

But here's what I hate the most.  I really really don't think that Kickstarter should be used by big companies who are just using it as advertising.  Those companies that cold have got the funding anyway (or in some cases had the funding necessary to fund the project but chose to use it as a booster.  I'm sure (almost sure) that it's not against the rules but it feels against the spirit of the rules.  People WILL buy your games anyway, where as 'Johnny who lives up the road' doesn't have a chance without it.

What I hate most most of all (even more than the most of all above) is that I am a hypocrite.  There have been a couple of notable examples recently that I have backed, after all I'm going to buy them anyway, and if I do it here I get it cheaper.  I might even get some extra stuff... But I could just have pre-ordered.  And  I would have if that had been an option.

I also worry that at some point it's going to all backfire.  People seem to think they have some ownership when they back a kickstarter project, that their opinion matters, and at some point I can see them getting grumpy when their thoughts are ignored.

All in all Kickstarter makes me a little uncomfortable whilst liking it at the same time.  I am officially 'discombobulated'

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