Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kickstarter: Buyer Beware!

Kickstarter was the hotness last year and it appears to be so again this year. There have been many great Kickstarter Campaigns that were funded and delivered an awesome product to the people who pledged. For example the two Kickstarters I have done, Reaper's Bones and Mantic's Deadzone, were hugely successful, my products were delivered on time and I was pleased with what I received.

There have also been some blunders out there where people are still waiting for their product or just didn't receive anything at all. Robotech is one example where pledgers have already waiting for far too long to receive anything from Palladium. Relic Knights was another one that was delayed multiple times.

There have even been some straight up scams, such as Asylum Playing Cards, which even has a lawsuit attached to it http://www.scribd.com/doc/221464947/State-of-Washington-vs-Asylum-5-1-2014.

There has also been controversy about one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time, Oculus Rift. Oculus Rift was purchased by Facebook for a pretty penny which caused a lot of backers to get furiously upset, as seen below.


I would be upset as well. If I had pledged I would have done so to help development of a new product, not to make the developers filthy rich by selling to Facebook.

So what am I trying to say in this post? Well things might get even worse in Kickstarter land. They just changed their rules and made it possible to start a project without it being vetted by a person, as seen on their website, https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/introducing-launch-now-and-simplified-rules-0. Oh, I'm sorry, they will have an algorithm do the vetting now if you choose to not be vetted by a person. Everything must be ok if it's just an algorithm! The only things that can not be posted now are anything that is illegal, regulated or dangerous. They also require the people behind the project to be "honest about what they're doing". So the honor system is in full effect when it comes to people's money. I'm sure that will just work perfectly....

Are you kidding me? People have already been ripped off and taken advantage of before the loosening of their rules, now they're just opening the floodgates to even more dishonest people trying to make a quick buck.
Considering Kickstarter has already seen a ton of gaming projects being launched on their site, I can see even more starting out now, and not all of them will be legit. Do your research and I would go even further and suggest that you only pledge as much money as you are willing to take as a loss. With the flood gates being opened, I can now see pledging on Kickstarter to be not much different than playing the Slot Machines in a casino, with Kickstarter taking the house's cut regardless of what happens.

Buyer Beware......

3 comments:

  1. Sometimes you need to go in with eyes wide open. My Raging Heroes order is taking longer than expected. But I don't mind as the company doing it has a history of taking longer than announced so they can keep the QC in check.

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  2. I've always assumed that I am investing money with a chance of no return. People tend to forget (especially in the miniatures kickstarters that they are pledging money to help a company get started, not so that they can get early release at wholesale prices).

    A friend of mine is heavily into Kickstarter but the music side and she showed me that many of their projects are on par with 'pledge 50$ and get a digital copy of our cd'. 50$ for a 5 dollar set of mp3? This seems to be what people are forgetting. Pledge to a dream you believe in, not in a quick cash out of cheap miniatures.

    I have pledged thousdands of dollars in KS and regret none of it, I pledged to Robotech and they are being helpful and honest with their progress, delays happen. I feel it is things like angry 'consumers' that will ruin this, but I agree 100% to watch your wallet, I just think we are forgetting what the purpose of KS is, once again:

    To pledge to support a dream and see it to completion, not early access to cheap product.

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