So you funded Star Citizen...

Monday, August 18, 2014 | 48

I really like crowd-funding. Not only does it serve as a litmus test to gauge the viability of ideas, it's also a platform, like Honey Boo Boo, where we get to watch people perpetually make the same mistakes. The first generation of Kickstarter games were met with incredible enthusiasm and, more importantly, cash money. Since then people have discovered the truth about game production:

Talk is cheap. As fuck.


If all it takes to get 300,000 dollars on Kickstarter is a few commissioned digital paintings, neckbeard videos, and an interesting idea about how to properly copy MineCraft, sign me the hell up. I have ideas for days. What I don't have is a team of awkward drones to do exactly as I say in a timely fashion. Also, great ideas don't have to be technologically plausible. There is a disconnect.

Once the game is funded, particularly brazen developers continue taking money in order to reach arbitrary 'stretch goals'. For those of you who are unfamiliar, a 'stretch goal' is an improvement the developer will add to the game if you pay the ransom.

"If you don't give us more money, we will make the game shittier."


If your game requires certain features to be good, why wouldn't you ask for the amount of money required to make the 'good' version? Also, how they quantify the cost of typically minor features is preposterous. As the total funding increases, the stretch goal cost increases exponentially, but the tacked on stretch goals typically become less impressive and more arbitrary.

When the campaign ends successfully, the game gets made (if it isn't deep into development already). This sends a developer into a money-lust where they set up a donations page for more ridiculous and game breaking awards. This is when everything goes to shit, and these companies start taking pay to win money. The refundable phase is over, and if you donated and don't believe in buying success in a game, you're totally fucked.


The fuck?


As long as they're makin' fat stacks, why would they even release the game? With the exception of some token benchmarks, we can't know for certain that real progress is even being made. We also can't know for certain that the game wasn't done before the Kickstarter even launched. Think about that. Indie games don't cost $50,000,000, so what you're really paying for is mansions.

Additionally, keep in mind that games make their money in box sales regardless of funding. No publishers take a cut, so that 50+ mil is pure. fucking. profit.

Entrepreneurship is a concept based on risk, but if you have no-strings funding you incur zero risk. Risk is important. Risk makes you work hard. Risk is a strategy game about global domination.

So you funded Star Citizen? Good luck.

48 comments :

  1. This is probably the first article on crowdfunding I've totally agreed with.


    Side-note: I like how Oort Online is marking their funding goals in the game itself as they're supported. Coming from my position, I can say it fits the contracting setup most indie companies have to use anyways. "You want to know where your money is going? It's to the 3D artist we need for those weapons you want!"

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  2. 50-51 million goes towards optional red brake lights on your space ship.

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  3. Stretch goals lol. This is pre-order bonus items to the nth degree. These guys obviously graduated from the Bernie Madoff School of Finance. I hope Star Citizen is the end all be all of SciFI Space mmo's but im not holding my breath.

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  4. They're basically selling powerful in-game assets. In my eyes, that destroys their chances at making a successful MMORPG.

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  5. Man you inspired me. I will start a similar blog in russian.

    Btw here is a little thing that will make you famous. You should set up a kickstarter for star citizen audit. There are rumors that they are just recycling same money capitalizing on suckers.

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  6. You can write Russian posts here if you want! Haha

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  7. From the bottom of my heart Miguelito (you know who I am anyhow from the emails we exchanged), I am grateful to be alive and have a website as yours that writes EXACTLY about things we should know; not only as gamers but most importantly consumers, where as the rest ignore the faulty design and core concepts of MMOrpgs and now KickFuckers.

    From my Net lurking so far what I have realized is that the industry is making an effort to shut our voices down; and I am being dead serious for once;

    In Reddit for example anything negative (regardless if it is true) about any MMOrpg is downvoted instantly. Specifically there was a legendary thread in which a Mod of WS subreddit (that worked for Carbine) was introducing the new rules such as and I quote,

    "Do NOT post - Questions regarding the current server status"

    ESO shutdown its own Steam Hating Community by branding everyone who heavily criticized the game as a "troll" and thus dropped the banhammer on them.

    So what I am trying to say is that it is nice to have a place to express ourselves and criticize our MMOrpgs without holding back and without the fear of the clown police (corporate or fanboy Mods). I mean even my thread got locked; God have mercy on me - An F2P Experience (http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/419359/God-have-mercy-on-me-An-F2P-Experience.html) and ironically they allow this;

    ArcheAge Column: How ArcheAge Captures the ‘Elder Scrolls’ Spirit Better Than ESO (http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/572/feature/8779/How-ArcheAge-Captures-the-Elder-Scrolls-Spirit-Better-Than-ESO.html/page/1) by Kyle Trembley. Who is he? See for yourself,

    "Kyle Trembley - Project Manager at DB Creative, Inc.

    DB Creative, Inc. - DB
    Creative will strengthen your brand no matter what your needs are.
    Consistency in design and message, across multiple media channels, is
    our top priority. Whether creating marketing collateral or consulting,
    partnering with us will enhance the perception and efficiency of your
    brand... and at a reasonable cost.

    DB
    Creative has over 20 years of custom design experience. We specialize
    in brand development, Emmy nominated broadcast design, print media,
    internet design, consulting, and more. We will create a solution for
    what you need.

    Kyle Trembley's Skills & Expertise - Social Media Marketing"

    Anyhow, now more to the point;

    I would argue it goes deeper. Name me one article, just one fucking article that criticizes the fact that here was have a funded MMOrpg (Star Citizen) with $51m and yet there is no fucking gameplay. You know what it reminds me? Of Destiny where no one knew what the fuck it is all about until pre-orders got hit in the nuts and they had to explain what Destiny is.

    I wrote about today if you can be bothered to read wall of text;
    "No need to thank me", tribute to Lost Humanity 18: A Table of Doritos (http://massauthority.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/karma-is-bitch.html).


    You have inspired me to write another thread since KickFucker has always been something that I personally consider a scum.

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  8. Ha! I wrote a while ago that Star Citizen is a professional fundraising organization not a game making group. They have missed every target "launch" they have promised yet keep releasing videos and fluff to drive more sales and.. stretch goals.
    Great observations and great article!

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  9. Another great article. Oh hey, would you like a boat? That'll be $500,000 thanks. Not just that, but you can buy the content now, when you have no idea what it looks like even "Content Pending" What the actual fuck?

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/?page_id=40715

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  10. Yeah I am really sick of communities out there just banning everything which doesn't immediately conform to their view of what you should be saying. As bad as the Shroud of the Avatar forum moderators and users are which I focus on in my blog, MMORPG is just a cesspool of dick


    But you know what? Its the internet... I'm just still glad I can go to places like your blog and this place and know that I'm not the only... sane... person out there getting banned by a bunch of bias mod douche bags.

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  11. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

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  12. I (obviously) will let anyone post here as long as they let me edit the shit out of them.

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  13. Exactly. It's like going to Mars or the Moon.. doesn't matter how much money you throw at it, at the end of the day it only matters if you have a group of people with the will to go there or not.

    Maybe this will force EVE Online to start doing something more interesting? I think I remember them saying something like they're working on offering a normal gameplay experience..

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  14. Wait, you edit?! But I thought you didn't censor! Or is editing somebody's opinion =/= censorship?
    I'm not taking any risks!
    *Deletes finished article for 'I Hate MMORPGs'*

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  15. I edit for grammar, not content.

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  16. EvE Online made a huge mistake by making their FPS completely separate from the game. Imagine how fucking awesome space station battles could be in the world of EvE!

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  17. Grammar is the most important thing in the world!
    But that won't help now...

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  18. My wife teaches English. She gets on me for being a shit writer.

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  19. Star Citizen Interview | Crowdfunding, Pay 2 Win and Goals in the game
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pD2_Pbvde4

    Oh boy.

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  20. Oh, I didn't realize he said he wasn't going to take the money and build a palace out of it. I'll take the article down.

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  21. Yeah I never tried that FPS, how about the new EvE: Valkyrie? Does that even integrate with EvE Online? If it doesn't, that's pretty dumb TBH.

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  22. Of course you haven't because it's a console exclusive (another dumb idea). Valkyrie is just a pet project, but it won't be related to EvE.

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  23. I am forwarding my own post about it,

    The revisionism of P2W in this thread is like the revisionism of the Holocaust; so much Freudian denial.

    Arguments that Not_advocates put in place,

    "What is P2W? Define it to me!" - Betting that you present a definition full of holes and interpretation.

    "For me P2W is this, for you it is different!" - Different definitions doesn't not make something less P2W or more P2W.

    "It is not as P2W as X MMOrpg" - Irrelevant; it is still P2W.[/LIST][/QUOTE]

    And the last one,

    "Chris Roberts hates P2W OK!"

    If Mr Chris Roberts [highlight]hates[/highlight] so much P2W why isn't the business model a subscription, you know the best business model that ensures all get the full game in equal terms?

    It doesn't matter what type of philosophical lingo you come up with, this game will be straight out the most expensive hobby of the bourgeois Leet Corps. You would think that Chris Roberts, considering the amount of money people have sinked in, he would have the basic human decency not to create this type of cashboy environment.

    Note: Miguelito if you can PLEASE make this viral I would be grateful. Gaming Fucking (literally) Journalism; makes me sick to death,

    Quinnspiracy Theory: The Five Guys Saga
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5-51PfwI3M

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  24. Update on the last matter,

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=877859

    Zoe Quin (Depression Quest) Allegations: Inappropriate Press Relations, DMCA Misuse

    TotalBisquit stated,

    "The long and short of it is that Zoey Quinn the developer of Depression Quest is being accused of exploiting the nepotism that tends to plague this industry by getting a bunch of favorable coverage from people she has supposedly slept with. In addition to this, videos supposedly critical of these actions have been taken down from Youtube with copyright claims, including a video by a smaller channel called MundaneMatt. It's difficult to tell what is true and what is not. 4chan is all up in arms over it which means that alongside any truth there's always going to be ridiculous stories and trolling attempts. 4chan is a blunderbuss. It's a giant cannon filled with fuckin screws, nails, bodyparts, shit and waifu. When it fires, maybe 1% of it hits and the other 99% just goes everywhere and makes a mess. Added into this whole drama shitstorm is a cadre of SJW types and whoever it is that is opposed to that, MRAs? I don't even know the terminology at this point and frankly I don't fucking care. The kind of places posting information about this whole thing are also places I'd take with a pinch of salt or who already have a clearly outlined agenda.

    Internetaristocrat did the main video on this, a channel mostly dedicated to debunking SJW topics and complaining about how prevalent they are in todays media. A fair cause for the most part, though it's a fine line to walk at the best of times. Honestly that whole debate is something I try and stay the hell away from because the people involved in it are fucking terrifying."

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  25. Beyond stupidity is reality.. or so I thought..tsk.

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  26. Last and final update (sorry for the spam),

    Her confession - http://pastebin.com/v4DGSQqR

    Sign...one of the saddest days of game journalism.

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  27. People need something to waste their money on. It's a bad sign if you ask me.

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  28. Yeah, Star Citizen definitely has the potential to become the biggest scam of the gaming industry, ever... You know, maybe what we all are paying here for is the hope. Definitely worth it, right? :)

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  29. It's not a waste if they are entertained for years by incremental updates! Imagine if you could see a movie for 20 bucks and it lasted over 8000 hours.

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  30. While Star Citizen *could* be a build up for a fall, it could also (in theory) be a pretty sweet game. Crowd funding opened up the opportunity for products to be built without accountability, which led to the giant divide between plausible scenarios.

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  31. A simple math problem. How much does it cost to employ 270 game developers for just a year? A quick googling tells me that average salary in game development is around $80000. So the answer is: around 21.6 million dollars. So given that SC has been at over 200 devs for about a year now and in production for almost 2 years. They can probably keep on going for maybe another year or two with the current funding. But there's still taxes, rent and other stuff to pay for. Other games of similar size (GTA 5) have been in development for 6 years with over 600 devs. Do the math yourselves.
    So they could maybe just barely make it. I think Star Citizen is the only crowd funded game that actually can be done with it's pledge budget. But they will need every million they can get.

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  32. Is it ethical for them to develop on donations that are pure profit? Normally a publisher would take a cut, and it's only fair they give a percentage of profits back to the dorks who donated.

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  33. Fuck you, little nigger, mmos are the best games I have ever seen.

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  34. I'm glad you think I'm awesome and not something that would cause me to make your IP address public information...

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  35. Oh so threatening to reveal someone's up is ok these days and a mature reaction? Gotta love that

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  36. Gotta love a guy named Darki who wants more n-word on a website.

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  37. Aren't you the same troll who posted a comment in the article
    'Why I Have Comments Enabled'?
    I recognize your undertone.

    (edited for being too handsome and overtly cool by Slacker)

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  38. Miguelito has a racket going on where he holds IP addresses for ransom SO YOU HAD BETTER PAY UP SUCKER!

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  39. Gratz Mig! Your article seems to have had an impact: Star Citizen has since removed the 'Funds Raised' post from their website!
    'I
    hate MMORPGs' has become a global force to be reckoned with in the
    gaming industry; if Star Citizen were ever to launch, then one could say, proverbially speaking,
    you were a galactic force as well!

    Trivial thought: Richard
    Garriott has been in space orbit and is developing a traditional fantasy
    morpg, 'Shroud of the Avatar' that has raised approx. 4 million dollars
    thus far; Chris Roberts hasn't left Terra firma and 'Star Citizen' has
    raised approx. 52 million dollars, he could take the money, orbit Mars
    and thumb his nose at Garriott... or not.

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  40. If you had listened to the podcast, you'd realize that I was already aware of my great powers!

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  41. Dunno bout you, but the 'Funds Raised' thing is still there

    https://robertsspaceindustries.com/funding-goals

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