Monday, December 2, 2013

Is Kickstarter a boon or a curse?

So 2CE and I were talking this past week, and a realization came upon me.  In a few months, it will be a year since we decided to move away from the big game companies.  In conjunction with that decision we found a small Kickstarter for a game called SpineSpur.  This opened our eyes to the wonder that is Kickstarter for us gamers.  But with every passing day I am struck by a singular thought, "I've spent almost a thousand dollars this year on things I haven't played with."

Now for some of us this isn't that big a revelation.  I still have models in boxes that I haven't opened from years ago, but this goes deeper.  SpineSpur, Warzone, ArcWorlde, Deadzone, and a slew of others devote a crap ton of energy and time getting us, the gaming community, to believe that their game, and their models are worth giving them our money, more or less sight unseen.  And the community is throwing around a ridiculous amount of money.  SpineSpur raised over $13,000, which I would have thought is a lot, until you look at games like Deadzone and Relic Knights with raise $1.2 million and $900 thousand, respectively.

But what is the boon I alluded to in the title?  These are games and models that otherwise would not have been brought to market.  Without the $13,000 SpineSpur raised, the community wouldn't have gotten to see the rest of book one's models produced.  This in turn would have reduced the chance of a book two, and this awesome game would have been lost.  Mantic would never have made the ridiculous amount of models and terrain for a release without the community throwing money at them.  In exchange for the upfront money, the community gets in at the ground floor.  With the most successful campaigns designed to give deep discounts or freebies.  Kickstarter gives us a plethora of bonuses, not the least of which is the community gets to decide which products make it to market and which don't, see Beyond the Gates of Antares.

With all this good, what could be the curse?  Well remember that I started this article talking about my decision to play more independant games.  With the amount of money I have spent on my hobby this year, I have played fewer games not more, then last year.  The primary reason?  I don't have anything to show for my money yet.  I have a table I won't see until next year, I have models for 3 different games I won't see until next year, I have terrain I was supposed to get in Sept I'm still waiting on.  And I'm one of the lucky ones, Relic Knights funded in Sept 201 and it still hasn't shipped.  This is the curse, we spend money on the promise of something awesome, but all too often we are left to wallow and wait for the promise to arrive.

What do you think?  Do you think KickStarter is a boon or a curse?  Let me know below.  Until next time...


P.S.  I'm back, it may not be at the pace before, but I'm here and there should be some stuff on Street Chum coming.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you're back. I thought you guys had just packed up and left.

    I'm on the fence about KS myself. I find myself more draw to gaming aids and related product then whole games or expansions. And, we're not even getting in to the whole 'is Kickstarter a store?' issue.