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Friday, 27th July, 2012, 06:51 PM #1
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Too many Kickstarter projects? Is Kickstarter the new d20 glut?
One recent trend which has been growing in popularity to the point of a veritable deluge is the Kickstarter project. Hardly a day goes by without hearing about a new Kickstarter in our little niche industry - and that's only counting the ones I notice. There are undoubtedly countless more.
To put it into a bit of perspective, EN World has reported on 24 Kickstarter projects so far in July, and since we started reporting them in anything other than an occasional capacity, we've had a similar number every month. 22 in June, 27 in May, 25 in April; that's nearly a hundred of them, or an average of a new one every day excluding weekends - so many that I span off a separate site for them all (although they feed over to EN World's news automatically). They are, by far, the most common type of news item that has appeared on EN World in recent months: and this shows that many projects and products which would have normally been reported as more traditional projects are now being reported as Kickstarters.
It's almost like it's the "go-to" default publishing method for small press now, and isn't exactly unheard of in much larger companies. And, one assumes, it lowers the barrier for entry into the industry while simultaneously removing any level of risk.
Of course, I've used the system myself. In fact, I'm not embarrassed to use this topic as an opportunity to promote TO SLAY A DRAGON, my own Kickstarter for an old-style adventure.
So nearly 100 items in three months seemed to be a good landmark to ask: is this too many? Is it yet reaching the point where you see the title and think "Oh, not another Kickstarter...."? Or is that spirit of opportunity and entrepreneurism still appealing? And is there a point at which our little industry is going to be "tapped out" - where people will just be unwilling to donate to more projects? After all, it's not like we have the wide market of, say, iPhone accessories or video games.
It'd be interesting to hear your thoughts on the number of Kickstarter projects being launched at present, so please do feel free to post a response below.
Last edited by Morrus; Saturday, 28th July, 2012 at 03:18 AM.
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 06:55 PM #2
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
Sure, it's all the rage now, but I expect it'll settle down into something a bit more sustainable. At least, I hope so. Personally, I've only pledged (and donated) to one Kickstarter project and I view most others with a skeptical eye. But if everybody wants to play junior venture capitalist and support projects they'd like to see hit the market, more power to them.Bill D
"There's a fine line between a superpower and a chronic medical condition."
- Doctor Impossible
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 06:57 PM #3
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
I like 'em, but I might prefer a more dedicated area for them than the main news site. Maybe raise one up on occasion (every two weeks or so?) that you think is especially awesome to highlight.
As it is, I do feel a little like I'm getting Kickstarter Spammed.
That said, it's inspired me to figure out how to try it myself. Back to writing!--- Jacob J Driscoll, Ravens in his Loft---
"Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to"
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Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:11 PM #4
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:16 PM #5
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Well, considering the Kaidan Campaign Kickstarter is my first venture using Kickstarter itself - it's not the first time I've worked with a patronage system for publishing Kaidan material. Like Open Design Project, Rite Publisihing has it's own in-house patronage system, which is how the original Curse of the Golden Spear trilogy for Kaidan was funded. It's only because we really need fairly 'big bucks' to fund the campaign setting that we chose to go with the 800# patronage system - Kickstarter, who has a larger footprint among the patronage systems and more potential patrons.
All the Kaidan supplemental publications were funded in-house without a patronage. Thus Kickstarter shouldn't be the only method of RPG funding.
Really with all the bigger parts of Kaidan, funding has always via patronage - granted, I've only been trying to publish RPG materials over the last 2 years.
There's also IndieGoGo, another patronage set up.
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:26 PM #6
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Here's the question that really comes to mind: How many of the kickstarter projects actually end with good product? Or even a product at all?
Right now, there's a ton people saying, "If you give me money, I'll do X!" Unfortunately, I expect many of them to fail to deliver X. And that will quickly begin to sour people's taste for Kickstarter.
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:30 PM #7
Hydra (Lvl 25)
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:53 PM #8
Scout (Lvl 6)
I like Kickstarter a lot, and the new things and opportunity it presents. However...
How many DnD 1.0 clones and Steampunk RPGs do we need really?
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:56 PM #9
Novice (Lvl 1)
I suspect we'll continue to see a lot of KS projects. I think in particular the success of RA and Traveller really made some jaws drop. I personally have no issue with whomever posting a project, I think a little caveat emptor will kick in and folks will be leery of whom they support. My main issue is that some of them seem to have rather high pledge numbers: a couple of shorter softcover books and a map or two shouldn't need a $100+ kickstarter pledge. As far as covering them here, I think that can actually help with the vetting process.
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 07:57 PM #10
I personally haven't contributed to any Kickstarter projects (although I might have contributed to the Paizo one recently, but missed it) as I don't trust the anonymity of the internet.
Here's a few articles I found:
"According to the research, only about 25 percent of projects ship on time, and the more a project exceeds its goal, the more delays it faces. So, projects like the Pebble and the Ouya have a good chance of facing delays if the data holds true. The delays are quite long on many projects. Only 75 percent of projects deliver their products eight months after they finish."
Overfunded Kickstarter Projects Face More, Longer Delays
"A number of things can go wrong; just as with startups receiving investment, sometimes things prove to be harder than anticipatedľas with this project to create an independent games label, which dragged on for a year after the funding closed without updates from the backers. Eventually they got back in communication and told their backers theyĺd vastly underestimated how hard it would be to start a company."
When Kickstarter Goes Wrong: Were 419 Backers Almost Taken for a $27,637 Ride? | Betabeat
"Back in March, a project on Kickstarter for American-made flip flops ôwith an eye on the environmentö raised $56,618 of its $12,000 goal in order to build a sandal-making factory in the small town of Geneva, New York.... The project has had repeated delays with sporadic updates from the founders. Almost 10 months later, many of the 1,091 backers are steaming. "
Caveat Backer! Vere Sandals, Overfunded Kickstarter Project, Fails to Deliver | Betabeat
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