D&D General What happened to Sasquatch Game Studios?

jgsugden

Legend
That's a pretty extreme scenario involving serious pre-planned fraud; I don't think there's any evidence to suggest that Kickstarter has a fraud problem any greater than the rest of the world does. Generally, I believe things going wrong is almost always the most likely explanation.
Look at the example again. It is actually a pretty common scenario where there isn't fraud. Basically, you just need to have an organizer that feels entitled to the money as it rolls in and an organizer that underestimated the challenges they'd face. The ven diagram between people that place a high value on themselves and the people with the confidence to run a KS has a lot of overlap. The ven diagram between people that are willing to organize a KS and the people that can reasonably predict the challenges is not so high on the overlap.

I've backed about 100 KS and have seen shaded of this several times. Some asked for more funds. Some didn't fully deliver. A few are in limbo now. Almost 10% of the ~100 things I've backed over the last decade failed to fully deliver and each blamed it on underestimating their challenges.
There's one major thing that stops this. Such an LLC enters the space as a complete unknown. There can be no names anyone recognizes involved, and no history of success. Which means the project is unlikely to garner significant funding.
Blacklist Games. They had horrible track records for the people involved, did not exposre / hid those track records and gathered a lot of support for many campaigns - all of which are in jeopardy of not being delivered (and one of which is being rescued only through additional funding and efforts by QML). There are a lot of 'first time' Kickstarters that promise a lot, look good - and generate a lot of money, especially in RPG and board game worlds.

Diemension Games ran their first KS in 2016. It raised $1.4 million from 9500 backers (an average of ~$150 per backer). It had 160+ minis (or more). They facd a lot of delays on top of a very slow promised delivery, but they're another example of places with no track records that get a lot of money.

Not every KS gets the $ - but if you put together a pretty enough picture, you can - even if the picture is more illusion than substance.
 

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RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
Not every KS gets the $ - but if you put together a pretty enough picture, you can - even if the picture is more illusion than substance.
I'm reminded of the first crowdfunding campaign I invested in. It was for a fountain pen, and it looked like a decent value for $30. The guy told a great story about signing the birth certificate for his firstborn with a crappy hospital pen, etc. etc. I did eventually get a pen, and a lifetime coupon for 25% off ink supplies from their website. Nevermind I had never heard of the guy before.

The website was gone within three months or so. The pen looked cheap when I took it out of the packaging, and within a few weeks the silver started to flake off. It turned out to be a fountain pen you could get on Alibaba for $1 including shipping.

Con men have a long and storied history (seriously, so many stories, and good ones) and I suspect we'll always have them among us.
 



jgsugden

Legend
What are you considering "a lot" of money?
I didn't have a particular minimum threshold in mind - but I can figure it out.

I'd say a lot of money for someone would be 'life changing money'. Let's say that the people that are making new KS for the first time are getting fairly typical game designer salary amounts. That would be between $50 and $70 thousand in the US. I'd consider life changing monety to be a lot of money. One estimate I've heard of a 'life changing amount of money' is 5 times an annual salary. There are other sources that will say as little as $20K is life changing, but I'm talking about life changing as in, "I can afford a better house, a new car, and vacations I never dreamed I could)" type money. That would put the threshold as low as $250 to $350K.

However, that is only one measure. ANother might be to compare to other KS projects. In terms of looking at KS performance, being over $100K puts a KS in the top 9% of Kickstarter Games according to the posted KS metrics for 'games'. Making $1Million puts you in the top 0.8% (1 in 125). To that end, I'd say $250,000 is enough to be a lot for these purposes - well into the top 10%.
 

Fair point, a lot of RPG Kickstarters are considered wildly successful if they generate $30 to $40 thousand in pledges, while a Kickstarter for a AAA studio computer game would be considered an abject failure at those levels.
But publishing a book doesn't need the same time and investment money than an AAA videogame. Here we are talking about the profit margin.
 

dave2008

Legend
I didn't have a particular minimum threshold in mind - but I can figure it out.

I'd say a lot of money for someone would be 'life changing money'. Let's say that the people that are making new KS for the first time are getting fairly typical game designer salary amounts. That would be between $50 and $70 thousand in the US. I'd consider life changing monety to be a lot of money. One estimate I've heard of a 'life changing amount of money' is 5 times an annual salary. There are other sources that will say as little as $20K is life changing, but I'm talking about life changing as in, "I can afford a better house, a new car, and vacations I never dreamed I could)" type money. That would put the threshold as low as $250 to $350K.

However, that is only one measure. ANother might be to compare to other KS projects. In terms of looking at KS performance, being over $100K puts a KS in the top 9% of Kickstarter Games according to the posted KS metrics for 'games'. Making $1Million puts you in the top 0.8% (1 in 125). To that end, I'd say $250,000 is enough to be a lot for these purposes - well into the top 10%.
I can't speak for other people, but life changing money for me (if I do the numbers) is around $2,000,000 and that is a lot more than 5x my salary!
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I didn't have a particular minimum threshold in mind - but I can figure it out.

I'd say a lot of money for someone would be 'life changing money'. Let's say that the people that are making new KS for the first time are getting fairly typical game designer salary amounts. That would be between $50 and $70 thousand in the US. I'd consider life changing monety to be a lot of money. One estimate I've heard of a 'life changing amount of money' is 5 times an annual salary. There are other sources that will say as little as $20K is life changing, but I'm talking about life changing as in, "I can afford a better house, a new car, and vacations I never dreamed I could)" type money. That would put the threshold as low as $250 to $350K.

However, that is only one measure. ANother might be to compare to other KS projects. In terms of looking at KS performance, being over $100K puts a KS in the top 9% of Kickstarter Games according to the posted KS metrics for 'games'. Making $1Million puts you in the top 0.8% (1 in 125). To that end, I'd say $250,000 is enough to be a lot for these purposes - well into the top 10%.
That money has to be spent on fufiling the KS though. A $250K Kickstarter isn't $250K in the creator's pocket to buy a car or a house, it's $50K of books they have to provide (and there are stories of KS with big 'funding' figures which ended up in the red, making nothing at all).
It's important to remember that the KS funding total is just gross revenue. Actual profit can be a very tiny fraction of that.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Yeah, won't somebody think of these poor publishers on KS!

I mean, after all, if their project fails to deliver it's not their money they are risking. I can't even imagine how ruinous that would be.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It's important to remember that the KS funding total is just gross revenue. Actual profit can be a very tiny fraction of that.

Well, we are speaking in the context of fraud, in which the person running the kickstarter has no intention of actually completing the project.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I can't speak for other people, but life changing money for me (if I do the numbers) is around $2,000,000 and that is a lot more than 5x my salary!
YOur life would not change if you had 5 times your annual salary dropped into your lap out of nowhere?
That money has to be spent on fufiling the KS though. A $250K Kickstarter isn't $250K in the creator's pocket to buy a car or a house, it's $50K of books they have to provide (and there are stories of KS with big 'funding' figures which ended up in the red, making nothing at all).
It's important to remember that the KS funding total is just gross revenue. Actual profit can be a very tiny fraction of that.
Well, we are speaking in the context of fraud, in which the person running the kickstarter has no intention of actually completing the project.
And, beyond fraud, in total mismanagement scenarios you can see people do some prework before the KS, then get the money, then mismanage it while struggling to respond to feedback gathered in the KS (especially where they got carried away and overpromised during the KS on requests), they can end up spending the money unwisely - including for things like buying tools to do things for the KS that are also highly fun for the KS organizer - computers, 3D printers, workshops, etc...

I believe most utter failures in the KS world are born of incompetence more than fraud - but they tend to look a lot like fraud from the perspective of the backer who gets nothing in the end.
 

dave2008

Legend
YOur life would not change if you had 5 times your annual salary dropped into your lap out of nowhere?
Not really. I mean I would like to have that money, and it would be useful. But my day to day life would not change. I would still need to work at my job, I would still have the vacation days I have, the commute that I have, and I would still eat the same food. It would basically pad my retirement. Which is great, but not life changing.

Everyone's circumstances are different of course.

EDIT: To me, life changing money is enough money that I could retire.
 

Not really. I mean I would like to have that money, and it would be useful. But my day to day life would not change. I would still need to work at my job, I would still have the vacation days I have, the commute that I have, and I would still eat the same food. It would basically pad my retirement. Which is great, but not life changing.

Everyone's circumstances are different of course.

EDIT: To me, life changing money is enough money that I could retire.
Fair assessment. For me life changing money is enough to pay off my current bills. Anything beyond is gravy and maybe biscuits
 

jgsugden

Legend
...EDIT: To me, life changing money is enough money that I could retire.
That is a higher hurdle than I was discussing. If your quality of life is significantly changed by the amount, I'd call that life changing money. 5 Times my wage wouldnot allow me to retire, yet, but it would allow me to take better vacations, buy a better car, put my kids in private school, move to a nicer home, buy a lot more kickstarters, etc...
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
5 Times my wage wouldnot allow me to retire, yet, but it would allow me to take better vacations, buy a better car, put my kids in private school, move to a nicer home, buy a lot more kickstarters, etc...

...pay off student loans so that money isn't coming out of your paycheck for the rest of your life...
 

dave2008

Legend
That is a higher hurdle than I was discussing. If your quality of life is significantly changed by the amount, I'd call that life changing money. 5 Times my wage wouldnot allow me to retire, yet, but it would allow me to take better vacations, buy a better car, put my kids in private school, move to a nicer home, buy a lot more kickstarters, etc...
The thing is: we have brand new cars, my children are in college (and it is paid for), I built my home with my own hands (and it is worth much more than 5x my salary), I go on the vacations I want, and I buy the kickstarters I want. I don't really have any wants or needs that money can buy. So 5x my salary doesn't significantly impact my life. It would really change very little.

It is situational. I am sure there are times in my life when 5x my salary (at the time) would have had a more significant impact on my life. However, I struggle to believe it would have been what I consider life changing (of course as we know that is subjective).
 


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