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Crowdfunding failures are punishing the wrong people

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Kickstarter failures punish the wrong people

The crowd-funded games industry is still in its infancy, and already there are major flaws with the entire model, notably games that over-promise to attract attention from potential backers, only to coincidentally back out at the very last minute. It’s all anyone can talk about after 22 Cans’ failure to deliver on their Godus promises, and in the wake of that, the creator of DayZ says developers should be held responsible.

Not directly answering to one situation in particular, Dean Hall has expressed his views on failures in the Early Access realm, and how developers should be punished more severely for taking money and not delivering what was promised.

This comes not only in the wake of the 22 Cans fiasco, but more recently the disappearance of The Stomping Land and its lead designer. The Stomping Land has been officially put on an indefinite hold, after the lead designer failed to communicate with the team for five months. Kickstarter has no way to compensate for lost funding, and so backers are the ones who suffer.

While I think backers and early access adopters need to understand that the process of making a game is not set in stone from the outset, there should be more robust systems to protect them. Developers need to be discouraged from making wild promises just to get funding, and at the very least pay a penalty when crucial goals aren’t met.

Or just offer an easy and efficient portal for backers to reclaim their money if they don’t like the way the project is being handled. There are so many different ways that Kickstarter and Early Access can ensure a healthy industry – but right now the wrong people are being punished.

Last Updated: February 20, 2015

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