Keep Camelot Chained

I have a love/hate relationship with Marc Jacobs.

Love for DAOC – I left EQ for that game, and played it hard and religiously for years – even after Trials of Atlantis came out. I played on the testserver (Pendragon) and submitted bugs, and was active in the community. The guild I was a part of at the time lead the Midgard Alliance on the server. Heck, I’m still friends with people I played there with. It was a nice community.

Hate is way too strong of a word – I don’t hate anyone really. More of a distrust. Severe distrust. Just look at WAR and how that turned out. I know, I know, he (and everyone else) is blaming EA but that kinda feels like a copout. When you are in a leadership position, act like a leader. If things were so bad and you knew it was going to flop because EA was forcing your hand, fix it. Be the leader you claim to be at your new (and old) gig. At least go down fighting. Instead, he lied to his faithful supporters knowing the game was going to ship as a terrible piece of software unable to live up to the hype he created and paid for.

Right now, MJ sure looks like a guy who got lucky once, and capitalized on it. Now he wants you and I to make him lucky again.

While the PR behind Camelot Unchained – the foundational principles, et al all read great – why not try that in WAR? If those elements are so critical for success, why didn’t you – as the leader of the team creating WAR – put those in there? Did you not realize it until the megaflop? If you did realize it, why didn’t you do the right thing?

Then I read that he will put in 2m of his own if Kickstarter hits its goal of 2m. First I thought it was a nice gesture. Very cool. Then I realized, if he has 2M liquid he can go to a bank to get 2M more. Which means he is probably avoiding the banks because they will have strings attached to their loans. Whereas Kickstarter “loans” come free and no strings attached. He can allay the donating player base with a fancy blog post here and there, try doing that to a banker and their covenants.

Run for the easy money that you don’t have to be responsible for to anyone – except gamers and gaming news. It just feels against the spirit of Kickstarter. Guys like MJ should, you would like to believe, be able to go out and get a job with his resume. (If he can’t, that just cements my concern). Isn’t the spirit behind Kickstarter to give opportunities for those via an alternate funding model who would have a hard time getting it otherwise?

Maybe it is just history, and maybe I am giving CSE too hard of a time here, but can you blame me for being a bit cautious?


5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It is Mark Jacobs. Marc Jacobs is a fashion designer.

    I wrote elsewhere that Kickstarter seems to be evolving from a funding source to a marketing scheme. Since that brings in more money, I am sure that the Kickstarter people don’t mind.

    It allows Mark Jacobs or Lord British or the like to poll the audience to get a sense of how much support there is for their planned project, spread the word about what they are doing (and get some press coverage), identify and reward the core audience, all while raking in some cash. Marketing win!

    Now, some are more up front about this than others. Both Lord British and Mark Jacobs have mentioned avoiding the strings that big publishers would attach to money. But Mark has also said, straight out on the Kickstarter page, that the CU campaign is also a test, and that if they cannot raise $2 million, then the project likely isn’t viable and they will drop it and move on to something else.

    Now, if that is against the Kickstarter mission statement, then Kickstarter ought to step in on that. If that is counter to what you think Kickstarter ought to be about, well, you just don’t put up your dollar votes, such that they are. It does seem to be one place where we do get to vote with our money as to what gets made and what does not.

    1. Hi Willhelm – yes, that is good, logical, levelheaded perspective. I haven’t delved into Kickstarter yet but it is really interesting to see what gets the hype and the dollars.

  2. Update 16 Mark mentions their stretch goals for kickstarter. New races, classes and he drops a bombshell for stretch goal 2, in the tradition of Darkness Falls, a new rvr dungeon, The Depths!

  3. Yup, and just two more years for BETA. Will be interesting to see this in the long term and how it all plays out. =)

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