Just as Ravious had suspected the countdown at Crowfall’s website lead to their Kickstarter event. Stop me if this sounds familiar – a group of MMO designer veterans, tired of the same products that they have produced over the years have banded together to create the next great, non-current MMO thing. The same thing current publishers and business suits won’t let anyone make (probably because they don’t see the revenue streams in it) so let’s jump to the community for funding. Also, lets throw in some fun, exciting words like “It’s Game of Thrones meets Eve Online” to be really descriptive and not over promising or anything. This whole scene has played out again, and again, (and again?) with not a single product to market – and people who read here often tend to know how I feel about Kickstarter projects that should be non-community funded and the dangers we are currently facing were one (or all) of them to not ship. We would have a Molyneux atom bomb. Remember in the 90s when a lot of charity fundraising groups had rediculous admin costs, with less than 10% going to the actual charities? That is what this current slate of unreleased, future MMO AAA games feels like. I really hope to be proven wrong!
All my sarcasm and cynicism aside, there is still hope that someone will launch one of these promises and that it will actually be good and be something to enjoy. I like voxel technology – I did Landmark (I know, I know – hypocrite-ish) and destructible environments can (and should) be a thing. I like the angle Crowfall is taking with the PVP, worlds and fluidity. I also will give them props that they don’t have any silly ‘stretch goals’ (and that definitely needs to stop being a kickstarter thing.). So, despite my negative tone here which is directed more at the unknown than the no doubt fine folks at newly founded ArtCraft Entertainment, I really do wish them well and hope they can realize their dreams. I won’t be funding it and remember – buyer beware! This excerpt from a list of tracked Kickstarter projects (click on it for original article)
At time of writing, of the 186 of the successfully funded projects, 63 have made their way to market, while ten have been classified as failures. Some of the more infamous disappointments include Code Hero, The Stomping Land, and Yogventures
An early 1/3 release rate (with a LOT of work going on still) and only a 5.3% total failure rate (and some of those were heavily funded) – that doesn’t feed much into my gentle negativity here. Of the 22 projects that have raised over 1M in funding 8 have released (that includes Oculus Rift), 7 are coded yellow (mild risk, updates) and 7 are too early to tell or chugging along. It is a neat spreadsheet and worth clicking on if you are curious.
Of the group coming up I initially backed Camelot Unchained and then withdrew it. It just felt wrong. I loved DAOC (my second favourite MMO of all time) so got caught up in nostalgia. If they do launch, and launch well, I will probably buy it – but with the chops they have they should have been able to fund it other ways. Jacobs did well on the Mythic sale by all accounts. The only project I have supported on Kickstarter was Gearpunk Dice and that was because I have known Tesh for years through blogging and knew that would ship for sure.
I just need one of the big ones to launch to get some confidence behind Kickstarter – until then, I am going to be cautiously pessimistic. And I hate that, because I am a generally positive, happy demeanor kind of guy.
EDIT BELOW – for Murf!