And after a long hiatus to finish up our new game, the Video Game Kickstarter is back. There’s been a lot of news recently so let’s get started.
The biggest news is that some people are trying to launch a new console called the Ouya and they’ve already raised about $4.5 million. The premise is a cheap console that’s open for anyone to develop it. I think this has the potential to be the biggest disappointment that kickstarter has seen yet so I’ll point you to this article that includes quotes from myself and others on why you should be skeptical over the Ouya’s ability to deliver. To sum it up, my biggest cause for skepticism is that I’ve been down this road before with XBLIG and the reality was much less impressive than the promises. And that was with Microsoft, a huge company with a reputation and resources. I think Ouya will be drastically less successful than XBLIG…and most people consider XBLIG to have been a failure. Oh and if you want a great laugh, take a look at the top 20 most requested games for the Ouya – customer expectations of what this thing will be able to do are WAY out of whack.
The other big video game related kickstarter that was started recently is the Penny Arcade kickstarter. As someone who does business with Penny Arcade, my opinion is obviously biased with this one. This is quite the odd kickstarter – they’re asking for money to reduce or outright eliminate the popular website’s reliance on advertising which will also free them up to do some additional projects. There’s been a lot of complaints that this kickstarter is not appropriate for the site since it’s not really starting up anything, but on the other hand, they ask Kickstarter for permission to run it and they got permission so there you have it. Oh and some of the rewards relate to the games we’ve done and are doing for Penny Arcade so there’s that too.
Which brings up an interesting question – do you think that Kickstarter should allow a wide variety of crowdfunding projects or do you think it should be exclusively for funding creative projects from new creators?
Another kickstarter that I’m interested in is the Defense Grid kickstarter. This one is a bit misleading – the kickstarter title says that it’s for Defense Grid 2 but to get DG2 out of the kickstarter, they need to reach the huge stretch goal of $1 million (the regular goal is $250k). If the kickstarter doesn’t reach that goal, the results are much less impressive and include things like a mini-expansion for the 1st game and a revamp of the game’s engine. I was a huge fan of the original Defense Grid and would love to see a sequel, but sadly, this doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Next up on my list is 3D Dictionary – a game that is aimed at teaching foreign languages. No clue if the developer has what it takes to do this concept properly, but I’m glad people are trying. It has already surpassed its modest goal of $12k and it has a couple weeks or so left to go.
That’s it for this week’s report. To close things off, let me point you over to this entertaining article about why developers should be wary of turning to things like kickstarter for funding.