On Crowdfunded Game Development

Let's say you've thrown some cash behind a promising game project on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. And let's say you get the game and it's not what you wanted. Do you demand a refund on your investment?

This is one of the questions that comes up in the latest instalment of First-Person Perspective, where everyday players get to offer their opinions about what excites or rankles them. I talk to college student George, who holds forth on crowdfunding game development and creative control.

Let us know if you agree with George's thoughts down in the comments below.


    I think it's going to be very interesting to see how all of these Kickstarter projects pan out. Crowdsourced funding really does feel like a step in the right direction for getting great niche titles out into the market. It's also going to see how the authorship versus ownership is going to play out as more and more projects get funded.

    Normally if a company is developing a game and they're receiving funding for it from another source, that other source would likely have a say in how the game is developed for their investment. But with crowdfunding, the developers are putting forward an idea (sometimes a fairly bare-bones one) and people are pledging money for it with no real way to have a say about the development process.

    And that's the question. Should they have a say, or shouldn't they? Does the company then have an obligation to listen to funders suggestions? And if so, how much involvement should they have?

      I don't think they have any obligation to listen to the suggestions of funders. If for no other reason than if you've got 100,000 people chipping in $5 each that's too many opinions from people who, frankly, aren't paying enough for the privilege. I think it's very important that people be aware of the difference between crowdsourced funding, where people put up some cash in exchange for a few little prizes or a copy of the game, and investing, where they actually have ownership and control and there are significant obligations placed upon the developer. And let's face it - if the developer wanted to give up control to an outside party or parties then they'd probably just go with the traditional publisher funding approach in the first place instead of crowd sourced funding.

    You put money into it knowing that you won't get money back.

    Kickstarter is an interesting idea, but I think the guy interviewed is very correct. Any investment on a project is a gamble, and if gamers are spending their game purchasing money on kickstarter projects that don't pan out well INSTEAD OF (for example) buying a completed indie game that a developer has risked alot of their own money and time to bring to market, then the industry as a whole loses.

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