Kickstarter Announces Blockchain Future, Doubles Down After Users Say ‘No Thank You’

Kickstarter Announces Blockchain Future, Doubles Down After Users Say ‘No Thank You’
Image: Kickstarter

Last week, Kickstarter made a rather terrible announcement: the crowd-funding platform would be switching its services to the blockchain, somewhere it absolutely does not need to go, but feels compelled to anyway by the lure of…something. Probably money.

In a blog post rather optimistically titled “Let’s Build What’s Next for Crowdfunding Creative Projects”, Kickstarter leans on the same “this makes everything easier and more open!” argument that blockchain/crypto/NFT stuff always does, without ever being able to actually explain why that is, or how it improves on the existing experience (largely because they can’t, since it doesn’t).

Reaction has been swift and negative. The platform has long been on thin ice with many backers and creators, especially since its anti-union efforts from 2019-20; this has been seen by many as the final straw, and resulted in a week of protest and complaints, to the point where Kickstarter felt compelled today to issue a response.

If you were thinking it would come in the form of an apology or a consideration of people’s feedback, well, lol.

This ticks nearly every condescending techbro box imaginable. “Oh, guys, what we’re doing is right, you just don’t understand, so here’s a FAQ”. Fuck off! The bottom line is that users aren’t complaining because they’re luddites, they’re complaining because they know exactly what’s wrong with blockchain stuff and don’t want a piece of it.

One example that will probably be most relevant to Kotaku readers are board game creators. “Kickstarter has always suffered from being the big fish so they never felt the need to innovate or do the job well”, Tin Star Game’s Steve Dee told Dicebreaker in reaction to the news. “Now that they’re doing this, the environmental and ethical damage of working with cryptocurrency is not something we want to be part of personally – but, more importantly, it’s not something our customers like.”

Designers and publishers with games currently running fundraising campaigns have been left “blindsided” by the announcement, with many feeling trapped between needing funds to complete their project — with Kickstarter being by far the largest and most popular crowd-funding site — and personal opposition to Kickstarter’s decision, a conflict that will play out across all campaigns running on the site in the future, board games and beyond.

If you’re looking at all this and wondering about Kickstarter alternatives, Gamefound has become an excellent place to check out board game campaigns from both smaller creators and large publishers.

Comments

  • “…the same “this makes everything easier and more open!” argument that blockchain/crypto/NFT stuff always does, without ever being able to actually explain why that is, or how it improves on the existing experience (largely because they can’t, since it doesn’t).”

    Perhaps you should read it rather than taking the headline and sperging out? The announcement of support for the development of a protocol standard for online crowd-sourced funding isn’t exactly a ‘trivial’ detail.

    • Firstly, you misrepresent the article. Nothing in the article implies that the proposal is ‘trivial’. Instead, the article correctly explains that it is shit.

      Perhaps you should read the article again.

      Further, the article explains that Kickstarter entirely fails to make any case whatsoever for what benefits blockchain will actually offer crowdfunding other than the entirely nebulous claim that this “will make it possible for people to launch and fund creative projects anywhere, whether it’s on Kickstarter.com or someplace else on the web”.

      As if you can’t, you know, already throw your money away to random people with zero guarantees on the web without needing to insert a blockchain anywhere in the process both with and without Kickstarter’s involvement.

      But although the article doesn’t say anything about trivia, I’m entirely happy to. Let’s all be clear, the only thing being announced is some investment seed funding and a white paper. I mean, the entire announcement reeks of brain fart and hopefully will die a natural death once the hype train recedes and KS discovers that nobody is buying what they’re (quite a long way away from actually) selling.

    • “The announcement of support for the development of a protocol standard for online crowd-sourced funding isn’t exactly a ‘trivial’ detail.”
      In line with Kickstarters own announcement, what you’ve said here is a bunch of words with ZERO MEANING.

      What “protocol standard” are they establishing? What is this “protocol” for? What benefit is it actually going to provide to project creators or backers? What meaningful difference or benefit is it going to add to anyone using the platform? Even all their full statement provides is the usual wishwashy half-assed bollocks that you hear from technically illiterate marketing managers.

      This is just pure blockchain management wank, where somewhere hears about the latest fad and wants to implement it without any understanding of what it does, or what it can and can’t provide.

      This reeks of kickstarter wanting to start their own crypto-currency, and cash in on it, in order to get a large slice of the funding pie. And bugger that for a bad joke.

    • Define in detail what benefits going on the blockchain provides for crowd funding over what they previously had.

      You have read it as you say, Please explain the supposed benefits

  • You are all missing the obvious advantage of Blockchain and why it is so good.

    With a single press release it allows me as a consumer to know that I will never give that site or game or product money ever. That’s precious in this day and age 🙂

  • This is a terrible article, you don’t even mention in what way they’re using blockchain technology, perhaps because you don’t know and just have a knee-jerk reaction to anything at all involving it?

    • The whole point of this is that kickstarter themselves don’t know how they’re using blockchain technology, and haven’t explained that in any shape of form beyond pointless and vapid marketing BS.
      Unsurprisingly, people aren’t buying kickstarter’s BS.

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