I have a story for you. It’s about a Kickstarter campaign. One that failed. But hold your gasp of surprise, there’s more! This isn’t so much about the Kickstarter itself and how the developer didn’t deserve the money – it’s more about how the CEO of the company that made the Kickstarter is a whiny bitch.
Because this story is unique, so shall be the format. Not that this blog actually has any real consistency of which to speak. But this will be a timeline. So join me on this time travel through the past couple of months.
January 14th, 2013
Two important things happened this day. The first was the launch of the Wildman Kickstarter campaign. This was really nothing special, just another indie dev apparently too big for its own good that needed over a million crowdfunded dollars to work on their next game. I don’t feel like getting into how I don’t think that this is what Kickstarter should be used for, but if you want a little bit on that, you’d do much better to take a look at this amazing article over at Caffeineforge. Articles like that make me think of David Winchester as being like me, only way more reasonable and well-researched. But I digress.
The second thing that happened was an article on GamesIndustry International about Gas Powered Games CEO Chris Taylor gushing over “how Kickstarter is revolutionizing development”. Here’s what Taylor has to say:
Look at smug face right here.
“This is an amazing time, because finally we’ve got a direct route to our customer. We can listen to them , we can respond to them, we can have an honest, high-integrity relationship, be extremely transparent.”
Let’s forget about the fact that any small indie developer can do this. Taylor even talks about the Minecraft model, whereby the game is released early on, with only a few core features, and players can contribute monetarily as well as give feedback for the game to improve. But Gas Powered Games is too big and important, and they’d need over a million dollars up front to start anything like that.
January 18th, 2013
An article is published on Kotaku citing sources claiming that Gas Powered Games laid off most of the company.
“According to one of these sources, the company has let go of everyone except CEO Chris Taylor and one or two people.”
Just four days after launching a 1.1 million-dollar Kickstarter campaign, and there aren’t even a handful of people left at the company? Taylor’s explanation to Joystiq about how it wasn’t as last-minute as it appeared doesn’t really help matters in my mind. What if the Kickstarter ended up being successful?
So now Chris has nothing to do but sit in his now-lonely office and wait to see if Wildman is what the fans want. I mean, that’s the whole point of Kickstarter, right? Getting the money is second to getting feedback on how your game is progressing – especially when you hardly have anyone left to pay.
Februrary 11th, 2013
And so the fans spoke:
That’s right. No 1.1 million for you, Chris. With 4 days to go, the Kickstarter campaign was cancelled. I know what you’re thinking: Chris must have realized that his fans just didn’t want the game that he had pitched. Kickstarter did what it was supposed to – let the developers know that this wasn’t what players were looking for. He must have appreciated the feedback, and started working on a pitch for a different game, right?
February 12th, 2013
Gee, less than a month ago, Kickstarter was the best thing to happen to games since Shigeru Miyamoto.
And now grump face right here.
Fuck you, Chris. Give all of your excuses about how a bunch of people donated to a bunch of games that they don’t have yet, and that’s why you failed. Or that it’s right after Christmas. I guess that’s why no Kickstarters have been successful lately, right? Bullshit.
Maybe not enough people liked your previous games enough. Maybe they didn’t like your Wildman concept art. Maybe they saw that you laid off most of your fucking staff and don’t think that you can actually make this game anymore. This is not a Kickstarter-wide problem. Just because a few big hits got a few million dollars on Kickstarter, doesn’t entitle you to the same. And failing doesn’t mean that Kickstarter isn’t good anymore – it means you aren’t.
February 14th, 2013
To quote David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap, “the time to sell out is when you’ve found a buyer”. I mean, what happened to all of the talk about how you want to connect directly with your customers, and not have all this red tape of publishers and other companies getting involved?
And now crazy face right here.
Taylor later explains in another Gamasutra article that it was the right time to give up independence. Sounding a little too much like an abused lover finding a new soul mate, Taylor claims that Wargaming is different. They have so much in common. They don’t have the problems and conditions that other publishers do. They didn’t give him genital warts.
Okay, so he didn’t say that last one, but I would bet you anything that it’s true.
So Chris Taylor is just a sore loser who doesn’t comprehend that the internet exists, and everything you say is recorded. He may as well be an American politician for the frequency with which he changes his views and ignores facts. And I’m glad that he doesn’t have your money.