Kickstarter: Do you still back games?

We’re several years out from the height of Kickstarter hype, when the idea of crowdfunding games was all shiny and new and revolutionary. It was a way to get games we dreamed of made, and in some cases to send a big “Screw you!” to a large publisher somewhere that had mistreated a beloved series.

Since then, there have been a number of relative successes (Wasteland 2), some uh, misses (Mighty No.9), and some that ended up somewhere in between (Broken Age, arguably). And of course, there are some big name projects that are still up for debate (Bloodstained).

Have you ever backed a game on Kickstarter? And do you still back games now? I backed several projects back when the gold rush was still in full effect, and I’ll admit that there’s at least one failed project I backed that was entirely unrealistic and I should have seen coming a mile away. (No, it wasn’t MN9. I didn’t back it.) I’m still waiting for Bloodstained, but more recently I’ve backed VNs here and there that saw varied success in at least getting funded.

So how about the lot of you? Do you still back games, if you ever did, or have you given that up?

I very rarely back games. I have to be really invested in what they are selling before I even consider backing it. I still believe in the process, but totally understand that games fail. Most things fail actually, Ive come to accept that but that doesnt stop me from being cautious about putting money down. Although there are plenty of games that are either scams or clearly unfeasible on a kickstarter budget and people should learn the signs and avoid those.

1 Like

Monsterhearts 2 was the last thing I backed, and The Harebrained Schemes BattleTech is the last video game.

Generally speaking, I’m very wary about backing videogames at this point unless the dev has already made good on a crowdfunding campaign. I’m a little more generous towards tabletop games, since the whole game design part is often mostly finished by the time the campaign launches, and the money usually goes towards production costs and additional material.

I’ve backed tabletop games and D&D campaign materials (most recently Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Adventures for 5e, but I’ve never backed a video game.

I tend to back video games by small independent developers that I want to see succeed - a case where I may not be 100% interested in the game, but I love what they’re doing and want to elevate them. Most recently, I backed Zoe Quinn’s Tingler game, Shardbound, and Smugglecraft.

Also, if we’re talking about video game Kickstarter campaigns, it’s impossible to ignore The Banner Saga - the lessons they learned from the first two games are really revelatory of the nature of independent games and the Kickstarter economy.

As for tabletop stuff, there I have a problem. I buy it all. It’s bad. I can’t stop myself.

Haven’t since KS news stopped being prevalent on the major news sites. I’m sitting on Indivisible, Them’s Fighting Herds, and Bloodstained right now.

I only ever backed Indivisible because I couldn’t walk out of a game inspired by Valkyrie Profile in good conscience.

I’ll occasionally back board games, but I’ve completely stopped backing video games. That wasn’t really a conscious decision, however. I think the rise of early access has kept me from backing many video games now; if I’m going to pay for a game that “isn’t out,” I would like to be able to try it/see what other people think of it first. That’s not a hard and fast rule or anything; I can be swayed by a good enough pitch/talent on the project whose work I like.

With board games I don’t mind going in blind so much, because at the very least it will result in a night of making my friends play a bad game with me (which is more fun that it should be). Plus getting an actual physical item is nice (and I typically don’t want to back video games at a level where I would get a physical bonus). I’m pretty cautious when it comes backing board games too, though; I generally look for the game to have been developed already, and the designers are just trying to get the funds to take it to print.

I still do back games every now and again, but for the most part, I stick to games that are smaller in scope as well as development expenses, as well as games by folk who have a lot more of their development in the works.

Like the red flags for me are “I/We have this idea, and with your help, we can get these people to start on this and have blah blah blah” like that to me instantly reads as “we don’t have anything yet and I want an excuse to quit my day job” which… I understand that notion 100% cause like damn, I sure wish I could completely quit my day job to work on music or games or cartoons or whatever, but even I know its A LOT to ask people to throw down a bunch of money on something that may not have even started yet.

The other thing I’ll look for is if the group who has been doing the game has had previous Kickstarter projects that they lived up to. I don’t much related to the idea of “wait they were already able to make a game, why do they need to ask for more money” cause I know plenty of Devs who continue to do that because they like not having to work with publishers.

Its always such a context heavy thing, and I know its always a risk thing to put money into, but I still think there’s a lot of amazing games out there that people can make if they can just get the support. But I guess I have to believe that it’s a thing worth being, and for that, it takes creators who I feel like I can believe in.

The last time I’ve backed a video game on Kickstarter must have been back when Pillars of Eternity popped up there. I’ve had exceptional track record with my KS backings on the video game side, as PoE, Wasteland 2, Kentucky Route Zero and Shadowrun Returns are all exceptional games, but I’ve stopped backing as I’ve realized I’d rather be the master of my own schedule when it comes to when I play and what I play, so owning a game from effectively before it comes out just doesn’t benefit me at all. I like the concept of financially showing support for developers I like but I rarely get the feeling I’m one of the good guys backing some multi-million dollar KS like the recent Obsidian ones.

As of late I’ve backed a few independent Kickstarters that never reached their goals (the first attempt of the The Thing -inspired Outpost 13 comes to mind), but where my KS-money is actually going is entirely on tabletop gaming. Gloomhaven, Barker’s Row, Empires of the Void II, Godforsaken Scavengers, the Brass-reprint and sequel, Quodd Heroes, The SUPERHOT Card Game… it’s a list that goes on and on. Having been in the hobby for a scarce six months, that’s a heck of an investment to throw at unreleased games (well, Gloomhaven was a 2nd printing and as such seemed like a done deal). I think the reason why it seems more fun and more worthwhile to back these things is there’s still some quaint charm to the idea that you’re directly paying someone to draw up some dope maps, sculpt models, package all of it into a box and ship it to you, even if most of the physical manufacturing is done by an outsourced company.

There’s a very depressing study some big toy company (… Hasbro?) did some years ago that showed that unboxing and punching components is the thing people like most in board games and in some way it feels like backing on Kickstarter and bearing witness to the design and manufacturing process in real time of the thing you already paid for feels like a prolonging of that feeling when you punch your first game token out of a cardboard sheet.

Getting burned on Auditorium 2 has put me off it recently. I doubt it’s permanent, but for now I’m a little too wary.

I think I only backed games during the first year I registered there, which was 2012. Thing is, everything I’d back is meeting its goal anyway, so why give them my money 5 years in advance, with a chance of never getting the product? It’s fine, I can wait.

The last game I backed was Cryamore, and it still isn’t out yet for cryan out loud, despite Atlus having taken over publishing duties.

Their homepage still stays Ouya, Wii U, PS3 and 360. It’s probably dead in the water.

I still do, but I try to be a bit more restrained with video games nowadays. I’ve backed a bunch of stuff that I haven’t had the time to play. But every once in a while something pops up that I’m pretty interested in, so I’ll get a digital copy. With tabletop stuff I back stuff very regularly! And half the time I have a hard time coordinating people to actually play those games.

I’ve backed a lot more tabletop games than video games and considering their track record, I’d continue to do so. Games, on the other hand, I’m far more suspect about. I DID recently back Pillars of Eternity 2 on Fig, but a ways back I was convinced to back Unsung Story, a now famous case of a complete KS flop (thanks mostly to Kotaku reporting).

Of course, I also got Duelyst from Kickstarter, which I don’t play much but do really enjoy.

I also got on that Fidget Cube train which is something I do WHILE gaming. :smiley:

Definitely. I’ve never backed a project I regretted, and working on a kickstarted project myself is really eye-opening to the opportunities it gives you as a developer.

I’m still for backing stuff, but I’ve only ever backed two of them. Both from the same developers (Skullgirls DLC and Indivisible). There’s lots of other stuff I’ve thought about backing in the past, but either I’ll forget about it before I commit or I see that it meets its goal and decide to just wait until it’s out.

I’ve backed a few, with Cosmic Star Heroine being my first and Bloodstained being the one I’m most looking forward to.
I also backed Kologeon, though, so I’m gonna be a bit more wary in the future.

Oh man I was kinda looking forward to that. First game was fun. I got their tshirt as well.

I just mentioned this in another thread, but I feel like I just can’t afford to kickstart a game. I understand that it’s important to support developers, but if you are ever short on money and struggling to pay bills, I don’t see how it ever makes sense to pay money for something that might be out in a year or more.

I’ve only backed Godus. From that and many other examples, I learned to be very cautious about kickstarter campaigns and that there is not a game I want so much that I’d pay for it 2 years or more before its release.