One of Tuesday’s big bits of news was that Hero’s Song – John Smedley‘s big post-Daybreak project – was cancelling its Kickstarter. The announcement was not that the game was stopping production or would not get finished, but the Kickstarter simply wasn’t going to hit its targets and thus was cancelled. The investors were still there, and there was no real question of whether or not the game would keep going, with Smedley saying even in our initial interview that the Kickstarter wasn’t absolutely necessary.
This makes a certain amount of sense, of course. It makes more sense to get people hyped for something that’s actually going to happen regardless of funding, and there’s certainly some appeal to having that money provided by fans rather than by investors who want to be paid back. At the same time, it does feel as if “support” is a bit perfunctory when the game is getting made regardless. Why put down money when it’s going to happen without your money? Why not pay for the game when it’s actually out at that point?
Whether or not you’re on board with the idea of using crowdfunding for games, it’s an interesting question to ask. Should new titles be using Kickstarter as a promotional option, or should Kickstarter only be in place when it’s the sole/primary source of funding for development? Should donations be allowed when the game is a sure thing even without them?