ggregd / Member

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The Dark Side of Crowdfunding

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The line between investing and crowd funding is getting too blurred. We're seeing more and more established companies and individuals, who you can reasonably expect to have money of their own and/or connections with investors, asking average people to pay for making their game. The idea behind crowd funding used to be helping out the small independent, not Black Isle and Peter Molyneux.

Traditional investors who give money to fund a project can expect a major return on their investment if the game is made and it's successful. It's bad enough that major crowdfunding supporters for a successful full release game get very little of real value in return for their investment of thousands of dollars. They have to content themselves with a copy or 10 of the game and some digital stuff like their name in the credits or an in game character, or best of all a visit to the company's office (Oh boy!) while the developer reaps all the real profits.

If you back Black Isle's latest request for funding for a "proof of concept" you can expect nothing in return but forum access. ( This funding isn't even being done through anestablished crowd funding facilitator like Kickstarter - they're just asking for money on their web site! If an established industry player wants to make a game they should get real backers who believe in it to invest money, not pull at the emotional impulses of people who look up to them as fans and/or don't make sound financial decisions. If they weren't able to do that with the resources and connections available to them one can reasonably wonder if the game is worth making at all.

Short of outright fraud (taking money when you have no intention of producing anything) the worst case scenario with the crowdfunding paradigm is very unsettling: No one has done it yet as far as I know but it would be completely unethicall to use crowd funding if your motivation is to eliminate the need to share the wealth if your game is successful.

Crowd funding is fast turning into bulls#!+ if you ask me.