The Point - Yogscast's Cancelled Kickstarter & The Missing Half A Million
With Yogscast canceling their Kickstarter, Danny asks why they're trying to avoid responsibility, and what happened to over half a million dollars of backing.
by Danny O'Dwyer on
After being pointed to their most polular video I was not entertained.
Maybe it's my intelligence.
Cloning minecraft with a voxel engine.
I can't believe some people are accusing Danny of 'jumping on the bandwagon' with this video and making this without doing research. This video was very good and Yogscast deserved to be held up in the spotlight and forced to take responsibility. Anyone saying this was bad journalism is really just a Yogscast fanboy.
Why aren't these dirty scammers in a jail? And why their crappy channel has so many views?
People must be really stupid...
I checked Youtube to see if I was subscribed to Yogsast.
I'm glad to find that I wasn't.
For a Youtuber, or any entertainer really, the audience/fans deserves the up-most respect for the support.
An improper response to the audience/fans, especially after what happened, is definitely something I'll remember about Yogcast.
I was familiar with Yogcast, but this is my first time hearing about them.
Definitly not a very good first impression for sure.
Take $150,000 for who knows what, then " We're under no obligation to do anything...". Wow, that's very good business !
I've contributed to a fair number of crowdfunded projects, and not all of them have been games. So far, none that were funded have actually been abandoned (many have been succesfully completed, and a few I've actually been quite thrilled with the results of).
That said, you have to be very careful about where you put your money, as there are some truly fraudulent projects that seem to sneak in under the radar of the various crowdfunding platforms. For example: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/crowdfunding-pseudoscience/. http://doubtfulnews.com/2014/01/ever-wanted-to-read-your-dogs-thoughts/
As far as games are concerned, I wouldn't put your money towards any project that is being run by an inexperienced programming team. A playable demo is usually a very good sign (Dungeonmans, for example, had a great demo even before the kickstarter, and the progress of the game has been impressive. I've been less impressed with certain other projects that I will not name, but none of them have been abandoned.
@GrahamZ I've been quite happy with games I backed. Either I received the game or it is still going strong. Just have to be careful with where you spend your money.
People need to think of Kickstarter as more of an investment and less of a purchase. Too many think of it as a cheap way to buy a game and don't consider enough that they are gambling here and you can't always win.
I was never a fan of yogscast to begin with, and this does not help to give me any interest in them.
Im pretty sure that yogscast pulls in a very large amount of money from their youtube account, as far as im concerned there are only 2 roads to redemption, give everybody refunds, or finish the project. Otherwise they better watch their behind because its going to bite them.
@blackothh I agree. I've watched some random yogscast videos when I played Minecraft, but I never found their videos exciting or special. Just not my cup of tea, I guess. Anyone who buys into something due to a popular brand promotes it is a fool, imo.
@blackothh The problem is they don't really need to do any redemption. They are big enough that this is a relatively small issue in the grand scheme. As much as I don't like how it was handled for sure, it isn't going to stop me from watching their content.
Developer: Yoggatta be kidding me!! The money is gone?
Yogscast: Yeah! I had to donate the money so Danny can keep making those WEIRD Harry Potter style videos. xD
Seems to me Yogscast kept the last 100 grand for themselves instead of hiring the main programmer. Thus dooming the project.
Well who you can blame after reading this, (bad)human nature or inexperience.
"Unfortunately, right off the bat we had one major incident that happened that we could not fix. Our good friend and matte painter really terrific artist that created most of the concept art with environments on the Kickstarter page, he left PDI to work at LucasArts. LucasArts wouldn't give him a carve out in his contract to work on Yogventures so he couldn't work on the project any longer.
This is a very good example of how my inexperience caused some problems in the development. Because we had worked out a contract that guaranteed each of the principal artists a $35,000 lump sum payment, and we didn't make any clear clause on how and why someone could legally stop working on the project, The artist in question got paid, worked for about 2 weeks and then stopped working on the project. We had no way to force that person to pay back any of the funds and it was a bitter lesson to learn. Always get every possible scenario in writing or you will have no legal recourse."
Never heard of 'em.
At a fundamental level it does sound pretty wrong of them to be going down this path, but Barry's comment at the end kind of rings true. A lot of people lose money on investments all the time. We've heard of this one because it's happened in a more public form.
UPDATE: Winterkewl have just posted a breakdown of the spending of the funds.
From this it appears the majority of the blame lies with Winterkewl's awful financial management, but it's still a shame that Yogscast didn't get involved at an earlier stagem as they appears to have been involved in the project all along. Wow.
@dannyodwyer From the content of the post, it seems like the dev has taken his share of the responsibility. It's time for the Yogscast to do the same.
@NetBiosError If the overall vibe from their fans is any indication, the love train for YC will keep a' rollin' no matter what. So why sweat the half-mil if there will be no repercussions in the form of viewer defection or legal action?
If the TUG remedy works for their backers - like it or not - all the public can say is that this is a dreadful precedent for accountability and Kickstarter will need to put some teeth behind it's policies going forward.
@dannyodwyer Also, of the $150,000 sent to Yogscast, Yogscast kept some unknown amount of it for themselves as a licensing fee.
Likely $100,000 kept for themselves. It's explained that the 150 was used to pay for physical rewards/shipping and to help hire a main programmer. The main programmer was never hired. The only other thing left was the licensing fees.
""I'm un-sure what the rest of the money the Yogscast received was actually spent on but I do remember at some point they referred to it as their licensing fee."
- that quote is from the Kris here
@dannyodwyer What I fear is that incidents like this one will discourage people from giving to kickstart effort like this in the future. People are already gun shy when comes to donating money and a fiasco like this is sure not going to help. This hurts start-ups everywhere. Besides like you said in the video, those 13,000 or so people deserve answers.
@Darth_Starwind @dannyodwyer I can't remember who pointed it out earlier but kickstarters are kind of like an investment. The only difference is the only dividends they get are actually playing the game they funded. Some end up being good investments, others not so much. I think that if a kickstarter fails there needs to be some accounting, just as when a company fails and its investors demand answers as to why it failed, to those who invested in it.
@Adaram1050 @Darth_Starwind @dannyodwyer Agreed. That being said though, kickstart programs like this are not just for games development. Take the Reading Rainbow kickstarter for example.
I totally agree with you about there is a need for some accountability in situations like this.
They hired some dude thats not professional and he blew the money and the project. Now Yog is acting like its all his fault, but if some of the bigger backers get lawyers, the court will go up the line to them since the developer works for them. I imagine someone with $10,000 to spend on Kickstarter probably also has $10,000 to give to a lawyer as a retainer too.
Shameless self promotion of own YouTube channel... I love it! Subscribed :)
(just kidding btw - but not about the subscribing part)
I've been a fan of the Yogscast for a while but they do have a history of making big promises that they later try to back out of, and some of them don't seem to feel that they have any responsibility toward their fans. This situation is just shameful, though, and I'm going to have to reassess my support of them. Knowing them, however, don't expect any real answers anytime soon.
I'm not surprised this is happening. The majority of kickstarter projects will be delivered but there is bound to be a failure rate and that will hurt other projects. I first said this years ago, we aren't entering a golden age of crowd funding, we're just passing through the phase of unrealistic optimism before everyone crashes back to reality.
Ironically in the long run the biggest losers here might be Yogcast if they are hit with legal action. It's pretty viable the money was spent on developing the game and it fell through. It's also possible they will legally be held responsible for refunds. If so they will be out of pocket and their reputation will still be hurt.
Though this isn't anywhere near as bad as Oculus Rift. Even if it's crowd funded it doesn't belong to the masses, it can still become the property of massive company that would love to be able to pump adverts directly into your eyeballs.
@WeWerePirates +1 you win the internet this morning.
Whoever looked at this pile of garbage and actually put money towards it.....I have no sympathy for you
I was waiting for the first big ripoff in the Kickstarter era. This is pretty damned huge, and if those people don't get their money back, it's highly possible the ripples of this one could affect Kickstarters as a whole.. Yeah, there have been people who took the money and ran, but this is much more impactful, simply because of the large brand name attached to the property.
It's stuff like this that makes me SO glad I've never put any money into Kickstarter.
The "icontrolpad 2" project comes to mind... The guy literally disappeared off the face of the earth, probably after citing some lame excuses like this guy did... "My wife left me because I was so stressed".. boo f***in hoo.
It seems like they got way over their heads and drowned pretty quickly. While that's on them, it's somewhat understandable. It happens. But the way they handled themselves after the fallout seems beyond shameful.
More people need to understand that Kickerstarter is donation service. There is no contract, only 'promises'
@johnlewis107 While that may be true, but situations like this and others will make it harder to drum up any donations in the future if there is way to get recourse. I do not take part in anything that is Early Access or Kickstarter regardless of how well the product might look. Yeah promises can be broken as it is easily made.
@johnlewis107 Actually, my dear internet attorney, more people need to understand that contributions made to "Kickerstarter" [sic] are, in fact, "conditional gifts," or a gifts subject to one or more conditions. In the event the recipient of the gift does not fulfill the condition(s) thereof, the gift may be revoked. "Kickerstarter's" [sic] terms of service unequivocally comport with the above.
500k $ isn't exactly much money, in order to have six progammers, graphic-designers etc work for two years on a project - especially if you also have to rend working space, to buy and license hardware and software from the very same money.
People have to understand that creating an ambitioned, open-world 3D-game isn't cheap by any stretch.
And to all the "very smart people" rambling about on how "Kickstarter is a scam": Most games financed through Kidstarter and similar platforms actually see a release.
@hochstreck you can run a studio with 50 people for more then two years for less then 800K euros ...
@hitomo @hochstreck you can live a lavish life with a house at a prime place in India for 500k dollars. Its close to 29 crore INR at current exchange rate. Most people including my parents don't make that much in their whole lifetime.
@rohitv2312 you should try Kickstarter then
@toast_burner @hitomo @hochstreck I did it that way ... sure you have to grind those people, but thats really the norm in this industry ... you only pay the leads big bucks cause they are the most greedy ones that have enough time for talking there Money out of the Producers, but the working force is generally considered being happy with at least something to do ... you know, to get an feet into the door for an career, maybe ...
@hitomo @toast_burner @hochstreck
You don't seem to understand that the yogscast is a UK company. In the UK the minimum wage is £6.31 an hour. It is illegal to pay them any less. So no you can't grind your workers like that, and no they won't be happy to get something to do. The average pay for a game developer is about £32000. That's 4 times as much as you claim they can get way with being paid.
With only 8000 euros a year you would barely even be able to afford the cheapest apartment, you would be way below the poverty line and would be living on welfare.