My problem with Kickstarter

 Posted by on May 29, 2012  Filed as: Editorial  Add comments  Topic(s):
May 292012

I’ve been a gamer for quite a while.  I’ve played quite a few editions of quite a few games, and I’ve had the displeasure of watching the tabletop role-playing game industry flounder.  My hometown had four friendly local gaming stores, and they flourished for years.  They flourished right up until the industry took a dive, and all four of them had to close shop.

This unfortunate turn began right around the time zmuds became popular, and then really took a nose-dive when Asheron’s Call and World of Warcraft came out.  Are these other geeky games responsible for the RPG industry’s downfall?  I don’t know – I’m just noting a coincidence.  Sure, some would say those geeky games actually acted as a gateway to RPGs, but I’m no industry oracle, I just know that I saw fewer and fewer people buying gaming books.

Ok, so Amazon started selling gaming books at a reduced rate.  I get that, and maybe that has something to do with FLGSs closing down.  Ok, so D&D 4e and Pathfinder came out, and maybe that actually helped the industry.

So who’s to say what’s happening with the industry?  I don’t know, but I’ll give you $5 out of Tourq’s pocket if you can tell me for certain.  But, regardless of all that, there’s one part of the industry that I really have a problem with, and that’s Kickstarter.

I mean, with all this crowd-funding, many role-playing games are being produced at an ever-increasing rate.  It seems like anyone who’s ever had a cool idea for a role-playing game now gets to publish it.  Just check out these Kickstarter RPG projects:

See what I mean?  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s plenty more there that I didn’t mention, and there’s even more getting ready for Kickstarter.

Thanks Kickstarter… thanks a lot.

Just when I finally came to peace with an uncertain RPG industry, you go ahead and revive it.  Now, instead of having to choose between a finite number of games that I can play, you seem to have opened the floodgates, giving me a plethora of wonderful choices, and thereby knocking me out from pure gaming ecstasy.

Thank you, Kickstarter.  Thank you very, very much.

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20-something gal who loves gaming and gabbing. I think everyone has roleplayed at some point in some fashion or another, our take on the hobby is simply way more fun and entertaining.

  6 Responses to “My problem with Kickstarter”

  1. A plethora of wonderful choices, with no time to play them and no money(for some of us) to keep up with them.

    Everyone says to support FLGS, yet they still buy from the internet like everyone else.

    I liked the article, voiced a lot of what I was thinking. I guess kickstarter began when some people decided they had too many ideas and wanted to put their own touch into RPG’s or were just tired of the edition wars of the games that are already out there.

    Who know? (sigh, could not come up with a good enough reason for the 5$) You win!

  2. I love kickstarter. Its a great way to add new voices, and new lines, to the tabletop world. It holds people accountable on the worth of their name. Don’t come through on a kickstarter, and you’re going to have a hell of a time trying it again.

    Don’t show the world that you can actually write this stuff, and you’re kickstarters not likely to reach its funding goal.

    Show people you’re willing to work and deliver, and your not just going to get published, you might just thrive.

  3. I think what we are seeing now is the online equivalent of the OGL-boom that happened right after 3E was launched. There is a MASSIVE explosion of new material– but most of it is garbage. Soon enough, the cream will rise to the top, and a few new gaming companies might see the light of day where they otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s a win-win… if you can wait through all the crap.

  4. Hi there, I at first thought the sudden boom of gaming projects on Kickstarter was worrying but I now have a different opinion. One of the problems I have had with the gaming industry for the last thirty years is that there has been so many games and systems about which often makes it difficult to find a nice stable group playing one system everyone agrees on. As people often want to try “the new big thing”. It has the effect of diluting and weakening the gaming pool.

    What seems to be happening on Kickstarter is that market is able to do a certain amount of preselection. Hopefully this trend will continue and we’ll see some quality product with mass appeal with the result that more people are playing the same games, and therefore people will have more people to game with, and therefore there will be more gaming, and so on and so on.

  5. Wait a minute… why MY pocket?

    I can’t see a flood of games as a problem with gamers changing games too often. Variety is the spice of life, and more competition means the quality will rise. That’s true of just about any industry.

  6. I agree with Tourq. Is the video game industry worried that there are too many titles on the shelves these days? What about the movie industry? If you sat down and only read novels released this year, you could not read them all before the next batch comes out for next year. The same can also be said for music.

    The only reason I’m afraid of kickstarter is because the presentation requires a new skill set (video composition) that I don’t specifically have. It also has hidden requirements, not in a underhanded way, but it requires the writer to be able to gather some online support and build a following. If you don’t know how to do that, you best do your homework before putting up a kickstarter (which is the position I’m in now).

    One of the very nice things about kickstarter is that you won’t be releasing a book or module only to see it languish on the shelves for years. You know who will be getting the book and how many are likely to play.

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