In contrast to this trend, I recently got a boxed game called Neptun from Queen Games. This campaign finished on the 1st of September 2014, and had an estimated delivery date of December 2014.
It actually arrived before the end of September!
Naturally, even this speed comes in for a bit of flak. The criticism I’ve read is that Queen are just using this as a pre-order system. Indeed, depending on where it was printed, it may even have been on a ship by the end of the KS. Even if it was printed locally they must have been pretty well advanced with the whole thing. That’s true.
Is this a bad thing?
Personally I don’t mind. When I look at a KS I read the delivery date like I check the rest of the page, but it doesn’t make a difference to buying in or not – it’s more of a hint towards how realistic and experienced the creator is. Whether I actually pledge or not depends partly on a more general assessment of the people supplying it, though it’s mainly the project itself (and shipping/tax costs). Regardless of what the nominal use of Kickstarter is, I am perfectly happy with people using it as a pre-order system. It may allow me to see a product I hadn’t been aware of, and it probably allows the company to promote its wares more broadly than traditional methods. In either case, I don’t see how I am suffering.
One argument I’ve heard against this sort of thing is that it drowns out the genuine and deserving people who are really just starting something up. I disagree, certainly as far as I am concerned. On the occasions I look at Kickstarter with a view to spending some money, I trawl through all of the currently active gaming projects. If I expect them to deliver a project I want then I consider pledging. If not then I don’t. To be honest, the delivery date is of little interest in itself. I’ve already got plenty of toys to be going on with, so I can wait 🙂
I suppose that people who only look at the summaries of KS on news sites, or only buy things they think are heavily discounted may have a different view. Personally I think that whatever Kickstarter was ostensibly set up to do (and I’m not convinced what they say in public and think in private necessarily match) it has evolved since it entered the real world and continues to do so. In our supposedly free market it will reach the level the buying public deserve. No sense complaining about some theoretical ideal which never really existed anyway.
But that’s just me. What do you think?