I know, I’m taking another day off from the Twenty Days. But this is a time sensitive topic. In just under one day’s time, we will know if Camelot Unchained will success in its $2 million Kickstarter campaign. In truth, its already a done deal. Not raising the final $150,000 would be shocking given how much its pulled down even in the last two days. I bring this up first so that it tempers the reaction I get here. Your precious is safe, and there is nothing I can do to stop it from succeeding at this point.
But I will not be supporting it. I have heard lots of impassioned pleas in blogs and on Twitter. Wilhelm says we should do it to promote the genre (and to support a niche sub game). Doc says it will support the industry. Psychochild says we should do it to shake free funding for other MMO’s. But I’m afraid I just don’t understand any of those arguments.
There are plenty of niche subscription based MMO’s around. And plenty of F2P niche MMO’s around. And most of them are PvP based. Please don’t tell me that one more (by the same guy who has built two of them already) will somehow improve the genre any. And if the genre is MMORPG – I think we have made plenty of progress in the PvP and RvR areas of gameplay. We need to stretch the genre in other ways.
What about the industry itself? Will this be good for it? Will it promote positive change? Sure I guess. Did Ouya change the console market by getting nearly ten times is almost one million dollar goal? Did Kingdom Death: Monster change the board game market when it dragged in nearly thirty times its goal, making north of two million dollars? Maybe its too early to tell, but aren’t we overselling the reach of a Kickstarter campaign here? Will its success or failure really promote the industry to a game-changing level?
What about funding for MMO’s? Did the failure of TOR-tanic forever put a scare in potential investors? You bet it did. Will CU somehow erase that bad taste from their mouth? Nope. Will it sell them on smaller MMO’s? Given the proliferation of (especially smaller) MMO’s – I can’t believe we are hurting all that much for funding for them. And if we are…isn’t that what Kickstarter is there for? To fill that void?
What about Mark Jacobs and his crew? They are skilled, they are industry veterans! Shouldn’t we toss them a bone? Not if they are not creating the kind of game that I would want to play, no. In fact, the only leverage I have is *not* supporting their game. If I’m not a fan of niche sub-based PvP MMO’s, I can’t do anything to help the market innovate something new if I continue to let it do what its been doing for the last dozen years.
Clearly I’m in the minority here. And I’m okay with that. If this is where the industry is headed, there is nothing I can do to stop it. I’ll keep supporting the games and ideas I like. And if you are supporting it, good for you. It looks like you are getting what you wanted – the CU Kickstarter gained another $30,000 just in the time it took me to write this post.