Those who know crowdfunding as well as those here at Cliqist probably know Kickstarter better than the alphabet. A is for Access, B is for Backer, C was for Co-Op and D was for dinosaur but now thats extinct. It is hard not to dream about it while sleeping and while these dreams can sometimes be pleasant journeys through the extraordinary landscapes of other worlds, sometimes these dreams can be nightmares of failed campaigns, or worse successfully funded games that failed anyway.
Those who know crowdfunding know that beautiful passion projects have come out of it. However, they also know that some great disappointments have come from it. Sometimes things that are backed never get delivered on. The Stomping Land is now one of those games. A game that was exciting enough in premise to get funded but will not be completed.
After receiving over $100,000 in funding Alex Fundora has left supporters with maybe half a game at best. The studios leader abandoned his seemingly talented workforce without proper pay and they have therefore, rightly, stepped away from the project to find other work. His lack of communication and complete disappearance was crippling. Fortunately, the community has been understanding of those who had to make such a difficult decision. Hopefully these individuals will not have this held against them when looking for other work. However, this has left those who helped fund it to suffer a loss. Unfortunately, one of the things crowdfunding does not have a lot of is safety nets. This is not the first time this has occurred with a game as it happened with such titles as Rain and Clang.
This new practice of entrepreneurs trying new ideas on other peoples dime has been both amazing and scary it has led to people being able to create wonderful things that they would otherwise not be able to make and without risking their life savings. However, it has removed one of the drives to be successful in entrepreneurship, fear.
Fear of failure and fear of losing everything are great motivators. They drive people to do their best to make an extraordinary product so that they will get a return on their personal investment. Without personal investment this element is lost. This low or no risk environment lacks accountability and can lead to products, or a lack of product all together, that leave the backers to suffer.
The worst part of this is that when one game falls through like this it hurts crowdfunding as a whole. Those who have funded before, after having a bad experience, may stop funding other games because of the one. Which of course has a negative impact on future projects. While Kickstarter monitors what comes through it, it cannot expect the worst of everything. That would not allow the crowdfunding industry to function. Trust is a necessary part of the process and when a developers betrays this trust it hardens people to trusting other developers in the future.