Our weekly dose of hot takes, occasionally well formed opinions, and fevered outbursts is back. Yup, it’s time for the Question of the Week! This week our question is a two parter and deals with Kickstarter videogame regrets.
Which Kickstarter videogame campaign do you regret backing? Which do you regret not backing?
Is it strange to admit that despite working for a site that focuses exclusively on crowdfunded games I’ve never actually backed a campaign? Well, the cat’s out of the bag now. I like the idea of crowdfunding, but seeing so many fail to deliver has tainted my view. That’s the downside of writing so many articles about developers disappearing and release dates that keep blowing past without updates.
As cynical as I am though, I still think there are some amazing projects waiting to be made. The one I came closest to backing, and actually regret not putting money towards is Eldet. I loved the demo and the inclusive cast. Ultimately the only thing that stopped me from backing it was Kickstarter not allowing me to use PayPal funds to do so. All my disposable income is tied up there. I wish I would have backed it anyway, not only to get a copy when it releases, but to stick it to all the trolls who had fits about the LGBT themes. Games like this are needed, even if a vocal segment insists otherwise and I wish I’d done more to support it.
I’ve only back one game on Kickstarter and that was Double Fine’s “Double Fine Adventure” (which would later be known as Broken Age). That being said, the Kickstarter I regret not backing the most would have to be Shovel Knight. I’m a huge fan of older, 8-bit games, and everything Yacht Club games did with that game was incredible. I wish I could’ve gotten in on the Kickstarter and helped support them. I did buy the final, retail game though.
Sooo…. the Kickstarter campaign I most regret backing as of this moment is The Grisaia Trilogy but it has nothing at all to do with the product itself. I’m actually just really frightened about Sekai Project as a company as they’re currently undergoing some restructuring. Sure, this is bound to happen with young, successful companies, but the way it is being handled publicly leads me to panic rather than feeling excited. As for not backing, I regret not backing Fantastic Boyfriends on Indiegogo. I say this because it wasn’t funded in the end – but reached 85% of its goal! If more folks like me had simply pulled the trigger then that cute bara game would’ve been successful.
I don’t yet have a backing I regret, but perhaps it’s mostly because nothing has come out. I may have a few down the line, but mostly because my game time is becoming more limited and changing my play habits, so that lightning fast TCG I backed may not get much play time.
The one game I do regret not backing is probably obvious: Undertale. God, there is so much love in that game, I wish I’d paid more attention to its development and demo!
There are two campaigns that I particularly regret not backing – Divinity: Original Sin and Shovel Knight. In both instances not only did the finished games turn out to be brilliant but the campaigns were really well run with regular (and detailed) updates. The fact that backers of Divinity also got free upgrades to the Enhanced Edition when that was released was a great bonus for those backers, but ultimately as a massive NES fanboy it’s the 8-bit aesthetic of Shovel Knight that means I regret not backing it the most.
In terms of negative experiences I’ve been lucky (so far) that I haven’t been involved in any complete failures where I lost my pledge. There are several that are behind schedule but at least still seem to be progressing, and in the case of Rocket Ranger Reloaded I actually got my money refunded. But I have to say I do regret backing Last Year – the multiplayer survival horror game. Not so much for the quality of the Kickstarter itself, but for the fact I made the rookie mistake of getting suckered in by a good idea and some nice artwork to the extent that I overlooked the lack of any actual gameplay footage. After the IP dispute I was even more annoyed at myself, although admittedly the developer got through that and there does seem to be progress now and some brief gameplay footage available – although with only one update so far in 2016 I still count this as as my biggest mistake, and one I always think back to when considering backing any new Kickstarter videogames.
Having backed 233 projects I’m happy to say I don’t have many regrets. My backer history contains it’s fair share of broken promises and disappearances, but that’s all part of the game. However, there are still a couple campaigns that make me feel pretty uncomfortable. The worst offender is DCS WWII: Europe 1944 from famed flight sim developer Ilya Shevchenko. The game hasn’t disappeared, but it may as well have. Ilya basically took off without telling anyone and dumped the game and its backers on DCS, which appear to have no commitment to the project. I understand that sometimes projects fail, and that some people are out there to scam people, but to dump your backers on a third party is disgusting. At least with a scammer you know what the deal is, but in the case of Ilya I’m sure he feels as though he did right by the folks who supported him, when in fact he abandoned them.
There’s plenty of projects I wish I would have backed, a number I wish I had backed more. If I had hundreds of dollars at the time I would have given all of it to support BattleTech when it launched. The one campaign I really regret not backing though is Confederate Express. Whether or not the whole affair was a scam from the start is still open to debate, but there’s no denying that it was a complete disaster in the end. Every time I check in on it I get a bit jealous seeing the comments being made, it’s something I would gladly pay $1.00 to join in on.
What do you think? What are your biggest Kickstarter videogame regrets? Chime in below and let us know!