Kickstarter Debate – Exclusive Game Content
Kickstarter has revolutionized the design, technology, music, film, and gaming industries. Pairing entrepreneurs with customers willing to pledge micto-loans (crowdfunding) has launched some excellent games and started some brand new gaming companies.
Many successful kickstarters use multiple tiers of rewards to encourage potential customers to pledge more to get cooler stuff. In the gaming kickstarters, there is typically a low amount for a PDF of the game, a little more for a physical copy sent to your house, then upper tiers which have included putting the faces or names of big contributors in the game, special editions of the game with higher quality materials, or the controversial option: Exclusive Kickstarter Content.
There are essentially two arguments to this debate. To me, its a flip of a coin. Heads: Fledgling companies should offer Exclusive Game Content to entice larger contributions and reward people who are early supporters with something unique as a token of appreciation. Tails: Potential customers who missed out on the exclusive kickstarter content feel like they aren’t getting the complete game, and will therefore not purchase the regular game from that company.
So the question is this: By offering exclusive game content during a kickstarter, are you sacrificing future sales to get a quick infusion of cash early; and if so, is the trade off worth it?
I personally feel that as long as the game still plays like a complete game without the exclusive content, publishers should reward early backers of their games with bonuses that make them feel like their contribution is special. It creates a certain amount of “buzz” and collect-ability to the kickstarter version of the game.
Would missing out on exclusive game content preclude you from purchasing a game?