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‪Kickstarter Debate – Exclusive Game Content‬

December 5, 2011

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?

  1. December 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Here’s the rub, how many of those games would still exist without that initial funding? It is all well and good to wonder if you are sacrificing future sales, but if the product wouldn’t exist without the influx of capital now then that’s a moot point.

    I’m happy with how kickstarter is helping fledgling products along. Gaming Paper in particular likes to use the venue and some of the products they’ve created because of it have blown my mind.

    So if they offer more content to the original patrons so be it, Open Design does the same thing and while I can’t be certain of this I doubt that The Kobold has lost much in the way of sales because of it. If anything it makes me want to pay attention to what projects are coming up even more, and thus creates a desire in me to watch the company and its products more closely.

  2. December 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I think you can offer “cool stuff” that might be “exclusive”, but it is all based on the person who want the product. Give someone to name something is you product is cool and exclusive, but ti does directly effect what you are doing with the product.

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