Certain things irritate me. Car owners who seem incapable of considering others when parking, people who say “Excuse me” when there’s plenty of room for them to get past and you’re not actually in their way and the inability of baristas to serve you unless you use the specific term they have decided means “a large coffee”…
However, today I have a new hobby-horse and as I intend to take on a substantial canter around the Buffet, those of a delicate sensibility or those easily offended should probably go and read something else.
And that hobby-horse is Kickstarter.
Now, I fully appreciate the purpose of Kickstarter. It allows people to realise their projects that probably wouldn’t see the light of day without external funding from a group of interested people and, generally speaking, I think this is a good thing.
However, when utilised by bigger companies, who have no real need to call upon the support of us ordinary folk to fund their latest project, this is where things get a bit…off.
When Mantic Games announced that they had secured the licence to produce a miniatures board game based on Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, I pricked up my ears. I’d been a fan since the original four-issue Seeds of Destruction series way back in 1994.
They announced it was going to be funded via Kickstarter, that the intial ‘pledge level’ would be quite tempting for fans and as ‘Hellboy Week’ progressed on the Mantic Blog, the articles from both Mantic and the actual designer of the game, James M. Hewitt (designer of Dreadball, Bloodbowl 2016 and Necromunda: Underhive) seemed to suggest that this was a game I’d be seriously interested in AND potentially my FIRST Kickstarter.
Then the Kickstarter dropped…
Their goal was £100,000 and although the Kickstarter has only been live for a couple of days, they have already reached a total amount pledged of £753,000. So, quite popular, then…
Now, the actual RRP of the basic game will be £69.99, which is pretty typical of boxed games these days. So, you would expect the lowest pledge level would enable you to get the game at a reduced amount and I was kind of hoping that this might fall into the range of £40-£50, which would be just about within my budget.
But No! The lowest pledge level, whereby you actually get something, is £95.00! True, you do get approximately £200 worth of ‘stuff’, including Kickstarter ‘exclusives’, but there’s no option to just get the basic game.
Now, this may be mere pocket change to others, but to me, £95.00 represents a substantial investment in a game that might not be as good as it sounds and I won’t see hide nor hair of until February 2019.
To add insult to (potential financial) injury, Mantic do offer you the chance to pledge a lower amount, for which you get…nothing. Why!? If this was a small company or individual, whose project may only be realised through the generosity of strangers, I could understand it. But this is Mantic Games, who I can’t imagine are short of a few pennies, so why do they want us to, effectively, give them our hard-earned cash gratis? They don’t need it, do they?
So, having been quite excited by this game initially, I now have a nasty taste in my mouth and definitely WON’T be contributing.
If I want to field the agents of the B.P.R.D. on the tabletop, I can pick up the Heroclix boxed set for £30.00, which includes seven agents, including Hellboy, Abe, Liz, Johann and Roger AND they’re already painted.
Now, I appreciate that this is purely my opinion on this matter and people may not agree with my views, but surely these bigger companies should cater to ALL gamers, not just those with the biggest bank balances?
Look at Warlord, their licenced Doctor Who game starter game Exterminate (which didn’t require a Kickstarter to fund) retails for £40.00.
Now, I appreciate that this is purely my opinion and am not expecting everyone to agree with my point of view, but just before you click that button that says ‘Fund This Project’ on Kickstarter, whatever it may be, think what else you could use that money for. How much other hobby stuff, for projects you’re currently indulging in, could that pledged amount be used to buy? With the added advantage of being able to use it NOW, rather than ten months down the line. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Right, ride over and hobby-horse stabled.
Join me next time, when regular programming will resume.