If you have been around the hobby long enough, you know that Kickstarter and other Crowdfunding sites are an integral part to the business side. The great thing as a gamer is it allows a lot of ideas and concepts to come to life that may have never seen daylight without a proper publisher. It is the perfect connection for fans to put their money where their mouths are and get more of a universe or concept that they want. Some companies were even born out of this business model, such as Kingdom Death and helped CMON become what it is today.
Let us review crowdfunding usage from the beginning to now. Back in my day, Kickstarter was made for and used by smaller companies to get the capital to bring their ideas to reality. No longer were they dependent on a big publisher to purchase their idea only to then have their creative flow be directed by the hands that feed them. Instead, they got to keep hold of the reigns, and it was for the betterment of the hobby. We got to see all sorts of worlds be born or reborn. Heck, some of it was just to make the hobby easier to play with tools or markers.
Now the current trend, for better or worse, seems to be using crowdfunding as a risk remover. Even a company as large as Hasbro, who owns Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, used their own crowdfunding for a re-release of Hero Quest. Did they need to use crowdfunding? Probably not. They have pockets deep enough from Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, both of which have been heavy hitters in our industry for a while now, without a whiff of slowing down. But why shouldn’t they? It is no different then allowing fans to pre-order something to call dibs. This happens from phones to music to concert seats. So instead of fronting the bill, have the fans pay and work confidently. Just be sure you deliver on your promises. Us gamers in this industry know how to wage war after all!
How does this tie into Battle Foam? Well, we had a history of it when we released a game called Wild West Exodus a few moons back, which is now being stewarded by Warcradle Studios who have been doing amazing work with it. That is not the reason though. This is about what most companies do to ensure a successful Kickstarter snowballs into a Glacier King, which is offer stretch goals exclusive to the campaign. It is great for people who back and wait potentially years for their product, but for anyone late to the party, which is the majority, it is a rather crummy feeling. Knowing you will miss out on a cool model or add-on takes away your excitement a bit. It also makes it interesting for Battle Foam to help provide storage solutions because there are two sets of gamers. The “haves” and the “have nots.” Plus, unless we fund ourselves or are partners, it is hard for us to even get those goodies to include a complete solution. Shout-out to CMON and KD:M for always attempting to help with this by the way!
Personally, I, Billy Battle Foam, would rather have companies not make physical items exclusive, but instead keep them digital, keep it as a community unlock goal for everyone, or use better pricing if you back early. This removes the feeling of missing out for those that discover a Kickstarter later in the process, typically when they read a game is finally shipping. So, there are my two cents, well, judging by the length of this, let us call it a nickel.