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Since  Pillars of Eternity  is a series for a niche market. wouldnt it make sense for Pillars of Eternity games to be at least Partially backed by the fans  via Kickstarter?  i think that this would make Microsoft more confortable with doing more POE games.

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I think it's impossible due to the fact that Obsidian in no longer an independent company with a necesity of raising money for a new project.

The first time I knew about kickstarter was with the PoE1 campaign. I loved the way kickstarter worked and the hype Project Eternity created. I liked FiG campaign for PoE2 and I'd love to participate in a crowfunding campaign for PoE3 (or another isometric Eora game), but dreams are only dreams.

 

 

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Sorry, Obsidian isn’t an independent studio anymore. While I am happy to support developers I trust, I am not willing to create risk free environment for a major corporation. And that is exactly what a crowdfunded PoE3 would be - a fan funded project from which Microsoft can only benefit. If PoE3 would be funded via crowdfuding I would see it as a major abuse of their fans and wouldn’t support them in it. If Microsoft will invest into “niche” title I am interested in, I will support it by purchasing it (as long as it is released on an acceptable platform). They can afford to take risks and have a varied library of games. 


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Posted (edited)

I can't see how crowdfunding with Microsoft as owner is any different from crowdfunding with Obsidian as owner.

Edited by Boeroer
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Posted (edited)

No. Pillars of Eternity 3 based on UE 4 (Outher Worlds already on UE 4), founded by Microsoft – the only way. Kickstarter is a s**t. Only a few games, birth out from KS were a good within 5 years – this fact is totally dispels myth about "bad publishers and good developers". They are no good – just lazy sons of b***, greedy for money and manipulating gamers with all those "nostalgic feelings".

Edited by Phenomenum
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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

I can't see how crowdfunding with Microsoft as owner is any different from crowdfunding with Obsidian as owner.

I wasn't around for the early days so bear with me, but wasn't the motivation for crowdfunding the idea that Obsidian didn't have the capital to create PoE on their own? Microsoft has the capital. That's the difference.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

I can't see how crowdfunding with Microsoft as owner is any different from crowdfunding with Obsidian as owner.

Agree completely.  and  the engine of POE3  Obviously does not need to be the same as outer worlds, as different microsoft games have different engines.   To me , the idea of Kickstarter  for POE3  makes ABSOLUTE SENSE,  since  a major company is too money focused to do niche games,  but CAN ACTUALLY ACCEPT games funded by fans, exactly because it reduces risks for their pockets.   So,  the Kickstarter idea is completely valid for poe3.  specially considering that the team of poe2 still work  at obsidian and could lead a Kickstarter project.  Also,  even if the kickstarter only Partially finance POE 3 , that increases the chances of the game being made.   Its much better to have kickstarter measure with POE3 than to see the game being abandoned .   

Edited by nouser
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Posted (edited)

Nvm.

 

Edited by AndreaColombo
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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Jayd said:

I wasn't around for the early days so bear with me, but wasn't the motivation for crowdfunding the idea that Obsidian didn't have the capital to create PoE on their own? Microsoft has the capital. That's the difference.

The difference you mention is in the motivation to start a crowdfunding campaign. What I meant is: why is a crowdfunding campaign itself worse if the owner of the developer is Microsoft?

The outcome for the player would be exactly the same no matter who owns the developer. You, as a backer, give money and receive the game as reward. It's not that you are giving alms.
So why would it be a questionable decision from Microsoft's side if they opt for a crowdfunding campaign? It's just a different way of funding. Less risk, sure, but also a lot more work (campaigning is hard work).

I would argue that crowdfunding works even better (for the backer) if there's a big company with experienced people and backup cash in the background.  

Edited by Boeroer
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3 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The difference you mention is in the motivation to start a crowdfunding campaign. What I meant is: why is a crowdfunding campaign itself worse if the owner of the developer is Microsoft?

The outcome for the player would be exactly the same no matter who owns the developer. You, as a backer, give money and receive the game as reward. It's not that you are giving alms.
So why would it be a questionable decision from Microsoft's side if they opt for a crowdfunding campaign? It's just a different way of funding. Less risk, sure, but also a lot more work (campaigning is hard work).

I would argue that crowdfunding works even better (for the backer) if there's a big company with experienced people and backup cash in the background.  

As far as differences in motivation go, "I can't afford to do this" and "I can afford to do this but don't think it's worth my resources" are just about as significant as they get. I understand that people may be willing to crowdfund the game regardless because the input and output are the same. I badly want to see another PoE, so I would even be in favour. But subsidizing a major company's production of a for-profit product because they are unwilling to take the risk themselves is something that many people will be quite justified in not wanting to do. We (or at least many sensible people) don't want to encourage situations in which rich companies are profiting off products that were funded by the public (we already have this via state subsidies and publicly funded research that is then adopted by private companies).

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57 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The outcome for the player would be exactly the same no matter who owns the developer. You, as a backer, give money and receive the game as reward. It's not that you are giving alms.
So why would it be a questionable decision from Microsoft's side if they opt for a crowdfunding campaign?

"You, as a backer, give money and receive the game as reward"

That's incorrect. What you describe is a pre-order. As a backer, you offer money for the project, which the party organizing the crowdfunding has presented to you. Sure, ideally, you want to see the pitched project become reality and receive the final product - most common motivation for backers is to get their hands on said product. However, being a backer doesn't guarantee that you will get that product, or that it will be in the form that was originally pitched. Depending on the project you might get your money back, you might get some kind of product, you might forget that the project exists, until someone reminds you of it (cough, Mandate, cough). 

Does Microsoft need money to be able to fund PoE3? 

No.

If Microsoft doesn't care to produce PoE3, even though they can afford it, do I trust them that they will care, if consumers pour their money into the game even before the project was created?

No.

Do I trust Microsoft to keep creative integrity of the project, and put player experience first, before making business decisions, like adding undesirable features, limiting platform on which game will be released, or taking resources away from the niche title if it suits them?

No.

Microsoft is Obsidian's owner and publisherTheir job is to fund and advertise games and profit from their sales. They bought Obsidian, most likely have a power to dictate (or choose not dictate) what Obsidian, can/will do, decide what platforms they will release on, and how their business model will look like, and the OP suggests that consumers should take the responsibility of funding a game for them? 

Now, I do hope that the Obsidian's aquisition happened with mutual understanding and that games Obsidian wants to make are games Microsoft wants them to make. I do wish for PoE3 to have place someplace in that understanding. But Obsidian's position has changed, because it is not Obsidian who is calling shots anymore - or in the best case scenario, has a boss which allows them to do as they please, but still has power to change their course if they wish to do so. Trusting folks at Obsidian is just a part of potential crowdfunding - you have to trust Microsoft as well.

Would you crowdfund Disney to produce a movie you like? Or EA? By crowdfunding you don't get rights to the title, nor have real influence on its direction. All you can do is hope that the party you gave your money to will held up its end of the bargain, and that they will be interested in listening to your feedback. And it will be a sad day, indeed, if publishers will start extorting money from consumers, even before the production of the game started. 

Didn't that happen with Shenmue III already? "Give us money so Sony will be kind to allow me to work on a game for them?" We will see how this one will turn out. 

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Posted (edited)

As a fan of Pillars of Eternity i dont care about the ethical implications of "helping" microsoft to make the game via Kickstarter, as long as the game is done its unimportant how this will be achieved.  I agree with Boeroer,  the final result would be the same and this would garantee pillars of eternity 3 being made. its much better than to see microsoft abandoning the game.  Someone needs to convince the Pillars of Eternity developers that this can be a solution.  Even if its only partially funded by kickstarter.

Edited by nouser

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Posted (edited)

Just think that the Kickstarter is being used  to help the original Obsidian creators of PIllars of eternity,  not Microsoft .  Obsidian still is Obsidian and Microsoft may even sell or close Obsidian.  Kickstarter to avoid damages to CRPG creators  is completely valid.   Obsidian is not at all synonim with the literal Microsoft company.

Edited by nouser

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I want a Pillars 3 one way or another. I think it would be great if it got some proper funding. Not that I wouldn't contribute if a kickstarter did come out, but I'd like to see a more ambitious take on the series. Hopefully keeping with the pre-rendered isometric RTwP style.

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I think it's worth pointing out that Deadfire itself was in no need of a crowdfunding campaign following the rotund success that the first Pillars proved to be - it just happened to prove a good system which, I believe, fans and followers were eager to take part in and lend a hand with. On a personal level I pledged because I wanted to support Obsidian and I was confident they'd do a good job with the franchise a second time around. Unless Microsoft ownership implies a Win 10/Xbox exclusivity deal on the Pillars franchise I'd be eager to help out in a future crowdfunding campaign regardless of who owns Obsidian. It could also allow Obsidian a greater ground in proposing the idea of a niche game for a niche audience to the parent company, who may not be so eager to have a part of their studio working on something not as appealing to a general market as an Outer Worlds type game.

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Posted (edited)

Getting a reward for backing a project is not preorder. If the reward is the finished game then the outcome is the same though. Of course a crowdfunded project can go wrong andf then you get nothing. But especially if you have such a heavyweight like Microsoft in the background there is a very very small risk of that happening. So basically you back and get the game as reward (and more if you opt for it). 

Crowdfunding has another aspect that can work in favor of the player: there generally is more influence and feedback from the backers' side since they are the ones who fund - and not a publisher.
This doesn't automatically mean that's good for the game itself, but usually players will get more of what they want with a crowdfunded project. 

There are pros and cons for crowdfunding. Of course the main motivation may be that nobody else is willing to fund a certain project. But if you take away that "problem" (e.g. if you are owned by a big company) there are still benefits left.

Backing a project generally entitles you to expect more frequent updates on the progression. Often you can opt in for certain "tiers" which might be nice to have (create an item, create an NPC etc.) which you normally don't see in games which are funded by a publisher). I personally like those things. I brought us some nice stuff in PoE and Deadfire. Some people think that those rewards are just shiftng work from the developer to the backer - but I think it connects you more to the game and gets you more involved. 

Microsoft could indeed fund PoE3 themselves. Money is not the problem. But then you (as a potential future customer) will not see much of the development process, there will be no backer items, not much involvement. You'll simply wait till the game is ready and then play it. In that case, there's especially low influence from the customers' side and Microsoft's ability to "keep the creative integrity" is even more important than without crowdfunding, isn't it? The only problem here is the perceived "immorality" of crowdfunding a project even if you have the money to fund it yourself. I simply think that's nonexisting problem.

Since Pillars now has a (short) history of getting successfully backed and feels a bit like a community project I think it would be somewhat fitting if Obsidian also used crowdfunding to (partially) fund the next one (if there's one in the first place). 

But I'm not desperately calling for this. I simply think that Microsoft crowdfunding the game wouldn't be good or bad per se. For the game it doesn't make any difference if it's crowdfunded or publisher-funded. It's important that it gets funded in the first place.

Maybe Obsdian could do something of a hybrid: let Microsoft fund the project but still put out stuff like "backer" rewards (not that you have to give money, maybe as a result of raffles or competitions, hunts or surveys and whatnot) as a marketing tool. Maybe "fan rewards" or "community rewards" would be a better term.  

Edited by Boeroer
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5 hours ago, algroth said:

I think it's worth pointing out that Deadfire itself was in no need of a crowdfunding campaign following the rotund success that the first Pillars proved to be - it just happened to prove a good system which, I believe, fans and followers were eager to take part in and lend a hand with. On a personal level I pledged because I wanted to support Obsidian and I was confident they'd do a good job with the franchise a second time around. Unless Microsoft ownership implies a Win 10/Xbox exclusivity deal on the Pillars franchise I'd be eager to help out in a future crowdfunding campaign regardless of who owns Obsidian. It could also allow Obsidian a greater ground in proposing the idea of a niche game for a niche audience to the parent company, who may not be so eager to have a part of their studio working on something not as appealing to a general market as an Outer Worlds type game.

Exactly my thoughts. Very nicely explained.

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Kickstarter takes quite a big chunk of the money raised no? 

Also, by letting customers actively get involved in the production by adding their ideas, they are making the game worse. 

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, daven said:

Kickstarter takes quite a big chunk of the money raised no? 

Also, by letting customers actively get involved in the production by adding their ideas, they are making the game worse. 

That is a blanket statement with zero data or source to back it up. There are many examples where the publishers getting involved by adding their ideas made the game worse as well. It highly depends on the developer what he does with those ideas, doesn't it? Constructive input is never bad. If you can't filter it properly or don't really know what you want from your own game - that might be a problem.

Edited by Boeroer
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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Crowdfunding has another aspect that can work in favor of the player: there generally is more influence and feedback from the backers' side since they are the ones who fund - and not a publisher.
This doesn't automatically mean that's good for the game itself, but usually players will get more of what they want with a crowdfunded project.

All the positive and desirable things you mention, are a reality only if the party organising he crowdfunded is bound by a need of backers support. You are not taking the project away from Microsoft and you don’t replace company investors. Microsoft doesn’t need your money, and lets be honest, $4,000,000 is probably a pocket change for them. Does your feedback matter at that point? They don’t need your money, they don’t need you back for future project, because if you won’t shop up to back the project and they won’t to do it, it is no biggie. As a backer you don’t replace higher ups and investors. 

PoE1 sold great. Deadfire apparently didn’t, but got successfully crowdfunded. There is no need to “convince” Microsoft that there is interest in those titles. Now, it all depends and what their proprieties are - and that none of us is able to change. I will be shocked if any future Obsidian games won’t be locked to windows.

 


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I would say that all the positive and desirable things I meantioned can become a reality if the developer is bound by the wish to create a game their customers like. The funding method doesn't matter at all as long as you can fund your game and then stay true to your vision/idea of the game. Example: Deadfire didn't need crowdfunding but it was done nonetheless. Was that harmful? Most likely not. Would the game be better if a publisher had funded it? Nobody knows. I'm inclined to say no but very much depends on the publisher. 

Hence I conclude (again) that crowdfunding is just an alternative form of funding. You can do good things with it or bad things - no matter if you are a big company or a small indie developer.

So I see still no reason why Microsoft shouldn't be able to run a crowdfunding campaign for PoE3. Or why it should be questionable or dubious.

The only thing I see is that some people think that using crowdfunding is somehow immoral if you have lots of money. As if it was some form of fraud or finagling alms or something. 
"You don't need to crowdfund, you have the money !"

What I'm saying is that money might not be only reason to crowdfund a game (see Deadfire again).
 

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Are there any existing examples of the public directly funding a product for a major company?

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4 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I would say that all the positive and desirable things I meantioned can become a reality if the developer is bound by the wish to create a game their customers like. The funding method doesn't matter at all as long as you can fund your game and then stay true to your vision/idea of the game.

Hence I conclude (again) that crowdfunding is just an alternative form of funding. You can do good things with it or bad things - no matter if you are a big company or a small indie developer.

So I see still no reason why Microsoft shouldn't be able to run a crowdfunding campaign for PoE3. Or why it should be questionable or dubious.

I think where our opinions widely diverge is of Microsoft would honour promises made in a crowdfunded campaign. I see crowdfunding campaign in that situation as a purely anti-consumer, just as aggressively pushing pre-prders is anti-consumer. 

Corporations constantly walk back on their promises. I don't trust them in any capacity. 

Well, one thing is certain: I won't be joining any crowdfunding campaigns for a corporation. You do you.


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Posted (edited)

Wow, I'm just dumbfounded by the negative responses to the OP's idea.

 

With all due respect, I think the opposition is misguided. Having large corporations embrace crowdfunding is not something to be feared.

I agree with Boeroer that it could result in benefits for consumers:

- It's a useful means for publishers to gauge interest in a potential idea.

- It encourages publishers to continue to fund story-driven, single-player games as opposed to switching to casual mobile games (e.g. Konami).

- Fans can encourage changes in industry policy (like DRM-free on GOG) by insisting on funding campaigns that implement those politicies (like DRM-free releases.)

- The publishers can choose to contribute (or even match) the crowdfunded total, giving the developers an important buffer they would lack otherwise.

 

I urge the opponents to read this interview with the developers of The Banner Saga trilogy , who made the mistake of abandoning crowdfunding after the success of the first game:

Quote

JDR: The Banner Saga 2 was the only game in the trilogy which you didn’t use Kickstarter for, and despite being critically acclaimed, the release felt a little muted in comparison to the other two games. Aside from the lack of crowdfunding, how much impact do you think Kickstarter has on the marketing and hype build-up? Would you use it for future projects?

AJ: The crowdfunding aspect of Kickstarter can help, but it’s really the wave of amazing community support that we felt at the launch of The Banner Saga that buoyed Stoic. We made enough money to continue onto Saga 2 without needing any funding and we thought that the community wouldn’t want us to take months out to run another campaign for money we didn’t need. We thought what they really wanted was for us to go heads-down and get Saga 2 out to them as fast as we could. THIS WAS A MISTAKE! We really missed talking to the players and they missed not knowing what was going on in the world of Vikings that they’d invested in. We took a highly motivated community and basically went dark on them. For the third game we went back to Kickstarter and have been very happy we did. Aside from their support and feedback on the game they are also our biggest advocates on the interwebs.

(interview is here)

 

I don't want to derail this into a political discussion, but I don't have a problem with large corporations making use of publicly funded research -- provided they don't try to monopolize it after the fact (i.e. via a patent).

This is why the GPL (one of the main licences used by open-source software) does not contain a "non-commercial" clause. There's nothing wrong with companies using, and profiting from, open-source software.

 

 

Edited by glennjones130486
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46 minutes ago, glennjones130486 said:

Wow, I'm just dumbfounded by the negative responses to the OP's idea.

With all due respect, I think the opposition is misguided. Having large corporations embrace crowdfunding is not something to be feared.

I agree with Boeroer that it could result in benefits for consumers:

- It's a useful means for publishers to gauge interest in a potential idea.

- It encourages publishers to continue to fund story-driven, single-player games as opposed to switching to casual mobile games (e.g. Konami).

- Fans can encourage changes in industry policy (like DRM-free on GOG) by insisting on funding campaigns that implement those politicies (like DRM-free releases.)

Publishers don't need to get encouraged or convinced to do single-player story driven games. Those have a record of selling really well. It is just that they are not as profitable as having Devs working on exploitative ideas. 

Money is king - the hope is that Microsoft will use Obsidian as Sony uses its Devs to create great game to promote their platforms. 

No, giving publishers money before they even start developing the game doesn't give you any power over what they do. They promised Linux release? They can change it. They promised steam/got release? Sorry, Epic paid us. We said we will have no microtransactions? We do now. 

I am sure publishers would be happy to get as much money as possible from hardcore fans and the do what they want.

 

Banner Saga guys are indies. There are benefits to being indy. Corporations don't get to do that.

I see Crowdfunding as a sort of non-profit system (maybe because I work in a non-profit). You can't be a corporation and pretend to be a non-profit organization (ask for contributions)


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