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Pillars of Eternity 2 and crowdfunding on Kickstarter?


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As someone who contributed a substantial amount to PE, I have mixed feelings toward any further Kickstarted Obsidian projects-- especially with regard to any Pillars sequel.  Obsidian is one of the few companies I trust to give me a stellar gaming experience, so I was more than eager to support a new intellectual property for them that may or may not have succeeded via the normal free market system.  I really look forward to seeing what they've come up with and needless to say, it's been difficult not to sneak a peek at the beta.

 

While I'm sure they will never disclose their figures (they are under no obligation to), I have no doubt that Obsidian has used their own funds in some way for this project, based on what we've seen along with the extended development time.  Factoring in early reviews along with gauging "hype" from various sources, I'm fairly certain Pillars will experience relative commercial success-- relative for a game of this size/budget/niche.  I'm confident Obsidian will make back the funds they've invested in addition to what was pledged via KS and likely will make enough to support any expansion and/or sequel.

 

While I will almost certainly purchase Obsidian's future games, I have no intention of pre-funding any further projects.  I consider Kickstarter just that-- a kick start.  After that, the 'engine' is supposed to run itself.  

 

I have experienced both the successes and failures of projects I've Kickstarted (JA: Flashback, for instance) and I've concluded that you need more than just a good idea to be successful.  You need knowledge and infrastructure to make it happen.  Obsidian was the perfect candidate for a large KS donation, and this should kick start them for years to come.  They should be able to manage just fine on their own from here on out.

 

They're certainly entitled to have another go at Kickstarter, but I would take issue with a company that can manage on their own returning to ask us to take the 'burden of risk' from them a second time.  I'm sure others disagree, but that's the way I see it.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I believe crowdfunding  is a viable alternative to the current publisher model.  Without kickstarter games like wasteland 2 or shadowrun returns and possibly POE may have never saw the light of day. Niche games like POE, Wasteland 2 and shadowrun returns will not deliver the several million dollars worth of sales the big publishers are striving to acheive. So I would definitely support Osidian decision to return to crowdfunding for the initial startup funding for a sequel project provided this success of POE.  I understand the critics of crowdfunding who point out there is litttle or no protection to the end user who contributes money to project.  It's definitely a gamble. I have been fortunate in that all the projects I have chosen to back have delievered or close to being delivered  but I have read the horror stories where some projects failed to delivered or delivered less than what was promised. I kind of view not as a investment but a advance pre-order  and there is no gaunertee that  even those  AAA titles live up to their pre-order hype either.  From my positive experiences I  have no problems funding games the big named publishers would not back . Here is hoping POE is another successful and enjoyable kickstarter project. So far I like what I have been reading on this forum and other sources. 

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I don't see that using Kickstarter to fund sequel is not any different than from studio going to publisher and asks them to fund sequel (given that studio owns game's IP), as in both cases they have proven their product and in both cases they don't want take whole financial burden/risk by themselves. I would also say that backing sequel of product is less risky for people than backing new wholly new product, as company has already proven their ability to complete KS project and backers need to guess much less what kind product they will get, as they already have existing product that they can look.

 

And I would also point out that there is lots of successful sequel projects in Kickstarter, like for example Pebble watch run KS project in 2012 that got over $10 million dollars worth of pledges and now they run new KS for improved version of their product and it has already got over $15 millions worth of pledges and it isn't yet even half way of their campaign. So I would say, if Obsidian decides to run KS for PoE's sequel after PoE has proven to be good game, that it has very high change that it would be successful. 

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Well, they've found a publisher now, so no need for our money I guess.

Also I consider not backing another Obsidian game not because I believe PoE will be bad (I believe it'll be great) but because a) they said no publishers and then they squizzed one along the way and b) they got 4x their money, got paid for their hard work without spending a dime by their own and now they sell this game at a standard retail price which is unethical imo (it should be at least half the price).

Edited by Sedrefilos
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As someone who contributed a substantial amount to PE, I have mixed feelings toward any further Kickstarted Obsidian projects-- especially with regard to any Pillars sequel.  Obsidian is one of the few companies I trust to give me a stellar gaming experience, so I was more than eager to support a new intellectual property for them that may or may not have succeeded via the normal free market system.  I really look forward to seeing what they've come up with and needless to say, it's been difficult not to sneak a peek at the beta.

 

While I'm sure they will never disclose their figures (they are under no obligation to), I have no doubt that Obsidian has used their own funds in some way for this project, based on what we've seen along with the extended development time.  Factoring in early reviews along with gauging "hype" from various sources, I'm fairly certain Pillars will experience relative commercial success-- relative for a game of this size/budget/niche.  I'm confident Obsidian will make back the funds they've invested in addition to what was pledged via KS and likely will make enough to support any expansion and/or sequel.

 

While I will almost certainly purchase Obsidian's future games, I have no intention of pre-funding any further projects.  I consider Kickstarter just that-- a kick start.  After that, the 'engine' is supposed to run itself.  

 

I have experienced both the successes and failures of projects I've Kickstarted (JA: Flashback, for instance) and I've concluded that you need more than just a good idea to be successful.  You need knowledge and infrastructure to make it happen.  Obsidian was the perfect candidate for a large KS donation, and this should kick start them for years to come.  They should be able to manage just fine on their own from here on out.

 

They're certainly entitled to have another go at Kickstarter, but I would take issue with a company that can manage on their own returning to ask us to take the 'burden of risk' from them a second time.  I'm sure others disagree, but that's the way I see it.  

 

I couldn't have said it better myself. I agree completely.

 

However, if they did do another run at kickstarter, I probably would support them again. I just don't think I could resist helping them out a second time.

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Well, they've found a publisher now, so no need for our money I guess.

Also I consider not backing another Obsidian game not because I believe PoE will be bad (I believe it'll be great) but because a) they said no publishers and then they squizzed one along the way and b) they got 4x their money, got paid for their hard work without spending a dime by their own and now they sell this game at a standard retail price which is unethical imo (it should be at least half the price).

 

I would point that their deal with Paradox is about marketing and distribution, which are both things that they would never done in any circumstances by themselves as they don't have necessary infrastructure and expertise to do those things. Also Paradox helps them with localisation of the game, which is also thing that they don't have expertise of themselves to do.

 

In my opinion there isn't anything unethical in asking price that you think you product is worth even if you haven't invested much off your own money in it (I would point out that Obsidian has had to invest money from other sources in PoE as KS money wouldn't had been enough).  And I would point out that they will finance expansion pack from profits from PoE and their company's fund.

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Well, they've found a publisher now, so no need for our money I guess.

Paradox doesn't give them any money, they're just "publishing" Obsidian's product. The point is that Paradox would force them to make things different as they should be or force them to release it at any date they want, even if the product is not fully polished.

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b) they got 4x their money, got paid for their hard work without spending a dime by their own and now they sell this game at a standard retail price which is unethical imo (it should be at least half the price).

I completely agree with this. one of the factors in pricing a new product (like games) is to get return of investment. Then, when the investment is returned you can lower the price. In case of PoE there is no investment (or very little) to be returned. All sold copies will be almost pure profit and I see no reason for PoE to be priced at the same price range of AAA titles with huge budgets. I mean in my country the retail version of PoE will be more expensive than my Witcher 3 preorder! This is greed pure and simple.

 

 

Game companies are not non-profit organizations who have an ethical requirement to recover costs and no more.  The reason the price gets lowered is to get more sales not because some ethical requirement has been reached.  Even if a return on investment has not been achieved the price will come down, they are completely unrelated.  Obsidian should sell this game for precisely what the market says it is worth.

Edited by Valmy
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Yeah people Paradox is not EA, they are probably not that much bigger than Obsidian.  Hardly a sugar daddy.

 

They (Paradox) are actually smaller of two

Edited by Elerond
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Again, noone said anything about non-profit. I'm talking about overpricing the game. They dropped 0 money in it, they sell it at the same price a company sells their game while pouring tens of millions in it. Sorry, but to me this is unethical.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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I wouldn't mind another kickstarter, but I do hope it will be like for Shadowrun Hong Kong or Divinity Original Sin in that case. That PoE will earn enough that OEI will be able to fun the sequel themselves and then, if need be, they can turn to kickstarter to get funding for the "stretch goals" that fell out of their original budget.

 

I would happily pledge for a PoE2, though perhaps not the amount I put into this one.

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Game companies are not non-profit organizations who have an ethical requirement to recover costs and no more.  The reason the price gets lowered is to get more sales not because some ethical requirement has been reached.  Even if a return on investment has not been achieved the price will come down, they are completely unrelated.  Obsidian should sell this game for precisely what the market says it is worth.

I never said anything about ethics, I was talking about economy.

The price of a new product is always correlated with the development costs in any product (not only games). If lowering price would be only for increase of sells then there would be lower price from the get go. You just don't know what you talk about. There are economical models of pricing the product in a timeline and all of them take investments costs in to consideration.

 

obsidian can price their game as they want. But I as a consumer can judge whether the price is acceptable or not. There is a clear line between making profit and being greedy. Pricing a practically indie game that have little to no production cost that need to be paid back at the same range as an AAA title with millions of investment is way over the profit land and deeply into greedy territory in my humble opinion.

 

 

You never said anything about ethics but it is all about ethics?

 

They need the money for salaries and future development.  I think your case about greed is paper thin.

 

Companies already know what they are going to invest based on the market price for games, they do not do it the other way around.

Edited by Valmy
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@OP,

 

Erm... if they have some money around, then they can just set a lower goal in their Kickstarter campaign.

 

They only wanted 1,000,000 for PoE, right? And they got 4. Does that mean we should have 4 games right now, instead of just 1? Does that seems reasonable?

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I was just saying that the limits of "this is what we like, this is what we don't like" leads to similar lack of freedom as "this is what they like, this is what they don't like". Games are more than the sum of their parts, and when the niche fan group starts making demands of developers the same old ideas keep coming back without much consideration as to whether or not they benefit the game.

 

Except a publisher's marketing department:

 

a) has no idea what I want from a game.

b) has no right to tell me what I do or should want from a game.

 

Unfortunately, failure on the publishers' part to grasp such a simple concept:

 

a) killed the isometric party-based RPG genre (publishers arbitrarily and unilaterally decided those games wouldn't sell anymore).

b) dumbed down A.I., dialog, and storytelling to a bare minimum in all games because spoiled console kids don't like to use their brains when they game.

c) turned RPGs into shooters with swords instead of guns (cough cough Witcher and Dragon Age cough cough).

 

You know how much I am willing to pay for a Witcher game? USD $0.

 

But I forked out USD $250 for PoE and would do so again for PoE2 if given a chance.

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Again, noone said anything about non-profit. I'm talking about overpricing the game. They dropped 0 money in it, they sell it at the same price a company sells their game while pouring tens of millions in it. Sorry, but to me this is unethical.

 

That is not just true, because they put in their own money in form of producing rewards that they promised backers. It is just falsehood to claim that producing those rewards is free for Obsidian. Every backer was free to decide if promised reward was enough to compensate what you/we gave them.

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@Valmy

 

Do you have some ethics fetish? There is nothing about ethics in this conversation.

 

I don't think I need to explain to anyone else that the price of a product is directly tied to the development cost. So I will not bother to inform one ignorant.

 

Your case of developer pricing the game whatever they feel like is really paper thin. We all know how the games pricing looks like and indie Kickstarter games do not cost more than AAA titles. Obsidian overpriced PoE and that's a fact.

 

Not sure what 'fetish' means in this context.  A poster said the pricing was unethical, you agreed, and I disagreed there were any ethical issues.  An accusation of being unethical is a pretty serious accusation.

 

And I have seen plenty of products with 200% margins so no the cost of development is not directly tied to the price.  EA makes all those sports games they sink as little money as possible into and still charge AAA prices for because they are cash cows.  There is no obligation to only sell for a certain margin level.

 

I never claimed it was priced on whatever they feel like, it is priced on what the going rates for games are.  It is not a fact Obsidian is overpriced PoE, all other Kickstarter games have been priced the same way.  It is your opinion, one I disagree strongly with.  One of the things we were excited about during the kickstarter is that Obsidian stood to make all profit during the sale of the game (which they will not as they have invested their own money in the project) so they could invest that money in making more of these games.

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I think they should kickstart the sequel, the reason why is because publishers force release dates most of the time (most obsidians past games have been fairly buggy on launch because of forced release dates) with the kickstarter model they can push back development by a bit to ensure a non buggy game(hopefully)

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@Valmy

 

Do you have some ethics fetish? There is nothing about ethics in this conversation.

 

I don't think I need to explain to anyone else that the price of a product is directly tied to the development cost. So I will not bother to inform one ignorant.

 

Your case of developer pricing the game whatever they feel like is really paper thin. We all know how the games pricing looks like and indie Kickstarter games do not cost more than AAA titles. Obsidian overpriced PoE and that's a fact.

We'll see if Obsidian overpriced PoE based on it's sales. If people are willing to buy it at it's current price; then it isn't overpriced.

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Except a publisher's marketing department:

 

a) has no idea what I want from a game.

b) has no right to tell me what I do or should want from a game.

Yup. And the silly choices they make are the result of hasty/inaccurate data-reading. "we made this other game that was 3D, and it sold better. The difference in sales obviously means that people hated this one thing about this other game. CLEARLY, u_u..."

 

They change 50 things, then think they can pinpoint one factor. Or "Oh, we polled some focus groups, and now we know how everyone's brain works! 8D!"

 

That data is useful, but not to the extent they use it. Same with TV shows. That's why Firefly got cancelled, but some network executive somewhere is 100% seriously excited about their promising new show called The Slap, about a group of friends and relatives, and how all their lives change because some guy slaps another person's child one day. A... WHOLE... SHOW! ENTITLED THE SLAP! I couldn't make that up if I tried.

 

Obviously, some marketing geniuses figured out what we all want out of television. What we've always dreamed of. Heck, Gilligan's Island was cancelled while it was the most-watched show on television. All because the network executives insisted it was a dumb show and no one should enjoy it.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I'd be happy to throw into a PE2 Kickstarter. Inexile did a 2nd Kickstarter before Wasteland 2 was finished, and the Planescape Kickstarter did just fine.

When it's a team I trust and genre I love, I'm more than happy to help make it happen.

 

They turned Dragon Age into a shooter?  I guess I was wise to stop after Origins.

 

I know that it's kool to hate on Bioware, but I think DA:I is the best they've done since Baldur's Gate. The kind of pseudo open-world style they use is fairly reminiscent of BG games, and while there is some filler... well... only at the same level as BG had.

And considering it (finally) introduced the tactical combat to console, it's by far the best console effort they've made.

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I'd be happy to throw into a PE2 Kickstarter. Inexile did a 2nd Kickstarter before Wasteland 2 was finished, and the Planescape Kickstarter did just fine.

When it's a team I trust and genre I love, I'm more than happy to help make it happen.

 

They turned Dragon Age into a shooter?  I guess I was wise to stop after Origins.

 

I know that it's kool to hate on Bioware, but I think DA:I is the best they've done since Baldur's Gate. The kind of pseudo open-world style they use is fairly reminiscent of BG games, and while there is some filler... well... only at the same level as BG had.

And considering it (finally) introduced the tactical combat to console, it's by far the best console effort they've made.

The same level of filler as BG? The game requires you to do completely unrelated side quests in order to continue the main story. This is not the case in BG. 

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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