Sometimes they get cash from private investors, sometimes they get cash from publishers. Sometimes they crowd-fund cash through projects like Kickstarter.
Crowd-funding through companies like Kickstarter lets average gamers like you and me pledge cash to a game project. Kickstarter helps a lot of independent developers get that little extra cash their project may need to pick up art assets or maybe hire professionals that cannot afford to volunteer their skills.
Not all of the projects people pledge for on Kickstarter make it off the ground. This is a sad reality of start-up companies. Not all start-up companies make it in their first year. People who invest money in start-up companies know there is a risk. Even with that risk, investors still work with start-up businesses, but they do a little extra research about the product and the company before they invest. This helps investors minimize their risk.
Most of us gamers that pledge on Kickstarter are not professional investors. We just want to put in a little cash to play a new game. When the company fails to deliver the game for whatever reason, we’re all disappointed. When putting money into Kickstarter, we all should know that there is a risk. The money we pledge does not guarantee that a game will be made.
While we can’t guarantee that the game will make it, we can minimize our risk. We can invest wisely, or like the title of my post suggests, invest like a boss.
Investing like a boss means thinking less like a gamer and more like an investor. If we invest like a boss, we don’t rely on the Kickstarter page alone. Just like those start up investors, we do additional research on the company and the product we are investing in. We take a look at the game’s website and forums. We watch their videos. Also, where we can, we look at third party websites and see what other players are saying about the game.
Read the game’s website and forums asking yourself:
- Is there a lot of information about game play and in game systems?
- Are screenshots available?
- Are the same things highlighted on the website, the forums and the Kickstarter page?
- Do they have regular updates on how the game is progressing?
- Do they have links to interviews and other press statements?
- Does the team give a professional image?
- Does it look like the game has a solid plan for game production and a timeline for release?
Watch the game’s videos asking yourself:
- Does the game have videos available to watch?
- Are you seeing the features talked about on Kickstarter and on the game’s website?
- Does the game look like it will be fun to play?
Reading 3rd Party Websites asking yourself:
- What are other potential players saying about the game and are they raving fans or do they have solid interest in the game?
- Are there any postings by the game team and do they have valid statements and sound professional (sound like they know what they’re talking about)?
- Are people flaming the game without good information or do they have valid concerns for the game that are not being addressed?
Keep in mind that you are taking a risk. Sometimes the game you are pledging for will not be exactly the same at launch and sometimes it will not launch at all. There are risks.
You can minimize that risk by doing extra research. If the game and the company building it look solid there is a greater chance the game will release. That is investing like a boss.
I want to thank Victor Barreiro Jr. (aka iamstillwater of http://www.gamesandgeekery.com) for this post’s inspiration via his article on MMORPG.com When Kickstarter Works. I also want to thank my hubby for the graphic, he linked that over to me.