Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kickstarter Shenanigans: Paizo Edition

It is common practice for companies of any kind to eventually take advantage of their customers in a rather grotesque fashion. Right now all of America and all over the world are experiencing a sheer raping of one's wallet with the price of gasoline. And it sucks worse for countries that sell it per liter than per gallon. Its price gouging and nothing more.

So enter The Pathfinder Online Kickstarter. Not only is this just price gouging on an epic level but it is just an abhorrent rip off that for some unknown reason people the Paizo fans are crowing that this is a fantastic idea. And I got to say, in my humble opinion, these people are being conned.

For the most part I have enjoyed the hell out of Kickstarted projects. Double Fine Studios and their legendary funding for the upcoming game is an amazing success story. I love seeing the old Sierra Online alum also getting funding to produce an actual new game or two. We *need* more story driven adventure games. Heck even Steve Jackson Games (fnord) has gotten on board with producing the most extreme and bad ass version of OGRE EVER MADE! And due to so much funding they are going to redo Car Wars as well. All these things are excellent uses for Kickstarter and its fan based fund raising abilities.

Paizo has decided to butter up the fan base to Kickstart a non-playable tech demo (to the general public or the majority of Kickstarter investors) to show off to potential major financial investors.

That's what I said!!!

Please let that sink in just for a moment.

Not strong enough....

A tech demo to display to potential investors. Not funding towards the ACTUAL GAME. Just the tech demo. Yeah its a playable tech demo only if you shell out an ass load of money but the majority of investors of this kickstarter don't get to actually play it. They get a 'an exclusive long video of the final Technology Demo'. Everyone that shells over $5 or more gets this. Starting at $15 you get a PDF of a 64 page book of Thornkeep, an area that is in the currently non existent MMO. The PDF's of their regular 64 page soft covers run $13.99 so not so bad. How about a print version of Thornkeep? If pricing is usual it should run around $20-25 bucks as they are usually $19.99.

How about $50 dollars? Does that sound reasonable? No? I didn't think so either. And you still don't get to try out the demo either. That doesn't happen until you hit the $1000 wallet raping donation level. So far I just see Paizo willfully fucking their own customers and the rabid fans are lubing up for them AND taking them out to dinner afterwards. This thing is already achieved its full $50,000 funding after 24 hours and it still has 29 days remaining. For a tech demo.

There was a point, back in the day, that when a company wanted to make money on a product they spent their own money on it. Kickstarter has changed that where now a company can claim that
"Your support of the Technology Demo will help us raise awareness of ________ and will show potential investors what the game is really about.  Funding this demo will also signal to potential partners that _______ has an audience that's large enough and dedicated enough to allow the long-term success of the MMO. Nothing speaks louder than a ton of people putting up money to show their support of a new concept—that’s the genius element of Kickstarter!"  All I did was remove Pathfinder Online and left blank spaces so you can cut and paste this into any fund raiser for any bullshit tech demo that shows fans want this. Lulz. The best thing is that this is no guarantee the game will even come to fruition but the company doesn't care cause it wasn't their money they lost on the tech demo that didn't garner enough attention.....IT WAS YOURS! Lulz again.

STILL not strong enough....

***Rabid Wild Paizo Fan appears***

"But Phil it isn't Paizo that is doing this. Its Goblinworks Inc that is doing it. Paizo isn't involved. UR retarted. lulz."

Oh really???

"Nihimon wrote:
It's Goblinworks, not Paizo.
If you want to argue semantics, it's Paizo, not Goblinworks:
Amazon Payments wrote:
Greetings from Amazon Payments,
We have received your May 10, 2012 authorization to let Paizo Publishing, LLC, Kickstarter charge you."

This is part of an argument that is in the comments on the Paizo website under the post about the kickstarter today. The person in reply showing that this is a Paizo thing was also stating his abject displeasure in other posts at having to spend $50 for a book that is applicable for the table top game and more than likely won't be readily available to the general least not for some time if not at all. This sentiment was echoed a scant few times but mostly it was just people exclaiming how great this is or this is what fan support is supposed to mean or some other nonsense.

Almost there....

I would support a kickstarter if it actually supplied a real product that I will be able to use. I am referring to the main purpose of the kickstarter not the bonus stuff given away for people who pledge a fuck ton of money. This isn't a real product. This is vaporware if it doesn't get support and funding from financial investors. A Paizo forum poster snarkily asked if Paizo should take away revenue from the table top line to fund this instead of asking the fans for help. HELL YES THEY SHOULD HAVE! Their table top line has hit the bloat limit now and, to be frankly honest, the overall quality of their product (look and layout of books not withstanding) such as the writing and editing hasn't improved since they started. Its meh on a good day and horrific on its worst. If they took a break from constantly pumping out more and more crap for just a season they would have ample capital available to spend on this demo themselves and not on more books of rather unneeded fluff. Hit the fans up to fund the actual project instead. Then it wouldn't seem like a rip off.

I also want to add that I *AM* a fan of Paizo and their work for generally better or worse. I adopted the PFRPG as my rule set after 3.0/3.5 D&D died the way of the Dodo. Heck it improved those rules 1000% and it is a blast to play. If you read this blog you will see game posts of three different adventure path games being run. I run two of them. I enjoy the stuff, warts and all, but as of lately I've been feeling the bloat of over saturation. Now I get to see that the company that is all about the fans has finally shown its true colors and has taken the turn that ruined WotC......No they were not bought by Hasbro.....they have stopped having any shred of respect for their fans and have become ALL business now. This kickstarter is all the proof you need.

Mosaic of the Picard Facepalm made of pictures of people facepalming. THAT is strong enough!