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Games Workshop and Kickstarter – A Hidden Danger

2 Minute Read
Oct 30 2014
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Kickstarter is an amazing platform for visionaries, but Games Workshop thinks there are hidden dangers as well:

via Polygon

Here’s a small excerpt (go read the whole thing):

Games Workshop, the creator of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, prevented Behaviour Games from using Kickstarter to fund the upcoming game Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. Behaviour’s executive producer Miguel Caron told Polygon that the option was discussed briefly, but Games Workshop felt crowdfunding could damage the image of the franchise.

Behaviour Interactive wasn’t just handed the chance to make a game in the Warhammer 40K universe, they had to fight for the privilege. After they earned the right Caron says that he brought several funding models to the table. The crowdfunding option was quickly brushed aside however because Games Workshop was concerned about the potential for failure.

And here is the point at which I stand up and say:

 GW did the right thing.

I love Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and the entire crowdsourcing platform.  It has given the wargaming industry a giant shot in the arm and brought so many amazing and new products to market for the consumer.

What I love the most about it is how it is allowing the artists and newcomers to take their products & dreams directly to market without the middlemen who might water things down to bland, “safe” final products.  Does anyone out there think Kingdom Death’s range of models would have survived a committee of investors sitting around a boardroom?

But for all it’s positive abilities, I agree that there is something “cheap” about big established brands using the service.  Without the built legal protections and guarantees that traditional pre-sales have in most countries – I struggle to see how the “give me my money now and maybe you’ll get something down the road” Kickstarter proposition helps the credibility of established brands.  Worse yet is the danger of a mis step and egg on your face for a big established brand to be facing a failed Kickstarter campaign.

At some point established brands have to stand up and admit that you all one of the big boys and can handle product development the traditional route.

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How would you feel if Apple used Kickstarter for the next iPhone?  It would feel rather fishy wouldn’t it.

So at the end of the day I again will say for the record – good call GW.  Everyone likes to fling arrows, but the very idea that Nottingham it taking things like brand image into consideration says good things for the company.

What’s your take on when Kickstarter is appropriate for businesses?

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