Regular readers of this blog, (all 7.3 of you), will know that I was pretty excited about the announcement of the Pathfinder Sandbox MMO. How excited? Well, I wasn’t wearing the brown underwear for nothing. I was so convinced of the awesomeness of the idea that I pledged in their initial kickstarter drive, which was designed to raise money to complete a tech video, all with the ultimate aim of securing funding for the game. That kickstarter was a huge success, raising almost $300,000 in secured pledges, much more than their initial target.
All seemed to be going nicely. I am a regular reader and occasional contributor on their forums, so I consider myself up to date on what’s going on with the game. Then out of the blue yesterday we got side-swiped with a wham, bam, thank you Maam. A brand new kickstarter pledge drive, with the goal being securing early development of the game. The target? A cool million bucks.
It’s sad to have your dreams crash down around you, but straight away my bullshit detector went into overdrive. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the initial fund-raising effort was to help secure firm investment for the game by way of the tech demo video. Now they’re suddenly saying that this all went well but a million bucks is needed to not only get it to us early but:
“… The purpose of this second Kickstarter is to get the money we need to make Pathfinder Online bigger, faster and better than we can with our current level of funding. It will let us hire more people and dedicate more resources to Pathfinder Online, potentially cutting the time to launch in half, and massively expanding the content and features available on release…”
Potentially cutting the launch time in half? Does that mean they secured backing to make an MMO of 1 million bucks only? I’m having a hard time understanding their budget if they think that another million is all that is needed to get this off the ground. But wait, there’s more:
“… Could we have gone out and got investment capital to do this? Sure, but with that investment comes costs and entanglements that could very well derail the vision that we have for Pathfinder Online. Investors don’t like to push boundaries, color outside the lines, or think outside the box. Instead, they want you to do things only in ways already proven successful for other companies. It is their money, after all.
Our vision for Pathfinder Online doesn’t fit those boundaries. It doesn’t color within the lines. It doesn’t want to exist inside of a box. You already get that–you have believed in us from the beginning and backed us on our first Kickstarter. We would rather report to you than to a group of investors who are only interested in making the biggest pile of money and having an early exit strategy. You are with us for the long haul. You believe in our vision for a fantasy sandbox MMO. We would prefer never to sacrifice this vision in pursuit of bigger profits…”
If investors wouldn’t get your vision, why the hell would you start up the first kickstarter in order to secure funding from investors? This makes exactly zero sense, and already on the forums a very healthy dose of posters are questioning what the hell is going on, while the fanboiys ridicule anyone for daring to question the great creative vision at work here. Not only that, but what made Pathfinder intriguing was the fact that they are going to restrict early access to the game to 4500 players. Obviously everyone funded the first kickstarter with the hope that being an early backer would secure them that early access. Not a chance. Early access can only be guaranteed through the second kickstarter. It’s a massive kick in the guts for what was a devoted fan base.
But I saved the best for last. This second kickstarter is being launched before they’ve even sent out the pledges from the first one. This all stinks to high heaven, and if people think that this is the end of the fund raising then I think they could be very much mistaken.