I can’t decide if Kickstarter is just a new fad for proving a concept, or marketing tool, but I know for sure it’s simply a dang useful tool for developers with good ideas. Other than wanting a game I support to to be funded so I can play, the one thing I care about most are the rewards. Now that MMOs are starting to make their way onto Kickstarter, I’m beginning to wonder what great MMO Kickstarter Rewards can be offered to entice players into parting with their cash early.
What would entice me? I tend to think that’s the best place to start because I think we’re all a little bit different and value our money differently. MMOs are different than other games or other Kickstarters (at least in my mind) because there’s so much more that can be done to reward you in lasting and meaningful ways. Here are some rewards within, a reasonable price range ($1-$200), I would expect if I were to back a game:
- Alpha and Beta access – I gave my money, let me participate in the development process. I think this one is a given, but I’d hope the developers would genuinely be interested in hearing what the testers have to say.
- Copy of the game – Time value of money. Getting my $60 now is worth soooo much more than getting my money later. Give me the game if I give enough.
- Founder’s Plaque – If the game has housing, I want to put right on the front of my house that this is the house of someone who helped fund the game.
- Titles, emblems, etc – Let me show I donated, give me the ability to show my support cosmetically, but these are extremely uninteresting. Titles get turned off, and are mostly ignored.
- Vanity armor and weapons – Things that make me look cool. Skins to go over my gear that look like flaming swords, ridiculously cool looking armor, and glowing effects.
- In-game statue of myself – Ya, it’s vain but it’s permanent.
- Guild recognition of some sort – If a community can pool enough money, some permanent way of recognizing that guild and letting others know that guild played a part in funding the game.
Helping to fund a MMO should yield rewards insensitive to time. These should be long-lasting, apparent, and bestow status. Then of coarse there’s the whole meet the dev team in RL, etc., etc.
Rewards I don’t want to see are those types of rewards that give advantages in the game. Shroud of the Avatar is offering property tax immunity to the first 5,000 people who donate a certain tier — that’s ridiculous. That’s not a reward since it punishes more people than it benefits. Oh, you weren’t as giving or didn’t give fast enough? Guess you miss out on what could be a major boost in-game.
Camelot Unchained‘s Kickstarter will begin soon. CU will be the first time I actually back something on Kickstarter, and I’m a bit anxious. I’m hoping for in-game rewards that convey gratitude and status rather than the tchotchkes and gimmicky rewards. I have a feeling Mark Jacobs knows he needs to get this one right in order to hit that $2,000,000 goal.
I wasn’t in a particularly creative mood while writing this up, so I’d love to know what kinds of rewards you would expect for giving $1-$200 to a MMO Kickstarter. You never know who you might influence.