Looks like we can add another to the ‘saw that coming a mile away’ pile. Pathfinder Online joins the growing club of failed crowd-funded games. Members include similar games such as Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Pathfinder had to lay off all but three (read: all) employees because “funding didn’t come through,” and a bunch of other stuff that simply isn’t important to the average person like you and me. Truth: The game was never going to succeed. Looking at their business model and their game, this was coming.
Right now I have money in one Kickstarter, and I’m pretty sure that one will at least deliver something, but in general I have lost all faith in crowdfunding the development of a product — especially a video game. There’s way too much consumer risk, and I see the idea as a violation of the basic principle that we give something in value in exchange for something of value in return. Giving a developer money this early gives them less to fight for, less to push for, and all the reason to sit back and lay everyone off and say, “We just couldn’t make it work but thanks for the support.”
I’ve sworn off giving a lump sum of money for a product; However, a model I still have a little bit of faith in is the “pay as you go” funding model we see on places like Patreon. I think supporting people who deliver daily, weekly, monthly, etc., content is a nice option. It works great for musicians, comics, youtubers in general, etc. I see this as the same model Twitch uses for subscribers. You like it so you support it, but it’s monthly and you can cancel any time. Fail to see continued value? Then stop paying. ::whispers:: Kinda like MMO subscriptions. SHhhhh.
Crowdfunding a game in 2015 is a poor financial decision for players. Developers can have my money when they bring a game of value to market and show me they now deserve value in return. Not before.