No, It Won’t Be ‘Okay’ If Project Eternity Flops

Monetarily, Project Eternity may not have risks, but there is an invaluable fanbase risk.

In an inverview, Chris Avellone told Gamasutra that getting funded by Kickstarter donors was their end goal, so it really doesn’t matter if their upcoming  Project Eternity does well.

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Actually, it doesn’t matter if it’s a flop, although I don’t believe that it will be. But the nice thing about Kickstarter is that people have already paid for the title. So anything else that happens after that is great, but we know what our budget is, and practically speaking, that’s all we’re really focused on: “We’re going to make a game for this amount of money.”

We already have the backer support. They’ve already paid for it. That’s our end destination. If it ends up getting released and selling a lot of copies, great. If it sells enough where we can support future installments, we’ll absolutely do that. If it doesn’t make much of a profit, and we did want to do another installment, we’d probably take it back to Kickstarter.

Hm. I don’t think it works like that.

Obsidian’s Project Eternity campaign on Kickstarter has garnered as much hype as it has earned funding. Write-up after write-up cues fans on even the most minuscule details of game development. During its run on Kickstarter, Obsidian raised 3.9 million bucks toward their goal, smashing their original request of just over 1 million.

I’ve ranted and raved about Kickstarter. There is so much potential, but there are an equal number of pitfalls. I gave Obsidian a stamp of approval almost automatically because they do hold a lot of clout. They’re not some fly-by-night business created just to bilk benefactors out of their money like some. With that, I’m extremely disappointed that getting funded was their end goal. While it is no longer a financial risk, there is always a risk of disappointing their faithful fans. 

In sports, the best moves come from a full and thorough follow through. You don’t just stop abruptly and expect success. That’s, like, Technique 101. That tenet applies to any undertaking. There is a commitment to emphatically say “Hey, we know you gave us this money in full faith. We’re going do all we can do to satisfy you and live up to your expectations.” “Eh, we got the money, so it’s whatever,” completely misses the mark. Creating the best game possible within budgetary limits should be the end goal. Without a commitment to follow through, this is no better than the chumps who cut and run with their proceeds. 

If the game flops, it won’t be as easy as taking it back to Kickstarter. Mr. Avellone and company will have already brought their clout and commitment into question by releasing one failed game on their dime,  so Kickstarter superstar status and the funds that come with it won’t be nearly as easy to come by.

I could be understating Chris Avellone’s commitment to this project, but the nonchalant tone of the statements = no bueno.


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Imayen Etim
Imayen Etim is a freelance writer and GameSkinny contributor based in Gainesville, Florida. She can be contacted at imayen.e [at] gmail.com