Reserved for future laughs

Tobold being Tobold, and while this isn’t “CCP is going bankrupt this year” levels of deep thinking and expert analysis, still worth making note of for later.

Going to put the full text after the break in case Tobold goes on to ‘Gevlon’ the post later.

The news of the week is the Crowfall Kickstarter, which has raised some serious questions. Not just the usual Kickstarter question whether the company can actually deliver what they promised. But a far more fundamental question of how realistic it is to make a MMORPG for less than a million dollars.

For me Crowfall in scope somewhat resembles Darkfall. So how much did it cost to make Darkfall? We don’t have official numbers, but we do know they received $3 million (€2.6 million) from InternetQ plc as investment just for the development of Darkfall 2.0. They also received a bunch of European and Greek government research grants, which were said to be around $20 million. As Ionomonkey pointed out, the $800k they are asking for via Kickstarter corresponds to less than industry standard salary for the 17 known team members for a year.

Other MMORPG Kickstarter projects asked for much more money, for example Camelot Unchained with $2 million. And then of course there is a long list of actually released MMORPGs which did cost tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course the scope of these might have been a lot bigger, but I’m not sure if all Crowfall Kickstarter backers understand that they’ll get a game with indie scope and polish, and not something comparable in quality to The Elder Scrolls Online or Wildstar.

In short, I do believe that it costs several million dollars to make even an indie MMORPG with ugly graphics and lots of bugs. It costs tens of millions of dollars to make a half-decent MMORPG, and over a hundred million dollars to make a top-shelf one. Backing a $800k project is basically giving a donation to a bunch of guys so they can have some fun coding the game of their dreams for a year, before reality hits them and sinks the project.

[P.S. Peter Molyneux’ Godus Kickstarter raised $813k.]

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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9 Responses to Reserved for future laughs

  1. magnoz says:

    “giving a donation to a bunch of guys so they can have some fun coding the game of their dreams for a year”
    Word. That’s how I view my donations. It’s like planting seeds: most plants turn out OK, a few will be great, and some never see the light of day.

  2. If Tobold wanted to argue against handing people money on a promise that they will make something… well, there is certainly a discussion to be had there. MMOs are complicated. Some of these projects may very well fall through and not deliver.

    But acting as though $800K was the absolute limit to what Crowfall would get in the way of financing, and then arguing that it isn’t enough to make an MMO… well, I think I was clear in my comment on that post. Star Citizen only asked for $500K, and clearly that was all the money they ever raised.

    • SynCaine says:

      To be fair, its not like in the Kickstarter video itself funding was talked about and basically addressed every point Tobold attempted to bring up… oh wait.

      • Why should I have to watch a video? Why can’t they just explain all this in text on the Kickstarter page? Oh wait, they do. They even say they can’t make an MMO for $800K right there in the pre-loaded question “How can you make an MMO for $800K?”

  3. Mark says:

    Hey Syncaine! I think the founding members of the team for Crowfall invested a lot of their own money into this project. I’d have to find you sources for that, I’ll try, but if this were the case how would you think about this project then?

  4. zaphod6502 says:

    Tobold is an idiot.

  5. maljjin says:

    Funny how things go sometimes. I read Tobold post this morning and left with the impression that, yeah, 800k is low for a MMO, this project smells bad. Now that you have pointed out how wrong he was, I went to the kickstarter page to forge my own opinion. You can now color me intrigued ! I like the basic ideas and concepts, project sounds serious enough and I’m tempted to pledge some money. How I would find time to play a MMO ? That’s still up in the air…lol

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