Friday, May 12, 2017

Follow Up #4 (Last?) - Kickstarter - Rifts® Board Game (Cancelled) - And Just Like that, It were Gone...

I thought I would be taking a break from follow up posts for the Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter, and I will be, just not yet. You see, after this morning's update where we got to see some painted minis were were given this afternoon's update, which canceled the project.

Thank. Fucking. God.

Seriously, the Kickstarter was toxic BEFORE it even launched and it was just getting worse. Anything linked to Palladium, especially with miniatures, is going to get huge push back but there was more of that than even I expected, and I expected a shit ton.

Then there was the fact that the project simply wasn't ready for prime time. Carmen agrees with this assessment and is going to get stuff in order before relaunching. I suggest that he wait a good bit before doing so. Why? Because Carmen needs to make sure that he's ready for the pressure of running a Kickstarter of this size, with the inherit expectations and baggage attached to a Palladium property. I wish Carmen good health and success when this does launch in the future and it will. It has to. Carmen has too much money and time invested in this Kickstarter to not come back to it.

Here's the update announcing the cancelation:


  1. Pretty sure they did that because you promised you'd post about something else and they just wanted you to look bad. ;)

  2. Thank Christ. I expected a shitshow upon launch, but I was unprepared for the sheer amount of idiocy. Hopefully, lessons have been learned. And just as hopefully, the Robotech project is fully addressed and completed before this game launches again or the next campaign will be atomic in YOUMUSTBEFRIGGINGKIDDINGness.

  3. The absolute worst thing that could have happened for Carmen was this project limping across the finish line. After fees and taxes there would barely have been enough money left to make the molds for the miniatures let alone get the game into the backer's hands.

    Unfortunately I don't have high hopes that a second effort turns out any better. In the post Carmen made right before he tried to off himself he mentioned he needed to launch his KS to meet his contractual obligations to PB.

    Now maybe Kevin will give him an extension or whatever but my main concern is that Carmen thinks the problem with this campaign was the effort by disgruntled RRT backers to torpedo it when in fact the entire thing was a mess from top to bottom.

    The campaign page itself looked very amateurish, the stretch goals were a dumpster fire, communication was non-existent, there was zero original art shown, they only had renders for the majority of models, there was next to no information about how the game actually played, third party (p)reviews were absent, they didn't have a BGG page, the list goes on and on.

    This campaign reads like a list of how NOT to do a Kickstarter and frankly I don't think Carmen understands why this failed or how to fix it.

    1. It didn't fail though. I think it would've fired and although it was precarious he defied the odds imo and got a good amount of funding out the gate.

    2. This must be some new definition of "success" of which the rest of us were previously unaware.

    3. @Kevin - The problem is that none of us really know how good the initial funding really was. The number was impressive, but one of the things that RRT backers were threatening to do was to back the project so they could shit on it and then yank the pledges before the deadline so it didn't get across the finish line.

      The sheer amount of trolling on the comments demonstrates that this was an issue, and Rogue Heroes couldn't simply assume that it was just the $1 backers who were trolls (though they did seem to make that exact assumption, which was an unforced error on their part). Remember, Kickstarter does not collect your money until the project funds, and even then only does it if it passes the target. You can back for $1, $10, $100, $1000... doesn't matter, none of the money is actually gone until the end of the pledge process, and you can cancel the pledge at any time up to that point.

      Rogue Heroes could in principle have looked at the pledges of the vocal trolls and subtracted those from their total to get a ballpark figure of where they were at. Were this a normal Kickstarter, they'd have probably been able to expect funding with the usual end-of-Kickstarter surge, even removing a few big pledges from the trolls. Unfortunately, they'd have no way of knowing how many of the backers who didn't take to the comments were intending to pull their pledges.

      (It would be more sensible to do that sort of stunt that way - you could at least claim to have changed your mind about your pledge, and nobody could point to angry comments on your parts to say otherwise. The people who have really aggressively trolled this Kickstarter are also people whose personal details are known to Palladium by dint of being RRT backers... KS must surely be pondering whether it's worth suing any of them.)

      Bottom line: whereas a cancelled Kickstarter can usually be a useful data source to help you refine and present a much better offering later on, in this case I think the unique circumstances mean that Rogue Heroes and Palladium can't draw many especially useful conclusions from the data on this one.


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