Why don't I like Kickstarter? I've written about this before, but I'm finding new depths for my unending skepticism and doubt. Lately that doubt comes in the form of Shadow of the Eternals, which today launched a second crowdfunding effort, apart from the one hosted on the game's website. This Kickstarter campaign comes "due to overwhelming popular demand," and "gives potential pledgers even more options to contribute to the game."
This is Kickstarter saying "hey, everyone thinks this is a Kickstarter campaign anyway. Why don't we get Precursor over here, wave a few fees, and promise to promote the campaign?" This is Precursor saying "wow, our massive egos sure thought we'd be funded by now. Better throw another hook out on a popular funding site and maybe make however much we're currently missing."
I'd like to play a spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness, but I just find this suspicious. You asked for $1.5 million. If you needed $2.85 million to fund the project, why the hell did you ask for 1.5? Crowdfunding came from the idea that people would contribute to projects too small in scale or without an established base to help people build the things they only imagined on paper or in their dreams. You don't say "wow, how's that for another shot at more money?"
I don't continue to pay attention to Shadow of the Eternals because it's being crowd-funded or Kickstarted. I pay attention because I loved Eternal Darkness. I'm a fan, I'm the market, I'm the "mark." I can't trust this! I want to believe, but it feels so dishonest and smacks of recent reports spelling out misappropriated development funds and missteps at Silicon Knights (which has transformed into Precursor for this "new" project).
Now, the fans themselves have the "opportunity" to bring Eternal Darkness back and reap exclusive(!) benefits from their investment. The same people that stood in publisher board rooms and promised an amazing X-Men game and an incredible new IP for the Xbox 360, take to your screen and ask for your money now. These developers promised work would be delivered to publishers by a certain date, then failed to meet that deadline and asked for more money. I suppose the most eager backers would say that SK/Precursor can have their money no matter how long it takes, but I hope my skepticism has rubbed off on you.
**Please do me a favor and fund it anyway. I'm going to stop now before this diatribe becomes an outright vendetta. Good luck to you Shadow of the Eternals. I hope to play you some day. I hope you're good. I hope you feel like Eternal Darkness did and I hope you have your own hauntingly awesome mechanic, like the sanity meter. Maybe you can convince me you're real before the end.