Crowfall Kickstarter Commences

It’s like Game of Thrones meets Eve Online

Crowfall Kickstarter Tag Line

Today my post will probably echo a lot of other posts around our little corner of the internet in talking about the Crowfall Kickstarter campaign, which kicked off this morning.

Crowfall has gotten some buzz of late.  You can go look at their site if you need to catch up, but it is an attempt to get some new dynamic into the whole fantasy MMORPG thing we’re all keen on around these parts.  It is being led by Gordon Walton who, while not the household name of Richard Garriott or even Mark Jacobs, has MMO online gaming chops back from the late Kesmai era all the way through Star Wars: The Old Republic, and who might be the most famous person to ever follow me on Twitter…  I can’t explain that last bit, but I have a pic so I can prove it after he unfollows me… and J. Todd Coleman, who comes from Kingsisle Entertainment, famous for Wizard 101 and Pirate 101.

They, and a team of developers down in Austin, are making Crowfall.

CrowfallThey are currently on the “fan buy-in” step of the whole project, as they are running a Kickstarter campaign that is asking for a mere $800,000.

Yes, I know that Brad McQuaid couldn’t get there just a year ago, and he might be more recognizable by name than Gordon Walton, but I am not sure it was always recognized for positive reasons. (And then there is Project: Gorgon.)

The Crowfall team apparently paid attention to how successful Kickstarter campaigns work, which puts them ahead of a lot of others.  They built up just about the right amount of buzz, got another industry name (in this case Raph Koster, who is consulting, which stoked some SWG wishful thinking) talking about the game, managed to present some coherent ideas coherently, including business models, and were a bit coy, but not too coy, about where things were heading.  If you were paying attention, you knew they would be launching a Kickstarter today.

And they are off to the races.  If you watch the site refresh, the amount of money pledged keeps on going up and up and up.  I have no doubt that they will hit “Wilhelm’s Minimum First Day Threshold for Success” (the 25% funding mark) within a few hours and it seems completely likely that they will be able to declare success and start talking about stretch goals and alternative funding methods (for those that wish to use PayPal) before we get to the weekend.  The charts and Kicktraq should be fun to watch and I will be interested to see how they play the later campaign, when the inevitable slow down comes.  There is an art to that.  This has all the makings of a model campaign for the MMO genre.

I’m just not kicking in myself.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

I know, right?

There is nothing wrong with Crowfall, or at least nothing to which I specifically object.  They are pushing a lot of the right buttons for me, I like the art style well enough, and things look fine in general.  I’m just not feeling it.

It might be because I am already waiting on enough Kickstarter funded games to finish up and deliver something worth playing. (e.g. Camelot Unchained or Shroud of the Avatar or Star Citizen or Pillars of Eternity… I was feeling generous at some past date.)  It might be that this campaign seems set to succeed, so there is no need for me to rush in, or how some previous games I backed ended up selling Early Access on Steam at a price below the minimum backer price to get the game. (Looking at you Planetary Annihilation!)  It may very well be that I have absolutely no interest in any sort of early access, so why commit money before I have to.  Or maybe it is just the gloomy February blues.

Anyway, it is me, not the game.  But you should take a moment to look at the Crowfall Kickstarter campaign to see what they are pitching.  It might be worthwhile to get in early.

But I will be paying attention and will be interested to see where the final take ends up.

Are you in for the Kickstarter?  I am interested to hear what the biggest selling point is for people.

23 thoughts on “Crowfall Kickstarter Commences

  1. bhagpuss

    They’ve run just about the perfect pre-Kickstarter campaign. I never had any doubt they would fund, provided they pitched the threshold at a believable level. $800k seems quite high but they will easily make it.

    I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.

    They lost me around Day one or two. The Play2Crush motto raised a red flag and the way they went on to denigrate both the existing MMO market and the players who enjoy what it has to offer made it abundantly clear that they didn’t want me as a customer. The last time I felt as uncomfortable even with reading the promotional material for an MMO was with Glitch, which I loathed.

    I do very much like the visuals and the art style and the gameplay sounds mildly interesting, although I would contend quite strongly that, while it may be an “MMO” it isn’t anything I’d recognize as an “MMORPG” in even the most liberal interpretation of the term. I may still give it a throw when (if) it finally launches but my feeling at the moment is that it’s made by people who are openly antagonistic towards the kind of content I value and that it will will attract an audience of similar mind so I’d be best advised to steer well clear.

    Curiosity may get the better of me in the end, the way it did with Glitch (something I regret) but I can definitely wait until it launches before making that mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I think they racked up $100K in pledges while I drove to work this morning, and I have a pretty short commute.

    Yes the comparison to EVE Online and the PvP focus of it does have me thinking that this won’t be a good venture for me unless I find a group to hang out with. I am not strictly opposed to that sort of thing, but given that a huge amount of my MMO gaming time is me pottering around on my own, well… I can wait and see what happens.


  3. sleepysam

    They sure are leveraging Game of Thrones (TM) to promote it. I’d guess a decent percentage of the kickstarter money is for that reason alone. I don’t know how thrilled the owner of that IP might feel about their marketing…


  4. SynCaine

    That “GoT + EVE” line is what a lot of people have been asking for since… 2004? Honestly if they even get to 50% of that promise, it will be an amazing game. The core details are still missing (moment-to-moment gameplay), but what they have on paper now sounds good, without sounding ‘unrealistic wishlist’ good.


  5. C. T. Murphy

    @Bhagpuss I admit that I’ve kept myself in the dark about this game, so I know little of what you are referring to, but it does lead me to a bigger question: when will we get PvP-focused MMOs that don’t try and appeal to some dudebro, hardcore ganking audience? Every one seems to think marketing along the lines of ‘you’ll get buttfucked instantly’ is a good idea. I don’t want my hand held or to have things ‘carebeared’, but surely I can savor competition and conflict with others without needing to be an angry/rage/people-hating jerk, right?

    @Wilhelm Can I say buttfucked here? I don’t know if you have a commenting policy for buttfucked. Feel free to delete me!


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @C.T. – I might have gone with “you’ll take it up the ass instantly,” but more for stylistic reasons than prudishness. I only get annoyed when people have nothing to contribute to the conversation, repeat themselves incessantly over more than three comments, or in the case of our friend Balkoth, tell me to stop commenting on my own blog because they feel they deserve the final word on things. So you’re fine. “Buttfucking,” though coarse, is at least germane to the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SynCaine

    “when will we get PvP-focused MMOs that don’t try and appeal to some dudebro, hardcore ganking audience?”

    Kinda curious, what on this Kickstarter came across to you as an example of the above?


  8. Jidhari

    I was actually unaware of this one. Thanks for the link. Looks interesting so I went in for 40 bucks. We will see how it goes.


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  10. HarbingerZero

    Basically, Crowfall is the second coming of Shadowbane. And since it was the only true PvP game I ever played and enjoyed playing…yeah, I might actually have to back this one.


  11. Isey

    I’m waiting to see if any of the “big” MMOs that were Kickstarter funded actually launch and be good. We are all buying into big hype and hope on games that may be, to steal the new verb I think Murf coined, Molyneux’ed.


  12. mazerd

    It’s especially painful comparing Crowfall’s campaign to Trials of Ascension’s recent kickstarter relaunch..

    As for Crowfall gameplay, they keep throwing out ‘harsh world’ and ‘survival’ and even mentioned gathering food at one point, so I’m hoping there’ll be some challenge in the world besides Ganking Simulator 2015. $30 is a low enough barrier that I’m willing to risk it just being world WvW with destructible forts, but it would be cool if survival was actually a concern.


  13. C. T. Murphy

    @SynCaine Oh nothing. That wasn’t a direct response to any specific quote, just a reference to Bhag’s concerns and some of the marketing/chatter around older PvP-first games. I seem to recall Darkfall having some really “RAWRRRRR YOU WILL DIE KID” type things being used to market it.

    It’s more a general attitude that I often perceive not actual words and certainly not any as hyperbolic as the examples I have used here.


  14. zaphod6502

    “They lost me around Day one or two. The Play2Crush motto raised a red flag and the way they went on to denigrate both the existing MMO market and the players who enjoy what it has to offer made it abundantly clear that they didn’t want me as a customer. ”


    Not sure where you get these wild impressions from. I’ve read through the Kickstarter page and watched the presentation video and did not see any mention of “Play2Crush” or “denigration of the existing MMO market”.

    Care to back up these statements with some quotes?

    I hope your distaste of PvP is not clouding your reasoning here. I think it is is very clear based on the Kickstarter webpage what this game is and what this game isn’t. It definitely isn’t a carebear themepark simulator like World Of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2 nor should it be given we have enough of these types of games already.


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  16. HarbingerZero

    “It definitely isn’t a carebear themepark simulator like World Of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2 nor should it be given we have enough of these types of games already.”

    Just the opposite actually. We have a plethora of games that cater exclusively to PvP (ArchAge, Darkfall, Lineage, Aion, Camelot Unchained, EVE Online…), a number of MMO’s for whom PvP is a cornerstone staple of their playerbase/economy (WoW, Conan, TERA, GW2, SWTOR, TSW…), and, drumroll please: Exactly zero MMO’s that cater exclusively to the PvE crowd.

    Crowfall is entering a very crowded market, but they are bringing something back to the genre that has been missing since Shadowbane (regular server resets) while overcoming the shortfalls that led to that game element disappearing (characters will no longer reset with server).

    But lets not go on and on whining about some false mythology that no real PvP or PvP exclusive MMO’s exist anymore. You’d think the hardcore guys are the ones who are carebears with all the fake “woe is me” drama that gets slung around sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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  18. stabs

    There are some very positive elements to it. I think that most of us (including me) are old fuddyduddys about Kickstarter – it seems like buying a lottery ticket or any other tax on hope. But that shouldn’t cloud our expectations of what is a game with several very interesting and fresh ideas in a hobby that badly needs those.

    So while I won’t kick in now I do hope to buy the game at launch and I expect to thoroughly enjoy it if it manages to meet some of its aims.

    As for Play 2 Crush there’s a strong element of that in the forums but those Grr Trammel types always descend on any pvp mmo at this stage and froth about looting newbies, I think the team behind this are sensible enough to realise they can’t feed the rest of us to them armed with only a rusty spoon.


  19. Kethry Avenger

    So the easy reasoning on why to back something like this. 1st if it looks like something you want to play and you want to see it get made. 2nd a lot of the times you can get in at a price that will be below market price when the game first comes out. (though if they do that early access for cheaper thing then that is pretty much a big fuck you to their early backers).


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