Saturday, November 22, 2014

An Anonymous Letter From a Kickstarter Backer, and My Response

I received an anonymous message from a Kickstarter backer today in response to our Slacker Backer program, which allows people to effectively back our project even after the campaign itself is over. He raises an interesting point, and his question warranted an honest, thoughtful response.

The message:
I am a little concerned with your slacker backer program. What is the point of taking a risk backing your Kickstarter if you will let late comers easily get a Collectors Edition box set anytime they want? I find it really a slap in the face of those people who are trying to support you, basically we are taking all the risk so others can come in and get the limits edition items whenever they want?
My response:

I understand your concerns. I might also feel the same way in your position. We considered this problem carefully before we announced the Slacker Backer program, though. I have an alternate perspective I'd like to share:

It's because of people like yourself (people that had the ability to back the project during this short campaign period) that all of these extra things are going to be made at all. If backers had just helped us get to the 100k funding goal and then stopped, waiting for a slacker backer program to join in at some later time, you guys wouldn't have the extended Bad Dudes album, the Legends of Localization book, the OC ReMix album, or any of the other upgrades. It's because of you that other people will be able to enjoy these things in the future. By backing when you did, you not only improved your own rewards, you improved the rewards of everyone who will come afterward. That's something to be proud of, I think.

The slacker backers can't affect the future in that way. They will have no effect on the rewards that people get in the future. The only thing they might accomplish is getting us to make that MOTHER 1 Handbook, but that's less of a reward and more of a promise Fangamer will be obligated to keep.

In addition, the amount you baked this project for seems to have been worth it to you at the time you backed it. Perhaps you disagree, but I don't think the fact that other people are also effectively backing it a little bit later should have any effect on the value judgment you made when you backed it yourself. These later backers missed our arbitrary deadline, sure, but they will still be waiting a year or more to receive what they're pledging for. I'm not terribly inclined to effectively punish them for possibly being a little strapped for cash here right before the holiday season. That was a tactical error on our part, not theirs.
Finally, I should note that the slacker backer program will not be indefinite. The only people who will be taking no "risk" in this will be the ones who pay full price for the Handbook, documentary, etc when we make them available in the Fangamer Store. Those people, though still incredibly valuable to us, will not have access to the various exclusive things from the Kickstarter campaign, and they will also be paying more for their items.
In any case, I appreciate your honesty, and I apologize for the long explanation. I hope it helps in some small way.


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