TMC Cancels “Fountain War” Kickstarter
Citing the torrent of criticism and bad decisions made by leaders on the project, The Mittani announced the closure of the project. He did however remain hopeful that the project would return with significant changes in March 2016. The project itself faced an onslaught of criticism since it’s inception. Ranging from questions of motivation and the presence of bias, all the way to internal leaks being used as evidence against the project. In short, many EVE players felt the project was less of a communal effort and more of a cash grab.
The situation was not helped by the contentious “Viceroyalty” program that revealed the Imperium’s plans to invade and extort various areas of New Eden.
Below readers can find the full statement:
In about an hour I’m going to nuke the Kickstarter for the Fountain War and announce that it will be re-launched in March without all the stupid and now-obvious fuckups: the 150k funding goal, the backer rewards, the shipping costs, the lack of sample fiction, the whole thing was rushed as fuck and an easy win turned into an opportunity for our enemies to come at us with long knives and settle scores.
The ultimate responsibility is mine; we’ve never listened to outside experts on anything but for some reason on this one, even though my intuition was screaming that shit was wrong, I did the ‘what do I know, I just run a big space guild’ and next thing you know, the whole coalition is attached to a fucked up version of what is legitimately a really cool project. The fuckup was not ‘outsiders led us astray, blame them’, the fuckup was listening to them at all. Who’s fault? Mine. Every one of you got dragged along behind that mess and I’ve been kicking myself nonstop since it began, and I’m sorry.
Here’s how it went down. In September we began talking to CCP about this deal. We wanted to launch in October, but lawyer crap takes time and the deal was only inked two days before EVE Vegas. The two best ‘windows’ for a Kickstarter are October and March. Because we didn’t do tons of preparation until the deal was signed — prepping for a non-existent deal is unwise — at this point we could have either waited for March or tried for a November, pre-holidays launch. We rushed to November and spent 90% of our efforts on video production, writing the Kickstarter page itself, and on art assets and endorsements. As you can guess, pretty much everything we fucked up was done at the last minute. Let’s examine those fuckups in more detail. The funding goal for 150k was dumb as hell. It should have been in the 10-20k range with stretch goals for more of Jeff taking time off work and doing stuff like audiobook editions. Unlike every other part of a Kickstarter which you can edit after launch, the funding goal is set in stone and that was an albatross around our necks. Folks may want to have this book, but not to the point of Jeff taking a whole year off his day job to do it without any sample chapters to read first.
The backer rewards were particularly fucked up, and this is where I feel the most cringe – in a long pre-launch meeting I stopped arguing with our -experts– because I assumed that the rewards that were the most stupid and inflammatory would never make it past review and approval. They did: yacht parties, Mittani corpses, all that bullshit did not get bounced, and we came off as self-obsessed, money-grubbing assholes. There were also obvious oversights like not having a proper paperback edition, the shipping costs were cribbed from the Battletech Kickstarter at the last moment by our advisors, etc.
It’s not like I have difficulty putting my foot down in other aspects of life, but I prioritized the experience of our marketing team in this and that turned out to be a mistake. As soon as the launch happened and shit went off the rails I got the Kickstarter admin login myself and seized the wheel personally and began nuking all the dumb crap and unfucking things as best as I could without listening to anyone outside of our space-tribe.
The most obvious fuckup was not making a thread on goonfleet dot com saying ‘yo heres what we wanna do how should we do this and what rewards/pricing/etc do you guys think would be cool’, and all this would have been avoided.
So I’m nuking this sucker early, in about an hour from this post or earlier if the winds of my whims change, and then we’re going to re-launch a modest and not droolingly idiotic version in March after listening to what you guys actually want (audiobook, not a dumb as shit starting price, etc) with proper backer rewards, better research and communication on shipping costs, etc.
Thanks again for putting up with these fuckups, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the rollercoaster of drama surrounding this welp. We’ve learned a lot the hard way, and there are a number of reforms we’re going to be making in the aftermath of this adventure, such as a data-dump/reveal on the mechanics and purpose behind TMC itself – after Tegiminis had his public meltdown on reddit about the vast sums of money the site earned in 2013 and 2014 (‘one whole thousand dollars a month’, ‘horny white boy lifestyle’ and ‘wallowing in pleasure’) we might as well go vulgar about the real purpose of this thing, since games media sure as shit isn’t about making fat stacks of cash.
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