I noticed something rather interesting the other day that caused me to raise an eyebrow and dig a little deeper. The developer of Ghost of a Tale asked Indiegogo if they would extend the crowdfunding campaign currently being held. Ghost of a Tale is using the Fixed Funding option, which means that if the asking amount isn’t made within the timeframe given, then the developer and the game gets no money at all. There’s another option that means any money pledged will go towards the game, regardless of whether it reaches the asking amount or not.
In an update, Lionel “Seith” Gallat (the developer) wrote the following:
“That’s right; in order to give it more chances to succeed, they did something that they NEVER DO. EVER. So a big heartfelt THANK YOU to John from Indiegogo! And thank you Bijan112 for suggesting the idea in the first place. I thought they would never do it. I was wrong.”
Naturally, my first instinct was to question why they were giving special treatment to Ghost of a Tale. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a wonderful looking game, but there shouldn’t be favoritism at play when it comes to crowdfunding games. That’s just going to make other developers angry and wonder why they aren’t getting the same treatment. Surely it should be the role of the crowdfunding platform to remain neutral?
So I contacted Indiegogo, asking them what they thought of this being accused of “favoritism,” and whether they planned to continue this action for any other developer who simply asked. If not, then didn’t they realize the problem it could cause given that anyone with a crowdfunding campaign would want an extension?
I got an answer hours later. It said the following:
“Thank you for your concern! Campaign goals and deadlines are typically set once you go ‘live.’ As a one-off, we can make exceptions to a campaign’s goal or deadline.”
So then I spent a while thinking about what they meant by that. It seems to me that they’re saying that if any developer asked for an extension on their campaign, then they would provide it once. But it could also be saying that, ultimately, it’s up to them what they want to do. If someone wants an extension, then they can give it. Which they can. It’s their platform, and they can do with it as they wish, of course. They’ve not broken any of their written policies specifically, as nothing says that is something they won’t do or that can’t happen. It’s simply not mentioned.
Obviously, they’ve completely avoided the whole accusation of being discriminating to other projects. Naturally, they’re going to avoid that, but they did invite it by extending the campaign. That almost goes against the whole idea of time-limited crowdfunding – how their systems work. Yes, of course they have the power to exercise that, but it’s a breach of their standards, and if they’re saying that this is a one-off, then they’re not thinking straight. You can’t have rules for one campaign and different ones for others. Especially not when money is concerned – money that can change people’s lives.
But who’s to say? It’s up to them, isn’t it?