UPDATE: Monte Cook Games have come through for me. Read more here.
Finally, it happened to me: I gave money to a Kickstarter and it went bad. Not because the creator took the money and ran. Not because the product never got made. No, the Kickstarter in question was a success and the product created. I wouldn’t know that from having received said product though, since I didn’t.
Since I’m like all the other cool kids now who’ve been taken for a ride with Kickstarter, let me tell you the rest of the story. It’s therapy for me and a cautionary for you. For, as you’ll read, even a well-known and “reputable” tabletop roleplaying game company can screw it up.
My tale of Kickstarter woe began last year when I learned of Monte Cook Games Kickstarter for an update to Numenera. I was immediately interested as I love the setting. I knew with reasonable certainty the campaign would be successful and that a big name like Monte Cook Games should have little issue with fulfillment of some PDF’s (my chosen tier). Or so I thought.
Fast forward to 11 July 2018. I get an email with an update from the Kickstarter: the PFD’s were getting sent out as coupons in an email. Cool! I was excited to get my hands on them and start reading. So I waited…
…and waited some more! As I waited, I read about folks not getting their emails or their receiving coupons. I decided to email Monte Cook Games (the first of many emails). By 24 July, I was getting a bit…concerned. I posted a comment on the Kickstarter update, essentially attention seeking. Nothing.
Then I started seeing messages about how Monte Cook Games was experiencing a backlog and they’re a small team, blah blah blah. So I kept messaging through August and September, growing more annoyed with each ignored email. In that same time period mind you, I had received solicitations and updates from Monte Cook Games trying to get me to give them more money for other products!
Somewhere along the line, I crossed the line from annoyed to pissed. They could attend cons, make videos, update their social media, and work on new projects, but they couldn’t ensure delivery of product folks already spent money on? The takeaway for me was that they had time for all the activities that continued to make them money, but not to support paying customers post-sale with timely or responsive service.
All that brings us to now, this rant of mine, and the punchline. I write this so that I might serve as a reminder to our community that Kickstarters are ALWAYS a risk. Doesn’t matter who creates it, doesn’t matter if they’ve delivered zero Kickstarters or a hundred. Once you’ve given up that money, consider it gone and be okay with that. If you get your promised reward, great, bonus! If not, then you know never to give that creator your hard-earned cash again.
As for me, I’ll keep pestering Monte Cook Games even though I’m pretty sure I’ll never see these PDF’s. They certainly won’t be getting anymore money out of me, for Kickstarter or anything else. The one power we have in this world as consumers is talking with our wallets and I think I’ll do just that.
But, if I so happen to get through to Monte Cook Games and if I so happen to get my PDF’s, I’ll let you all know. I’d love to report back to you all about the merits of the actual product!