Damask Diary- Why Gamefound Instead of Kickstarter?

This is more of a publishers sidenote than a developers diary, and first I want to make it clear this isn’t a post saying every Kickstarter is terrible, or Gamefound are great. I make no judgements on anybody using either site. Instead, I’ve been asked a bunch of times why switch to Gamefound after a successful KS, and thought it might be of interest to write a post about it. There are a bunch of minor reasons, but essentially there are two big reasons which compelled the change: EU VAT and blockchain stuff. So lets get into them.

People much more knowledgeable and eloquent than I can go into all the reasons why the blockchain and crypto push from very rich tech people is not a great thing. David Gerard’s book “Attack of the 50 foot blockchain” and Dan Olsen’s video “Line Goes Up” do an exemplary job of highlighting the rampant scam that is trying to make everything blockchain or decentralised. Molly White’s “Web 3 is going great” also does a fantastic job of recording all the terrible decisions and scams coming from the same places. So I’m not going to repeat any of that.

Instead, I’m just against this apparent relentless drive from the people seemingly in charge of swathes of the internet to push blockchain onto everyone. The only reason as far as I can tell for Kickstarter to be pushing this so much is because they want even less accountability, which is absolutely the opposite direction for them to go! They want to still take their cut but point towards decentralisation whenever there’s an issue. There are already too many failed projects and stolen money in crowdfunding, the only place there’s more is in crypto- the last thing we need is for them to be combined.

Ultimately, by switching to Gamefound I can now say that my game won’t help fund this blockchain push, which is a nice feeling to have.

Now, from something which Kickstarter have been spending their time on which is very bad, to something Gamefound has done which is very good: sort out EU VAT. For anybody who doesn’t live in the EU this is probably meaningless, but essentially to sell in the EU from online, the website you sell from needs to collect the EU VAT. Kickstarter, to maintain it’s non-shop status, doesn’t do this. That’s led to loads of expensive solutions to avoid EU customers getting hit with huge import fees, and massive shipping costs. To sell copies of our last game, I had to setup an ebay shop so the VAT could be collected easily. Simply put, Gamefound collect VAT from EU backers. That means the games can be posted from anywhere with friendly shipping. Simple, easy and worthwhile.

All this has come at a cost though. On Kickstarter our last project had over 1600 backers, but by launching Damask on Gamefound it’s considerably harder to bring that audience along. In terms of footfall Kickstarter is still the king, but that’s something gradually changing which can only be sped up by the alternatives gaining status (and the Ravensburger connection should now help). Gamefound does have a number of wildly successful projects, but those tend to be mini-heavy epic games, whereas Damask is very much not in this style (no-plastic, mechanics driven), so we’re not a natural fit for what might be considered the usual Gamefound audience. This all said, I do feel it’s worth it, even if just to say we tried something different.

So that’s why, as always you never know how something is going to go, so we’ll see in a few weeks if this was a good plan or not! If you do want to follow us on Gamefound then please visit our page here: https://gamefound.com/projects/draft/ic2bvhn5ukdlxfvumwwom4pzj8s?refcode=vWaohM1-LUeEnPG81ZwaBA

Next week, normal development diary shall resume!

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