Posted Mon, Jan 27, 2014 by Xerin
There exists an MMO title that many of you don’t know about, called Antilia. Antilia is a furry inspired MMO with heavy adventure elements attached to it, focusing primarily on exploration and community, with some RPG elements added in. It’s designed primarily for the furry niche, acting as sort of a pseudo-replacement for Second Life and other games that furries have attempted to co-op for their needs.
However, in about 40 hours, it will fail to raise the funds on Kickstarter to properly fund development and move it out of a group’s side project into an actual professional developed product. This, in a lot of ways, raises a lot of questions for me, primarily why is Antilia going to fail?
The first thing we all could say is that it’s a furry MMO. The stigma of furry is strong, so strong, and a lot of times rightfully justified. In addition, furries like any “modern” sub-culture is full of 18 to 25 year old college kids looking to do something to offset the difficult part of life where you can only pick two, time, money, or friends. So they’re not exactly the group with a ton of money.
At the same time, I don’t believe that stigma alone can ruin an idea, and I don’t think a project that reaches as many backers as Antilia did is something where a dude spent the weekend coming up with an idea and posted it, thinking he’d get rich quick. Antilia actually has a development team, a running alpha, and a community. It’s a lot less vaporware than a ton of other actually Kickstarted projects.
I’d just like to take a minute to say that the fact a furry MMO is less vaporware than some projects should be accompanied by a frown.
Antilia will fail, I think, because of the saturation of crowdfunding. In its infancy, small ideas became big, such as the Pebble or even hilariously enough the Ouya, but now big ideas becoming bigger is the dominating trend. The reason why, I think, is like any area where there is massive growth, at the start early adopters have a big chance to become big.
After it becomes mainstream, the professionals move in. Professional crowdfunding consultants are a real thing and without one a Kickstarter isn’t going to work for more than 10 or 20k. You need someone to refine your idea, make it desirable for the various social groups and demographics that would pay money, make the pledges perfect, etc.
If you’re not some big name, the big money won’t come, because there is a lot of people burned. A lot of people who are distrustful. Even more people that are downright scared. Then there are horror stores like “Doobies Dog House.”
Doobie’s Dog House is a wonderful example of a sub-culture, in this case “goons” giving a man $14,000 to make a hot dog stand. The project owner was explained to the goons to be someone who was going to establish a hot dog stand and the goons could have a Something Awful themed menu.
Goons went en masse throwing money at the project, but the project owner has since taken the money and found it wasn’t sufficient enough, going against the original funding plan by trying to find a brick and mortar location, installing a vent hood, and other difficulties. It has since caused a lot of backlash in the goon community for otherwise throwing money away.
Which just breeds fear when it comes to putting money up on Kickstarter and the professional designed and backed crowdfunding projects become more and more appealing, closing the door for lesser known game studios to present an idea and have it properly funded.
Now, I’m not saying that Antilia probably didn’t hit its goals because of big corporations dominating crowdfunding as the only reason, I’m simply saying that it’s one of the reasons why. The furry stigma is definitely a thing and people aren’t just going to throw money at some sub-culture’s vision, but at the same time we’re all a little weary of indie projects now.
I write a lot about crowdfunding because I do think it’s a super healthy way for projects like Antilia to raise the capital needed to complete their project. I do dislike this trending where big name groups put together an idea that they already have funding for and essentially use crowdfunding for pre-sales and profit generation. I do think we need a good platform to see these ideas that just need the capital to come to fruition.
Anyway, that’s my food for thought today. I’ll see you guys on Wednesday.