News: Today the folks over Kickstarter have put up a new blog post to thoroughly explain why Backers are not as exposed as many have claimed.
If you are a PC gamer you likely know about Kickstarter, for there has been a large number of exciting projects sent through there in the last year, like Double Fine’s Adventure and Wasteland 2, but many others know Kickstarter for the art, documentary, and tech projects that come through. A multitude of people have expressed concerns about Kickstarter itself being a scam, since there had been claims that creators of successfully backed projects could just take the money and leave, but the new Kickstarter Blog update today has proven that to be false.
First and foremost, when a Kickstarter is successfully funded, no matter what type of Kickstarter, they are legally obligated to fulfill their project and send out the rewards they had outlined. They are not legally obligated to do this in a specific amount of time, but Kickstarter does force them to set an expected delivery for each reward tier. If a project does not get fulfilled after a reasonable amount of time, or never gets updated, then the backers have the right to a monetary refund or an equivalent of whatever they put into the project.
This still isn’t as clear as I would like it, but at the very least they have let everyone know that when someone creates a project on Kickstarter they have to agree to this, “If your project is successfully funded, you are required to fulfill all rewards or refund any backer whose reward you do not or cannot fulfill. A failure to do so could result in damage to your reputation or even legal action on behalf of your backers.” However, this does still mean that the Kickstarter will not step in to actually help anyone who is being refused a refund or reward, but at least this is in place so if the backers of a project wish to legally pursue action against the creator of a project then they should easily be able to do so.
With all that said backing a project on Kickstarter is always a risky a move and it isn’t something that should be done lightly, even if it is only a few dollars. Kickstarter has been continually adding new ways to try to help backers figure out whether a project is worthy of their money, like making design and technology project creators put in info about their background experience related to what they are trying to create, but it is still up to the backers to decide whether or not trust one of these projects.
One of the last things they explained is how guarantees are not something that they can give. If they were to make Kickstarter a service that can give guarantees then it would stifle the creativity of many projects and it would no longer be a place for backers and creators to collaborate in a creative fashion. To put it simply in their words, “The pursuit of these projects with a guarantee doesn’t work. A Kickstarter where every project is guaranteed would be the same safe bets and retreads we see everywhere else. The fact that Kickstarter allows creators to take risks and attempt to create something ambitious is a feature, not a bug.”
Read the whole Kickstarter blog post here to see everything that they are trying to address. Thanks for taking a look.