When Mantic Games launched their Kickstarter project for the 2nd Edition of Dreadball, one thing was immediately conspicuous by it’s absence: any form of upgrade pledge for existing players.
Instead, there was a single $100 pledge for a new boxed game. This was all very well for new players, but the previous two Kickstarter projects for Dreadball (the original boxed game and Xtreme) had received 5,000 backers between them. All these players were facing having to buy the new game in order to keep their existing game ‘current’ – especially for anyone involved in organised play. From reading comments on the Kickstarter and the forum, the volume of the outcry from the existing community about the lack of a simple upgrade pledge for this game almost appeared to take Mantic by surprise.
During yesterday it was clear that Mantic were considering bowing to pressure. It seems the issue may well have been an economic one – could they afford to offer an ‘upgrade’ pledge, running the risk of many of their existing backers switching their pledges and thus massively reducing the project total?
We all know that producing a boxed game of this type is expensive. Would a new boxed game be at risk of not being produced at all if many backers switched to an upgrade only pledge?
Does this mean that the $80,000 goal of the project that Mantic set wasn’t actually a realistic one for producing the game? Knowing from past experience how Mantic appear to run the business model of their Kickstarters, this is a possibility.
Well, whoever was doing the number crunching at Mantic has decided that they can afford offer an ‘upgrade only’ pledge after all, and they have announced that this will go live at 20:00 BST tonight.
As someone who backed the previous Dreadball Kickstarter projects quite heavily, this decision is one that I welcome – I for one was certainly not happy with having to buy a complete new game simply to get the rules, teams and card upgrade.
There is of course a further issue that this new edition of Dreadball faces. When it was first published, Dreadball didn’t face much competition as a sci-fi / fantasy sports game. However, last year saw the launch of Guildball which has been proven to be hugely popular, and of course Games Workshop have announced that Blood Bowl is due to return at the end of this year. Can Dreadball continue to compete against these two games?
Only time will tell.