American McGee’s been involved in some minor internet dustup with the fine people over at Kotaku over the purpose of a Kickstarter for Akaneiro: Demon Hunters. The short of it is, McGee’s team is asking for 200k to finish their game – which, by the way, looks like it has some serious fun potential. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier took a dim view of this, seeming to regard the move as unseemly internet panhandling. After all, Akaneiro clearly had some funding already to get as far as they did; they simply ran out of it before the project was finished. McGee responded that Akaneiro was, in fact, 100% complete, save for some various features they would have liked to add in. Which, you have to admit, relies on a pretty unique definition of the word “complete”. Sounds shady, right? Well, not as much as you’d think.
The whole affair seems to open up some questions about what the purpose of Kickstarter is. In my mind, and I think in the minds of many, a proper Kickstarter does exactly that – it kickstarts a worthy project that probably wouldn’t see the light of day without some crowdsource supporting. McGee’s team clearly isn’t in that situation. Instead, they’re using Kickstarter to top off a finished project and add in features that had to be cut due to the usual time and money constraints. That’s why McGee can on the one hand say the project is 100% complete, but still turn around and sincerely offer up a Kickstarter. The game can be done – it can run, have a beginning and middle and ending – yet at the same time, be made better. And if you don’t believe me, think of any game you’ve ever played – whether you liked it or hated it – and ask yourself if you could think of something you’d add to the game. Chances are, you can. But does the fact that you can think of such a feature mean that the game, as is, is incomplete? If so, I’ve got some news for you: you’ve never played a finished game in your life. If not, well, then you can see the situation McGee is presenting himself as being in right now.
Either way, as of this writing Akaneiro has 26 days to go and has nearly reached 50k of it’s 200k goal, so it looks reasonable to bet that Akaneiro will be getting a post-100% tune-up. But hopefully a little light has been shed on how McGee can be saying with a straight face that his team’s game is both complete, yet also could really use an extra 200k to add on some planned features on top of it all.