Here is an interesting new kickstarter-campaign. I do smell the potential for controversy here. KR-Multicase, a manufacturer of backpacks and carry-cases designed specifically for miniatures wargaming, is now on Kickstarter with a pitch to develop a free app (for the iPhone initially).
#1 – What App?
Well, the app is supposed to do a bunch of stuff. Have a look at the video (it does have a charming home-video quality to it). A complete and up-to-date list of stores (has that ever worked?), a multi-system army builder tool and an instant “make-a-KR-case-for-my-army” function.
A bit of a hodge-podge, admittedly, and the graphics look rather retro too, but why not.
#2 – How to fund the App?
Here is where it gets interesting.
Unlike miniature wargames (or more traditional computer games), funding (non-game) apps on Kickstarter is (as far as I am aware) a tricky business. There usually isn’t a lot of goodies that people can pledge for, other than the app itself. Yet no matter how good an app might be, it’s hard to get anywhere near the, say, $379 average pledge (!) per backer that Kingdom Death hauled in.
It’s tough to make bank on something like $1.99/backer, even if it is a paid-for app.
One of the most widely reported (non-miniature-gaming) Kickstarter-failures of recent weeks was the debacle of Island’s singer Björk to Kickstarter a music-app (or, rather, the app’s move to Android). It fell several hundred thousand dollars and was eventually cancelled.
How is KR handling the case, with a free app no less?
Easy. They’re clearing their entire range of backpack and carry-case products through Kickstarter!
App development is a costly process, and my aim is to provide a free app for wargamers. The way I can do this is if the Wargaming community supports us by making their next purchase of a KR Multicase via this Kickstarter Project.
KR Multicase Kickstarter Loot (also available in their online store)
#3 – What to make of this?
Is that a brilliant way to kickstart an app, given the inherent limitations of that medium?
Or is it the app just a fig-leaf to clear stock through Kickstarter?
Either way, it certainly seems the Kickstarter Is Not A Store myth is taking another blow, whether that is KR’s intention or not.
And for some reason, I suspect we won’t even see a Blue-Table-style controversy over this (though I could be wrong), as people come to terms with the fiery question of “what Kickstarter is or not is”?