Also Ryan “Steve Jobs” Dancey takes credit for every major achievement in the RPG industry
Well, here, have a looksie. It’s quite an impressive product page, visually. I got about twenty words in before I started laughing. (Well, that doesn’t count the video, which is fucking hilarious.)
You see, in his opening section, Dancey takes credit for a number of things. Some of them are very much his fault – like the OGL D20 licensing, which brought us such wonders as the Book of Erotic Fantasy. It makes sense that they’d list that as an accomplishment, though, since most of the principals of Paizo owe their current success to the OGL’s completely unenforceable wording.
Most of the list of “accomplishments” hangs on the idea that Lisa Fucking Stevens worked for Wizards for ten years. She’s an amazing businessperson, and you won’t hear me say anything other on that. However, it seems a bit ostentatious to take credit for the success of Vampire: The Masquerade and fucking Magic: The Gathering singlehandedly. Sounds a bit like a marketing wash…okay. They’re trying to play up their strengths, to put a successful foot forward. Why are they working so hard to get us to believe?
Wait, wait. Something isn’t quite right here…
We’ve had to do all three of these things in parallel because there are a couple of intersecting “chicken and egg” problems here. Investing at this stage of a project is very much about having faith in the people working on the project—and we have some amazing folks who want to work with us, but they have careers and family obligations, so they can’t just pick up and relocate to Redmond on the hope that we’ll get the funding we need. We’ll also need to show our investors specific details about our financials, which are affected tremendously by the deal we can secure for our middleware—the engine that runs the game. Our business experience and social networks have provided us access to some awesome middleware deals that aren’t readily available to outsiders, but sealing those deals is tied to the staff and funding issues as well. In short, we need to move forward before we can move forward.
Ryan “Steve Jobs” Dancey, Master of MMOs, Swinger of Deals, World Poker Tour Pro, apparently can’t close a contract for a god-damned thing. He apparently can’t convince his friends and family to have faith in this project. He can’t convince strangers with money to have faith in his project. They’ve been doing this for six months, and haven’t landed ANYTHING. Not a single dime, delivered or promised, in value or cash.
As they say in the business world: “Uh-oh.”
Now Dancey wants to crowdsource his funding to build a technology demo so that investors will take him seriously. How cute. I’m sure the $50,000 someone else has put into this game for him will look amazing on a prospectus. Investors will sure think a small demo for a computer game that looks like it came out two years ago shows progress. His friends will flock to work for him when they know he has enough money to pay their salaries for…maybe a month. Possibly two.
Judging by the flock of people that have come to donate (as of right now, it’s at 10% funded just a few hours in), maybe it’ll work. Perhaps his genius plan is to undershoot, and get a BUNCH of money to started out with. Hell, I have no idea what goes on in Ryan “I Can See The Future” Dancey’s head.
What is telling to me is that despite her involvement, Lisa Fucking Stevens is playing it safe. She’s a sound business mind; if she thought there was enough money in this, I have no doubt she could pull $50,000 (and a lot more) out of her business. She does, after all, control the Best-Selling Fantasy RPG! If she had, we could be spelling out the end of Paizo (and with it, Pathfinder).
As it sits, we just get to watch Ryan “Steve Jobs” Dancey play out his mid-life career crisis in public. Give it up, dude. Everything you touch turns to shit. The President of EVE Online had to apologize publically for your direction before they locked you out. You were run out on a rail once your OGL D&D fever dream turned out to be suicide for the brand. You were personally responsible for shutting down the White Wolf print lines.
I look forward to who you’ll blame for this next failure. Oh, let it be Erik Mona. I’d bet he would react well to that.