If you’re into the RPG community, you might be familiar with “transmedia designer” Gareth Michael Skarka. He’s worked on quite a few projects, most notably the ICONS RPG and, recently, a wildly successful kickstarter for a game that sounds awesome: Far West. Far West is all the best parts of westerns and wuxia, smashed together in a really awesome mashup.
Or, well, it would be, if the game had ever come out. Originally slated for GenCon this year, Mr. Skarka has managed to sit on the game and fifty thousand dollars of his backer’s money for nearly a year and a half now. Now, these things happen. People with little experience in the industry underestimate how much effort can go into producing an RPG – or a “transmedia project” as Skarka refers to Far West as. His grand total of five apologetic updates have become more and more desperate over the last year – which is funny, because it turns out that behind the veil, Gareth Skarka is a scathing douchebag.
In this case, however, he’s gone around the internet to whine about how people are stating real, true facts about his game delays. Witness:
We have delivered some of the material already, just not all of it — and I’ve constantly updated my backers as to our progress.
I’m tired of “grinning and bearing it” when faced with this kind of libel. Knock it the fuck off. Now.
That is some winning customer service, especially when facing the “libel” of people observing that you’ve taken a year and a half and slipped every possible deadline. But okay, people get worked up on the internet. You can almost forgive a guy for losing his professional demean-
Your minimum-wage retail-job understanding of consumer behavior has no application here, despite your concrete assumption that it must.
Oh ho. Now that’s rich. People try to give him a bit of a tip on how to not drive away his current customers, and he insults them. That’s some great service! As someone (who is a lawyer) points out to him,
I have no doubt that being reminded of your professional failure to deliver a product in a timely fashion is embarrassing and personally uncomfortable for you. That does not make it a personal attack. If someone hires me to do a thing, and delivery of the promised work is a year or more late, they have every right to go about town and complain about my services. In point of fact, they could probably file a bar complaint and I would be compelled to correct the matter by the body that governs my profession.
But apparently there are no customers until a product is released. Potential customer aren’t worth winning over, no sir. Not when you have a cool fifty grand already in your pocket. Who’d want more money?
He’s not a customer. Period. Here’s the thing: _There are no customers for FAR WEST yet._ There are backers, which is not the same as a customer — that’s somebody who has invested money to back a process (of which there are 717, and he isn’t one), each of whom is receiving some amount of stock of various products in the line in return for their investment. Kickstarter is very clear about this. This is not a consumer process.
When FAR WEST is released, THEN there will be customers, when we release it wide. So perhaps your argument that he is a “potential” customer is true — we don’t know. Perhaps the President will get an itch and buy a copy — it could happen, who knows? Meaningless to speculate.
Oh man. I wish someone had told Reaper that. Then they could have forgone all of that wonderful customer service they are famous for. I mean, that must cost money and shit. Kickstarter clearly is just a place for people to throw money away, and there’s no real promise of delivery. I mean, when I put fifty bucks down for an RPG, I just hope the dude has a few drinks with it and maybe someday shoots me a PDF. That’s the point of Kickstarter.
Oh, did I mention that Skarka’s Buckaroo Banzai RPG is almost a year past its release date?