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A Cautionary Tale:  How Not To Launch a Kickstarter

A Cautionary Tale: How Not To Launch a Kickstarter

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UPDATE: Thanks to Luke of the Wheel from Kickstarter for helping us get this sorted! Our project is now live! So Mayday has successfully launched over 35 Kickstarter projects since late 2011, for a full list check HERE. We sorta thought we had it figured out. We found a popular game by Stefan Dora called Bucket King and while it has been published as early as 2014 by Kosmos in German and Jolly Thinkers in Hong Kong, we changed up the presentation, added a new cover, new card looks and even put a nice little window for the buckets in the front of the box.

We licensed it for the North American market as we had many other games that we have launched on Kickstarter in the past and thought it looked pretty good and that getting it up on Kickstarter would be a no brainer. You can see the KS project we submitted for launch here. It was much like many of our other games. Macroscope, Click Clack Woodman, Viceroy, all of them had other editions but we were bringing the game to the USA or the English market. So we submitted it and got back the following denial email from Kickstarter:

Hi SETH, Thanks for sharing your project with us! Kickstarter is a place to bring new ideas to life, and find support for creative projects. While we allow creators to use products they've previously created as rewards, the goal of any project should be to make something new. You’re welcome to develop or iterate on past projects, even if you’re only making small changes. However, right now, your project seems oriented towards sharing the product you've already created, more than expanding on your original idea. In order to move forward, we ask that you let your backers know in your Project Description what changes you'll be making to your previous creation. Sketches of updated designs, swatches of new colors, and examples of how you're modifying the design are all good places to start. You can make changes to your project via the Edit Project page. Once you've made (and saved!) those changes, let us know and we'd be happy to take another look. Best, Lissette Kickstarter
I didn’t think much of this and figured it was just a new rep not understanding our project so I shot back an appeal with:
We have had 39 prior successful campaigns and feel we understand the rules of Kickstarter pretty well. Please note we have never had a previous version of this game so there is nothing to show that is different from prior versions. There was a small release of this game in Hong Kong a few years ago but that has nothing to do with our English / USA release. Please allow us to launch the project as we are anxious for project #40 to be successful too! -Seth
This seemed like a no-brainer, so you can imagine my surprise to get back the following message:
Hi Seth, Thank you for providing some additional information and context about your project. A quick search online indicates that Bucket King 3D is already available for customers to purchase online. As a result, we've determined that it still does not meet our requirements and can no longer be re-submitted for review. If you have any questions or are thinking about submitting a different project, these resources can help:… We wish you the best as you continue to pursue this endeavor, and we hope you’ll continue to be a part of our creative community. Best, Lissette Kickstarter
We scoured the internet and did find three places where another version of the game is for sale: (Hong Kong Version with English rules on a French website) (a UK Game website with the HK Version for sale) (An amazon store with three copies for sale at over double the retail price since we have never released it in the USA) What is a company to do? There is no further word from Kickstarter and they don’t seem to understand that this is a new/different edition and that these three obscure web listings to not constitute an offer by us to sell our version, let alone the version we have on Kickstarter with promo cards, a new box and art touch up. We will be copying and pasting all of the information from the denied project to a new project, changing the title of the project slightly and adding a big section at the top about how this is new and different and why it is a unique creation, which it truly is. The take away? Always listen to the first denial by Kickstarter and be very careful how you reply because if they deny your appeal, you are done. Even with 39 prior projects they won’t allow us to call them and talk directly to Lissette or try to straighten this out. Now we need to reupload it all and re-submit it with lots of what we view as silly wording about some obscure other versions that aren’t available to the vast majority of our fans, namely USA backers that have never been exposed to the game. Current and future project creators, take heed, no matter how much you think you know about Kickstarter, there are still potholes to navigate. Good luck, and may you avoid this one!


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