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Is InXile a Ponzi scheme?

Kem0sabe

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A Ponzi scheme (/ˈpɒn.zi/; also a Ponzi game)[1] is a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned through legitimate sources. Operators of Ponzi schemes usually entice new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent.

Ponzi schemes occasionally begin as legitimate businesses, until the business fails to achieve the returns expected. The business becomes a Ponzi scheme if it then continues under fraudulent terms. Whatever the initial situation, the perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to sustain the scheme.[2]

2012 Wasteland 2 is kickstarted

2013 Torment numanuma is kickstarted

2014 Wasteland 2 is released

2015 Bard's Tale IV is kickstarted

2016 Wasteland 3 is pimped out on Fig


Since 2012, inxile has done 4 kickstarters and released 1 game, their upcoming game (Torment) has suffered major content cuts to make it to release, including a surprise console launch and involvement with outside money in the form of a publisher.

It's apparent that inxile is using the money of their other KS projects to fund the release of their current project, and that money is running out, leading to my belief that both Bard's Tale IV and Wasteland 3 will either be reduced in scope or altogether banished to vaporware while the inxile limps along to try and finish them with previous titles poor sales revenues.
 
Last edited:

Skittles

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A Ponzi scheme by definition? Nope, unless the backer rewards have gotten really out of hand while I wasn't paying attention.

It has, hopefully, taught people some valuable lessons about backing games.
 
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If by Ponzi scheme you mean that the money from the latest projects is used to fund older projects, then yeah, I get that feeling too.
I'm sure a lot of money from Wasteland 3 and Bard's Tale IV kickstarters has been poured into Torment. They seem to be awfuly dependend on keeping that machine going with new Kickstarters.

Like with any Ponzy scheme, it will all break down once the steady stream of money from new sources (i.e. Kickstarters) runs out, which does not bid very well for Wasteland 3.
 

pippin

Guest
Things like these are bound to happen with Kickstarters, but this time it happened to inxile. Every company should drop the kickstarter bullshit asap.
 

pippin

Guest
Things like these are bound to happen with Kickstarters, but this time it happened to inxile. Every company should drop the kickstarter bullshit asap.
This is an overreaction.

You sure? Videogames are seriously lacking in the KS department. IIRC it's the least successful area in KS itself, or at least the most likely to fail to deliver.
 

evdk

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Things like these are bound to happen with Kickstarters, but this time it happened to inxile. Every company should drop the kickstarter bullshit asap.
This is an overreaction.

You sure? Videogames are seriously lacking in the KS department. IIRC it's the least successful area in KS itself, or at least the most likely to fail to deliver.
That only means that you should choose which projects you support more carefully, not that computer games KS should be abolished and its proponents hanged, drawn and quartered. Hence overreaction.
 

Telengard

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Feature cuts are a natural part of game development that has a fixed investment. Because, unless your investors are willing to fork over a sizable chunk of feature insurance money, then eventually there's going to be trouble. Pre-Kickstarter, major feature cuts just disappointed people (unless marketing held the news until too close to first sales for news of the drops to filter down to the common purchaser). That, while feature skimps (where a feature has its funding paired down but not eliminated, and thus the feature's implementation gets stretched) aren't really actively noticed by common players, except as a vague sort of feeling of emptiness in some part of the game. But now with Kickstarter, what was a common piece of the industry that was mostly just part of the background noise suddenly gets thrust right in people's faces, since now it's their money and risk at stake, not some faceless investors'.

As to why feature cuts are common: well, unless you're talking extreme indies who are using volunteers, then a games company has wages. So any major mistake the programmers make, any unforseen difficulty in production, any feature that turns out to be more difficult than planned in getting it to mesh in with the other planned features, any issue at all, really, means some time needs to be spent fixing said issue. And every day spent fixing issues rather than developing listed features is hundreds of dollars out the door. Any mistake thus burns money. Essentially, the more difficult the item is to produce, the more issues there are likely to be, and thus the more wastage that is going to occur as a result. A proper investment team plans for such things, though, and budgets their investment accordingly. They may even utilize their experience to strip out features ahead of time that won't be cost-productive - because, investors. Kickstarter has no such overwatchers, though. It just has dreamers giving away their personal wealth in the hope of a dream becoming a reality. And such way lies inevitable disappointment.
 

Ismaul

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I'm sure a lot of money from Wasteland 3 and Bard's Tale IV kickstarters has been poured into Torment.
Wait, what you're saying is that even with the money from Torment, W3 and BT4's Kickstarters, they still had to cut the content in half?

:lol:
 

Metro

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Star Citizen is beyond a Ponzi scheme since all they trade for more investments are false promises and shitty tech demos. InXile? Nah, I just think the market for old school RPGs is extremely limited and you aren't going to get too much repeat business. Keep in mind he has a full stable of employees he has to pay with multiple offices. That's a lot of overhead.

But yeah, this is why I'm done with KS and Early Access. You want me to give you money? Then give me a somewhat finished product, don't sell me a concept. There's no incentive to 'invest' early because, unlike stocks or shares in a company, game prices only get lower.
 

cruelio

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Remember when Brian Fargo drove his company into the ground in part by riding the early cinematic wave that helped kill old crpgs and people on this very forum were like "yeah we better give this guy thousands of dollars because his name was nebulously attached a decades old game no one cares about except for internet cred?" Remember how people on this forum were obviously scammed by garbage game wasteland 2 and decided to give this man MORE MONEY only to get scammed even worse? I remember and I laugh every time I remember.
 

Iznaliu

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Remember when Brian Fargo drove his company into the ground in part by riding the early cinematic wave that helped kill old crpgs and people on this very forum were like "yeah we better give this guy thousands of dollars because his name was nebulously attached a decades old game no one cares about except for internet cred?" Remember how people on this forum were obviously scammed by garbage game wasteland 2 and decided to give this man MORE MONEY only to get scammed even worse? I remember and I laugh every time I remember.

People never thought seriously about the idea, they just had this unsatisfiable longing for a new 'classic RPG', so they jumped on anything that had the slightest chance of delivering without using their brains. Hope can blind people.
 

Severian Silk

Guest
I haven't backed a game on KS yet, but I did buy Underrail in early access. I guess I choose my projects wisely. :cool:
 

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