Is Crowfall going to fall short?
Crowfall looks to be one of the most anticipated games of the coming year due to its interesting player interactions, its in depth look at player customization, its factions/guilds systems, its innovative take on PvP, its new dying world and eternal hero mechanic, and a lot of really really cool features. I am a huge supporter of this game and even bought the $250 reward package on kickstarter. I say that to preface my next statement: I am worried the Crowfall won’t live up to the expectations it has put forward. Before you hoist me up to burn me alive just listen to what I have to say.
1.Funding- Crowfall raised $1,766,204 on kickstarter and since its successful funding it has raised an additional almost $100,000 on the Crowfall website. That is an absolute ton of money and you would think it would cover all their expenses to make the game, but I beg to differ. Back in 2004 World of Warcraft hit the gaming market and changed MMOs forever and while Crowfall and World of Warcraft are extremely different games they are on the same scale of epicness when it comes to size and intricacy. Though there has been no official statement of how much vanilla World of Warcraft cost to make there have been estimates saying the cost ranged from 3 million to 23 million with the majority of people saying it cost around 10 million dollars to make. And that was back in 2004 and with today’s inflation the amount of money needed to make a game that scale must be significantly higher. Another game that may be more similar to Crowfall is Guild Wars 2 which cost about 15 million to make and for a significant amount of time it struggled to make money due to its lack of subscription fees. This means that the almost 2 million dollars Crowfall team has now may not last long enough for launch. The reason I bring all of this up is that after their successful funding on kickstarter the Crowfall team has continued to allow players to buy rewards and pre-order the game, which is perfectly fine. But they justify letting players do this by saying they are getting $150,00 to hire a graphic programmer. This would be fine but the average graphics programmer only makes $68,000 a year, which means they are looking to pay a graphics programmer more than twice his yearly salary and that just isn’t good business considering the situation Crowfall team is in.
2.Size vs. Quality- The Crowfall team is made up of 21 veteran game designers, programers, and everyone else needed to make a game. Together they have more years of experience making games than most people have been alive so their ability to create amazing games is irrefutable. My worry is that the team is not big enough to get Crowfall’s alpha out by its launch date of December of next year. I know this sounds incredibly stuck up of me because alphas are supposed to be rough drafts of the game but launch dates are incredibly important when literally millions of dollars have been given to a company to create a product. Once again World of Warcraft took about 4-5 years to make, Guild wars took 4 years to get into beta, and even Club Penguin took about 5 years to make. To add to this possible problem all the teams mentioned before were larger than Crowfall team. This means that Crowfall hopes to get into alpha faster than any of these other games even though they have less people.
3.Crowfall is amazing- I believe that Crowfall has some absolutely amazing ideas; I mean how else do you get almost 2 million dollars from strangers? These ideas are what hooked me on Crowfall and got me to donate. My worry is that these ideas are too lofty to be completed to the extend that they need to be done. With the possibilities of caravans, constantly changing worlds, massive guilds, huge customization choices, and a grocery list of more possible ideas there is only enough time and effort that can be put into a year to develop a game. These ideas are not all easy to do either with coding and designing and everything else.
I want to be wrong about Crowfall honestly, I want to get my socks blown off and eat my words, but with all the praise Crowfall has been getting someone has to play devil’s advocate and point out some possible problems.