Cancelling Pledges on Kickstarter

We’re living in the golden age of board gaming. Though it is often debated how large the role of Kickstarter has been in this board game renaissance, it has undoubtedly played some role. The rise of Kickstarter has come with an incredible variety of new products and amazing new board game publishers. From a creator standpoint Kickststarter is an astonishing and welcomed addition to the industry. Kickstarter has been a huge blessing for a plethora of indie publisher, though; the platform does not come without its quirks. The predominant one is the ability of backers to cancel their pledges at any time throughout the campaign.

The practice of canceling a project is one setup by Kickstarter in an effort to protect backers. Backers enjoy the sense of security in knowing that if financial difficulties shall arise or another campaign come along that interests them more that they can simply cancel their reward selection to the campaign they no longer wish to back. This is especially prevalent to super backers (those who’ve backed 50 or more projects on the platform) as super backers tend to support a multitude of projects at one time and simply might not have the budget to continue their support of all the campaigns they would wish to.

However, with all that being said, as a super backer I have never found the need to cancel any project backing. I’ve never felt right about canceling support of a project that I believed in enough to back in the first place. When in times of financial strain I simply support campaigns for $1 and only increase my backing when I know I have the means to do so. Though I know the option is open to decrease my pledge or cancel it entirely I have yet to want to do so even after backing over 200 projects (to be fair a majority of those were for $1).

I feel that likely a vast majority of Kickstarter backers align to this idea that they will not cancel a project. Still, there are some backers who seem to support campaigns that they knowingly feel they may cancel if something comes up or if they find another project they like better. Despite that this practice provides some potential benefit to a few backers more so it provides a deeply upsettling conundrum for Kickstarter creators.

As a creator seeing a dropped pledge can be demoralizing. Most creators have devoted a great deal of time, money and energy into their campaigns and seeing the funding go down rather than up, especially before the campaign is fully funded, is not ideal. As a creator I set challenging daily goals for myself and absolutely despise getting close to said goals only to see some backer changed their mind about our campaign. Other creators we’ve spoke with have agreed that canceled pledges are one of the worst parts of running a Kickstarter campaign (oddly enough other platforms such as Indiegogo, have some campaigns which charge cards immediately, but don’t offer the same board game backer community that Kickstarter does).

Have you ever canceled your pledge to a campaign? Do you think the process is necessary, or should an alternative be developed in which no pledges can be canceled? Send me your thoughts by Tweeting to me on Twitter @AtherisAndrew

Credit: *** I created this topic after watching a Dice Tower Crowd Surfing segment about project cancellations. ***

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