Game publisher Ninja Divison has had considerable success funding projects on Kickstarter, but will no longer be funding large projects on the platform, Ninja Division Co-Owner and Creative Director John Cadice told ICv2 at GAMA Trade Show.

"It's important as publishers, and as studios and developers, as we start to get our feet under us to take a real hard look as how it is and why it is we use Kickstarter as a business," he said.  "We have a great community we've been able to build up over time, but we've come to recognize that in our time working and developing in Kickstarter that you run the risk, as a business, of your eyes getting too big for the plate.  You build big projects.  You want to be ambitious.  You want to go after all of this opportunity to give your customers all the things they want.  We have gone through and redesigned whole products from scratch based on the feedback we get.  We've added time to our time frames, everybody thinking that it's OK."

"But the added toxicity, …the way that it's swung online has made us shy away from wanting to even be a part of it.  I don't think that it's responsible for any of our external business partners to have to be exposed to that. It's not responsible for me to expose my employees to that.  It's not responsible for me to expose my brands to that."

Cadice didn’t rule out ever using Kickstarter if the project is right, but the company won’t be using Kickstarter for large projects.  "If we're ever going to consider going back to Kickstarter it's going to be because we have something small, tidy, and tight that's finished and we're ready to go," he explained.  "We don't need to be out there with a hat in hand asking for huge development monies for a thing, because it's not a place where we need to be.  Yes, there's an opportunity for developers, both big and small, to make money in that environment, but it is a poisonous ecosystem that cuts both ways.  It's smarter to step away if you have the chance to do so."

Ninja Divison’s last big project on Kickstarter was the Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures, for which the company raised $457,539 from 2294 backers.

The company is not the first to withdraw from Kickstarter (Stonemaier was a highly visible departure from the platform back in 2016), and it’s not likely to be the last, although the overall trends are strongly positive, with 36% growth in 2017 (see "In-Depth Kickstarter Study Finds Healthy Games Category").  But the risks and consequences of problems are substantial, and for this publisher, it’s no longer worth it.