Possum Creek Games, the indie design studio behind Wanderhome, Sleepaway and Wickedness announced it will no longer use Kickstarter due to its interest in researching and funding blockchain technology. Instead, the upcoming Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast will be hosted on Indiegogo with a campaign launching March 22nd.
Announced last year (but in the works since before Wanderhome was published), Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast combines the low-stakes drama of slice-of-life storytelling with a more structured roleplay experience where the establishment’s six residents and workers are fixed, existing characters. Groups will instead choose to embody members of the cast - from the Knight-turned-frog cook Parish to Hey Kid, an abandoned devil-child with verve to spare and a penchant for disaster.
Possum Creek Games originally planned to follow in the footsteps of Wanderhome and launch its next game on Kickstarter. Wanderhome earned over $300,000 in crowdfunding and has enjoyed massive popularity and critical acclaim relative to the indie tabletop scene. Those plans changed when Kickstarter announced in December of last year that it planned to develop an open-source protocol built on the blockchain and eventually migrate its entire website there sometime in 2022.
Fuck Kickstarter— jay Dragon knows stuff (@jdragsky) January 20, 2022
or; why we’re making the scariest choice possum creek has ever had to make.
(PLEASE READ THE WHOLE ANNOUNCEMENT!)
“Yazeba’s Bed & Breakfast is the first large TTRPG on Indiegogo (so obviously this is a huge risk we’re very nervous about) but we’re hoping to forge a new path forward for TTRPG creators so they aren’t depending on a union-busting anti-creator corporation,” Possum Creek wrote in a press release.
Designer and Possum Creek Games founder Jay Dragon explained the decisions in a recent Twitter thread, breaking down the fears and risks involved with leaving Kickstarter’s massive and well-established shadow while still cutting the legs out from under the team’s efforts. Indiegogo reportedly contacted Possum Creek directly in early January with the possibility of moving the game to their site - making it one of the first and biggest upcoming tabletop RPGs on a platform more familiar with board games.
Dragon said in the thread that Indiegogo presented “an anti-crypto stance, anti-fraud protections, commitments to green tech and creators”, which cut against the rumours they had heard in the past. Dragon was also pleasantly surprised to speak with a real person, something they claim Kickstarter never provided even as Possum Creek told the company it was formally and indefinitely leaving.
The move away from Kickstarter, even to another corporate solution, is not without cost. “We’ve estimated we're going to have to work 30% harder at marketing to compensate for the loss of Kickstarter, and the thought of all that is scary and uncertain,” Dragon said on Twitter. “We are lucky, as a small press with an established audience, that we can even take this risk and hop to IGG. Many other folks can’t make that decision, [and] our choice is not an excuse to attack other creators.”
Dragon wraps up by explaining that Indiegogo may not be the final home for Possum Creek projects in the future, but Kickstarter’s ubiquity insulates it from criticism not backed by action. Planning a crowdfunding campaign requires a lot of work and time, so the tabletop community might see more high-profile projects migrating away from Kickstarter as 2022 continues.
“Possum Creek has an emotional responsibility to help make the world a better place, and this switch is part of that. It might feel weird at first, but sometimes the best path can feel scary and new. We hope you'll come with us,” Dragon said.