Yesterday we reported on the immensely successful Crowsworn Kickstarter, which is currently tearing through stretch goals. During the pre-launch livestream for the Kickstarter, the devs showed off a rough Mario Kart knockoff called Crowcart. Many fans hoped this fun mini-game would be playable, and developer Mongoose Rodeo is making that happen! But there’s a catch. Despite the fact that it’s not a backer reward, the early dev build of Crowcart is exclusive to those who donate CA$ 100 (around $80 USD) or more.
Crowsworn Kickstarter stretch goal
If you’re not familiar with how these things usually go, Kickstarter offers a couple of ways to motivate people to donate. Developers can set backer rewards that players can secure by donating a specific amount of money. Then there are stretch goals, which are updates that unlock for everyone when total funding hits a target. The dev build of Crowcart is listed as a stretch goal that unlocks at $CA 500,000. But when that total is reached, only backers in the CA$ 100 tier or higher actually get the reward.
This caveat on an expensive stretch goal is pretty unorthodox, and I personally don’t think it’s fair to the backers at lower tiers. The Crowsworn Kickstarter is already immensely successful, so it seems unnecessary to lock this perk behind an additional paywall. Instead of rewarding the backer community as a whole, this only rewards the highest payers. This is a slim minority, and it’s a group that already has a dedicated list of rewards coming their way.
Additionally, this stretch goal costs CA$ 125,000 on top of what’s already been raised. But that money doesn’t seem to actually be going to Crowcart. The promised reward is the dev version, which is already playable. What’s the point of a “stretch goal” where the money isn’t actually going toward the new content? There are still three additional mystery stretch goals left to go, but it’s now unclear if these will actually benefit most backers or actually add new content to the game.
Update on long-term Crowcart plans
Mongoose Rodeo has added additional information on Twitter. They eventually plan to release the finished build of Crowcart to everyone for free. That’s great news for everyone looking forward to it! In the meantime, they still plan to keep this stretch goal for the early build exclusive to backers at CA$ 100 or more. It’s unclear when the full version will launch, as the base game is currently targeting a December 2023 release.
Second update: Mongoose Rodeo has acknowledged that people are upset about a stretch goal being locked behind an additional backer paywall. It doesn’t sound like they plan to change course. Instead, they simply ask people to “wait a bit for more updates.” They also confirmed that CA $100 backers will get access to the dev build of Crowcart as soon as the Kickstarter campaign ends in a few weeks.
Third update: Well, the latest in this strange saga is that Mongoose Rodeo is now saying the stretch goal reward will be available for everyone at the CA$ 20 tier and above if the community collectively posts 750 pieces of original fan art with Twitter hashtags promoting the game. If they only get 250 pieces of fan art, the stretch goal will reward will be available to backers at CA$ 55 or more. They are calling this a “social stretch goal” that “augments backer rewards.”