Kickstarter’s taken its lumps recently, with high-profile titles like Peter Molyneux’s Godus and the king of successful Kickstarters, Star Citizen, taking flak for their recent decisions. Now a smaller title might also be raising the ire of its backers.

A strategy game called Duelyst doubled its funding goal of $68,000 early last year. In March, team lead Keith Lee told Rock, Paper, Shotgun “that free-to-play just doesn’t fit his team’s vision for this sort of game, and he actively wants to avoid anything that could even be construed as pay-to-win.”

Fast-forward nearly a year, and, well, things have changed. As you can see on its Kickstarter page, Duelyst is now going to be free-to-play, taking its cues from Dota 2 and Hearthstone to monetize through booster packs, skins, and other cosmetic items.

All this is, of course, the Duelyst team’s prerogative, if they think it’ll make their game more viable. And it’s been said countless times, and will probably be said again: Kickstarter is not an investment; it’s a donation. Once you give a Kickstarter your money, it’s gone, and the developers owe you nothing other than what’s explicitly outlined in the backer rewards section.

That said, some of Duelyst’s 3,578 backers were undoubtedly drawn to its non-F2P nature and are going to resent the switch. Some of the comments on the Kickstarter page are reasonable and accepting, but some are not, calling the move “a slap in the face” and “real bullshit,” while asking for refunds.

How would you react if a game you helped Kickstart as P2P turned F2P in mid-development? Or, what if it went the other way and a F2P game turned P2P?

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. Why not just play Wakfu/Dofus? Its the same idea only with a team? Yet the Wakfu guys are developing a system where you can make a team with your alts. Good luck to em but it looks pretty weak.

  2. Today generations are spoiled. Kickstarter are spoiled. It isn’t an investment like the author said, and even if it was, they wouldn’t own enough shares to even have a major vote in it.

    Whether investment or donation, the key factor is risk taking.

  3. Well, i think these people who write “bullshit, slap in the face” are somehow wrong… why would they fund a game that will go p2p… and a MOBA to it.. it doesn’t work together.

    • I also think these people are completely right and that I don’t value businesses being honest with their clients. I like when they completely turn tail and become the very thing they say they wouldn’t, because I like when they lie to me. I like that they give me reasons to distrust and I like that from the very outset they’re going to look dubious at best.

      Because I am an idiot.


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