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 Post subject: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:20 am 
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Hi,

tl;dr: this thread opposes Ronimo's attempt to include old kickstarter "exclusives" for the crowdfunding of their enhanced port of S&S2 due to suspicions that they may already have stolen money from the Starstorm kickstarter to fund their initial release of S&S, and because they are backing out on some very specific promises for financial gain. if you care at all then please read the whole post as there's no way you can get the necessary perspective in a tl;dr.

As some of you may be aware, Ronimo recently unveiled their intentions to port Swords & Soldiers 2 (originally released for the Nintendo Wii U eShop) to the PC & PS4, in the form of Swords & Soldiers 2: Shawarmageddon, featuring extended features that will be determined by the support of the fans.

What not as many of you may be aware of is that Swords & Soldiers 2 was announced for the Wii U eShop about five months after the very successful Awesomenauts: Starstorm kickstarter. The "self-funded passion project" was released whilst supporters were still awaiting the promised features and tier rewards of the Starstorm kickstarter they'd pledged towards.

During the development of Swords & Soldiers 2 the updates for Awesomenauts were released slowly, while the company's main focus was instead on Swords & Soldiers 2. After Swords & Soldiers 2 was released, 20 months after the Starstorm kickstarter had finished, the development of Awesomenauts finally picked up the pace, but it still took about a year before the features and backer rewards were finalized.

These details led myself and others I've spoken to to believe that the money from the Starstorm kickstarter was being utilized to develop Swords & Soldiers 2, rather than the intended purpose.

Now Ronimo is running a crowdfunding campaign for a port of a game that they already suspiciously worked on after running a kickstarter for a different game and then potentially using those resources to develop the game that they are now running another campaign for. Now they are hoping to reuse the exclusive rewards from a former campaign, for which they stated the following, copied directly from the kickstarter page:

Bronze Tier - For donating $50 or more, you will receive everything included in the Iron Tier as well as an exclusive Ghost Leon skin. This skin will only be available to Backers of this campaign, so no “timed-exclusive-so-just-get-it-some-other-way-later” or any of that stuff!

Ronimo posted a strawpoll on their discord after internal discussions to now reuse these backer rewards in order to attract more funding for the port of their other game. Obviously people who weren't around for the previous kickstarter or were unable to get it then will vote yes. Maybe try making a brand new skin and offering that instead like a normal company would, geniuses?

I obviously don't actually know whether any money was stolen from the Starstorm kickstarter in order to fund Swords & Soldiers 2 as I don't have any of Ronimo's financial figures, or if they were just planning poorly and making some really bad decisions, but to any onlooker aware of these details it would probably look suspicious. The crystal clear thing is that they are trying to back out on their previous promises for financial gain. From my experience these definitely aren't the only sketchy/disappointing decisions Ronimo has made, and I really don't think it should just slide without somebody pointing attention to it. Hence this post. Does all of this feel okay to you? Please write what you think below.

If Ronimo does decide to go through with this then I hope that at least Kickstarter doesn't allow the reuse of rewards clearly stated as being exclusive to one campaign in a different campaign on their site.


Last edited by Space Admiral Laika on Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:30 am 
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TL;DR:

  1. Ronimo has lied to original Starstorm backers, promising an exclusive skin and then reneging on their promise.
  2. Strong evidence that Ronimo stole funds from the Starstorm campaign to work on S&S2 instead.
  3. Now Ronimo is offering the same reward from Starstorm for another campaign. Which is really morally sketchy.

I don't even care about the skins (I don't have them), it's more of the principle of the matter:
Space Admiral Laika wrote:
[Ronimo is] trying to back out on their previous promises for financial gain.


Do you really want to support a company that lies to supporters and is willing to break promises for money?

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:44 am 
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I'm also very disappointed by this decision. A lot of players bought those expensive kickstarter tiers for the skin when it stated they weren't gonna be available again. The Starstorm kickstarter goals we met were fulfilled 1-2 years after what it said on their plan and we got a S&S2 for Wii U that nobody wanted.

The new kickstarter seems like a huge scam exploiting loyal Awesomenauts players for money that most likely isn't gonna be used for what they promised again and it really sucks to see the once cute indie dev team pull these shady moves. Feels like a big slap in the face for any Ronimo supporter. :|

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:03 am 
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I said this in the Discord: Exclusive are garbage and their very existence is a far greater sin than reneging on exclusivity. As someone who paid $100 into Starstorm, I would not only be completely okay with Ghost Leon and Cyber Coco being available in some other capacity after all this time, I wholeheartedly encourage them to make them available. They've been exclusive for how many years now? My money was not wasted.

Personally, I couldn't care less about S&S. If you want to talk about "taking advantage of Nauts fans," the exclusive skins for buying S&S 1 and 2 are a far bigger concern. But even those I don't really care about, since the S&S games cost as much as a skin would anyway.

The only purpose I can figure from this thread is trying to advise against supporting the S&S2 Kickstarter, which... I don't really see why you would. It won't make development on Awesomenauts happen any faster; if anything, it may serve the opposite effect. Sounds more to me like a lot of people getting offended for the sake of getting offended.

I do think that Ronimo is making the wrong decision, advertising how exclusive the exclusives are and how they'll never be available in some other form later... but I assume they wouldn't be doing that if they had any other option, financially. Time-limited exclusives are a far greater betrayal to my sensibilities than anything else you're describing.

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:46 am 
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kickstarter will be funded by scoop skins


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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:02 am 
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it would give people who werent able to get coco or leon during starstorm a second chance to get it. I see no issue with that.

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:03 am 
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I dont mind the sketchy parts, as they dont seem mean spirited conspiracies to me whatsoever.

I am not big fan of Kickstarting in the first place, and since this is mainly a port of an existing game (with new features sure) and the 16 dollars tier gone already, I might just as well wait for the actual release.

What I am curious though, that how is some 58,177 dollars = 50,000 euros going to help them whatsoever? That money is peanuts for a company with 16 full time workers as shown in their picture. Avarage income in Netherlands seems to be about 30 000 for their age, thus 2.5k a month. Add the office cost, electricity, licenses, pensions, bookkeeping etc. and that 50 000 is pretty much what they need to stay operative for ONE month. So I dont really see point in the business model of asking small peanuts like that, when obviously that is not going to keep them fed.

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:48 am 
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IsoKoala wrote:
What I am curious though, that how is some 58,177 dollars = 50,000 euros going to help them whatsoever? That money is peanuts for a company with 16 full time workers as shown in their picture. Avarage income in Netherlands seems to be about 30 000 for their age, thus 2.5k a month. Add the office cost, electricity, licenses, pensions, bookkeeping etc. and that 50 000 is pretty much what they need to stay operative for ONE month. So I dont really see point in the business model of asking small peanuts like that, when obviously that is not going to keep them fed.

^^^ This.
Starstorm's 400k had much more weight back in the day. And I am skeptical about a thought Ronimo "stolen" some of that for other projects. SS content has drastically better quality than every other part of the game so there's no doubt the money worked for good there. Making other projects being fed is absolutely normal for any company that have future planning.
Yet I agree that Ronimo's future planning sucks because even this thread alone is enough to see that. They could use anything better than what they are offering if they looked around. They could even do something like Valve, making 'Awesomenauts 2' a clone of 'Half-Life 3' meme to put some fire in. And it would work, funnily enough.

Anyway nothing of what's happening nowadays won't save the original game.

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:11 am 
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Rexic The King wrote:
it would give people who werent able to get coco or leon during starstorm a second chance to get it. I see no issue with that.

Because it was specifically stated that they would be exclusive and unavailable anywhere else. Exclusive is the important word here. You might think we're being selfish but we parted with our hard-earned money to support nauts and get those skins while being promised they'd be special and unavailable outside of the kickstarter. If I paid for something that I was told would be exclusive, I want it to stay that way. There were even tournaments where you got to hand-pick your skin rewards from ronimo themselves, and ghost leon/cyber coco were still off the table.

As laika said, ronimo's office is overflowing with artists and if they want to offer nauts content as an additional reward, put some effort in and make something new.

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 Post subject: Re: ronimo's sketchy decisions - what do you think?
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Sam is absolutely right, and Xelrog and Rexic are absolutely wrong.

The word "exclusive" is not in and of itself sufficient to demonstrate the skins' quantities, but as they were advertised as being exclusive to this (i.e. Starstorm's fundraising) campaign, we hit a hurdle.

Bronze Tier – For donating $50 or more, you will receive everything included in the Iron Tier as well as an exclusive Ghost Leon skin. This skin will only be available to Backers of this campaign, so no “timed-exclusive-so-just-get-it-some-other-way-later” or any of that stuff! You'll also get two exclusive announcers: Voltar and Gnaw! We are also going to put together a digital art book featuring everything from doodles made after the very first brainstorm session to concept art for new mechanics and characters that never made it into the game. All of these things should be ready before the end of the year.

Any reasonable person would read that plainly as "available only through support of the Starstorm Kickstarter funding campaign", for that is at heart what it states.

Indeed, you could construe the argument that, because there was a grounded expectation of exclusivity in that campaign alone, it influenced the way people spent their money in support of the Kickstarter. If Ronimo was to them advertise the Cyber Leon and Cyber Coco skins in another fundraising campaign—either directly or as a result of one's support therefore—they would be knowingly misrepresenting the availability and quantity of the skins. Not retrospectively, of course, but in the new Kickstarter.

That's immoral to say the least, and in the UK, arguably a violation of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Here's the simplified version, and here's the more binding version with all the strange clause structures.

Obviously, that doesn't matter to Ronimo, who aren't a British-based company and are using Kickstarter, an American company. That said, Kickstarter might actually have something to say about it, especially in accordance to the first three stipulations of "3. Things You Definitely Shouldn’t Do". A very well-named part of their terms of use.

Now, I don't think anyone's going to file a violation against Ronimo, because that would be a gross misuse of time for both parties, but it's interesting nonetheless.

I won't comment on the whole "Ronimo used the Starstorm funds to create Swords and Soldiers II" because there's zero non-coincidental evidence of that. If they did, however, that's a violation of Kickstarter's rules.

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