Quoted from Matt_Rasmussen:
There are many meanings of hostage, but the base meaning is holding something back based upon some type of compensation, I think the term fits. They're saying 'pay us 40 THOUSAND dollars (or whatever insane amount it was) and we'll do the table', otherwise they're not. That's BS, by now they should be able to pay the 40K AND do the table, because that's what a business is risk and reward, not reward and reward.
Sorry Matt, I don't mean to argue with you I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from on this.
The Kickstarter ingredients are 'projects', 'pledges' (otherwise known as donations) and 'rewards'. While I see your point, I feel that it's an overly cynical angle on it to think if of these as 'hostages', 'ransoms' and 'freedom'..
I don't think there is any reason not to believe FarSight's pitch on these two Kickstarter tables.
The way I see it is the way they pitched it. They've already done the risk/reward analysis on these tables and come to the conclusion, upon completing the license agreements, that they would have to sell the tables for a price far higher than most people will pay in order to break even on the licensing fees. Not only is this a risk that people will refuse to pay it and they'll be out of pocket on the licensing fees, but it also means that the tables aren't available to the widest possible range of people — which directly contradicts their goal for making The Pinball Arcade in the first place. If they couldn't get the tables out to everyone, then they'd rather spent time, energy and resources on recreating tables that CAN be affordable for everyone rather than make a few elite tables for an elite few.
Kickstarter was an opportunity for people who also support FarSight's goal — of digitally preserving pinball and making it accessible to as many people as possible — to enable them to make these tables at a price that everyone can enjoy them, and even get a copy when it is released as a reward.
You certainly can't call FarSight sleazy for taking advantage of an opportunity that is freely available to them. If you were starting a business and a family member offered to help fund it, would you turn them down? And before you say this isn't the same thing because in this case FarSight is the one ASKING for money, remember that FarSight started this campaign because their fans were offering them money to enable them to bring these tables to life, and Kickstarter is a brilliant new model to make this happen.
One other point: if anything, Kickstarter is the best funding method for consumer-facing products like this. Kickstarter makes the investors the customers, and this leads to a customer-focused product, not an investor-focused product. The sleazy alternative would be an ad-supported model that monetizes the customer's habits and negatively affects the experience.