Updated Editor's Note 11/7/2017 - In an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It's not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor's editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here.
Mighty No.9 is releasing soon, a game many people were initially hyped about. This sentiment would later be replaced with doubt as Comcept's community manager burned a couple of bridges. Good news for backers, she's gone.
It all started with a Kickstarter project that promptly gained traction from hardcore Mega Man fans. Robot master himself, Keiji Inafune, assembled a team and one convincing campaign that was met with success to the tune of over 3 million raised in backer money. It's rare to see a Kickstarter project get fully funded with a tangible finished product. Even if the project wasn't 100% as backers had hoped for, it's a successful campaign. Many Kickstarter projects fail and recently the official Kickstarter Twitter has praised a project that's been left unfulfilled for years.
As you could imagine, it takes a lot of hope by fans when you do crowdfunding. After money has exchanged hands, everything proceeding that becomes good faith. Shockingly, the most well funded honest campaign was the potato salad Kickstarter. This campaign has done 1 of 3 things: made you smile, caused anger at the notion, or sparked jealously that a project you're personally invested in gained little traction. That's the power of the Internet; it's crazy what takes off sometimes. Whenever a project makes it from start to finish, that's a success story in the eyes of many - no matter how silly the concept was. For the projects that do crash and burn, it creates a sense of hesitation to back someone ever again. Just ask fans of the Yogscast or Tim Schafer how they feel.
The Internet has made raising money for projects more accessible than ever before, and it also has a nasty habit of attracting less than desirable people in positions of influence. Back in October of 2014, TechRaptor's Editor in Chief let his feelings be known on how not to be a community manager in great detail. Being a community manager has only one key role: ensuring a healthy relationship between the fans and the creative team. Former community manager, Dina Abou Karam, took it upon herself to instead bring hostility to the position.
What was it that fans didn't like about Dina? Let's answer this simple question with she's not the driving force between Mega Man, Keiji Inafune. Fans didn't back a project for someone they never heard of to be bitter towards them. The only thing that fans desired was a revival of one of their favorite franchises that many of us have fond memories playing as kids. Throw in nepotism claims, banning people who backed the project with a dose of inserting personal bias into official community channels, and we have a recipe for disaster.
Backers who supported the GamerGate were finding themselves banned from the Mighty No. 9 forums and even the official Twitter account. What Dina does on her own Twitter account is her own business, but some actions are pretty telling. Many of us at TechRaptor have differing views with various social media accounts, but it's understood that you do not take TechRaptor's name and deliberately cause harm to the brand. This is the one thing you do not do; it's common practice to show some form of respect to the brand you're representing if you're communicating through official channels. It's not a matter of no fun allowed as it is more be careful what is said when you're attaching the company's image to something.
The following images speak for themselves:
The most disrespectful thing to do in business is spit bile while you're being escorted out the door. My own personal stance is with the consumer - GamerGate has nothing to do with that position. Without someone consuming the product, there is no reason to produce a product to sell. When people are willing to give their hard earned money for something that causes internal screams of excitement, the last thing any decent person would do is spit in their faces. In this instance, Mighty No. 9's ex community manager comes off more as a community antagonizer.
What should have been a smooth road to Mega Man bliss ended up becoming a beaten path full of controversy after controversy. Mighty No. 9 is going to be remembered not for its game play or characters, but its community manager going on a power trip, abusing their position. This is highly unfortunate to say the least and should serve as a cautionary tale to not only future backers, but heads of projects looking to bring in help from the outside.
There is a massive difference between toiling away your own thoughts on your personal Twitter and berating people who contributed financial support to Inafune's game. GamerGate supporter or not, anyone viewing Dina's Twitter will see a lot of hostile aggression - certainly not the attitude you'd want in someone whose job is to be a people person. Established game dev of Blizzard notoriety, Mark Kern, also received some heat.
Many Kickstarter projects have came and gone, another notch on the failure belt. We've learned that it's not always monetary restraint which causes a project to sink in the public eye. In one of Dina's tweets, she mentions that her colleagues were laughing. For someone who claimed to be a huge Mega Man fan, you wouldn't simply walk away from working along side your idol. People in such a position would consider it an honor their idol even wanted them to join the team. Blatant disregard and sour attitude post leaving suggests otherwise.
We bid farewell to Dina - you were never a game dev, had no real influence over the people creating Mighty No. 9 and managed to tarnish Inafune's vision of bringing back the blue bomber by being so crude to his fans over petty politics. You've managed to start a charge back counter campaign by backers who no longer felt the project they've contributed towards cared about their love and support. To our readers, the choice is ultimately up to you if you wish to support Inafune's Mighty No. 9 knowing their community manager is gone. Some consider it too late, others may reconsider being excited again.
Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome. Perhaps a new community manager who cares more about the fans than their beliefs. It would be a shame for a good game with awesome characters to be discarded like yesterday's trash. Mighty No. 9 is not nor was it ever Dina's game. This fact needs to not be ignored if you're on the fence of supporting Mighty No. 9, given the controversy surrounding it. In other words, it's perfectly understandable to be upset, but please don't lash out on the entire team at Comcept for the actions of someone not involved with the game making process. At least not directly involved, her actions of acting as a roadblock to community feedback is still deplorable. If you were one of the backers that felt burned by Dina, we'd love to hear your take on this situation.
This raptor personally believes the backers deserved better than having to tolerate a divisive community manager more obsessed with attacking a group on Twitter than ensuring the community had a healthy relationship with the man they've helped fund. What are your thoughts on Dina leaving Comcept?