Noah J Nelson on Tuesday, Jan. 6th
Kickstarter is two for two in 2015 so far, at least in terms of getting my attention in the news cycle. Yesterday it was their yearly “By the Numbers” report that I took a closer look at. Today they announced on their blog that they are dropping Amazon Payments in favor of Stripe, another web payment solution.
A little more on that, and on an IndieCade favorite from October that is launching their KS campaign while at the Consumer Electronics Show, after the jump.
The shift to Stripe feels like a forward-looking move by Kickstarter. After all, Amazon Payments is clunky to say the least—users had to have an Amazon account in order to contribute to campaigns—and for those of us who have no love of Amazon the tithe we paid to Lord Bezos was always the least fun part of crowdfunding.
What excites me about the move to Stripe is that the service is already mobile-enabled. Left, for instance, relies upon Stripe. Maybe we’ll finally see a mobile payments option for Kickstarter that would let people throw fundraising parties while passing around a few smartphones. Anything to lower the barrier to entry/get that peer pressure up and running on a campaign.
Kickstarter seems to have come to the decision a bit reluctantly, however:
Late last year Amazon decided to discontinue the payments product that we have used. We took the opportunity to consider the best possible partner to process payments for creators and backers moving forward.
I get the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. What Stripe is bringing to the table in terms of ease of use for creators, however, is a lot more than just replacing one good service with another. In any case: this is the new status quo and it is great news for everybody. A sharper Kickstarter keeps all the platforms on their toes, and that’s good for the crowdfunding movement.
Lyteshot Goes Live
Okay, that’s a lot of talk about the how of crowdfunding, let’s refocus a bit on the what.
One of the more interesting things I spent time with this last year at IndieCade was Lyteshot. Imagine, if you will, Lazer Tag on steroids.
Not just infrared blasting pistols, but a suite of peripherals that relied on bluetooth, accelerometers, along with IR to create a flexible platform for all kinds of games. Capture the Flag scenarios, fantasy live action role playing games, and campus favorites like Assassin. The later will ship with the first run of Lyteshot gear if they hit their funding goal.
The company has a whole SDK set up for creating new games that use smartphones to underpin the gameplay. Rules and scoring for Assassin, for instance, are run off the smartphone app, which is updated whenever a player wraps up a mission. As someone who once ran that game on his high school campus I can say that I would have been ecstatic to have these tools at my disposal.
The Lyteshot team has gone live with their Kickstarter campaign while at CES.
Reward tiers that deliver gear start at $150 ($125 for early bird adopters), so this isn’t going to be for everyone, but those who want to take a chance on a toolset that will help bridge the gap between mobile and real world gaming should take notice.