Kickstarted

This Kickstarter Campaign Would Prefer You Not Back Them

Unless you're a developer, that is.
 This Kickstarter Campaign Would Prefer You Not Back Them

Cheaper than a vacation, that’s for sure!

The dream of the nineties is alive on Kickstarter! Or one specific dream is, anyway: virtual reality. Think the holodecks from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Oculus Rift is a new gaming headset currently raising money on the crowdfunding platform, and it’s already garnered quite a bit of attention. And how could it not, promising “truly immersive virtual reality”? The excitement is such that its campaign is already overfunded, having raised $1,688,407 to the requested $250,000, and there’s still a big chunk of August left to go.

Don’t pull out your credit card just yet, though. According to Wired, the folks behind the campaign don’t want your money. Not if you’re a consumer, anyway:

“We don’t want [the crowdfunding] to go to $5 or $10 million because consumers are getting in on these developers’ kits,” he said.

The Oculus team only wants developers using the campaign to pre-order developer kits. That’s the whole point of the campaign–to get working models into the hands of developers, so they can create games for the device other than Doom 3 (the only thing currently supported).

The ultimate goal is to turn out a consumer product that is “going to be far and away … a whole other level in terms of latency and comfort,” VP Nate Mitchell told Wired.

Sounds like they’re carefully skirting the elephant in the room, which is the havoc an overfunded project can wreak on a company’s plans and supply chain. Oculus promises to deliver kits by late 2012, but as the song goes: Mo’ money, mo’ problems. The more product you’ve got to deliver, the harder it gets to meet those dates. No one wants to end up like poor Vere Sandals, wishing they’d capped the number of rewards available.

Sorry, Charlie: Once you release the Kickstarter Kraken, there’s no stopping it.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com