Barrage from Cranio Creations was once rated over 8/10 at Board Game Geek. That score persisted long enough for search engines to recognise it. Today, the score is fast approaching 6/10.
Why is the approval rating for the game plummeting? Is it because some horrid flaw has been found in the game which ruins it for everyone? What’s triggered the flood of 1/10 ratings on the hugely influential site? The sudden influx of poor scores has dragged the average down by 25% already.
It’s a protest.
Barrage is a Kickstarter that raised €431,901 from over 4, 000 board game geeks and which said the delivery was expected in April 2019. It’s now mid-way through June, and some backers haven’t got the game yet.
Many of the 1/10 scores at Board Game Geek are from gamers who have never played Barrage yet and are angry about it.
Kickstarter’s are often late, sometimes very late, so a delay of a few weeks unusually creates such anger. However, there are now over 6,000 comments on Kickstarter from protesting backers.
What have Cranio done to deserve this extra level of outcry? Backer Bernhard W explains it is what Cranio haven’t done: communication.
… it has to do with Cranio’s lack of communication.
First, several things were promised to be in the game during the campaign, and backers had to find it out for themselves that Cranio left them out. They admitted finally in an update to have downgraded certain parts – no UV spots on the 3D map, thinner cardboard everywhere (2.5mm for 3D/faction boards/wheel instead of 4mm, 1.5mm for punchboards instead of 3mm), among others. However, Cranio did not explain why they did those changes and why they thought it to be ok not to consult backers first, so that’s a reason for backers being angry.
Not all of Barrage’s backers agree with the tactics of the protest, though. The 1/10s scores have nothing to do with the gameplay itself. The low scores are due to concerns about the promise versus expectations of the game and the lack of customer service around the Kickstarter.
The protest has led some to suggest that Board Game Geek should consider suspending ratings until after fulfilment on any game has been complete. This would, though, be a considerable extra admin for the site and who would the burden of proving fulfilment fall on? Backers, the publisher or Board Game Geek themselves?
What do you think? Do you support the protest or is the manipulation of the game’s score on Board Game Geek inappropriate?