In 2015 the original Kickstarter Inc became no more and was replaced by Kickstarter PBC.
The company changed its legal classification to become a “Public Benefit Corporation”. In American law, this allows Kickstarter to be a for-profit company, but without the shareholders as the ultimate boss and so they could pursue the public good.
In their own words,
Benefit Corporations are for-profit companies that are obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders. Radically, positive impact on society becomes part of a Benefit Corporation’s legally defined goals.
This week, April Glaser of Slate reported that two Kickstarter employees associated with attempts to organise a union at the company had been fired, apparently over performance issues, and that the company’s usual processes had not been followed.
Evil Hat Games has run 14 Kickstarters and raised over $1.6 million. Without Kickstarter in 2013, there would have been no Fate Core, and that’s an RPG system that enables many favourite games.
However, in a blog post the company expressed concerns that Kickstarter might not be inline with Evil Hat’s own ethical views.
They had been planning on launching a new Kickstarter campaign next week. The second edition of Agon, in partnership with John Harper, was ready to go. Agon is an RPG set at a time when war heroes are returning home only to become lost among strange lands populated by mythical creatures.
Evil Hat has delayed the Agon product, after talking to John Harper, while they reflect the on-going situation at Kickstarter.
The company notes, however, the would-be Kickstarter union, known as Kickstarter United, is not asking creators to abandon live or planned projects.
Recommended addition reading: April Glaser’s Kickstarter’s Year of Turmoil.
Join (or start) the healthy debate. Share your observations below.