Considering Cool Ghosts appears basically dead, why is the Patreon still generating over $2000 per month? It seems pretty unethical to have essentially profited over $75,000 over three years while not creating a single new piece of content.
(Checks cool ghosts webpage)
Last update 26th March 2019
True I did say basically dead, but ended up contradicting that a bit. I don’t know if 5 off the cuff one hour podcasts over the past year fully invalidate what I said though. Each podcast even ends with them essentially saying “Sorry we didn’t prepare anything and took so long, we’ll come back for sure next month more prepared though”.
It’s not quite profitting over three years without making a single piece of new content is it?
You are right it’s not. Again, I did start off saying “basically dead” so clearly realized that. I was aware that they still produced their monthly podcast about every 4 months, but saw on their Patreon page that they essentially stopped updating it for 3+ years. You seem to be ignoring the actual point though. Is it fair to their Patreons that they spend about 10 hours a year on providing content for them?
There are about 80 videos listed on the Cool Ghosts YouTube channel that have been uploaded in the past three years (about 20 of them copies of the podcast).
Matt has been very upfront and transparent about the status of CG and how his health has affected the output. Patreon sends you an email every time it charges you, telling you who you’re subscribed to. They’re not charging people in secret. They’re not forcing people to stay subscribed.
Also, there’s probably a non-zero number of people who subscribe to the CG Patreon as a way of funding SU&SD because they don’t want to (or can’t) sort out donating directly.
Yeah, basically this.
I’m aware of what I support on Patreon because I get an e-mail every month AND I see it on my credit card statement. Highly unlikely anyone is being ripped off here.
If people want to support Cool Ghosts then let them, maybe? If they’re unsatisfied with it, like you are, they can pull their support.
This exactly. I support Cool Ghosts on Patreon. If I felt that their level of output was “unethical” or not “fair,” to quote ChrRome, I could easily stop supporting them. It’s not like Matt is sneaking into my bedroom at night and and lifting dollars from my wallet. As far as I know. (Matt, if you are doing this, wake me up next time and we’ll play a game.)
The focus of video output has also been on quality of output. The new series they’re creating is nigh on a TV broadcast quality output from what is a 1.5 man team. Matt’s tweeters few times about the latest episode he’s making - it takes a lot of man hours for post production. It certainly isn’t a quick turnaround write/shoot/edit/release schedule.
Matt’s explained a few times about their approach and that it’s fine for backers to drop out of they’d rather have more output.
You’re right though, if this was a traditional business it wouldn’t be sustainable. But the patreon model doesn’t run like a traditional business, it’s based far more on the relationship and trust between the creator and their audience.
There’s an implicit presumption by the OP that patrons are owed a constant drip of content every month to justify their patronage and its a sentiment that’s been trained to consumers. There are thousands of content mills out there to provide up to the minute takery and updates to every little game and product accouterments, and I say good on Cool Ghosts for avoiding it. It seems as Matt, Quinns, and Co. have gotten older, their relationship to the medium has widened to encompass a much more holistic and contextual critique of games, separate of “this has good gameplay but bad story.” You could get into a material explanation of why content mills operate the way they do, but the the whole point of pateron is for fans to provide patronage for creators who put out the kind of work they want to see. If that means Matt and Quinns put out an episode every 8 months to a year while they sort out SUSD and their private lives, that’s something I more than happy to live with.
It’s not that I think they are owed a constant drip of content every month. I think most people who don’t have a clear SUSD/Cool Ghosts bias would think a site putting out 4 one hour long podcasts in a year despite bringing in over $2k/month is shockingly low, and would generally be considered to be milking their patrons. They brought in over $25,000 in a year despite putting in probably about 10 hours of work.
It’s reasonable to continue supporting their content despite this, but actually praising them as if delivering almost nothing to their patrons is good is absurd.
Cool Ghosts Patreon: A one act play.
A man appears and asks if people thinks the cool ghosts patreon is immoral.
Some more people appear and say they don’t think it is. Indeed, they like the content, even though it is sparse.
The man calls their opinions absurd.
If you think that the content provide only represents 10 hours of work you clearly have missed the mark on the amount of time and effort that is poured into their content.
Regardless, as others have said, Patreon does not lock funders in forever. If those who have chosen to support Cool Ghosts are happy to keep funding them, then why should it matter?
Off the cuff podcasts that last about 1.5 hours take more than a few hours to produce?
Also, every podcast ends with Matt saying that they are going to be going back to once a month podcasts with preparation, then queue 3 months later them apologizing and continuing the cycle. Maybe the dangling carrot that they seemingly have no intentions of fulfilling could be attributing to some of the Patreons.
RossM do you revel in making all of your posts as condescending as possible? Do you understand that there is a difference between being fine with the quantity of output vs actively praising it?
Yes. I am pretty certain that Matt spends an extremely large amount of time in set up and post editing of the recordings. The man is a perfectionist.
I get that you are disappointed that there isn’t more content. But you are essentially critiquing what people spend their money on. People are allowed to have different opinions on the value they place on things. The amount of support via the Patreon shows that people are happy with the returns for their support. Otherwise they would stop funding.
They literally admit during every episode that they didn’t prepare anything beforehand though.
I’m not critiquing the people who are spending their money. My point is that Cool Ghosts should feel at least some sort of obligation to deliver for those people. The fact that they seemingly couldn’t give two shits about the people willing to support them speaks volumes about their character in my opinion.
Patreon even has a way people only get charged when there is some output of content, which Cool Ghosts could easily implement.
Why don’t you email them to suggest it? That isn’t meant to be as aggressive as it sounds - that comment is constructive feedback that probably should be sent to the team directly. I honestly believe that they would listen.
Both SU&SD and Cool Ghosts are passion projects. In the last Twitch stream of China Town, Matt pretty much said that he had poured his soul into Episode 3 and hated that the outcome was not as great as he wanted it to be. There’s a huge amount of background work that goes into the content, often at a high cost. The reason there is not more content isn’t because they don’t care, but they set themselves very high standards that they struggle to deliver to.
This is a very good idea as they only look in on the forums on occasion and rather infrequently.