The IndieGoGo crowd funding project for BasedGamer reached its goal with funders pledging a whopping $52,619 for the project. The last $7,000 were raised on the final day of the fundraising project, it was a nail-biting final hours on Monday night. From the IndieGoGo page, the project defines itself by stating:
BasedGamer will be devoted to a community driven by gamers. BasedGamer, similar to the popular website “RottenTomatoes.com,” will feature genuine aggregation of game reviews and other great features.
BasedGamer’s reviews will include written and YouTube reviews. Unlike other game-review aggregators, BasedGamer will compile and score game reviews based on four categories: Visuals, Storyline, Gameplay, and Entertainment. The categories will be rated via a simple, four-point scale: Excellent, Good, Okay, and Very Bad. This simple grading system will define scores with much more clarity.
BasedGamer will also include transparency, a platform for the gaming community, and monitor trolls and astroturfers.
The project is headlined by Youtube personality, Jennie Bharaj. She is best known for her participation in a #GamerGate panel hosted by the Huffingtonpost Live and an appearance on The David Pakman Show. Since her appearance from these interviews, she has been a prominent topic within the tag and related discussions. Bharaj has also personally invested $2,000 into the project. Bharaj, on her personal blog, presented her personal goals for video games by stating, “I want to inspire others to look at the gaming industry differently. Seldom do we hear about uplifting topics regarding video games.”
The project initially began on November 13th, with an end date of December 28th for the funding period. On December 23rd however, with the project appearing to fall significantly short of its intended goal, Jennie Bharaj extended the deadline for funding to January 12th. She justified the extension by stating in her blog by stating:
I am making sure BasedGamer is a success. Not for me, but for all of us. My vision for BasedGamer has always been to support its community and to give back by providing honesty and strength to my fellow gamers. It is important that all of you know how dedicated my team and I are to building something that we can all be proud of. Combined, we have already endured 1000+ hours of sleepless nights for the development of BasedGamer. We are working very hard. We want your voice heard in the industry. We want to make sure that happens.
Concern regarding the project began soon after the genesis of the IndieGoGo page. While many different individuals held concerns regarding the project and Bharaj herself, Maiyannah Lysander of Highlandarrow.com wrote the most prominent critique stating their primary concerns regarding the project’s high start-up cost, Bharaj’s lack of experience, the possibility of the site being attacked due to its relation to #gamergate, a profound lack of concrete information regarding what Basedgamer.com would actually do, and a perceived lack of need the site attempts to address.
Lysander’s article was posted on the 27th of December, and two days later, on the 29th, Bharaj responded with a 22 page document addressing each concern individually. Bharaj justifies the high start-up cost due to the wish of the website to be a “top-tier”, as well as their intent for the website to generate a massive amount of traffic, and the professional level of those involved. The responses are available to the public here for those interested in the responses to the remaining concerns presented by Lysander.
Lysander was not impressed however, as the BasedGamer team published the document without reaching out beforehand.
Edit: We reached out to Bharaj for comment on this interaction. She informed us they were not personally contacted by Lysander and was shown the article by her followers. She rather was using Lysander’s list of concerns as a way to respond to similar concerns from followers.
The funding of the project continued to stagnate from this point up until the 8th of January. With the deadline looming, four individuals gave a huge boost to the project by donating of $1,000, $3,000 and two donations of $5,000 to the project. These donations shoved the project within reach of the projected goal of $50,000.
There are still many unanswered questions regarding the project. Who are these four individuals with such money to donate? What will the finished website look like? Will the website actually be different from other review aggregates like it claims it will? These questions will be answered when the site releases at a currently undisclosed date in the future.