Kickstarter implements new rules to protect backers

When we look back at the year that was, the Kickstarter explosion is certain to be one of the most significant news stories of this year. Since Double Fine hit it big with an adventure game, we've seen scads of game developers following suit. But the outpouring of goodwill has a dark side, and some scams have already been exposed, so Kickstarter is taking more proactive steps to protect backers.

In a blog post, the team says it wants to reiterate that the system doesn't guarantee a product. "It's hard to know how many people feel like they're shopping at a store when they're backing projects on Kickstarter, but we want to make sure that it's no one," the post states.

To this end, the project page now has a required "Risks and Challenges" section, requiring project creators to address any foreseen problems, and what makes them qualified to deal with them. This is meant to stress the idea that the project is still in development. Products also can't be shown in hypothetical demonstrations or mock-ups -- only in its current functionality and prototypes. Finally, projects cannot offer multiple quantities of a reward, since it implies that they're "shrink-wrapped and ready to ship."

All of these changes apply to new Kickstarter projects as of today, so any prior ones that are still running don't have to abide by the new rule sets.