This week a group of Patreon users published an open letter to the company pushing back on Patreon's recent public update regarding how and when it decides whether or not a project can raise money on its platform.
Game devs who use (or who are considering using) Patreon to help fund their work should pay attention, because the letter has been cosigned by a number of devs who are concerned about their ability to continue doing business on the platform.
As Kotaku aptly points out, Patreon is seen as something of a haven for erotic game makers, and some of them see Patreon's attempt at "taking a clearer stance on some fringe areas of adult content" as a threat -- especially because a number of Patreon pages were suspended due to conflicts with the company's new content guidelines.
The open letter, as it was posted yesterday, asks Patreon to explicitly "guarantee that adult content creators, of any legal content, will not have their sources of income revoked," and to "keep your promises to adult content creators and end the system of arbitrarily judging what is and isn’t acceptable expression."
After the letter was posted, Patreon chief Jack Conte sent out an email (that was also publicly reprinted) today stating Patreon has never seen itself as "allowing pornography or sexual services."
"We used to say we allowed 'R-rated' content, but that description was ineffective at clearly explaining our policy to the community. It didn’t give you the specificity you needed to understand what’s allowed, and what isn’t," wrote Conte. "Very few creators are affected by any of these updates. Again, the only actual changes to our policy were around bestiality, incest, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence."
He claimed that any Patreon user who had questions or who had their Patreon suspended could count on being able to talk with a real human being about why, and how they could bring their Patreon back into line with the company's content guidelines.
However, the author(s) of the open letter are continuing to make a public show of standing against the changes happening at Patreon.
"We’ve read the email from Jack Conte. It continues to exemplify the exact problems we are writing about in our open letter and, in fact, makes them worse," reads an update appended to the letter today.
"He both moves to come out strongly against specific forms of expression, such as 'real people engaging in sexual acts', while going on at length about how good a home Patreon is to creators. And if we don’t agree it’s a good home, it’s ok because it only affects 'very few creators,'" it continues. "We will continue to stand in solidarity with any creator on the platform creating legal content, and continue to demand that Patreon revise its stance to allow any legal adult content within a safe space on their site."