Why We Left Patreon

4 years ago

6/16/2019 1:04PM UTC

Steve Opilo

If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off

While we are super excited for the release of Octosquad Perks, some of you who have supported us on Patreon will likely have some questions/confusion about the switch. In the interest of transparency and openness, let's dive into the reasoning behind our transition.

Don't get us wrong here - Patreon has some good features. We liked the ability to post behind-the-scenes content and integration with Discord was handy for unlocking special channels in our Discord server for patrons. Their livestream beta was nice while it lasted. Unfortunately, there were some rather painful limitations and problems.

The biggest issue was their API. For non-technical folks, an application programming interface (API) is a way for two servers to talk to each other. It's similar to how you and I are communicating using English right now. They use tokens for authentication, and if implemented correctly, they can be refreshed when they expire. The refresh piece does not work on their API, so I was faced with a choice: either wait for the keys to expire and the integration to break every 30-40 days, or manually export all of you from their system into a text file and then upload that into a custom script I wrote on our site to give you access to your rewards. Either way, what was supposed to be automated turned into a manual process, which means there are delays in giving you what pay for. That's majorly uncool.

Another gripe was that notifications are broken. As creators on their platform, we are shown only the last 4 things that have happened. Instead of loading more when scrolling, we get those same 4 items again. And again. This means we miss out on the vast majority of the opportunities to respond to your comments and questions. That makes it seem like we don't care and can't be bothered to respond to you, when the exact opposite is true. So for anyone who was upset because we didn't reply to something, I promise it wasn't in bad faith.

Last, but not least, were the fees on fees on fees. Patreon takes a platform use fee, transaction processing fees, and even more fees when you try to move that money to a bank account. We were "fortunate" enough to be on founders pricing, where they only take 5% for use of the platform. I say "fortunate" here, because it got even worse on May 7th. Being hit with those fees at all 3 phases meant our tiers had to be more expensive to cover all of the overhead. That also sucks.

So, with all of that factored in, we made the decision to rebuild the Octosquad from scratch. The signup process, perks & rewards are all in-house now, which removes the need to keep systems in sync with each other. There are no more limitations to what we could decide to offer in the future. We also got much better pricing from Stripe as our payment processor, so that means the tiers can be significantly cheaper. Really, go see for yourself.

The only downside to all of this is that if you were a former or current Patron, you'll need to sign up again for the new Octosquad perks. Typically when a business moves from one payment processor to another, the current processor performs a trustee-to-trustee transfer of all the data to the new processor. This ensures that everything is kept secure from point A to point B. Patreon is unwilling to do this, so our only choice is to make you sign up again.

Anyway, thank you so much for your support over the past 2 years. We really appreciate it and hope to see you in the Octosquad. Thanks for being awesome, gang!

Thank You for Being Awesome!

This lovely set of Octosquad peeps help make this series. We truly and deeply appreciate the support!

  • Merle Jephson-King
  • Gregg Lawson
  • Phillip Madison
  • Ian Anderson
  • Rob Kopple
  • Hans Christiaen
  • Issa Tseng
  • Henry Allen
  • Alex Kriss
  • Kevin Rose
  • Charles Johnson
  • Darren Mohammed
  • Reid McNutt
  • Laureen Allen
  • Lee Cato