Adventure Game Shatters Kickstarter Record, Raises a Million Dollars in a Day
Indy game development company Double Fine, makers of cult-classics such as: Psychonauts, Stacking, and Iron Brigade, have just achieved something remarkable. Some might call it… a game changer (*cues trombone).
The Challenge: Games are expensive to make. Often, developers have to rely on external sources like publishers, investment firms and banks for funding. And those funds typically have strings attached. The final product may be more of a compromise than realized vision. Double Fine has dreams of making the next great adventure game, but no publisher or external backer wants to fund that. Adventure games aren’t en vogue.
The Idea: Bypass the publishers and take it to the people. Double Fine decides to put their project on Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced fundraising site that lets anybody pledge money to see a project come to fruition. Different donation tiers get the backer different ‘perks’ and typically vary from project to project. Check out the Double Fine’s awesome Kickstarter video below:
Double Fine sets a goal of $400,000. The funds go not only to the development of the game, but a documentary of the entire process, with backers gaining exclusive access to the development as it progresses; offering their input and opinion for consideration into the final product.
The project goes viral and they reach their goal in a mind-blowing 8-hours. By the end of the day they’ve topped $1 million dollars in funding. As of this post, they are at a staggering $1.79 million USD.
This is big because if the game is a roaring success it could open the floodgates (a little more that is). Music, films, software; all territories with powerful gatekeepers. If the number of success stories continues, we could see a shift in various landscapes. Sites like Kickstarter are gaining serious momentum. Since it’s inception in 2009, the number of projects and total funds raised has dramatically increased. At the last Sundance Film Festival, 17 films were funded on Kickstarter and three crowd-funded documentaries were shortlisted for the Academy Awards [Source: Gigaom].
As we see more and more success stories, artists and creators become even more empowered. If they can continue to bypass external funding sources (with strings attached), their vision and process can be realized… unencumbered. And we may just witness a new wave of outstanding creativity and excellence, which is good for everybody :)