I’ve been hearing the name Kickstarter a lot, simply because a lot of my friends are independent filmmakers who have sought crowd-sourced funding to help complete their movies.
Yet it’s also interesting to note that Kickstarter has been at forefront of the independent gaming effort. As PC World notes, seven out of eleven projects that hit their million dollar goals were games. Indeed, Kickstarter has raised over $50 million for indie games this year, and of course 2012 is not over yet.
This means that Kickstarter’s raising more money for games than films, $8 million more in fact, and this is also bringing awareness to the fact that you don’t have to be a huge corporation like EA to create a quality game.
For example, MCV recently reported that the Broken Sword game franchise was resurrected by Kickstarter. Charles Cecil, who created the game, went to the crowd-sourcing platform to help raise money for a fifth Broken Sword game. His goal was to raise $400,000, and as of September 12, Cecil has 10,256 backers who pledged a total of $501K.
In exchange for a $15 pledge you get a digital copy of the game, $25 gets you a game with extras, $100 gets you a physical copy of the game, which is a limited edition, and $500 gets you an autographed copy. Of course, there are other extras too, like Cecil signing a personal message to you for $1,000, and for $4,000 you also get a voice message from the Broken Sword character, as well as a drawing of yourself hanging out with them.
Crowdfunding’s definitely an interest phenomenon, especially now that it’s raising money for gaming, but of course there’s going to be scams and problems that come along with all this. For example, BetaBeat recently confirmed there was a fake game, Mythic The Story of Gods and Men, that was allegedly created by a phony indie company, Little Monster Productions, which managed to raise $4,739 out of their $80,000 goal before the project shut down and their website disappeared.
The Onion also did a funny story that was headlined, "Most ‘Kickstarter’ Projects Just Useless Crap" that also joked, "FBI Estimates 94% of Kickstarter Projects Complete Sh*t."
Nevertheless, despite the occasional scam, KickStarter clearly remains a valuable resource for indie gamers and filmmakers alike.