Kickstarter sparks indie game development

Posted by David Konow

We at TG are quite fascinated by the whole KickStarter phenomenon, where a fledgling filmmaker or game designer posts their respective projects, and backers can donate money to support an initiative.

While there’s certain to be people scamming the public for money through KickStarter, (BetaBeat just uncovered one called Mythic, which is a fake game that didn’t exist), there could still be a real chance to invest in something cool that could pay off down the road. Just imagine if Sam Raimi had access to KickStarter when he was putting together Evil Dead…

As PCWorld reports, seven out of eleven KickStarter projects that raised a million dollars this year were games, and KickStarter raised over $50 million for gaming projects this year. This was also $8 million more than KickStarted generated for indie films.

As Cinema Blend notes, Faster Than Light is the first game that was successfully funded by KickStarter, starting with a goal of $10,000, and once it hit over $200,000 the title finally got up and running on Steam and Good Old Games - and even made Steam's Top 10 games list.

Similarly, 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 19, Cecil has 12,560 backers who pledged a total of $645,927.



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'll also receive a voice message from the Broken Sword character, as well as a drawing of yourself hanging out with them.

And last, but certainly not least, Obsidian's Project Eternity currently boasts 41,625 backers who pledged a total of $1,697,224.  The rather impressive sum is significantly more than the original stated $1.1 million goal - which was raised in only a little more than 24 hours.

As you may recall, Obsidian is quite famous in the old-school RPG realm, as the studio dveloped some of the coolest RPG games ever, including some of the Fallout games, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. 

Enough money has already been raised to fund the creation of a game with at least three races, five classes and five companions. The game recently reached its next stretch goal of $1.6 million, which will help facilitate a Mac version of Project Eternity. Developers will also add a fresh storyline along with new quests, locations, NPCs and unique loot.

Yes, The Onion may have just ran a parody story headlined "Most ‘KickStarter’ Projects Just Useless Crap," but this whole "crowd funding" phenomenon is really quite fascinating. Even a little bit can help a game or a movie go a long way, and while there’s certain to be scams and initiatives that don’t come together, it is always great to see the right project explode with the help of KickStarter.