I am really excited about the results of Tim Shafer’s Kickstarter campaign. For those of you that don’t know, he wanted to make a point and click adventure again, but faced an industry reluctant to fund such a slow-paced format. So instead of going to the publishers, he took it straight to the gamers: through a Kickstarter campaign, he told them that he would make the game if he could raise $400,000 in the few weeks that the campaign would run.
He hit his target in 8 hours, and broke a million by the end of the first day.
I have tears in my eyes even as I write this. It reminds me of the scene in Baadasssss when Melvin Van People saw the theater fill up across the street, or the response of the crowd at the end of “The Big Boss” in Dragon: the Bruce Lee Story. He put his idea out there, and in doing so threw down the gauntlet. The gaming community didn’t hesitate to pick it up.
This is a wonderful thing. Not only will this lead to the creation of a game in one of my favorite genres, but (more importantly) it will increase the awareness of Kickstarter and what it can do.
Yes, I do see the potential for abuse of Kickstarter. I recently heard a friend, for example, explain how a small dance troup started a Kickstarter to get their show off the ground. The catch was that they already had the money; they just wanted to do the kickstarter to see how much they could get. When the deadline approached, one of their own made the final donation to top off the drive, and they pocketed all of the donations that had already been made.
I think these cases are few and far between, though. I think Kickstarter has a lot of potential, and we’re all going to benefit from it.
UPDATE: as of the close of the Kickstarter, he had 87,142 backers and raised a total of $3,336,371. Crikey!