by Ahmad Khan
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here are have a number of articles circulating in the indie game-O-sphere regarding the near-future trends of Kickstarter and IndieGogo, including a piece done by our editor-in-chief with a crowdfunding expert.
Personally I would neither pretend, nor claim, to have an insider knowledge or access to people with insider knowledge of crowdfunding when it comes to video games. What I can provide in this opinion piece is what I have noticed as a regular backer of video game projects for the past three years. Read it if you are an indie game studio thinking about the perfect time to launch a campaign, or a backer curious about the types of projects that are likely to materialize in the near-future. Last, but not least, read it because you have nothing more important to do at the moment.
Prediction 1 : The Death of The Million Dollar Kickstarter. (mostly)
[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]es, the regulars over at Kickstarter and IndieGogo have smartened up. If you are a former AAA-studio person who started a project today with goal of 900K and above, well it’s not going to get funded. Backers have backed them in the past and they’ve found that many former AAA-veterans with ambitious projects mostly turn out to be a big pile of “over promise and under deliver;” if there is any delivery at all since delays are the norm. This is a subject we’ve covered quite a bit on Cliqist, and one that we’ll continue looking at. A big exception to this prediction are the very few studios, which I can count on one hand, that have released a nice first project and will get rewarded with a solid following for future projects. I am looking at you in particular InXile and Obsidian.
Prediction 2 : Have Preview Material? No? Sorry, Next!
[dropcap]H[/dropcap]ey game developers! This is for you. With the exception of early adopters like InXile, Obsidian, and Double Fine in the gold-rush of 2012, backers now want to see some serious preview material before they throw the money at a project. A tech-demo, CG demo, artwork, and music samples have to be available on day 1 of the project. Even with these preview material available there are no guarantees that your Kickstarter or IndieGogo project will get funded. If you offer lots of artwork, serious gameplay detail, and a compelling plot then you may have a shot, otherwise it’s a crapshoot. This trend doesn’t seem to be slow down either, and will continue for the forseable future. If your project is in the brain-storming stage I suggest you wait till you have something tangible to show.
Prediction 3 : The Rise of the East and South.
[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]es, the title is deliberately misleading. I meant to write “The rise of east-European and global south crowdfunding,” but that’s too long. There are a lot of interesting and successful Kickstarter and IndieGogo projects launching from locales outside of the usual Noth American and Western European markets. And with the exception of high-profile scams like Areal most of them seem legitimate and are genuinely interesting. They range from FF6 ‘inspired’ games in RPGmaker with original artwork to more original titles pushing the limits of Unity. Indie studios from places like Indonesia, China, Russia, and Argentina are starting projects and having successful campaigns Backers that are a bit bored (or annoyed) with all the Western and Japanese titles are giving these newcomers a big welcome; with their money!
I’ll try to revisit these predictions with more solid examples, and perhaps toss out some more wild predictions. In the mean time, what do you think? Am I right, or out of my mind? What are your predictions for video game crowdfunding in 2015?
[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ahmadkhan.jpg” ]Ahmad Khan grew up playing video games. A fan of RPGs and Post-Apocalypse games, Khan instantly fell in love with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGogo that made games like Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity a reality. He also ended up being sort of a whistle blower for suspicious crowd funding project, believing that the venue of crowdfunding should be reserved for the honest and the passionate, not for the dishonest and dubious. [/author]