Have you been following the Pinstripe Kickstarter campaign? The game looks amazing, the Kickstarter campaign is very well put together, and the original $28,000 funding goal was crushed in about 24 hours. If you’re a backer then you’ve likely noticed something though; the onslaught of Kickstarter backer updates. Since launching about 24 hours ago it seems as though the one-man developer show of Thomas Brush has spent more time responding to comments and posting updates than he has sleeping. In fact, Thomas has posted seven Kickstarter backer updates since the Pinstripe launched; an impressive or annoying amount of communication depending on one’s perspective.
I’m not necessarily complaining about the abundance of updates, I can appreciate that Thomas is excited with the early success of the Pinstripe campaign; but it did get me thinking. How much communication is too much? What’s the average volume of Kickstarter backer updates look like? For answers I turned to our handy-dandy Kickstarter Campaign Data File. After digging through the data I found some interesting info.
By excluding campaigns that were active for less than a day I found that the average Kickstarter video game campaign has about 4 updates posted during the life of its campaign (3.9 if you want to be picky). Successful campaigns average much higher with 9.6 updates. Unsuccessful and cancelled campaigns only got 2.7 updates, which makes sense.
The record holder for the most updates during its funding period? That recognition goes to DrawAndRace 2 with a whopping 90 updates. Of course, that was with a 60 day campaign, which means backers were still only getting 1.5 updates a day. That seems positively lazy compared to the update clip Pinstripe has set already.
While the problems with posting too few updates are obvious, what about sharing in excess? Can over-communication drive away backers? In reviewing the data I found a number of failed or cancelled campaigns that had higher than average updates per day ratios.
Neo’s Land, a fantasy MMO from Neojac that sought $100k in funding back in September 2013 had a Kickstarter campaign that ran for 24 days before it was cancelled after raising only $15,813. In those 24 days Neo’s Land backers got 43 updates, which works out to 1.79 updates per day. However, after looking through the Neo’s Land Kickstarter it doesn’t appear as though the excessive updates were an issue. There were no comments from backers complaining about the updates, and in fact people seemed to like the daily backer incentives that the updates presented.
Another campaign worth noting is Visionary Realms’ Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. This MMO from industry vet Brad McQuaid launched on Kickstarter in January 2014 and only managed to raise $460k of an $800k funding goal before the campaign ended 40 days and 54 backer updates later. 1.35 updates per day hardly seems to be excessive, and the lack of complaints tells me that backers agree.
So what’s the ideal number of updates? Based on the numbers it seems to be one every two to three days, but that’s going to depend on the quality of the updates themselves. It’s tough to argue that Thomas Brush didn’t go overboard with 7 Pinstripe updates in 24 hours, but the excitement that’s evident in each of them is endearing rather than annoying. Sure, he may lose a few backers due to the flood of messages (I know of one person that backed out), but the connection he’s making with his supporters far outweighs the loss of a couple bucks. Besides, if backers don’t like them it’s easy enough to turn off notifications.