A skill often needed for anyone crowdfunding their game is the ability to acknowledge one’s mistakes. Adapt and seize the right moment, before it all goes downhill – that’s what Driven Arts did with Days of War, it seems. As things were not looking that bright money-wise halfway through the game’s original Kickstarter, the developers have now relaunched their campaign with a revamped goal of $20,000 – that’s $80,000 less than their previous attempt at spurring their WWII online shooter.
It seems like this was the right choice, too, judging by the project now being fully funded only a day after its launch. The main difference now is that the current sum covers the bare minimum required for Days of War to enter Early Access (including Carentan as a playable map), with later tiers coming at $20,000 increments and covering additions such as British, Russian, Italian and French forces joining the mix along with their unique weapons and visuals. Crucially, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game are now also stretch-goals ($80,000 and $100,000), in comparison to the previous campaign where both were included as promised outcomes.
In a way, this reminds me of Harebrained’s Kickstarter for Battletech, namely how they managed to successfully tempt backers with substantial parts of the game being locked-down as more advanced stretch goals. For example, the bare-minimum funding only included a base skirmish mode, while other more interesting features such as a single-player campaign and PVP multiplayer were listed as offerings later down the line.
It does sound a bit evil, but more often than not stretch-goals can be quite successful when it comes to luring people into putting more money towards your project. Setting a reasonable, yet low minimum and backing it up with features that are almost essential to the experience you’re offering is certainly one way to do it. The case of Days of War might not be so extreme, but I’m certainly a fan of their plans of using Early Access as yet another way to boost their game with additional funds.
With a closed alpha coming as soon as April 2016, I’m beginning to see the reason why those $20 thousand were funded so quickly. The elephant in the room is surely the amount of similarities Days of War has with another recently-funded WWII online shooter called Battalion 1944, but with me being an old Call of Duty 2 fanboy I’m certainly not complaining, especially since both are promising fast-paced online action in tightly-designed maps reminiscent of ye olde Day of Defeat.
That being said, my only complaint in regards to Driven Arts relaunching their Kickstarter is the unfortunate situation previous backers are now put in. Keeping in mind that $48,156 was already accumulated for the original campaign, a number of original backers are refusing to back Days of War for a second time for reasons including inconvenience, the status of console stretch goals, as well as downright confusion on how Kickstarter handles cancelled campaigns. As of now, it seems that there is no bonus or incentive for people who pledged money into the first Kickstarter, despite the current one doing so well.