One of the things they tell you when you launch a Kickstarter is to ask for the absolute minimum amount needed. Being someone who launched two Kickstarters (and failed to get funding for both) I used to receive a lot of advice that I found questionable. Spaceopoly seems to be a Kickstarter that fell prey to one of those questionable tidbits. You see, one thing I was told was that if you asked for less than what was needed than it would look like your project was more popular when people backed it (because every pound would be a higher percent). I found this idea stupid and immediately dismissed it, but it seems others were not quite so lucky
Way back in 2012 Pocket Vault Studios launched a promising Kickstarter for a game called Spaceopoly. The game was meant to be a cross between Sim City and Monopoly but in space. Unfortunately, it struggled to get the $20,000 in funding it needed. However, despite the rough seas, it managed to graze by with $20,042 at the end of its Kickstarter. Things seemed to be going well until the updates came to a halt. Many of the updates, including the last one, were backer-only and left everyone to speculate on what happened.
I decided to do a little digging and uncovered a sad story. Essentially, the developers asked for too little, they were probably hoping that they would be over-funded, but because they barely scraped by things were tight. They weren’t ready to give up so they had an idea: they’d make another game and use the profit from that to make Spaceopoly.
Pocket Vault made a small mobile game called Astro Slice. It was basic, but fun, you simply had to swipe the asteroids before they could hit earth. Their second to last update was the announcement for this Astro Slive, followed but nearly 6 months of radio silence. Pocket Vault were hoping to harvest the profits from Astro Slice, but it didn’t pull in nearly enough customers, which is why in June 2014 the project was canceled. It ended with a whimper and the backers were refunded their pledges.
The moral of the story, I guess, is to make sure you don’t beat around the bush and ask for what you need. Still there is a silver lining to this story. The founder of the Kickstarter went on to become the Founder of Mythical City games. While I couldn’t get a comment from him about it, I’m sure his Kickstarter failure strengthened him in the long run and helped games like Starbase Gunship get released.
It is unfortunate that we will never see Spaceopoly, but I think it ended fairly well considering that backers received refunds. A bit more communication probably would have been better, long stretches of silence are never good, but everything is mostly okay. What do you think of the Spaceopoly Kickstarter and the developer’s behavior? What do you think they could have done to make Spaceopoly happen? Comment down below and let us know.
Check out our Kickstarter MIA archive for more sad crowdfunding tales.