Here is a new table showing the Kickstarter videogame launch window covering March to May 2017. When should, and shouldn’t, you launch your videogame Kickstarter campaign over the next few months?
March 2017 has the retail launch of the Nintendo Switch. That may be a difficult time to run a Kickstarter campaign. It could be a very unpredictable month. PAX East is March 10th. If you are attending PAX, launching a Kickstarter campaign can take advantage of that. If you are not attending PAX, then your campaign can be out-competed by the projects that are benefiting for PAX press coverage. April has a few big releases, but both April and May look like they will be good times to run. June has the huge problem of E3 on June 13th. Around E3 it becomes incredibly difficult for small Kickstarter campaigns to compete for attention.
A general rule is do not launch or end a Kickstarter campaign on weekends. The traffic is significantly worse. The launch table does not show Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the columns of potential launch dates. They are omitted because I strongly do not recommend those days based on what I observe in the data.
The 30 Day Guideline
It is also standard advice to run a Kickstarter campaign for exactly 30 days, but do not follow that advice blindly! Often running for exactly 30 days is perfectly fine, but occasionally it creates a problem like ending on the same day a hyped AAA game releases.
I consider properly scheduling campaign’s deadline to be more important than its launch date. There are ways to recover from a poor launch, but I’ve found it very difficult to recover when the final day of a campaign is a terrible choice. With enough pre-launch followers, it is possible for a launch to work on any day of the week.
The launch table shows potential durations of 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 days for each viable launch date. These 4 additional days are treated as wiggle room. Ideally you would use exactly 30 days, but external factors can get in the way or a launch date might not be easily moved. The idea is to add the minimal number of days beyond 30 to avoid a few specific problems like ending on a weekend.
A few extra days can be far more beneficial than ending the campaign on a terrible date with the standard duration of 30 days. Adding more than 5 days starts to run into potential pacing problems, burnout problems, urgency problems and increased difficulty maintaining good visibility within Kickstarter’s project rankings.