[dropcap size=big]C[/dropcap]rowdfunding often comes under fire for being fairly unreliable; with the massive amount of money poured into some crowdfunded games, such as Star Citizen, it can be difficult to tell whether or not games financed with this method will fall flat. However, thou shall not forget about that what already came. Shovel Knight, for example, is the pinnacle of a great, crowdfunded game; as evident by its overwhelmingly positive reviews, critical acclaim across the board, and domination of plenty of 2014 top 10 lists.
However, Shovel Knight is not only a great game, it was also a great Kickstarter, and that’s a distinction that’s important to remember. The developers at Yacht Club Games did not look to raise $500k, instead they they asked for a more reasonable $75k. The stretch goals announced, in case they received more, all seemed reasonable and deliverable. They didn’t promise a large number of new features as part of their stretch goals, as compared to Star Citizen, whose developers commit to extensive new features with nearly every stretch goal. While Shovel Knight and Star Citizen are not necessarily comparable games, it’s worth noting that Shovel Knight is the game people should be looking towards when trying to identify a campaign with excellent execution.
Shovel Knight, from start to finish, teased gamers just enough to get everyone excited from the get-go. Cool looking graphics, a strong feature list, and a nifty world map gave backers a solid idea of what their money would get them once the campaign succeeded. As a matter of fact, the images provided teased the promise that Yacht Club Games made: to stay true with their 16 and 8 bit roots. They would walk that path, no matter what.
Yacht Club Games was also very clear about their wording, ensuring that while they talked up the game, there was no misunderstanding what people should expect from the final product.
Experienced gamers could have already been fairly certain that Shovel Knight will not end up as a bad game, but with the inherent risk of crowdfunding it’s certainly possible that it could have fallen into mediocrity. Well, we all know it did not.
What else makes Shovel Knight an example of a great campaign? Backers got what they were promised, everything was on time, and everyone was updated often enough to keep potential concerns at bay.
Let’s not forget, of course, that Shovel Knight was a smash hit. If you have a minute, this video will tell you why.
That’s it for now, thanks for reading and watching!
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