Well that’s that then, the Sociable Soccer Kickstarter campaign has been cancelled after only two weeks. The news doesn’t come as too much of a surprise given the ‘spiritual successor to Sensible Soccer’ had only raised just over 10% of its £300,000 ($453,000) target and had seemingly run out of momentum, so ending it early was the sensible (sorry) thing to do. But where did it all go wrong?
Some of the most lucrative Kickstarter campaigns like Broken Age, Shenmue and Bloodstained have relied on existing fan support for acclaimed developers but Jon Hare seems to have massively overestimated his own popularity. In fact by dominating the campaign with his own personality he may actually have done more harm than good as he actually came across as misguided and amateurish.
It also didn’t help that the campaign itself didn’t seem fully formed and so wouldn’t be an attractive proposition to anyone but die-hard Sensible Soccer fans. Jon Hare was lucky in that the campaign attracted a lot of interest from the mainstream media but he wasn’t able to convert the traffic into pledges. People may have been interested to see what he was doing but what they saw was never going to tempt them away from FIFA and PES.
The timing of the campaign in the build-up to Christmas wasn’t the smartest move either, although the terrible events in Paris which dominated the news (and led to the postponement of Jon Hare’s interview on Sky TV to promote the Kickstarter campaign) could never have been anticipated.
However the biggest error of judgement in my opinion was the unfeasibly high target amount, especially considering how small the development team was. Jon Hare has vowed that Sociable Soccer will still eventually be made and that he is already in talks with several publishers. A more cynical person than myself might suggest this was the plan all along – generate some publicity for a fledgling studio to attract the attention of a publisher – but I’ll give Jon and his team the benefit of the doubt for now.