Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Evolution of Kickstarter

Had an interesting conversation with a publisher at this year's Gama Trade Show. This publisher, who shall remain nameless, has released a number of games over the past several years, and by gaming industry standards, is pretty successful.  However, despite the fact that the company could fund its next release internally, it has decided to fund it through Kickstarter and I found the reason why interesting.

Instead of a source of funding, this publisher now views Kickstarter as a promotional channel, a medium to use akin to email, print or Twitter. They believe that launching the product on Kickstarter will generate attention and anticipation for the game's release, moreso than if they had used their traditional promotional methods.Lots of people follow Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding websites, for their first introduction to new products. Those people are primed to want the new, so where better to launch a campaign for a new product.

This publisher isn't really interested in crowdfunding the release. The funding level is set much lower than it will actually cost to produce the game. The company expects to exceed the funding level by a large percentage, creating yet more buzz about the game.

This certainly moves away from the original spirit and use of Kickstarter, but, with the amount of new product coming out every month, one cannot blame publishers for looking for any avenue they can utilize to get the word out about their games.