Last night, Double Fine’s Kickstarter campaign ended, having gained 87,142 backers and raised $3,336,371. This far surpasses their original goal of raising $400,000. Nearly 48,000 of the backers donated the minimum $15, which enables them to finish a game—DRM free—on PC, Mac, and Linux, or via Steam for PC and Mac; exclusive access to the beta on Steam; access to the video series; and access to the private discussion community.
With an additional $110,000 in donations from “Premium Backers,” this brings the total raised for Double Fine’s Kickstarter Adventure to $3,446,371.
Several pledge levels sold out: those that donated $250 or more will receive a “Double Fine Adventure” Poster autographed by Tim Schafer, Ron Gilbert, and the rest of the design team; those that donated $1000 or more will receive a miniature portrait of themselves; and those that donated $5000 or more will receive a full-sized portrait of themselves. Four people donated $10,000 or more and will thus have lunch with Tim Schafer. More pledges were listed at the Double Fine web site for those who wanted to donate more than $10,000.
Double Fine is aiming to finish their game in October of 2012, but in light of the increased budget, they have stated that they’re planning to expand production to ensure they make the best game possible.
Previously on Gaming Bus, we reported that Tim Schafter, Ron Gilbert, and the people at Double Fine had started a Kickstarter campaign, looking to crowdsource the development of their next point-and-click adventure game. As Christopher Bowen wrote, the intention of the crowdsourcing was to remove publishers from the equation and maintain transparency.
Full disclosure: the author of this piece donated $15 to this project.
Analysis: This was a huge success. Actually, that’s an understatement: this was an absolute blowout. I don’t have any words for how successful this campaign was and how happy I am to see something like this succeed.
I think this could be the start of a nice trend, where independent developers can receive funding for a game through the public who will basically pay how much they want for the game in a type of pre-order setup (with particular perks being assigned to how much you’re willing to fund). If it doesn’t go through, there will be no money wasted. But even beyond that, this allows developers to really own their games and take the time they need to develop the game the way they’ve envisioned it instead of the way that the publishers think will make them the most money at the quickest rate.
As Chris mentioned, there are potential pitfalls with this kind of system, such as when gamers demand that they want certain things because they paid whatever amount. There’s also the potential for scamming, but I imagine that Kickstarter should have some sort of safety in place for that. Generally, I think gamers are just really happy when they see projects they love succeed, so I wish the best of luck to Double Fine in making the game, and I look forward to playing it.