Crowdfunding games is "much more difficult now than it was even a year ago", says Gollop | PCGamesN

Crowdfunding games is "much more difficult now than it was even a year ago", says Gollop

Chaos Reborn: a Unity game.

In the end, Chaos Reborn was Kickstarted, and comfortably. But nobody would have bet their highest-ranking XCOM soldier on it a couple of days before. Even after the public endorsement of Ken Levine, a date with TotalBiscuit and a high-profile slot on noted videogames website PCGamesN, Gollop wasn’t convinced he’d hit his modest goal.

The reason? Kickstarter isn’t the goodwill factory it was when Double Fine Adventure was funded.

“Your goal has to be quite low or you're not going to reach it,” says Gollop.

“I had done a lot of work on PR and promoting the game: on my blog, on Twitter, I got journalists looking at the game so I had coverage in print and online,” Gollop told the crowd at Polish conference Digital Dragons.

“For me that was an easier process than for most because of my history and people were interested in what I was doing anyway, but still, it was a lot of work. I even delayed the Kickstarter [twice] all because I didn't think the PR was sufficient yet.

“If you’re going the crowdfunding route, you have to do your PR and promotion consistently for months before you even start.”

Even then, nothing is guaranteed. Gollop told GamesIndustry that without his reputation as the creator of X-Com, Chaos Reborn would likely have never reached its target.

“It would have been ten times tougher, for sure. Much, much tougher. Crowdfunding is very difficult, and much more difficult now that it was even a year ago. That’s the reality,” he said.

“You need to look at the games that are doing well on Kickstarter and figure out why, and your goal has to be quite low or you’re not going to reach it.”

Gollop believes Chaos Reborn would’ve made “a lot more” if its Kickstarter had launched alongside Wasteland 2 et al.

“Many people have told me that,” he said. “Brian Fargo told me this, Chris Roberts told me this. They said, ‘It’s not going to be as easy as it was,’ and that’s true.”

Maybe the golden age is over. But I’m quite happy to settle for this world where a warier audience relinquishes its cash for only the very finest projects. Are you?

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Mountain_Man avatarMrJinxed avatarDog Pants avatar
Mountain_Man Avatar
3 Years ago

Of course it's harder now than it was initially, because people have wised-up to what a scam things like Kickstarter and "early access" really are.

"We're going to take your money upfront, but there's no guarantee we'll actually deliver what you paid for (or that we'll deliver anything at all)."

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. As The Who says, "Won't get fooled again."

MrJinxed Avatar
3 Years ago

Pretty much right on the money, so to speak.

I loved the idea of crowd funding, but it didn't really turn out to be the wonderful new way of getting content and "voting with your wallet" I hoped it would be. I backed 5 games on kickstarter, and have 7 early access games on steam, and there's no way I'm backing another kickstarter or buying another early access until I start seeing the majority of them being released as full products.

Dog Pants Avatar
Dog Pants(25 minutes played)
3 Years ago

I'm happy with Kickstarter. I'm considerate about what I back but I don't read too much into what's promised. I invest in concept rather than buying on detail, and I do it in the knowledge that it is an investment and that an investment is a gamble. That's fine though - even if I lose that gamble I at least know that I'm encouraging others to try a concept I like.

Early Access, incidentally, is different. That's like a playable pre-order. I expect something at least playable and a finished product at the end. That isn't working out as well, but Steam sales are as responsible for that as it is for normal games.