You’ll have to give me a moment, I’ve just witnessed gaming history. I’ve found myself caught up in all the excitement and I’m more than a little light-headed. Somewhere in the back of my mind a serious, practical and very boring part of me says I should be in bed, but tonight Project Eternity has broken crowdfunding records. In the closing minutes of the Kickstarter campaign, Obsidian took to Twitch.tv to celebrate.
The team packed into a singleroom to sing, dance and chat with viewers. While Feargus Urquhart sat centre-stage, relatively reserved, an increasingly enthusiastic Chris Avellone seemed determined to call out the names and home countries of as many of those watching as he could. As pledge after pledge continued to come in, it was impossible not to feel the same sense jubilation, so infectious was the team’s enthusiasm. I don’t care if you want to call me sentimental, but I started to find the whole thing remarkably moving.
Cheers filled the room every time the pledge total ticked past another $10,000 mark, while one Obsidian employee, known only as Green Shirt Girl, began trending on Twitter. Things became increasingly silly as an inflatable unicorn repeatedly did the rounds and someone, somewhere turned the music up.
With six minutes to go, Michael Jackson was replaced by the infamous strains of The Final Countdown and my monitor almost bled liquid happiness. A large pledge bump suggested a serious backer had just committed $5k or even $10k, but the total was rising so regularly it was difficult to keep track. As the timer ticked down to zero, the team almost roared with delight. Urquhart stepped forward and, after a momentary technical fault, addressed all those watching.
“We just want to thank everybody for helping. Everybody here is just extremely ecstatic about making project Eternity,” he said. “It’s incredible to be the largest crowdfunded product ever.” With some $100,000 in Paypal donations to add to their Kickstarter total, Obsidian have easily cleared the $4 million mark.
While the team are celebrating as I write this, they’ll be back to work tomorrow, though I’m sure with some hangovers. “Wednesday morning we’ll come in and start working,” Urquhart continued. “Oh yes,” he added, just before his colleagues began dancing, “Chris Avallone is drunk!” Everyone then let loose, Gangnam style, showing quite a few empty bottles of alcohol to the camera.
Congratulations, Obsidian, this is truly a moment in gaming history. It’s both an astounding achievement, but also a remarkable demonstration of faith. Now, not only do you hold the pledges of 73,986 gamers on Kickstarter alone, you also carry our hopes. We believe you can create something quite, quite spectacular. I wish you all the best.