Gamers are growing increasingly wary of Kickstarter, and with good reason. For every Broken Age or Shovel Knight – titles that started as crowdfunding projects, and blossomed into legitimately great games during the development process – there’s an equally frustrating game that got funded and never came out. Crowdfunding relies on trust between the developer and its fans, and that bond is quickly eroding: crowdfunded video games are only bringing in half of the Kickstarter revenue that they did a year ago, and the trend shows no sign of changing.
However, trust goes both ways. Kickstarter might be a gamble for fans, but it’s an outright nightmare for developers. Just look at 2Awesome Studios, whose indie title Dimension Drive entered its last day of funding down €7,000. Everything seemed lost, until a mystery benefactor named Jonathan swooped in and saved the day. Happy ending, right?
Not so fast. Shortly after the campaign ended, the Kickstarter staff contacted 2Awesome and informed developers that Jonathan’s €7,000 pledge was fake. Dimension Drive missed its goal by €7,000; not only was the project doomed, but the 2Awesome developers ended up feeling “quite devastated.”
But 2Awesome’s developers have had a few days to recover, and they’ve decided that they’re not taking Jonathan’s betrayal sitting down. Kickstarter representatives encouraged 2Awesome to try again; although 2Awesome initially declined, fans rallied behind the developer. As 2Awesome’s official statement says:
But as the hours were passing by, your support started to change our minds. You guys and your kind and warm words encouraging us to do this one more time. We couldn’t let this “troll” destroy our dream, the project we have been working so hard to make it real.
The second Dimension Drive Kickstarter launches on Monday, May 18. There’s a good chance that the game will do much better the second time around; after all, the tale of Jonathan’s cruelty spread across the Internet like wildfire, and any press is good press. Ironically, with his cruel prank, Jonathan might’ve actually ensured Dimension Drive’s survival.
Of course, securing funding is only the first step towards producing a fully-fledged game. Only a third of Kickstarted video game projects actually deliver on their promises, and while Dimension Drive – a dual-screen space-faring shoot ’em up – certainly sounds great, potential backers should proceed with caution. When it comes to Kickstarter, developers aren’t the only ones who can get burned.
Source: 2Awesome Studios