If you blinked you missed it. On February 9th Tim Schafer and Double Time Studios launched a video game project on Kickstarter. Their goal was $400,000. Under normal times and circumstances this wold be a crazy unreachable goal.
They gave themselves 33 days to hit the goal. It took them 8 hours. Then they hit $1 million in less than a day. And the numbers just keep going crazy. At $1.4 million they had 40,000 backers.
What does this mean to the video game industry. What does this mean to the board game projects on Kickstarter. Is all this money flowing into the video game and being sucked out of other projects? That is an easy answer. No, other projects are definitely not suffering from the exposure that Double Time is creating for all these other projects.
40,000 backers means that a tremendous amount of people who have never backed a project in the past are now extremely aware of Kickstarter. They will start looking for other cool projects to back.
This will bring a lot of new people to pledge their money. Also, $1.4 million divided by 40,000 means that backers are spending an average of $35 each. They are spending $35 on a game that would normally cost $50 in the store. This means that they have $15 left over from that normal purchase to spend on other projects.
This also means that there will be a flood of projects coming into Kickstarter. My guess is that the 46% failure rate is going to spike up. There will be so many rushed projects that will not have enough adequate exposure and will fail to launch.
For the board game space it will be a terrific boon. Currently video games and board games are semi-lumped together by Kickstarter. People looking for a game project will stumble across board games in addition to video games. Good news. Also, this legitimizes mainstream projects going the Kickstarter route. The good news is that small indie publishers can still get in a dance with the big boys.
What we are learning is that Kickstarter is putting a dollar amount on the vague idea of reputation. There will be scammers and crooks attempting to exploit the gullible but Kickstarter has some built in mechanisms tied to human nature that will make it tough for nefarious types to take advantage of the system.
Kickstarter is going to change. Real money is beginning to be thrown around and Kickstarter is disrupting nearly every industry and market it touches. Someone is going to realize that is worth a lot more than the amount of income the company is currently generating.
Also, next big market to be upended by Kickstarter. Local politics and special funding. When a neighborhood says they will just do it themselves instead of working through the local government, people will start to ask why they are paying taxes to ineffective politicians.