Double Fine rakes in $3,445,265 with Kickstarter

The new adventure game project is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in history

Double Fine's historic Kickstarter campaign to create a new adventure game has ended, with an amazing $3,335,265 pledged from 87,138 backers on Kickstarter. Double Fine held a live video event on Ustream for the last 2 hours of the campaign, as Double Fine staffers partied and chatted with backers before popping champagne. Double Fine noted that this was the most succsseful campaign in Kickstarter history.

In his speech after the close of the campaign, Tim Schafer thanked some of the premium backers who pledged for some of the ultra-premium items offered only on Double Fine's web site. This included Days of Wonder, whose $50,000 pledge was dedicated right now to the team on their board game Ticket to Ride. Double Fine garnered an additional $110,000 from premium backers not listed on Kickstarter, according to Schafer.

An ebullient Schafer commented, "This is not the end of the whole gaming industry as we know it."

"There still might be a few games made by publishers after today," Schafer continued, tongue firmly in cheek. He turned more serious for a moment. "If you've ever been told you were part of a niche gaming effort, you can now be part of a super niche. Why does a big company get to choose what I watch or play? Well, now they can't. Thank you to everybody on the team, to the backers, and to Cindy at Kickstarter."

Now Double Fine begins the work of making the game, and trying to support the backers who pledged money without even knowing what the game will be about. It's a stunning validation of the quality of games that Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert have made, and it's already having an effect on other developers. Brian Fargo's InXile Entertainment launched a Kickstarter today for a sequel to the classic Wasteland RPG, which has already gathered close to $400,000 towards their $900,000 goal in less than one day.

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Latest comments (3)

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 9 years ago
I agree here. With the power being taken away from the likes of Activision and EA we should start to see many more original and interesting games appearing. Usually it's the large publishers that directly stop the original titles ever getting made and this industry has clearly suffered because of it.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 9 years ago
Wasteland2 got to $541K in a day.
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard9 years ago
Personally I'm a huge fan of Double Fine and had the honour of meeting Tim briefly when EA were publishing Brutal Legend. That said, in my opinion Double Fine are one of only a few very high profile Indie Developers. Double Fine and particularly Tim has a great back catalogue of games that were to an extent funded and supported by larger publishers including EA and THQ. This has (and deservedly so) resulted in him and his studio having a passionate and loyal fanbase without which I honestly believe the incredible figure pledged would not have been reached.

While Kickstarter looks like a great alternative to publishing via large multinational like EA / Activision, it is probably not going to get the majority of Indie Developers anything like the amount that DF netted. A quick scroll through Kickstarter shows that very few developers crack the 100k barrier, let alone the millions. Notch could probably pull it off, as could ThatGameCompany and perhaps Ironclad too. Maybe 22Cans now that Peter has joined them, but really, there's literally a handful of developers of whom enough people will be able to say "I trust these guys enough to make such a great game that I'm going to pay for it without seeing a single concept, image, line of code, or whatever." to bring in the big bucks.

I guess what I'm saying is that, personally I think that the Kickstarter model is great for an established Indie Developer, but for the new guys they're going to need publishers to help them get the exposure to actually build a fanbase in the first place.

Also and I apologise for the wall of text.. this whole Kickstarter thing is very young, and for the "investors" it's a huge risk. It'll only take a few developers burning people by unexpectedly having to shut down (not unheard of these days) or cancelling a project for the public to lose confidence in Kickstarter altogether. At least a publisher can decide if the project looks good, to change the deal and increase funding to the studio, or buy the rights off them and bring the product to market, and no consumers lose out in the process. If you've pledged you $30 and got nothing back you can't (and I'd argue shouldn't) offer to pay another $30 to help push things along. Reading through the Kickstarter FAQ there is no comeback on the Project owner when they fail to deliver. How many times would you have to buy something from ebay, have it not delivered, and have ebay shrug their shoulders and say "Not my problem." until you stopped using the site?
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