Don Daglow suspends Kickstarter campaign

Smartphone games and Kickstarter do not mix, the industry vet says

Last week, longtime game designer Don Daglow launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for his new smartphone project Tony La Russa's Baseball With Fans. The title has managed to raise just $2,440 (a goal of $249,000 was set) as of this writing and Daglow has now decided that Kickstarter isn't the best option. He's suspending the campaign, noting that smartphone titles typically don't get a lot of funding.

"We knew the job was dangerous when we took it! No one on Kickstarter had ever raised more than $78,000 for a Smartphone game, and PC is the platform of choice here. We have concluded that even our experienced team is not going to raise the needed money for a Smartphone title, so we have suspended the Kickstarter campaign. We will reformulate our plans and report back on what we're up to!" he wrote.

In a separate email to GamesIndustry International, he commented, "I'm now looking at a different platform mix and schedule before we bring it back. No one has broken through with a mobile-only game on Kickstarter and it became apparent early on that we were not going to break that same low ceiling."

While Kickstarter has been hugely successful for some big names in the industry, others - like David Braben and Peter Molyneux - have run into some resistance and drawn criticism for digital panhandling.

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Latest comments (5)

Shane Sweeney Academic 5 years ago
Well I extracted the entire list of backers from three successful game projects and noted a large percentage 40+% of those that listed their country of origin were outside of the US.

A title that is baseball centric doesn't have much international appeal.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
Makes sense Shane.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 5 years ago
Yep I agree. I read the title and thought hu?!

Even in the US I'm betting that the game would only appeal to fans of whatever team the guy he mentioned was a part of. It's like calling it Boston Red Socks baseball and then wondering why it only sold in Boston.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
One of the reasons that Kickstarter has suddenly exploded for games is that it is seen by enthusiastic fans of under-served genres as a why to get their games back.
The whole world and its mum wants to fund mobile, and a lot of the audience are casual players who aren't going to go out of there way to fund games development, and also won't give $20 to develop a game that they'd expect to pay 1-2 for after completion.
Not only would I not even consider backing a mobile game (also backing a iOS game when I have a WP7 would be pointless) I am put off any project that is aimed for iOS as well as PC. I expect that it will be dinner down to work on touchscreen. If not I will happily buy it on release.
I do play phone games, but I am just not passionate enough to crowdfund them like I have with PC stuff.
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Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive5 years ago
One also has to wonder if Tony La Russa's name is as big a sell in today's market as it used to be. I understand he's a bit of a legend to some but iKids nowadays probably never heard of him for the most part. Granted, these young people may not be the ones backing projects in the first place, but as Peter already pointed out above it's still a bit too specific.

I've always liked EA's NHL games approach to feature a new player on the cover every year without putting his name on the box. They always pick a top current player and never the same one year after year. I think that this creates a stronger brand related to the sport as opposed to specific athletes or specific teams.
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