Kickstarter fatigue kneecapped Wildman drive, says Taylor

Gas Powered Games boss blames Kickstarter fatigue and poor timing for Wildman's final fate

Speaking at Casual Connect Europe, Gas Powered Games chief executive officer Chris Taylor explained the reason behind the failure of the studio's Kickstarter for Wildman. Taylor said that consumers are waiting to see some successful game releases on Kickstarter before moving forward on certain risky titles. He also blamed poor timing for the beginning of the funding drive.

"People had spent a lot of money on other Kickstarters and were waiting for those games to arrive," he said, according to a report by VentureBeat. "We also started just after Christmas, when people had already spent money."

"Kickstarter is starting to wear itself out. It's a numbers game. Someone has lightning in a bottle. This business is really, really tough. It's turning into a lottery business, unless you work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and study gaming for decades," Taylor added. "Now, it's tough. It's like going to Hollywood and saying I want to make films. You have to compete with James Cameron. I'm leaning toward there is no free lunch."

Taylor mentioned that times were getting tough in game development, a situation illustrated by the number of studios closed over the course of 2012.

"There was a heyday in the 1990s where you could burst in the door of a publisher and you could get a contract. You blew your budget anyway, and they dealt with it," Taylor said. "That has locked itself so tight. Consoles are going to just hit the wall. The guys who wrote these big checks - that's just gone.

"I have almost been driven out of business. I am still in business. I know everyone in the industry. They didn't help me. It's about whether you have a blockbuster that can ship 10 million units."

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Latest comments (5)

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 6 years ago
I really don't want to put the boot in, but the Longest Journey 3 Kickstarter shows that fatigue hasn't quite set in:

It lauched 4 days ago and has nearly made its 850k goal.
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The audience is a lot more savvy to pitches, and the new rules on transparency means less winners!
Best not blame fatigue and more business reality!
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Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike6 years ago
Morville said what I was just about to say... The longest Journey kickstarter (which im proud to be a part of) has been online for all of 5 days and is 80% of its way to its $850,000 goal. I looked at the Wildman kickstarter, but have to say it didn't interest me at all. That game has been done in so many ways. The wildman pitch seemed very shaky and questionable, and you could tell it was more of an emotional response by a studio that was (unfortunately) going down the tubes and gasping for air. As sad as that situation was, its not a situation that instills confidence into potential investors of your product...
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development6 years ago
"I didn't get what I wanted. So it's the public's fault". Maybe it failed because of such hubris?
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I think announcing that you're laying off the workforce that would make the game, only days into the Kickstarter campaign, may have had a more negative impact than any vague notions of "Kickstarter fatigue". Once it became clear that the fundraising was to rescue a studio from bankruptcy, rather than to fund a game, you're asking people to fund something very different. And then ending it early and announcing you're looking into alternative funding, after declaring Kickstarter was the last ditch attempt to find alternate funding? Yeesh. If nothing else, the constantly changing narrative of what's needed and why does not inspire confidence.

I have the utmost sympathy for anyone losing their job right now but, good lord, everything about this campaign made me cringe.
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