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"October has been a dreadful month for Kickstarter"

Scratches dev shares stats as his latest Kickstarter looks doomed to failure

Indie developer Agustín Cordes, the man behind Scratches and Serena, has declared Kickstarter dead as his latest project H. P. Lovecraft: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward fails to find backing.

At the time or writing the project is two hours away from its Kickstarter deadline with just $98,194 of its $250,000 goal pledged. Cordes said while his studio, Senscape, was not "at risk" the company was "disbanding part of our team as we focus solely on completing Asylum." H. P. Lovecraft: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is now on hold as a project.

"It's impossible not to notice a sense of apathy towards Kickstarter these days. Previously I would tweet about an adventure needing backers, and experience an outpouring of support with retweets, favourites, and such. Today I say 'Kickstarter' and not even crickets reply," he said in an extensive update on the game's Kickstarter page.

"I didn't want to believe it, because I love the idea of crowdfunding, but there's no way around this: we are experiencing its decline. It would be a whole different matter if our campaign were an isolated case of plain bad luck, but it's not - from small teams with modest goals to high-profile developers with solid track records, we're seeing a very grim scenario where too many campaigns are failing for no other reason than lack of interest," he explained.

"October in particular has been a dreadful month for Kickstarter, perhaps the worst I've seen, and it's supposed to be the second month of the Kickstarter year that attracts most pledges."

Cordes identified three other issues that negatively affected the campaign: the fact that the studio's previous project, Asylum, was still unfinished, a not entirely favorable reaction from hardcore Lovecraft fans and the high target set for their fundraising goal.

He praised the support from the Kickstarter team and added that the team was looking at other ways to fund the Lovecraft project, but that would take time.

"As of today, I have no idea about Kickstarter. In the past I was happy to advise other developers, but forget it, nothing I say will matter because crowdfunding is becoming a matter of sheer luck and randomness, impossible to control."

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Latest comments (5)

Anthony Gowland Director, Ant Workshop6 years ago
Yeah sure, the problem is all with Kickstarter, and in no way anything to do with your pitch. Keep telling yourself that if it helps.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 6 years ago
There definetly is such a thing as KickStarter fatigue. The "whales" of kickstarter have all but died, could there be annual cycles to this fatigue or will we have to wait for the userbase to turn over? Claiming it's dead is certainly an exaggeration. For documentaries and board games with 40k budgets the money is still pouring in.

Alternatively, I know I used to invest more when the U.S. Dollars was so weak, but now everything is more pricey as QE3 seems to have improved their currency. I haven't read anything in years but when KickStarter was all in US dollars a large percentage (50-60%) was international backers, the dollar could genuinely be harming the volume of smaller backers.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 1st November 2014 2:19pm

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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee6 years ago
Not only is there some fatigue, traditionally, games have not been the most successful property on Kickstarter and have mostly found difficulty with funding. The games that do particularly well tend to have big names attached to them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 3rd November 2014 10:29am

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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 6 years ago
"The games that do particularly well tend to have big names attached to them".
Not always so, as Ex-bioshock devs are having some problems getting their kickstarter to fly aswell.
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$100k is not so bad either - plenty of other projects have fallen short of that
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