As previously announced, Soul Reaper will be featured on Square Enix Collective on July 17th (https://collective.square-enix.com/). The next step for us after that was to immediately start a Kickstarter campaign and hope for the best. We recently decided against it; we won’t be doing a Kickstarter just yet. The timing is not right.
We recently decided against it; we won’t be doing a Kickstarter just yet.
We’ve analyzed many different video game campaigns from this year, last year and even before. As everyone knows, the trend is not very positive, mostly because of high profile failures: successful campaign; bad, or unreleased product. People are scared of backing projects nowadays, with reason. And especially for studios like ours where we haven’t released a single game yet. It hardly matters how much experience we have in the industry; as a team, we have not proven ourselves yet. And that’s kind off the key here: no one cares about us, because no one knows us. We lack the required social influence to have a successful campaign.
And that’s kind off the key here: no one cares about us, because no one knows us. We lack the required social influence to have a successful campaign.
Is that a bad thing that we’re postponing our Kickstarter campaign until we do reach said “social influence”? Well, no. Not for us at least. We’re aiming to finish the development of the game in Q4 2018. It’s like in 1 year and 5 months if we’re aiming for December! That was our realization recently: we’re not in a hurry. At all. Most recent successes on Kickstarter are games that are close to completion, like Sundered for example (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thunderlotus/sundered-a-horrifying-fight-for-survival-and-sanit). It’s much easier to convince players if they can playtest a well polished pre-alpha version and see that no matter if they back or not, the game will still be done. For backers, it’s great since they get the game for cheaper, and in a few weeks or months only.
So yeah, we’re postponing because of these two things:
We don’t currently have a big enough social influence
We’re not close enough to the release of the game
So what are you doing then?
Nothing really. At least, nothing to replace Kickstarter.
In the next year or so, we’ll do everything in our power to increase our social influence: be active on social media, forums, groups, local events, not-so-local events, etc. If anyone has suggestions, please let us know.
But also: spend time on developing the game. Everyone tells us how much work it is to run a Kickstarter campaign. We believe them. Time we spend running the campaign is time we don’t spend building the game.
Is that a good decision? What do you think?
First published here: https://medium.com/power-level-studios/to-kickstarter-or-not-to-kickstarter-in-2017-3060be435eef