Three years ago, some fellows that worked at Rare came back together to bring back that collect-a-thon nostalgia. Kickstarter has been an excellent platform for game developers, and any creative design for that matter.
This feature focuses on some great Kickstarter success stories, with a thumbs up to those who funded them. I will look into what made the games successful, not just in terms of how much money was raised, but also with regard to the popularity of the campaigns which brought these wonderful games to life.
– (46 days)
As a massive fan of Banjo-Kazooie – a game I still consider my number 1 today, you could imagine my excitement when I read some of the past Rare crew were getting together. Yooka-Laylee naturally takes strong influences from the bear and bird of yonder years, and it came as no surprise that the game achieved its funding target and beyond as quickly as it did. Oh, them feels.
– (60 days)
A 1980s space exploration game that was given a new lease of life thanks to Kickstarter. Elite Dangerous is the sequel to the 1995 Frontier: First Encounters. The game received generally positive reviews, being called the most thrilling space exploration game out there, but it did garner some complaints when the developers were thinking about removing the offline mode. Many backers were annoyed with this as there were notifications during the development period of this removal. Frontier offered refunds to those who had not played the alpha/beta modes, but regardless the game has managed to sell over 2.1 million copies as of December 2016.
– (32 days)
Another space adventure which saw its dreams realised thanks to backers on Kickstarter. Despite its funding success on the popular crowd funding site, the game has still not actually been released and remains in development at the time of writing. The last announcement received by any, was that the game was to be released into three smaller releases but since then we’ve heard nothing. Perhaps with No Man’s Sky’s controversial release, a game that Star Citizen has been compared to, the developers are taking their sweet time making sure that they deliver on their promises.
– (30 days)
8-bit games have definitely seen a resurgence over the last few years. Titles like Super Meat Boy and Fez are evidence that people can’t get enough of the old-school feel. A successful iteration of the generation of old is Shovel Knight. Heavily inspired by the gameplay and graphics of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Shovel Knight was praised for its controls and appearance. Despite being released in 2014, there has still not been any word of a sequel, but Yacht Club Games have certainly supported their debut title handsomely thus far.
Total Raised: $6,333,295
Funded: 17th July 2015
The Shenmue franchise began in 1999 and it had a sequel in 2001. The acclaimed RPG followed Ryo Hazuki in his mission across Asia to avenge his father. Shenmue was one of the first open-world games, which is of course a highly saturated market today. It came as no surprise when, 14 years after the series’ second entry, Shenmue 3 hit its funding goal in July 2015. The campaign reached its initial $2 million goal in just under nine hours. Fans of the series and Kickstarter donors have seen delays to its release, but finally we have a confirmed and concrete date from YS Net and Deep Silver: the 27th August 2019. Finally.
Ultimate Chicken Horse
– (30 days)
Not the biggest in terms of figures, but certainly a game that has caught the attention of big YouTubers across the globe. The game consists of a 4-player online game, whether playing with friends or strangers. You enter each level and pick a death-like item from the party box and place it in the level. The aim of the game is to get the other players to fall victim to your trap placements and then reach the flag at the end. I’m a big fan of this game; it’s harmless fun and brings a chaotic good to gaming.
So there we have a very select few successful Kickstarter games, ones that have either seen commercial success, raised incredible funds in a short space of time, or have become gaming cultural icons.