Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 21, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 21, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Rewarding Kickstarter donors with copies of your game is vital Exclusive
Rewarding Kickstarter donors with copies of your game is vital
August 31, 2012 | By Staff




If you're running a Kickstarter campaign to fund your game, one of the best ways to drive away potential donors is to not offer a physical or downloadable copy of your game as a reward.

In a recent survey about the crowdfunding platform conducted by Gamasutra, 62 percent of more than 1,400 respondents said it's essential for developers to offer copies of their games with their Kickstarter rewards. 23 percent also said it's a very important factor they consider when evaluating whether to fund a project.

Just as in retail and digital markets, the pledge price you set for your game copies is critical -- a third of survey respondents said they've declined to fund a project because the game was not available at a low enough reward tier (over a quarter have passed on projects with no game rewards at all).

The poll also found that 55 percent of respondents believe the reward tier for game copies should cost less than the eventual retail sale price of the title, while 36 percent said they would be satisfied if it had around the same price as the retail release.

In general, participants ranked downloadable copies as the most important perk of a Kickstarter campaign, followed by "behind the scenes" and documentary rewards, downloadable soundtracks, and then physical copies of the game. Big spenders, or those who tend to pledge $50 or more, though, consider physical copies the second most important reward.

The results from Gamasutra's Kickstarter Survey, which shares more valuable data on what convinces people to fund or not fund video game campaigns, is available now.


Related Jobs

InnoGames GmbH
InnoGames GmbH — Hamburg, Germany
[10.21.14]

Mobile Developer C++ (m/f)
Treyarch / Activision
Treyarch / Activision — Santa Monica, California, United States
[10.21.14]

Senior UI Artist (temporary) Treyarch
Treyarch / Activision
Treyarch / Activision — Santa Monica, California, United States
[10.21.14]

Lead UI Artist
Vicarious Visions / Activision
Vicarious Visions / Activision — Albany, New York, United States
[10.21.14]

Art Director - Vicarious Visions










Comments


Andrew Wallace
profile image
I'm surprised only 55% said the backer price should be less than retail. Why would I give you $50 (or however much) now, when there's no evidence that you'll even finish the game, let alone that it will be any good, if people who wait to hear some reviews about it are paying the same amount?

Mitchell Fujino
profile image
Because kickstarting isn't for buying the game, it's for helping the game get made at all.

Kenneth Blaney
profile image
I think the idea also might be that they expect Kickstarted games to be about $15 or $20.

Maria Jayne
profile image
I honestly can't see me giving money to a company to help them make a game I then have to purchase. Unless that initial investment really was an investment, and I got a return on it based on the games sales.

R. Hunter Gough
profile image
it's kind of sad that this even needs to be said, but I have seen several Kickstarters for games that didn't think to offer the game as a reward.

Jeremy Reaban
profile image
Of course, what if the project is a free to play game? I was skeptical those could get backing, for this very reason, but Shadowrun Online was successfully funded, as has that new online game by Richard Garfield.

But then, those are pretty big names.

Ron Dippold
profile image
As long as I get to play it - other rewards are fine at that point.

But I would just have a hard time Kickstarting anything (not just games) other than pure charity where funding at list price for the product did not include getting the product.

Mentally I don't think it's even exactly 'Of course, I'm buying your product!' It's more that to me it is the most desirable award - I funded the project because I want to play this game, everything else is gravy.

k s
profile image
Some of this information is kinda duh but a lot of it seems to be useful for a successful kickstarter campaign.

On a personal note I've considered doing a kickstarter campaign for my current project and I figure two tiers would be minimum, first tier would be a link to download the game at no extra charge (probably 30% then from app store) and the second tier would be the first tier plus a T-shirt. Anything less just seemed like a waste of people's time.

Ron Dippold
profile image
You might want to consider a $1/$5 pure charity tier. And a ridiculous tier.

That may sound weird, but it's extremely sound marketing advice for any sector - have a very cheapest tier and a most expensive tier that you don't expect to be bought very often, but they let people feel secure that they're not choosing the cheapest or most expensive option.

The former costs you nothing, some people might give (I do occasionally), and most importantly it makes your real lowest tier not look like the lowest tier. People are averse to the cheapest level because it's bad socially and often defective. And maybe nobody will choose the latter, but if they do, jackpot!

Yeah, I realize it's marketing bull@#$, but it lets you get funded and the backers feel good, AND you're not cheating anyone. Win-win?

k s
profile image
There is no harm in a cheapest option but I think that's already built into kickstarter isn't it?

Maria Jayne
profile image
"maybe nobody will choose the latter, but if they do, jackpot!"

You know I really struggle to believe the people giving 1000,5000,10,000 dollar donations really are legitimate. Maybe I'm a horrid cynic but those options always seem too ridiculous to be true.

I wonder how often those donations are not actually credited and turn out to be false. I also wonder how many of them are the game makers secretly upping the bid so they can get funded. If you ask for 100,000 and you're 5,000 short with an hour to go, it's cheaper to create a puppet account and fake donate to your own game to guarantee that other 95,000 then it is to just sit back and lose it all.

Ron Dippold
profile image
@Maria: 'Maybe I'm a horrid cynic but those options always seem too ridiculous to be true.'

I can actually believe that people would pay $5000 to hang out with Tim S. Probably not for a little indie game from someone unknown. I think I'd scale the top level to that to avoid the fraud leaving you short problem... $500 is plenty for 'ridiculous'.

But I do like your idea that it's there to let you boost it over the top if you're close with no time remaining! Kickstarting seems a lot like RPG minmaxing and hole finding.

Steve Cawood
profile image
At the end of the day, people are funding these kickstarter projects for one reason alone. To play the game. Getting the game cheaper than retail by supporting the development is, in my opinion, the only logical reward scheme.

Phil Lemon
profile image
Kickstart isn't about charity, it's about supporting awesome ideas. As a games developer, getting money up-front for a development is fantastic. Rewarding someone for their support with a copy of the game, even at a "reduced" price is a no-brainer. Heck, I'd pretty much only support a game if I was going to get a copy.

Tyler Yohe
profile image
I agree with Phil. As a game developer rewarding donors with the game should be a no-brainer. However, I am currently building a 'build-up' game for a larger title, and this game will be free to play. I am planning on launching a kickstarter in December for it, so I've run into the above 'how to reward on a FTP game' question.

I chose to have a $1 reward for 'Interested Supporters' (possibly for gamers), a $10 tier for essentially a "behind-the-scenes" / "how-to" tutorial that follows me through the game's development. This way my campaign can appeal to developers / teachers that might not want my game, but would get value of learning how to create a simple game.

I won't get rich, but provides me a little initial-funding for an FTP model game, and give my backers that 'little extra'. Might be an option to think about if you find yourself in the same boat.

Rik Spruitenburg
profile image
Why not give them something for the ftp game? Whatever your cash shop sells? A sword? Or maybe a hat, or in-game title? Their name in Purple? What about half price on the cash shop for life? Getting to reserve your name now? Early access? (Heck you need beta testers, right?)

What about getting input on the lore? Name an NPC shopkeeper? Name an island? Have an NPC who looks kinda like you? Be the king?

Tyler Yohe
profile image
Good question... but I actually won't have a cash shop. We are more about spreading knowledge with our games, not about monetization.

The game will be free - as in: everything, always.

And it's not an RPG, so no NPCs... but I have considered the idea of letting them access the prototype.

Mark Ludlow
profile image
This makes sense to me. Unless you are feeling benevolent or altruistic, you're pledging because you want to see the project succeed due to an interest in the released product and the other rewards of the tier you pledge at. Since Kickstarter projects aren't investments (ie. You get nothing from the eventual sales), it comes down to buying a reward tier in the trust that the project will succeed and provide you with what you have purchased.


none
 
Comment: