"Kickstarter is dying."
- Developer Agustin Cordes describes a trend he's seen in the course of crowdfunding multiple games on Kickstarter.
Early last year, Scratches
designer Agustin Cordes successfully funded the development of his upcoming horror game Asylum
on Kickstarter. A year later he returned to the platform with a bigger pitch for a more complex game, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
...and fell flat.
"It’s impossible not to notice a sense of apathy towards Kickstarter these days," writes Cordes in an update
to the Charles Dexter Ward
Kickstarter page. "In short, few people seem to be backing games these days, including our own."
Cordes points out that while his latest Kickstarter has a funding goal that more than doubles that of Asylum
, it also enjoys the imprimatur of H.P. Lovecraft's estate and earned far more press attention than his earlier, successful Kickstarter campaign.
"Between our pre-launch campaign, buzz on Twitter, local and international celebrities supporting us, our own posts that went viral, and a massive article in the second-biggest newspaper in Argentina, I estimate well over 100,000 people heard about Charles Dexter Ward
," notes Cordes.
"It boggles the mind, then, that barely 2,000 people have backed the game — with such a strong launch and the evident appeal of the project, a year ago we’d easily have reached $400k."
Instead, they've earned pledges of just over $100k towards a $250k goal, and on the final day of the campaign the developer is putting the project "on hold" and focusing on finishing Asylum
"We’re disbanding part of our team as we focus solely on completing Asylum
, which is coming along great," writes Cordes. "There’s nothing left to do; this was our best shot."
We already knew that Kickstarter campaigns were slumping in 2014, at least when it comes to crowdfunding games
; Cortes' commentary suggests that interest in the platform has continued to wane.
Of course, not everyone agrees; many developers have taken to Twitter
and to the comments section of this story to rightly point out that this campaign may have failed for reasons beyond Kickstarter's slumping appeal.
Most notably, Charles Dexter Ward
developer Senscape has not yet delivered Asylum
, the game it Kickstarted and initially expected to release last year.
For more details, you can read a mini-postmortem of the failed crowdfunding campaign over on the game's Kickstarter page