updated 08:45 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Double Fine sets record for Kickstarter projects
Psychonauts developer Double Fine ended its Kickstarter project Tuesday evening with the largest project in the site's history. The fundraising for an adventure game earned $3,335,325 since its early February start, or more than eight times the $400,000 the studio had set for its original budget. Its actual budget will be higher, as another $110,000 had been pledged by others in the game industry outside of Kickstarter proper.
Donators were given incentives to pay in early. A minimum $15 pledge got a copy of the game for Linux, Mac, or Windows PC. They also got early access to the beta, access to a video series, and private forums.
More aggressive backers got extra audio and video content, signed physical goods, and even elements of the game itself. At the very highest levels, gamers got paintings of themselves and even the opportunity to go to lunch with Double Fine's best-known designers, Tim Schaefer and Ron Gilbert.
Kickstarter joined in a final live stream as the clock ran down and hinted that about 45 percent of all Kickstarter game projects were successfully funded, which amounted to about 500 titles.
At the very end of the project's fundraising process, Schaefer was cautious about suggesting that future games would be funded this way. There were "a few" publishers still out there, he said. However, the Full Throttle creator believed that it might mean that many more specialty games would get made.
"Don't want to say it's the end of the game industry as we know it," he said. "It does mean that if you've ever been told you've been part of a niche market... you can make yourself a super niche."