New Game Raises $1 Million from Online Crowdfunding in a Single Day
CREDIT: Double Fine
UPDATED at 10:17 pm ET: Now reflects fact that Kickstarter project successfully hit $1 million.
Many gamers lusting for a new game have used some version of the popular "Futurama" Internet meme: "Shut up and take my money!" That may help explain how one U.S. game company has shattered online fundraising records by raising its target goal of $400,000 on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter in just eight hours — and hit $1 million in less than a day.
San Francisco-based Double Fine has made plenty of big-budget videogames before. But the game studio wanted to finance its next project — a downloadable "point-and-click" adventure game — with public money. It also wanted to share the entire behind-the-scenes development process with Kickstarter contributors in a video documentary series filmed by 2 Player Productions.
"They're bringing in a film studio to share behind-the-scenes access to the creative process," said Justin Kazmark, a Kickstarter representative. "Kickstarter backers get really excited about that, because it's a very different experience from going into a store and purchasing a game, CD or DVD off the shelf versus being part of process on Kickstarter."
When Double Fine posted its "Double Fine Adventure" project on the evening of Feb. 8, it emailed its gamer fans who knew and loved the company's past games such as "The Secret of Monkey Island," "Psychonauts," "Brutal Legend," "Iron Brigade," "Costume Quest," "Stacking" and "Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster."
Thousands of gamers quickly contributed a basic amount of $15 in exchange for not only the finished game, but also for access to the game's trial period, the video documentary series and a private discussion forum.
Some diehard fans also shelled out thousands of dollars for limited-quantity rewards — one person contributed $10,000 in exchange for lunch with Tim Schafer (Double Fine founder) and Ron Gilbert (game designer), as well as a tour of the Double Fine offices.
"We did it! 100% funded in just over eight hours. You people are amazing!" Double Fine wrote in an update on its Kickstarter project page. The company promised to spend any money beyond its $400,000 target goal on adding features to the game and documentary such as more music and voice, or different language versions.
Still, the contributions keep flowing in. Such enthusiastic backing easily put the Double Fine Adventure project on track to become the second Kickstarter project to reach $1 million, by the end of the day (Feb. 9). The first project to reach $1 million, an "Elevation Dock" for Apple's iPhone, narrowly beat out Double Fine by hitting the milestone earlier the same day.