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Kickstarter community head offers funding strategies, clears up fallacies


Kickstarter's Head of Community Cindy Au believes that names don't get projects funded, communities do. At today's MIT Business in Games conference, during the "Funding Your Game Company" panel in which she was a panelist, the conversation naturally veered onto the crowdfunding site ... and stayed there for quite some time. Kickstarter has become the easiest way to fund development nowadays, with the fewest caveats.

With the one-year anniversary of the wildly successful Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter, which is what established the crowd funding site as a place of developer funds, we wanted to know from Au how she sees game projects on the site evolved. Kickstarter game projects raised $83 million in 2012.

"I don't think the strategy is that different. People have learned a lot from a whole year of other people doing it," Au told us. "They are committing more time to having a lot of assets they can show. That they might already have a playable demo. That they are thinking about their timeline more carefully. So that when people back their project they have a cleaner sense of how long the project is going to take."

Having seen over 1,400 games successfully funded, we wanted to know what the greatest misconception has been by the Kickstarter community.

"I get frustrated when people say that these big names using Kickstarter are sucking up all the money in the room and that there's none left for anyone else. I think that's a great fallacy, it's just not true," Au said. "Projects are very much community driven. Your community is coming to fund you. Just because they funded someone else at another time doesn't mean they are going to deny you. This isn't a single pool of money that once someone has taken it that it's all gone."

She stressed the best way to get funded on Kickstarter is to build outreach and community first, then start the funding process.

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