That's One Way To Justify Your Crowdfunding Goals

Convincing players to stump up seven figures for your indie project is a tough ask as is, but it's become part and parcel of launching a crowdfunding campaign. If you want people to directly fund your project, you have to take them through the journey of development.

Mike Zaimont was the lead designer and one of the directors on the 2D fighter Skullgirls. He's started up a new project that's asking for US$1.5 million. That's a lot of money, but the way he started justifying the figure might catch a few off guard.

Zaimont started his defence of Lab Zero Games' US$1.5 million target over the weekend during a stream where he began outlining the cost of development. It's a lot more expensive -- still -- than gamers expect.

But what most people probably weren't expecting was a comparison with poverty. But using the official base line for poverty in the United States, that's exactly where Zaimont took the argument -- and he put forward a pretty strong case, starting off with the development of Super Metroid.

He goes on to debunk the belief that Indivisible has already secured a publisher, although he also adds that 505 Games has contributed US$2.5 million towards the development (with the rest coming from crowdfunding).

If Indivisible gets off the ground, 505 Games would become the game's eventual publisher. So technically it's probably not right to say that the game doesn't have a publisher. But unless the campaign is successful, 505 Games won't pitch in a dime.

Having to go all-in on an Indiegogo campaign isn't where you'd like to be, and Zaimont is pretty clear that there isn't a second bullet in the chamber. There won't be another re-release on Steam through Greenlight or Early Access -- if the money doesn't arrive within the next 27 days, Lab Zero's Super Metroid and Valkyrie Profile-inspired RPG won't be happening.

They've already raised US$336,749 at the time of writing, which isn't bad but also not enough to get them over the line. The Indiegogo page has a link to a playable prototype if RPGs are your thing.


    I can see 2 biggest hurdles here for them to get over that 1million IMHO...

    First and most importantly most of the optimism for early days of Crowdfunding have definitely passed us by the few recent failures + the very hostile media environment to KS and crowdfunding in general means you'll be fighting an uphill battle... at least in Video Games anyway (most other projects such as film, food and boardgames haven't had the same negative press/spin)

    Second IGG as a platform is *very* had to get substantial funding on. Skull Girls was lucky in that it already had a name for itself. IGG is less known as KS *and* requires up front payments via Paypal to pledge. The payment does get refunded if the campaign doesn't succeed but first not only do you have to convince people to fork up money *now* (as opposed to the end of a campaign *if* it succeeds) you're also asking people to potentially loose some cash at the end of the campaign due to exchange rates when it gets refunded.

      Being upfront seems like a reasonable strategy to try though. When you have a developer asking for only $2 million to make a sequel to Shenmue while staying quiet about the other funding they had lined up, you can forgive consumers for not knowing how much a game like this should cost to make.

      Actually explaining the size of the publishing offer they've received and the relevant terms is a lot more transparent than what many other campaigns have done. Rather than making it look like your money isn't actually needed, it looks a bit closer to the publisher matching funds (even if that isn't quite what is going on).

    They need to ask for that much, because games that ask for less all end up failing because they don't have enough.
    But it's hard to crowd fund enough if there isn't a big name somewhere, such as Battletech...

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