Crowdfunding is much less lucrative than it was when the Kickstarter revolution began, and is getting harder by the year, according to X-Com creator Julian Gollop.
Gollop, who successfully crowdfunded his new game Chaos Reborn, told GamesIndustry that he might not have succeeded if he hadn’t been well-known for his past career highlights, like the original X-Com games.
“It would have been ten times tougher, for sure. Much, much tougher,” he said.
“Crowdfunding is very difficult, and much more difficult now that it was even a year ago. That’s the reality.
“You need to look at the games that are doing well on Kickstarter and figure out why, and your goal has to be quite low or you’re not going to reach it.”
Gollop said he would have made “a lot more” on the Kickstarter if he’d launched alongside early success stories like Wasteland 2, Project Eternity and Double Fine Adventure.
“Many people have told me that. Brian Fargo told me this, Chris Roberts told me this. They said, ‘it’s not going to be as easy as it was,’ and that’s true,” he said.
Speaking at the Digital Dragons event, Gollop said his Kickstarter was successful in part because he put in a lot of groundwork.
“I had done a lot of work on PR and promoting the game: on my blog, on Twitter, I got journalists looking at the game so I had coverage in print and online,” he said.
“I even delayed the Kickstarter [twice] all because I didn’t think the PR was sufficient yet. If you’re going the crowdfunding route, you have to do your PR and promotion consistently for months before you even start.”
The veteran designer said he doesn’t know what caused the final rush of donations that brought Chaos Reborn over the line when donations “flatlined” well short of the goal.
Chaos Reborn eventually exceeded its target by about $40,000. A remake of Gollop’s classic strategy title Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, the fast-paced tactics RPG boasts online multiplayer, rankings, co-op and a single-player campaign. It’s expected in northern spring 2015 on Linux, Mac and PC.