Neal Stephenson's CLANG! Not Yet Crowdfunded -- Game Kickstarters Reached Saturation Point?
CLANG!, the swordfighting game Kickstarter backed by uber geek Neal Stephenson (who I interviewed about the project here), still hasn't raised its $500,000 goal after 20 days of pledge raising. It will probably reach that target, but the surprise is it hasn't surpassed that goal days ago -- not even with Stephenson's backing, not even with the endorsement of Valve's Gabe Newell, another geek icon, who made a cameo in the Kickstarter video. (Above, blacksmithing a crowbar, of course.) When you compare this to other successful game Kickstarters, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that enthusiasm over crowdfunders -- at least for gaming crowdfunders, at least for the kind of enthusiasm which results in actual pledges -- is starting to wane.
Compare and contrast:
- Double Fine's adventure game Kickstarter raised over $700K in 24 hours.
- The Wasteland 2 RPG Kickstarter raised nearly $3 million.
- The Shadowrun RPG Kickstarter raised almost $2 million.
And so on. Of course, these projects and others are backed by developers well known in their own right, but none with the name recognition of Stephenson or Newell. And this isn't for an obscure project -- it's for a swordfighting game, for god's sake. So I think we're seeing a definite sign that the market for game crowdfunders have reached a saturation point. Hopefully CLANG! does finally reach its goal, because otherwise, we'll go from saturation, to bear market.
That said, go here to consider pledging to CLANG! Because you know, hey, Stephenson, swordfighting, indie non-corporate crowdfunding and all that good stuff.