Crowdfunding has become a popular way for game developers to raise funds for their projects, but it is not without its pros and cons. In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of using crowdfunding to finance game development.
One of the main pros of crowdfunding is the ability to validate a project’s potential before committing significant resources to development. By launching a crowdfunding campaign, developers can gauge interest in their game and secure funding from a dedicated community of supporters. This can provide a sense of security for developers and increase the chances of success for the project. An example of this is the game “Star Citizen” which raised $2.1 Million in its initial crowdfunding campaign, which was the largest crowdfunded project of all time at that time, and it has since raised over $250 Million.
Another benefit of crowdfunding is the ability to build a community around a project before its release. Crowdfunding campaigns often include rewards for backers, such as early access to the game or exclusive in-game items. This not only helps developers raise funds, but also creates a dedicated community of players who will be more likely to spread the word about the game and support it post-launch. A good example of this is the game “Undertale” which raised $51,124 on Kickstarter and since then it has sold over 20 million copies.
However, there are also drawbacks to crowdfunding that game developers should consider. One of the main risks is that the project may not reach its funding goal, which can be a significant setback for developers. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the final product will meet backers’ expectations or be delivered on time. A good example of this is the game “Yogventures!” which raised $567,665 on Kickstarter but was cancelled and the creators refunded the backers.
Another downside of crowdfunding is that it can be difficult to stand out among the many campaigns on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Developers must put in a significant amount of effort to promote their campaign and differentiate it from others. Additionally, developers are also under pressure to deliver the project on time and to meet the expectations of the backers which can be stressful.
In conclusion, crowdfunding can be a valuable tool for game developers looking to raise funds and build a community around their project. However, it also comes with its own set of risks and challenges. Developers should carefully weigh the pros and cons of crowdfunding and be prepared for the potential setbacks that may arise. By understanding the potential risks and benefits, developers can make a more informed decision about whether crowdfunding is the right choice for their project.