Road to Funding: Crowdfunding – Kickstarters in the games industry

Ever heard of that elusive dragon called KICKSTARTER? Funding your game has never been harder, and Kickstarter is just one approach. But when everyone else besides you chase that mythical beast called “funding”, then how do you make the most of it?

We sat down for a talk with Daniel Christensen from Galdra Studios for a quick interview about their successful Kickstarter in Fall 2020. 

Interested in knowing more about Crowdfunding and Kickstarters? Join the event on May 11.

Crowdfunding: Why Kickstarter? 

“Can you use Kickstarter alone to fund your game? The short answer is: No, you can’t. It used to, but that’s not how the game works any longer. Too many people chase that dragon. However, Kickstarters can do so many things, when you don’t have a track record that puts you ahead of others on the market,” says Daniel Christensen, Producer from Galdra Studios, who is currently working on the game ‘Arcadia Fallen’.

Check out Galdra Studios and ‘Arcadia Fallen’. 

On May 11th, Daniel takes the stage on Game Hub Denmark’s Road to Funding event series, where he’ll be talking about his experiences, knowledge, and all that he wished he knew ahead of his Kickstarter back in August 2020, which generated 240% of their initial goal. 

Crowdfunding has long been a staple in the game industry’s pursuit of funding, and Kickstarter is a widespread power tool in the game developer’s kit. But it is a misconception that the platform is the final destination in making your game a reality. Instead, it is exactly what it is: A tool that requires specific knowledge to use. 

“What you can do is have the Kickstarter fund part of your game,” Daniel says, and he adds, “Kickstarters can tell your buyers, ‘Here is a good game. With your help, you can make a difference to make this a great game.’ Your Kickstarter adds discoverability to your game, and your game can test the waters and see if there’s a demand for it. Your buyers get agency over your game and uplift the quality of their game experience. A Kickstarter is almost a preliminary release campaign. You get to expose yourself to a market for the first time.”

Working with a Kickstarter 

“Throughout our Kickstarter’s one month, there were countless times where we were thinking ‘Holy shit, why is no one telling us about this? We don’t have any solution, we work our ass off, we don’t even have time to sleep, and now we have to reinvent the wheel on something I feel we should’ve known!?,” Daniel says as he picks up the pace. 

“There are lots of reasons to do a Kickstarter. It just isn’t for the reasons people think. Kickstarters help telling people about your game, it gets people invested, and it is a proof of concept that helps you get in contact with more investors and publishers. But it doesn’t fund your game,” Daniel says. 

Daniel and his team from Galdra Studios have been developing Arcadia Fallen since 2017, where they began the project as part of their studies. Since then they’ve been working on and off on the project with sometimes bootstrapping to get more funding on the game. Their internal deadline for Arcadia Fallen was originally early 2021, but Kickstarter gave them funding to add lots of upgrades that would make their game stand out. 

Things you wish you knew before doing Kickstarter 

“With our talk, we’re doing on Tuesday, we want to talk about the things we knew before we went into Kickstarter. Kickstarters give your game a lot more weight and depth to the game experience. If you can develop your game while running on fumes, a Kickstarter can give you that supplement that will make your game feel like it isn’t running on fumes,” Daniel says. 

The talk will begin on the afternoon of May 11th, 16:30 CET.
The talk requires a sign-up but is free to join. 

More about Game Hub Denmark’s Road to Funding event 

The Danish games industry particularly depends on private funding, and to get this game developers must think business to reach success. In 2021, Game Hub Denmark is preparing workshops and seminars that can ensure game developers possess the required skills when they reach out to international investors. 

The Crowdfunding talk will shatter most peoples’ ideas of Kickstarters through debunking myths and misconceptions about Kickstarters. Daniel Christensen will share experiences with running a crowdfunding campaign and hand over the knowledge that improves your chances of creating a strong campaign. 

The latter half of the Crowdfunding talk will also have Michael Styrishave take the stage. Michael is a lawyer specializing in advising Tech and Game entrepreneurs on topics such as publisher agreements, financing models, IP rights, and more. 

Interested in knowing more about Crowdfunding and Kickstarters? Join the event on May 11.

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