Interview

UK devs on Kickstarter: It's no magic marketing tool, says onimobi's Dave Mitchell

It requires its own promo push

UK devs on Kickstarter: It's no magic marketing tool, says onimobi's Dave Mitchell
With Kickstarter finally giving the green light to projects based in the UK, we decided to get in touch with British-based studios for their take on how the crowdfunding tool may impact the dev scene on these shores.

Next up: onimobi founder Dave Mitchell.


Pocket Gamer: Having watched developers in the US utilise Kickstarter, what do you think it'll do for the UK market?

I'm not sure if Kickstarter officially launching in the UK will be a massive thing.

I mean, a lot of UK studios have already used the US Kickstarter - such as Revolution and Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - but I think it will make it easier for those in the UK to start a project on there.

How valuable is Kickstarter as a marketing tool?

Using Kickstarter as a marketing tool is a double edge sword. Just like other tools such as Facebook and Twitter, it needs to be used as part of a wider marketing effort, not on its own.

Putting up a project on Kickstarter is easy enough, but you need to drive traffic to your project - it isn't magically created by setting up on Kickstarter.

Really successful Kickstarter projects have often been well known companies or brands, and they've been able to drive traffic by the power of their existing audience.

If your a relatively unknown company, funding your next game via Kickstarter will be an uphill struggle in my opinion, unless it's something really unique. You'll have to spend a lot of marketing effort to drive people to your project - I wonder what the typical conversion rate for a Kickstarter project is?

You might be better spending all that marketing effort to sell the game when it's released.

Should crowdfunding be a tool primarily used to fund games that can't get publishers, or as some have suggested, is it still a viable option when the developer behind it either has the money to fund the game outright, or has the support of a publisher?

I think both situations work - the important thing is the product.

Is there a risk consumers may suffer from Kickstarter fatigue at some point?

I think there is a risk of a crowdfunding recession.

The danger is that the general public often see crowdfunding projects as a very early advance pre-order. They do not associate it with risk.

At some point one of these big crowdfunded projects is going to fail. By fail I mean they get the cash but they don't finish the product. When that happens people are going to feel burned and they will suddenly realise the risk associated with backing a project.

This might cause people to back less or not at all.

Would you consider using it to fund one of your games?

If we built up a large enough fan base from our existing games, then maybe I would consider it. Otherwise, no.
Thanks to Dave for his time.

If you're a UK dev with a view on Kickstarter's launch, drop us a line at keith.andrew [at] pocketgamer.co.uk.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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