Interview

UK devs on Kickstarter: Consumers could tire of crowdfunding if big boys dominate, says Glitch Games

Co-founder Ranson offers warning

UK devs on Kickstarter: Consumers could tire of crowdfunding if big boys dominate, says Glitch Games
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: Glitch Games co-founder Graham Ranson.


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

Graham Ranson: I'm hoping it will be beneficial and give a boost to the already impressive indie scene allowing for more risks to be taken and thus more interesting games to be produced.

How valuable is Kickstarter as a marketing tool?

I would say that it is very difficult to measure because it seems, at least to me, that to have a successful project you really need to either already have a large community behind you or instead use regular marketing in order to get the word out about it in the first place.

I think that if you are lucky enough to have a community, big name developer or a budget for a regular marketing plan then it can be a very successful marketing tool to get even more exposure.

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 that it is certainly a viable option for already funded games, however, using it in this fashion could end up hurting the very people that the site was set up for in the first place - the indies.

Naturally it is not my place to say that developers shouldn't use it for already funded projects as it really is up to the individual developers to decide.

If the consumers don't want to back an already funded project then it simply won't succeed and it will go back to being used primarily for unbacked projects anyway.

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

If in fact it does end up being saturated by large publisher-backed companies that use it for nothing more than a marketing tool and pre-order system then it won't take long for consumers to realise this.

Maybe the vast majority of consumers would be okay with this, maybe they wouldn't.

If consumers aren't okay with the situation they will simply stop backing the projects, causing the big guys to leave while allowing the little guys a chance to play.

Hopefully the site will still retain the consumers that are willing to back projects.

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

We have actually been thinking about this for a while.

We didn't think it would work for the first episode of Forever Lost as we were essentially unknown, but now that people have bought it and know about us we think it could be more beneficial for episode 2.

We have also been thinking about using it to just fund a small part of development, in our case getting the game translated into different languages.
Thanks to Graham 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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