Interview

UK devs on Kickstarter: Consumer craving for crowdfunding 'will never wane', says Spilt Milk's Andrew Smith

Gamers want to be involved early on

UK devs on Kickstarter: Consumer craving for crowdfunding 'will never wane', says Spilt Milk's Andrew Smith
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: Spilt Milk Studios MD and AppyNation comms manager Andrew Smith.


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

Andrew Smith: It'll have a good effect for the projects suited to it.

I'm not sure anyone who was keen enough hasn't already circumvented the rules to use it already but it is a good thing it's here now. More funding options can only be beneficial to the market.

How valuable is Kickstarter as a marketing tool?

It certainly helps that it's a platform on which you can tick certain boxes to improve your visibility.

It's a shame that the ocean between the USA and the UK still has an effect - IndoGoGo just doesn't have the same brand - and as such I believe Kickstarter provides a touch point for USA-focused press and hence consumers that were previously unavailable.

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 it is a viable tool for any dev with a strong IP, truly innovative and appealing game idea, or who wants a proven - and safe in the minds of the fans - platform through which to offer something a lite bit different.

It'd be a shame if the big companies wrestled their way in, but it could happen.

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

I don't think so.

I think the number of nostalgia-driven projects will dwindle over time and one or two projects will likely fail badly and disappoint people, but the fundamental appeal of getting involved with a project you find tremendously appealing at an early stage and in a meaningful way will never wane.

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

Certainly, but Kickstarting - or any crowdfunding - is a full time job, and I'd be very careful about choosing the right project.

I did a small campaign with Smash The Block for mobiles on IndieGoGo, and I managed to learn a lot from that. It's a huge undertaking.
Thanks to Andrew 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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