March 14, 2012 at 4:31 PM ET
Yesterday was the final day for the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter, and its success has been the subject of many reports, including here at MSNBC. Despite being a regular source of financing for numerous game creators (along with other kinds of creative types), it was Tim Schafer and his company that thrust the crowd-sourced fund-raising service into the public spotlight. As a direct result, many others have been inspired to get their projects into action, and there is little doubt that there’s more on the way.
Double Fine's now historic initiative turned heads almost immediately by reaching it's $400,000 goal in just eight hours. Soon after, it broke Kickstarter's own record for most money raised in under 24 hours, which was a little over $1 million. And the grand total, when all was said and done? Exactly $3,336,371.
A slightly lower number was reported by some, immediately after the deadline was up. Joystiq, for example, stated $3,335,265.
Joystiq also has Schafer's reaction to his successful campaign and all the excitement that has surrounded it since day one: "It's been an amazing experience. … So much love." Meanwhile, Kotaku reports that there is an additional $110,000 from off-the-record premium backers that the final number does not reflect.
Not surprisingly, numerous high-profile game makers are now considering Kickstarter as a means to finance their future projects. David Jaffe, creator of the "Twisted Metal" franchise, has been mentioned already; Phil Fish, creator of the much-anticipated title "Fez" and star of" Indie Game The Movie," recently stated that he might be using such an option.
There also is hope that it can be the means to make long-wished-for follow-ups to be realized. Like "Wasteland 2," described as the sequel for the "godfather of post-apocalyptic RPGs," which kicked off less than 24 hours ago and is already at three-quarters of a million dollars.
It is perhaps worth mentioning how one donor at the highest level, which is $10,000, is Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Razer, which produces all manner of gaming peripherals. On his Facebook, Tan states that he was a fan of the original back in the day, and has long been looking forward to a sequel, like so many others.
Tan will give away the 50 copies of the final product that all donors at that level will receive. While it is certainly a kind act by most accounts (since one person having 50 copies of the same game is rather silly), some will no doubt view it as a publicity stunt. As with anything popular, there will naturally be a certain degree of backlash, even if it's unwarranted.
Along with the assumption that it has the potential to turn the entire business of game creation and distribution upside down (which is a highly debatable viewpoint, to put it mildy), many are viewing Kickstarer as the new way of making games from this point forward. But numerous factors have contributed to Schafer's success, including his body of work, him addressing a specific audience that has been starved for a certain kind of content, even his charm and wit on camera.
Kickstarter will no doubt remain a viable resource for creative endeavors, but it remains to be seen if it completely changes the status quo, or if the enthusiasm for the service is able to maintain its current record high.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.