After Tim Schafer got funded by “the COMMUNITY”, for his upcoming “THE ADVENTURE”, Crowd-funding has become quite famous inside and outside the game development community. There are quite a number of crowd-funding options now available , which is definitely a good news for indie developers. But what works where and for whom is still a critical issue. Most of these crowd funding platforms differ in their funding model and reach. We quickly compiled a list of online portals that can help you cash-in some crowd-funding for your next game
KICK STARTER is the most powerful crowd-funding platform of all. After Double-Fine Studios got their backing from Kick-starter, it became really famous in the indie-gamer’s community too. Kick-starter works on the idea of giving back to community on a pledge-basis; i.e.., the developer/studio which is trying to raise funds have to pledge some things in return, as a token of appreciation for the contribution of backers. The pledge can be of anything ranging from a free copy of your game/project to a dinner date!
Kick-starter basically funds any type of creative project, like documentaries, innovative design projects, games, etc.. In here, a target goal is set – say $ 10,000 and a deadline is chosen, say 2 months- Only if the target goal amount is received by the set deadline, one would get the funds; if not no funds are collected. Hence, you either get all of your funds, or get none. So , be cautious in choosing the right amount and the deadline.
All the projects are to be approved by Kick-starter before it can launch and Kick-starter takes 5% of funds raised for it’s services and Amazon takes up another 5%, as the payments take place through Amazon payments. The sad news is that the developers should have a US bank account; which restricts it to the US developers majority.
IndieGoGo is similar to Kick-starter, as the developer has to place pledges in return for funds. IndieGogo is one of the first internet sites to start crowd-funding. While setting the campaign, the developer would be given two options:
1. Flexible Funding - where one can can keep the funds that are raised, even if the goal is not met. Here, IndiGoGo charges 4% as the platform fee if the campaign meets the goal and 9% if the campaign doesn’t meet the goal.
2. Fixed Funding - where all contributions will be returned back if the goal is not met. Here, it charges 4% as the platform fee.
Apart from the flexible funding options, it is open for International developers to create campaigns. Unlike Kick-starter, one need not only have a bank account in the US.
8bit funding is a new internet portal aimed at helping Indie-game developers specifically. A lot of games have been backed up by this site. This runs on perk-basis, similar to pledges. All the payments are made through PayPal. Hence, the project starters can be from countries other than US.
Financial issues as given on their site:
PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. So, for example, a $20 funding will come out to $19.12.
Our own charge is 5%.
So, after both PayPal’s and our fee on a $20 funding contribution you’ll receive $18.16 of that.
This acts as a common platform for Independent artists and Entrepreneurs. Project Starters can be from anywhere in the world. This system also follows a reward system, similar to pledges.
RocketHub charges 4% of the money you raise, if one reaches the financial goal & 8%, if one doesn’t reach the financial goal.The credit card companies charge anywhere between 3-5% as transaction fee.
RocketHub provides another service which they call as “LaunchPad Opportunity”, where they provide an Opportunity that’s worth taking to the winner. Each LaunchPad Opportunity is like an audition, where nominees are handpicked by RocketHub amongst the projects that received full funding. The winner gets Opportunities like working with renowned artists, developers or opportunities to promote their product, etc.. Check out more about this on their website.
This has a little creative twist. It’s not a crowd-funding portal exactly, but will fetch you some money and some popularity for sure. In here, you’ll have to submit a mind-blowing T-Shirt design which can be related to your product. People will score and comment your design, on the basis of which you’ll be selected as their Threadless product, which will receive a cash prize of $ 2000.
How about Alpha Funding?
Alpha funding is another good option which is open to indie-game developers. Now, what is Alpha funding? The best example for this way of raising funds is ‘Minecraft’. People can play the early build of Minecraft and players can pre-order the game in order to show support. In return, they get the original game and if they donate more than the game’s cost, they get some goodies, etc… Though it’s very similar to crowd-funding, you won’t have any portals doing this for you. Hence, you’ll have to take care of all the tax issues specific to each country/state, etc.Even Zero-point software also followed this approach and they are doing decent.
Video game projects get overshadowed by the more mainstream appeal of film, animation , music, and design projects on most crowd-funding sites, and the low number of video game project successes across all of these crowd-funding services seem to support this. But there’s still hope for some of us if we keep the following in mind.
1. Impressive humorous bad ass campaign video.
2. Appealing project
3. Innovation in what you pledge back to backers/contributors.
4. Show honest development of your project.
5. Be wise in choosing the amount and time.
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