Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Eric Blattberg, Editorial Coordinator of Crowdsourcing.org. It is reprinted here with permission.
Double Fine Productions, the San Francisco-based video game developer behind Psychonauts and Brütal Legend, today broke a number of crowdfunding records in its wildly successful effort to fund a new point-and-click adventure game.
Using Kickstarter, the game development studio raised $950,000 USD in the 24-hour window following the project posting — well over its initial goal of $400,000. At the outset, Double Fine allotted one month of time to reach that funding goal. At the time of writing, the total amount raised stands at $1,001,988 from 26,000 backers.
“Kickstarter records so far: Most funds raised in the first 24 hours. Highest number of backers of all time, and growing!” tweeted Tim Schafer, founder of Double Fine. “Good morning! ”
In the project pitch video, Schafer explained that $100,000 of the requested $400,000 would go towards hiring 2 Player Productions to create a documentary series about the development process. The studio will use the extra cash to develop the game for additional platforms, translate it into more languages, add more original music and voice acting, and create an original soundtrack for the documentary.
Backers who pledge $15 or more will receive the finished game through the Steam platform, exclusive access to the beta on Steam, access to the documentary series, and access to the private discussion community for project funders. Double Fine expects to deliver all these goodies sometime in October 2012. There are a number of additional prizes for those who pledge between $30 and $150,000, which you can find on the project’s Kickstarter page.
On the same page, Double Fine explained why it opted to crowdfund the project rather than turn to a traditional game publisher for financial backing.
"To finance the production, promotion, and distribution of these massive undertakings, companies like Double Fine have to rely on external sources like publishers, investment firms, or loans," the company wrote on Kickstarter. "And while they fulfill an important role in the process, their involvement also comes with significant strings attached that can pull the game in the wrong directions or even cancel its production altogether. Thankfully, viable alternatives have emerged and gained momentum in recent years."
The astonishing success of Double Fine’s Kickstarter campaign will likely convince more game developers to bypass traditional publishers and develop games funded by the fans, for the fans. Tim Schafer and I wish them the best of luck.