Dallas, Tx – Shining Empire, the hybrid RPG city builder/massive combat game (for Mac and PC) is on the brink of cancellation, citing poor results on Kickstarter with less than 2 weeks to go. Arcade County, the Dallas-based developers behind the ambitious 100+ indie RPG title, are surprised at the low turnout, despite a good amount of videos and information on the project.
“It comes down to a couple of things”, says Arcade County head R. Mulvany. “We’re only focusing on computers, so console users aren’t contributing, and it’s a new IP. You see a lot of inexperienced studios rummaging around and finding old IP’s to buy on the cheap and then resurrecting them. Those are almost always successful on Kickstarter. To put it into perspective, I’ve seen new studios acquire an IP and post nothing more than a piece of concept art on Kickstarter and have 1000% more success than we have.”
Mulvany is concerned that Kickstarter (and crowdfunding in general) isn’t really necessary at this point, since Paypal is really all you need.
“If studios can collect donations themselves via Paypal, why even use Kickstarter? Take Double Fine for example. All they really needed was a donations link. They brought that money to Kickstarter then gave them (and Amazon) 10% of the total. The gaming media gave them that publicity. I think they closed at $3,000,000+. That’s $300k they didn’t get due to those fees. And it’s not as if Kickstarter is protecting anyone’s investment. If a company fails to deliver on a product they’re screwed.”
Arcade County’s Kickstarter for Shining Empire would be fortunate to close at 40% funded at this point, but they’ll continue to keep it online regardless of where it ends up. The question then becomes: What next?
“A lot of games continue to be worked on if their Kickstarter fails. This is not one of those games. It would be impossible. Not only impossible from a financial standpoint, but if we’re not getting enough press/interest to reach our goals then the game simply cannot be appealing enough to gamers. It’s not easy to spread the word. If you don’t have one of those IP’s I talked about, or you don’t have some established products out there – you need luck. As it stands right now, we seen to be pretty empty-handed in all those regards.”