Sometimes, Kickstarter projects don’t make it.
There’s no one reason why a project fails, but usually it has to do with rewards that are too pricey, a funding goal that’s a bit out of reach, bad timing, or myriad other things in life that can get in the way of success (I had finals! I had a baby! My cat got sick! Portal 2 came out!). That’s just kind of how life is.
Game development can be long, hard road, and finding people who share your vision and believe in the final product before it’s fully finished can be a tough sell. It’s why I always tell game developers to wait until they’ve got a game trailer before trying to launch a Kickstarter project. It doesn’t matter how groundbreaking your concept is or how many amazing people are working on your team. If you can’t help your audience visualize your game — and I mean really get a feel for what that gameplay is going to be like — then you’re not ready to launch it into the world.
Sure, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you’re an established game developer who’s spent the better part of 15 years building an audience and releasing great games into the world, then you could probably get away with not having a game trailer. Probably.
If I had it my way, graFighters would have raised the $20,000 they were looking for on Kickstarter and then some. But they didn’t, and that’s ok. They came away with a better sense of what exactly they were building, and how they should talk to people about it. And because of that, they were able to secure $200,000 in private funding from an investment firm that found them on Kickstarter (of all places!). It’s definitely a completely different experience to raise funds from your community vs. a private investment company, but no matter what path you take, it’s about having a product you can deliver on and that you believe in. Why build a game otherwise?
Excited for the graFighters team and looking forward to seeing where their game will take them next.