Home Gaming Why indies fail at Kickstarter but are better than AAA in 2015

Why indies fail at Kickstarter but are better than AAA in 2015

2 min read
41

Helldivers

Indie games are getting a ton of attention these days. Last year, some of the best gaming experiences were indie, and it looks like this year is going to be the same. With international indies surpassing AAA titles, and a surging local market, why can’t we get it right on Kickstarter?

I keep telling you about Cadence. It’s such an incredible game that I will probably never get to play at the rate its Kickstarter is going. Albert & Otto is similarly struggling. They both look fantastic, so why aren’t they getting the monetary loving?

Gavin had a look at how local games do on Kickstarter and in general they mimic global success rates – they aren’t too great. Stasis had excellent success on Kickstarter, though, and part of what made them do so well was the fact that their Alpha/demo was available on the Kickstarter page. We’ve pushed for that from the guys behind these other games, but it’s yet to appear. Unless people get the chance to play even a small piece of the game themselves, they won’t understand why it’s a must have experience.

Another issue is the tiers. Look at the most successful Kickstarter gaming has ever seen – Exploding Kittens. They pushed for sheer number of backers, not worrying about the amounts. Meanwhile, Cadence has already sold out of its lowest tier backing slots and Albert & Otto is approaching that point – why put a limit on those? Why not let tons of people give a small amount for a digital version of the game, instead of pushing for higher tier rewards?

I’m not even going to mention the need to build a loyal following for your games/studio before jumping to Kickstarter. Without the social media influence to get people to see your things, it’s very hard to get the necessary exposure. Add to that the lack of press interaction, and it becomes nearly impossible.

I want local games to succeed. I want to play both of these locally developed titles. Unfortunately, it seems that there is a disconnect between the skills required to make a cool game and the skills required to market said game. This means that they might never get their funding, and I might never get to play Cadence on my iPad in bed. Sad sad days.

Meanwhile, indies around the world are getting some wonderful attention. Cliff Belszinski’s new shooter is looking pretty, and Pillars of Eternity helped save Obsidian. But it’s the reviews of indie titles that make me particularly happy. I gave Helldivers a 9, which is already a fantastic score for the indie that has taken the PS4 by storm. And Ori and the Blind Forest (which technically isn’t totally indie but feels like it is) has also been getting a ton of critical acclaim. Thus far in 2015, the indie titles are outshining what’s coming from AAA.

I hope this teaches studios that it’s worthwhile to invest in smaller titles that have a more innovative vision. Additionally, this sets the bar pretty high for games this year. It will certainly be worth watching if AAA can surpass those expectations.

Last Updated: March 12, 2015

41 Comments

  1. Timmy_1988

    March 12, 2015 at 12:39

    Studios are going to look at anything that makes them the most money, now and into the future. its called Capitalism and it works!

    Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      March 12, 2015 at 12:42

      Yeah.
      Pity there are some people who have incredibly different sense of value to me, which is why DLC, micro-transactions and similiar came into being and seem to be thriving.
      It sucks to be considered part of the unimportant minority when it comes to Capitalism.

      Reply

      • Timmy_1988

        March 12, 2015 at 12:45

        I think what most people dont understand here (LAGZ) is that capitalism is not just a good thing for the greedy developers, but its also GOOD FOR GAMERS. People only pay for what they like.

        Reply

        • Kensei Seraph

          March 12, 2015 at 12:49

          And when 10’000’000 people are willing to put down money for a colour-swap for a character which is already in the game files and 9’000’000 people are not willing then it’s obvious that more and more content will be cut so that it can be resold to gamers.
          Nevermind that less and less people will be interested in getting the colour-swap as time passes.

          Reply

          • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

            March 12, 2015 at 12:51

            Capitalism only works if consumers are educated (not exactly the word i wanted to use). Same reason why twitter is so horrible.

          • Timmy_1988

            March 12, 2015 at 12:53

            agreed. You got be pretty stupid to buy something you dont like though.

          • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

            March 12, 2015 at 12:59

            That is why you should never ever ever pre-order something.

            Yet people still do it.

            …..
            …..
            …..

            Oh crap I still pre-order loads of games!

            ๐Ÿ˜›

          • Timmy_1988

            March 12, 2015 at 13:03

            I dont agree, you can preorder after you have seen some trailers and gameplay demos etc. I saw some trailers for Skyrim and I knew it was going to be amazing and IT WAS. I have never preorderd something that turned out to be shit.

          • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

            March 12, 2015 at 13:09

            Skyrim is the fith game of an already popular series. It is like me pre-ordering Starcraft:Dark of the Void is all but gauranteed to be good. HOWEVER if you look at stuff like Alien:CM (trailers with gameplay was awesome/photoshopped) or even WatchDogs (honestly did look fun based on the 2 min gameplay trailer that hid the games many many many flaws) and many more you can see why I made my point.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            March 12, 2015 at 13:10

            Don’t judge a “book” by its “cover”! ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Timmy_1988

            March 12, 2015 at 13:12

            A book must have a nice cover, else its just a possibly good, or possibly bad, or possible average book, but with still a bad cover for everyone to see. Why cant it have a good cover and be good.

  2. Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

    March 12, 2015 at 12:42

    I don’t care if it is Indie or AAA. What is important to me is how well the game is made.And by that I already foresee CliffyB failing dismally. Nothing wrong but all he has shown us is that his game looks mildly pretty using unreal engine.

    Reply

    • Sageville

      March 12, 2015 at 13:00

      It was a tech demo, I saw no game in that reveal.

      Reply

      • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

        March 12, 2015 at 13:01

        Well people are going on about it as if he just released HL3. Hype train has already left the station yet no one knows what it is about.

        Let the fun begin!

        Reply

        • Sageville

          March 12, 2015 at 13:03

          I found the hype crazy, I failed to see the excitement that our Journos had for what was essentially just a tiny tour through a small 3D environment.

          But put Cliffy B’s name next to said demo and we must get all excited…. erm no.

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            March 12, 2015 at 13:20

            But he single handedly made GoW!!!!11! O_O

          • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

            March 12, 2015 at 13:23

            Yet I still wanna single handedly slap him with my pimp hand. He is second in the queue as first place is still reserved for peter molyneux.

          • Metal Rabbit

            March 12, 2015 at 14:43

            Tried Godus on mobile as, according to him, it was the last ‘legitimate’ defence for his behaviour.

            Terrible game and a complete waste of my time. How this all happened is what I don’t understand. From Black ‘n White to that? What happened?

  3. Kensei Seraph

    March 12, 2015 at 12:43

    I really want Cadence to make it.

    Also I found the link to their demo so I’m going to put it here for those who haven’t already tried it.
    http://www.madewithmonsterlove.com/demo/cadence/

    Reply

  4. Hammersteyn

    March 12, 2015 at 12:45

    Zoe would gave given Helldivers a 6 if it wasn’t for her Tank ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      March 12, 2015 at 12:53

      If I could make her Tank disappear…how many hits would a video of her raaaaage/tears get?

      Reply

      • Sageville

        March 12, 2015 at 13:01

        About half as many as watching @Guild driving around in his APC…..

        Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          March 12, 2015 at 13:02

          “driving around in his APC” until he crashes it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply

          • Sageville

            March 12, 2015 at 13:06

            Possibly, if he ever actually gets one.

            Typical of him to make us run through a ridiculously difficult level just so he can get said APC, then he bails right before the reward…. so typical….

  5. Hammersteyn

    March 12, 2015 at 12:48

    AAA games are getting to big for the industry. Dev costs are off the charts, DLC is rampant and games are released broken or delayed. In any normal business doors would close. But it seems the community is happy shelling out $60 and more for a half-assed job

    Reply

    • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

      March 12, 2015 at 12:49

      To alleviate the problem we need to seriously get rid of “pre-order” culture. That is where the problem stems. Reviews should be in weeks in advance. Then again that will never happen.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 12, 2015 at 14:07

        Interesting

        Reply

      • Metal Rabbit

        March 12, 2015 at 14:30

        Don’t know if that would be possible, the tide is too strong as it were. Some kind of Policy/Agreement – preferably by general consensus – would be great, where developers and producers adhere to quality guarantees, or at the very least a generic warranty of sorts.

        On PC for example, an average (mid-range) build could serve as the standard for testing games’ integrity prior to launch. Every game aiming for release would have to confirm 100% working quality (there could be more than one ‘test build’ agreed to) on this ‘industry standard’.

        TL;DR: Quality > Quantity

        Reply

        • Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

          March 12, 2015 at 14:33

          Soooo … an ISO standard basically. I am on board with that.

          Reply

          • Metal Rabbit

            March 12, 2015 at 14:55

            Had to read up on that standard XD

            The problem there is that it’s all voluntary, involves fees, and besides setting up the various global ‘sub-orgs’; I don’t see organizations like the MSSA being able to cope with anything close to that level of admin.

            Still, that would be a great place to start.

    • Timmy_1988

      March 12, 2015 at 12:50

      But I am also sick of people raving about indie games with half baked graphics that are fun to play and have a good story. I want a game with amazing graphics and an amazing story, then I dont care about a day 1 patch and DLC and DRM etc etc. I jus want a fucking amazing game. i want it all and I want it now (well after I download all the patches I mean)

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 12, 2015 at 14:06

        Well gameplay will always be number one priority. And indie games has delivered in spades.

        Reply

      • Metal Rabbit

        March 12, 2015 at 14:14

        You make yourself in to the ideal cash-cow that way. Consume as quickly as possible in order to move on to the next product, rushing through what could have been worthwhile experiences.

        Disregarding patience or restraint – in favor of instant self-gratification – will only make life harder.

        Reply

    • Sageville

      March 12, 2015 at 13:08

      I’m waiting for the midlane development model, somewhere between Indie and AAA.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        March 12, 2015 at 14:05

        midlane…………………..oh you mean DOTA? ๐Ÿ˜›

        Reply

  6. Blood Emperor Trevor

    March 12, 2015 at 13:00

    You still have to market your game a lot in order to succeed with Kickstarter, especially if you’re not well known. Can’t just put it up & expect people to throw money at you no matter how good it may be.

    Reply

    • Timmy_1988

      March 12, 2015 at 13:08

      I mean if thats not just stating the obvious, what is?

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        March 12, 2015 at 13:11

        Some indie devs need the obvious stated.

        Reply

        • Timmy_1988

          March 12, 2015 at 13:13

          if that true, then thats why they still indie. Honestly too many people get a warm fuzzy feeling from the term indie in the gaming coumminity.

          Reply

  7. Michael

    March 12, 2015 at 13:17

    I wish that I could be the like the cool kids, cause all the cool kid they make indie games, NOT! Where is Spaffy and his moneybabies.

    Reply

  8. Darius

    March 13, 2015 at 08:42

    How good the game is matters to me. If anyone needs help crowdfunding then check us out at KickRank.com. We provide guaranteed backers and resources.

    Reply

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