In the beginning of the Kickstarter revolution, every game which made it to the crowdfunding site was news. Now however, just having a Kickstarter isn’t enough to hit the front page, there has to be something news worthy about the pitch otherwise no one will notice it. The community has grown a little wiser it seems in choosing which projects to fund, learning quickly that Kickstarter is not an online store. The novelty of just being able to donate to a game made by a popular or even legendary game developer is waning and potential investors are learning to scrutinize pitches, scrapping weaker ones.
So it is for Peter Molyneux’s Project GODUS which has so far raised only a little over half of its £450,000 Kickstarter goal. Great news if the project had started a few days ago, but it didn’t. It took the vast majority of their time to get here, leaving them only ten measly days to raise the remaining £200,000. Unless there’s some big PR push or some last minute hype, it looks like Project GODUS might not reach its goal. That would be a real bummer for Molyneux who left Microsoft and Lionhead Studios in May to start 22 Cans, Project GODUS’s developer.
Obviously tying Molyneux to the project was intended to create some buzz, and it did for a time. But that initial hype hasn’t transformed into a flood of cash for the fledgling project. The pitch is also kind of bland. It’s entirely conceptual, shows nothing but ideas and concept art, and delves into a genre that doesn’t seem to have much support. Having Molyneux in addition to any project is probably a good thing, but it can’t be the only thing.
So far it seems there are three key features a project can have in order to be successful; a popular developer that has the community’s trust, a truly innovative idea, or a project that is already almost finished. Project GODUS has none of these features. At first it seemed as if Molyneux’s presence alone would allow them to raise the capital they needed, but now that doesn’t seem to be the case. They’re not pitching a completely unique or innovative idea and the project is still only in concept stages. As far as Kickstarter pitches go, Project GODUS doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
There’s still time obviously, they even announced today that they will now also be supporting Mac although it doesn’t seem to have made their numbers jump, yet. Adding Mac support is a great way to broaden a project’s potential donor base so maybe it will be enough to turn the tide, but it also tells everyone that they are aware they need the cash.
Even though this could end-up being a fail of epic proportions, I mean Molyneux did leave Lionhead to start 22 Cans and this is their first project, it also shows that the Kickstarter community is slowly learning to be a bit more frugal in their choices. Earlier this year everyone was throwing their money around, but now unless you’ve got a truly great project or an amazing pitch the Kickstarter community is picking their projects much more carefully. It’s sad that Molyneux’s next great game might not get made, but it also shows that if you want your pitch to be successful it needs more than just name recognition.