The recently announced Bloodstained, a spiritual sucessor to the Castlevania series (opens in new tab), helmed by original producer Koji Igarashi, is doing very well on Kickstarter (opens in new tab), with currently about $1,248,334 pledged of its $500,000 goal. That's a lot of money people are paying to fund a game they clearly love.
Except they're not.
They're paying to prove an already funded game has a market. Speaking in Gamasutra (opens in new tab) Igarashi explains: "I was able to secure funding for about 90 percent of the game with the condition that I prove the market still wants an Igavania game". Crowdsourcing was that method of proof: "Kickstarter proved to be a great solution, as it would (hopefully) show that people still want an Igavania game while simultaneously providing funds for the core game".
Quite how that funding breaks down isn't clear, there's talk of stretch goals and "new features and modes" but if 90% of the game is funded, what is Kickstarter's 10% really contributing? Obviously, it's not the first time crowdsourcing has been used to 'top up' funding for a project but this is the first time I've seen it so emphatically used more to prove demand than anything else.
Backers will have a say in the project, and there's talk of votes on weapons and feedback on play styles, but Igarashi adds that "the fact I've been able to gather most of the investment myself will put to rest any fears that backers may have about this title not being released".
Who has provided the 90% isn't clear. On the Kickstarter it mentions that the game is in development for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, and that "for the first time on Kickstarter, backers will have the option to receive actual PS4 / XB1 / PC retail discs". That suggests the mystery backer is someone with a capability to produce them. Someone like, oh I don't know, a video game publisher.
I've contacted Koji Igarashi for more details.
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