Kickstarting from Europe- Quo vadis Presentation


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How Cliffhanger managed to kickstart Shadowrun Online from Europe, what to look after in a kickstarter and some hands on experiences.

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Kickstarting from Europe- Quo vadis Presentation

  1. 1. WWW.CLIFFHANGER-PRODUCTIONS.COMCrowdfunding – Do’s and Don’ts
  3. 3. • Founded as a production company in 2006• Own development since 2010, current team size 33• True cross-platform gaming for mature gamers• Current projects :CLIFFHANGER PRODUCTIONS
  4. 4. • Campaign from mid-July to mid-August 2012• Funding goal: USD 500.000• Reached USD 558.838,-• Backers: 6002• Average pledge level: USD 93,-• Broke many records:– In Top 15 of most funded video games projects– Most funded from continental Europe– Highest average pledge level of all digital gamesKICKSTARTER SHADOWRUN
  5. 5. - One of the global top 5role-playing brands- Sold over 10 million novelsand campaign books- Four video games and atrading card game- First Shadowrun projectreceived over 1.8 mio USDon KickstarterSHADOWRUN
  6. 6. PLATFORMS FOR CREATIVE PROJECTSKickstarter IndiegogoThe crowdfunding brand The indie choiceAmazon Payments (Only Credit cardsoutside US)Credit cards, PaypalMandatory US WorldwideAll-or-nothing model Get funds without reaching fundinggoal5% go to Kickstarter5% go to Amazon Payments4% go to Indiegogo (9% if you don‘tmeet the goal)3%-5% pay out fees from Paypal andCC
  7. 7. • Anyone from any country can create a project on Kickstarter• BUT: for Amazon payments you must fulfill the following requirements:– US bank account, US credit or debit card (we used international credit but USdebit card)– US citizen at least 18 years old WITH Social Security Number)(must be the project owner and account owner, but needs NOT be the holder ofthe credit card or bank account)– US phone number for automated verification (get one from skype)• We created a US company, and found a trustworthy US citizen to provideSSN• Some days for Amazon to approve your project, KS usually very quick• For us this was a 4 months procedure from tax research to launchKICKSTARTER – FORMAL REQUIREMENTS
  9. 9. • Make sure your product fits the audience of theplatform• KS audience is old-school and slightly older than usualgaming audience• Be able to explain your game in one paragraphmaximum - it‘s like a Publisher pitch• The minimum backers should get is the product (nofree-to-play or freemium)YOUR PRODUCT
  10. 10. • Backers need to trust in your skill and passion to make the product!• People will only invest into your project after you‘ve invested in it• How to get this?– Best if you have a history of successful games (e.g. veterandesigner like Tim Schaefer or Jordan Weisman)– Great if your team was part of a successful product or you havea known brand (e.g. Carmageddon or Shadowrun)– Good if you can get endorsements from well-known industryfigures– Minimum: Show game footageGENERAL APPROACH
  11. 11. • The video is most important communication tool.• People don‘t read text and make up their mind reallyquickly.• Only 35% watch the video to the end. Make it shortand get your product in front of them quickly• Keep it personal, but professional• Main audience is US American, so have it presentedby an AmericanTHE VIDEO
  13. 13. • Choose wisely: There is no turning back, and no 2nd try• Incorporate Funding costs:– 5% Kickstarter commisssion fee– 5% Amazon payments fee– 15%-20% swag costs (more units, less $ per unit)– Picking, packing and shipping• Release costs:– Marketing at release– Distribution costs (e.g. 30% at Steam, iTunes, etc.)– Your best customers will produce 0 revenue at releaseTHE FUNDING GOAL
  14. 14. • Simple reward structure (the simpler the better)• Balance digital and physical tiers• Most popular tiers: $25, $50, $100, $250, $500• Have pictures of your swag. Show, don‘t tell• Include $1 tier for people who want to use thecommentsREWARDS
  16. 16. SHOW SWAG
  17. 17. • Build a community BEFORE you go on Kickstarter• Have a Facebook and company/product webpage ready andpolished, a twitter account ready, mention it on your KS pageand in the comments section repeatedly• Find out the most influential blogs and people on twitter foryour project, and get them excited about the projectbeforehand• Prepare a press mailing list before you go on KS• Create a proper press releaseGETTING THE MESSAGE OUT
  19. 19. • Pick the right moment for the launch• The first and last days of the campaign are most important -they define the baseline for the others. EVERY major KScampaign goes down after day 3 the latest.• Baseline matters: OUYA has ten times our average but showsthe same basic patternTHE GAP IN THE MIDDLE
  20. 20. • Press is great initially, but limited during campaign• Have exclusive material for the press (24h lead)• Write something that‘s newsworthy and interesting tothe readers of the magazine / blog. Customize.• Always have new visuals• Performance marketing does very little – the entrybarriers (trust, amount of learning required) are toohigh for the ‘random’ customerPRESS & MARKETING
  21. 21. • Press and blogs brings them in, proper community work makesthem stay and go for higher pledges• Give backers special access to background information andmaterial• Answer messages and comments 24/7. Sleep when thecampaign is over.• Listen to your community for new pledge levels and rewards.• Be thankful and respect your backers. Adapt to their wishes.They are the ones who make it happen.COMMUNITY WORK
  22. 22. • CONSTANT tweeting and FB actions or you getdrowned versus everyone else• Create incentives to bring in friends• Word of mouth trumps anything else – get yourbackers to shout out!• Discovery on Kickstarter is a big part – this getspeople outside your normal reach (Kicktraq!!)• Use offline/local virality (like flyers)VIRALITY
  24. 24. • Prepare, prepare, prepare!• Have a fitting product and use the right channels• Design the rewards with your audience in mind• Get the word out to get people in• Care about your community to make them stay• Expect to do NOTHING else during the campaignSUMMARY
  25. 25. THANK YOU!Questions?
  26. 26. Official address:Seidengasse 32/NB/71070 ViennaAustriaVienna office:Stiftgasse 6/2/61070 ViennaAustriaFrankfurt office:Egenolffstraße 3560316 Frankfurt/MainGermanymailto: