The recent success of the Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter is a testament to the success that has become crowdfunding. A video game, that may not have seen the light of day without a big studio behind it, has been able to achieve funding by bringing it directly to the consumers. I’m thankful for these sorts of opportunities in the gaming community, as it takes the power from those who seek to predict and shape consumer trends for commercial gain. Because of crowdfunding Yooka-Laylee feels like a collaborative process, as pledge’s become more entwined with the process of creation.
The success of a Kickstarter can be shaped by not just the product, but the packaging and experience of contributing. A successful Kickstarter offers immediate rewards and gratification, Yooka-Laylee for example like many other Kickstarters offers real world gifts and merch accompanied by digital exclusives.
Yooka-Laylee offers a myriad of geekery goodness, with exclusive 64 bit editions and signed posters. Exclusivity in Kickstarters seems to be a major part of the equation, with the more money you donate the more your reward is a special and unachievable event. The most successful Kickstarter I have seen offered unique experiences for a contribution towards the creation of an album, in which you could have music lessons over Skype, phone calls and exclusive hand delivered custom Polaroids with a rare print unheard flexi 7 inch vinyl. It’s this kind of stuff that can make a Kickstarter soar.
Ultimately, I believe it is worth contributing to Kickstarter campaigns. The reward is usually larger than what you will receive after a game like Yooka-Laylee is released, and often times better value. Yooka-Laylee is a very successful example that people can learn a lot from, as it engages with it’s audience in meaningful ways and encourages immediate potential pledge participation.