Thursday, 22 September 2016

Publishing Advice #12: Deceptive Funding Goal Levels in Kickstarter Campaigns

When you are deciding to kickstart your game faster or later, you will have to make a decision about the level of your funding goal. Everyone know that the right funding goal level will attract backers while a wrong one will push them off. Too high funding goal will make people scared that the campaign won't reach that level while too low one will look like the creator won't be able to deliver rewards to backers (risk of fraud). Setting the funding goal should be honest, moral, based on your strategy and personal circumstances.

Kickstarter is very clear about what they understand by funding goal: “Your funding goal should be the minimum amount you need to make what you promised and fulfill all rewards.

You can read an excellent article The Funding Goal from Jamey Stegmaier

Why did I decide to write this entry then?

Recently I heard a very weird suggestion to set up a funding goal way below needed money to bring a project to life without a financial backup. The strategy was to cancel the campaign if the project was funded but not enough funded. Of course, if creator can't deliver rewards it is much better for him to cancel campaign before it ends than to continue, but at the first place, he shouldn't even plan this kind of scenario and shouldn't set up the funding goal so low. Planning ahead to screw people up in case something goes wrong is not the way to go! It shows no respect to backers and their time.

This kind of strategy is harmful to a creator, backers and crowdfunding platforms:

- Creator loses his credibility

- Creator gains bad reputation which will affect his future campaigns

- Backers lose their trust to crowdfunding platforms

Usually, lower funding goal attracts more backers. Setting up the funding goal at a lower level might be very helpful! But behind the lower funding goal have to be the right strategy. For example, you can get the artwork and miniatures done before the campaign; you can gain extra funds for artwork like John Wrot! did in a separate campaign (he used IndieGoGo) or save some money for that purpose and be ready to lose it. Always be prepared for the worst!

Did you ever have had a bad experience with creators setting up too low funding goal level without proper preparation? Please, comment below!