Last month, Obsidian Entertainment tried their hand at Kickstarter with Project Eternity. It was being billed as a return to old school RPG design philosophies that would hold true to the gameplay style of classics like Baldur's Gate. It was pretty clear that the game would meet its $1.1 million goal; but I don't think many people expected it to break records, let alone become the most funded game on Kickstarter.
The previous big record holder for traditional gaming was the Double Fine Adventure. It also had the distinction of kicking off the mad rush to get games funded via Kickstarter. Since then, countless projects like Wasteland 2 and an adventure based on the Web comic Homestuck have raised millions of dollars thanks to fans.
Obsidian's Project Eternity wrapped up its funding campaign this week and raised a total of $3,986,929. When they factor in the donations from PayPal, the game has raised over $4 million in funds. The only other gaming project on Kickstarter to raise more than that is the Ouya games console. It raised over $8.5 million in its 30 day run.
Like many Kickstarter projects, Obsidian set forth a number of stretch goals for each funding milestone they hit. Since September 14, they have hit five stretch goals via Kickstarter and the fifth was hit thanks to pledges via PayPal. The game will now receive a number of new classes, cities, gameplay elements and enhancements to make the game better than they had ever hoped.
Obsidian is also taking a page out of Double Fine's handbook by allowing people to continue giving money to the project. Latecomers can contribute money via PayPal to get a copy of the game for $25 before the game is released.
KickStarter proudly declared 2012 to be the year of the game on Kickstarter. The amount of multi-million game projects on the site seem to confirm that fact. There are a lot of gamers out there whose needs aren't being met by the current industry. Kickstarter is the developer's way of getting great games into the hands of gamers while being held accountable only to those same gamers.