21 July 2013 | 22 Comments
I never quite finished the “After Your Kickstarter Project Ends” section of the Kickstarter Lessons page, so here’s one of those entries.
The last few hours of my Euphoria campaign were a wild ride. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I think we raised something like $20,000 in the last 3 hours.
A lot of those funds were from new backers. But not all of them. Several thousand dollars came from existing backers who kept increasing their pledges for more games, better games, or even nothing at all because they wanted to be a part of something larger than themselves. They wanted to reach the stretch goal very few people thought we could reach, the $300k stretch goal.
People made sacrifices, and in the end, we met that goal, added a ton of value to the game, and finished the funding at $309,495.
Those sacrifices really moved me. People were pledging their hard-earned money even though they didn’t know we were going to reach the $300k stretch goal. It was a gamble on their part.
However, as soon as the project ended–you’ll have this happen if you successfully funded a project–people started contacting me asking if they could still get the Kickstarter version of the game. They pointed out that they were only a day or two late–no big deal, right?
But it is kind of a big deal because of all those other people who made sacrifices to push the project to the limit during the campaign. It’s much easier if you can just step in after everyone else has made the hard choices and get the same thing they got. If everyone did that, Kickstarter would stop working.
So I decided to draw a hard line with Euphoria out of respect for my backers. If you missed the campaign, you missed out on the Kickstarter version of the game. The retail version of Euphoria will still be awesome, so you can always get that. Or you can get the full Kickstarter version from Miniature Market–they were a very generous backer of the campaign (during the campaign, just like any other backer).
The tough part about this is that I know what it’s like to miss out on a campaign. I get it. It sucks. But I try to monitor my own entitlement. Just because something exists doesn’t mean I’m entitled to it.
The other tough part about this is dealing with extra Kickstarter copies after delivery to backers. You’ll order more than you need so you can make up for damaged and lost copies. But what happens when you have extra games sitting around like we did with the Kickstarter-exclusive copies of Viticulture? Here’s what I did, and I feel like this was the right thing to do:
- I told the original Viticulture backers that I had extra games. I asked for their blessing to sell the additional games via charity auctions and through the Euphoria campaign (which, after all, was still a Kickstarter campaign, so the “Kickstarter exclusive” version of Viticulture could technically be sold on that platform). I also gave them the opportunity to buy extra copies of the game before I did anything else with them.
- I put a limited number up for sale on the Euphoria campaign. Although I think this was technically fair for me to do, I didn’t like the way it panned out. The demand was too high, and the supply of available games was too low.
- I still had a few extra copies when all the dust cleared, so I made them available via a charity auction. I felt much better about doing this. I was helping a good cause and giving people the chance to pay what they wanted for the game instead of being the fastest to click on the reward on Kickstarter.
Overall, I feel like the combination of the hard line I drew for Euphoria and the measures I took with the extra copies of Viticulture were the right thing to do. What do you think? Have you ever seen a campaign continue to offer the Kickstarter-exclusive version of the game after the campaign was over? How did that resonate with you?