Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter versus Indiegogo

I inquired with Kickstarter about the likelihood of international projects (currently Kickstarter only allows US citizens to post projects). Here's the answer and the consequences...

The official answer was this:

Ticket #116737: International projects on Kickstarter - when if at all?
Hi there,
Thanks for writing in. We are thankful for international interest! But for the time being we are limited to US-based projects. Here are the details:
US project creation requirements
Kickstarter transactions are processed by Amazon Payments, which currently restricts the ability to start a project to permanent US residents with a Social Security Number (or EIN), US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver's license), and US credit or debit card.
We're working hard to open up to international project creators in the future. If you've been waiting, we really appreciate your patience.
Pledging is international
Note that people can fund projects from anywhere, it's just creation that's limited. So please support projects you like!
Why are some projects on the site international?
Some projects are a collaboration between several people, and in those cases the creator with the US requirements runs the project. In other cases, creators have the US requirements but are living or executing the project abroad, therefore listing their project in a foreign city.
International partners
We are not undertaking partnerships at this time.

As a consequence it seems clear to me that waiting for the possibility of international projects with Kickstarter is a no-go. It probably won't happen soon for whatever reasons.

This is very sad as to me it truly seems that crowd funding with Kickstarter currently draws much higher donation amounts than with other platforms.

Well... it's time to try changing that if Kickstarter doesn't want an ADOM crowd funding initiative. So we'll be preparing the "ADOM Classic New Version Fundraiser" for Indiegogo, even if that platform seems to get about 10% of the exposition of Kickstarter.

So soon we will see what the future for "ADOM Classic" might be. If we raise enough money, we'll see new releases and new versions (not to mention the iPad version and maybe even an Android release). If we fail to raise enough money... well... things look bleak as time is a highly limited resource and we (Jochen and I) need money to buy time. But we'll see - it's too early to judge. We'll keep you updated about the progress with campaign preparations and then it's going to be a very exciting time for us. Afterwards we might consider an ADOM II fundraiser, too, but that depends on how much progress I manage to make without it and if I succeed in getting ADOM II Deluxe out without extensive external help ;-) I'm trying my best...


  1. As a thought, do you know anyone in the US who you'd trust enough to "collaborate" with for the purposes of fundraising? To me it sounded like if you had one person "on the project" with the US requirements it would work.

    There's doubtlessly thousands of ADOM fans who would be more than happy to help in that regard, and most of them are probably trustWORTHY, however you don't strike me as the kind of person who would be comfortable with that, and frankly I don't blame you :)

  2. The thought of asking someone you personally know and trust (not a random ADOM fan off the internet, naturally, because that would be crazy) who happens to be a US resident immediately jumps to mind, so I'll assume you've already ruled that one out.

    The Angry Video Game Nerd movie is the only indiegogo campaign success story I've heard about. I'm fairly certain that the percentage of people who first found out about the Nerd on the indiegogo website, however, is pretty much zero. If all your exposure comes from the platform itself, you're doomed to fail whether you get on kickstarter or not.

    Your exposure needs to come from elsewhere; other websites with larger audiences and word-of-mouth; through twitter and so on. That's what's going to make or break it.

    Fortunately, ADOM has been around for a long time, and has been an awesome game for most of that. There's no telling how many fans are out there. Notch, the creator of Minecraft, has credited ADOM as an inspiration for various aspects of Minecraft. His twitter account also counts 750k followers. A single tweet would be invaluable, and maybe he knows a guy who knows a guy...

  3. There is one thing you absolutely need to bear in mind and make crystal clear when the time comes:

    Unlike Kickstarter, IndieGoGo has a capability where, depending on how it is tinkered with, a project can get funds whether they make the initial finish line goal or not by the end of the deadline chosen. As such, you can have some people thrilled that a project that didn't quite "make it" still got whatever people pledged which can hopefully carry the day....but on the other some enormously pissed off people whom didn't realize such a setting was reckoned and then lost their pledges into a literal black hole from scammers and such.

    So, when all is situated, you need to be totally transparent on that detail as it is a killer that Kickstarter doesn't have to deal with.

  4. Thanks for all the helpful comments.

    @J0eCool: As for "trustworthy" US citizens I know: There are very few people from the US related to ADOM I have known for a prolonged amount of time. None of them I ever have met personally but only through the Internet and while I believe them to be trustworthy (please nobody take this personally) I can't be 100% sure never having met them (and even them). Just imagine the (unlikely - but nonetheless) situation if suddenly a _significant_ amount of money gets raised... would the same level of trust still apply if someone gets the chance to make off with hundreds of thousands of dollars (not that I believe in that - but the number of available ADOM fans willing to invest truly is something I fail to calculate with any precision).

    And imagine the damage to ADOM, myself and everything if suddenly the invested trust doesn't work out and said person disappears with the money.

    The problem here really is that I don't know anyone related to ADOM personally from the US and that makes it very hard for me to judge trustworthiness. And even outside the ADOM world there are probably only one or two people I have met personally... and as those probably don't know much (if anything) about ADOM it somehow doesn't feel right for me to approach them...

    But I'll have to think about it more. It's really a difficult situation... there is one person that keeps popping up at my mind.

    And if someone out there in the ADOM community living in the US feels that I should definitely regard him or her as "trustworthy enough" and has not yet been approached by me... mail me at creator(at) ;-)

    @Silfir: I absolutely agree - exposure must not come from the platform and I have high hopes regarding the ADOM community. I just have the gut feeling that the platform can make up for a nice "extra" once you have sufficient base exposure. But maybe that gut feeling is wrong... as some blog posts on the web seem to indicate.

    @Brian: Thanks for that hint - it's really important and it's easy to take this point not seriously enough.

  5. In Spain, there has recently been a crowdfunding campaign to collectively sue the banker Rodrigo Rato (ex-head of Bankia, the major bank that had a large amount of toxic assets and is going to receive loads of public money). It was in a local website ( that almost no one had heard about before, but they surpassed the goal of $20K in a single night.

    So I guess the platform isn't so important after all! I'd definitely not worry much about being on Kickstarter or not, and worry more about having exposure on blogs, social networks, Reddit, etc.

    It would be nice if, in addition to the individual rewards that you may want to set up, you offered the collective reward releasing the source with a free license if you reach more than $X in total, for some value of X. I'll donate anyway but that'd definitely make me want to give more.

    1. I have thought about that value of X for quite some time and there is some X... but it's ambitious... to put it carefully.

  6. 50% of pledges might be through PayPal but it is almost impossible to tell how many of those you would lose if the PayPal option disappeared. For instance, I use PayPal at Indiegogo, but would use some other payment option if PayPal were not available.
    Cole Cunningham

  7. Nice article. It's really helpful for all crowdfunding guy

    Kickstarter vs Indiegogo