How to Kickstart a Game

Launching a game on Kickstarter isn’t easy but it’s an incredible opportunity for creators. The games category has raised more total dollars than any other category on Kickstarter with $478 million from 8,610 projects. More games have raised over $1 million than any other category; 70 game projects have hit the million-dollar mark, followed by 64 technology projects and 36 design projects.

So, how do you Kickstart a game?

Know What Makes Your Game Stand Out

First of all, with thousands of game products on Kickstarter, you need to know what sets your game apart. Perhaps it’s a new take on a classic favorite, like Secret Hitler, or maybe it’s an extension of a product you already have or a blog you run, like Joking Hazard. Regardless of what exactly it is, you need something to include in your messaging that makes your game different from the others you are competing with on Kickstarter.

Gather Leads and Collect Email Addresses

Once you’ve determined what makes your game different, special or unique, you can begin to determine your messaging. As you’re figuring this out, create a landing page that promotes your project and ask people who are interested to sign up with their email to learn more in exchange for a chance to win a free copy of your game. If your messaging isn’t solidified, consider making two landing pages with two sets of messaging and A/B testing them to see which performs better.

Develop Your Campaign Page and Product Video

While you’re collecting leads on your landing page, begin to plan and shoot your product video and develop the rest of your campaign page.

The first things visitors will see when they visit your Kickstarter page is your campaign video. Generally, this video should include three major components: a description of the game and what makes it different (including basic instructions and shots of people playing the game), the creator’s story of how the game came about and the “ask,” where you ask for people to back the product. Keep this video at about 2-3 minutes to keep the viewer engaged.

Your crowdfunding page needs to include a good mix of images/graphics and copy. We really like the campaign page for Secret Hitler, as well as the Exploding Kittens page, so analyzing that may be a good place to start. Consider including the following:

  • A brief description of the game
  • What makes it different or better than other games
  • The game rules
  • How you created the game
  • Testimonials and quotes
  • A short background on the creator
  • Explanations of perks and rewards – graphics can be helpful here!
  • Images showing the different elements of the game
  • Images of people playing the game

Spread the Word Through Social Media and Public Relations

Both leading up to and after launch, you’ll want to promote the game through public relations and social media.

Press can make or break your campaign. Begin pitching your game to journalists at relevant outlets well in advance. Once your project launches, follow up with these journalists and ask for coverage. You may need to hire a PR team for this, as PR professionals tend to already have established relationships with target journalists.

At the same time, use organic and paid social media to promote the game. Creating Facebook and Twitter pages for your game will help your community grow and give you a place to engage with potential backers, provide campaign updates, and advertise to your target demographic. Make sure that your ads are visually appealing, explain your game and, again, highlight your differentiators.

Ultimately, crowdfunding a game is difficult – but not impossible. Tune into our podcast to learn more about successfully crowdfunding a game, or contact us for more assistance with launching your game on Kickstarter.

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