The OOTS Effect, Part I

I was astounded by how quickly Kickstarter saw three million dollar projects within a month after not having any the first few years of its existence. As a result, Kickstarter has sort of become my latest obsession, as I wanted to see what effect the OOTS (and Double Fine) drives had on the success of future drives on Kickstarter, especially comics (and video game) drives.

I’ve seen some limited effect already:

  • Erfworld, which started out hosted on the same site as OOTS, saw its drive to make a motion comic out of the first book succeed within two days, and is now pushing to remake its entire site, with potentially more big changes coming depending on how successful it turns out to be.
  • R. Stevens’ drive to make an e-book out of his Diesel Sweeties comics has actually been getting more publicity within the webcomics community than the OOTS drive, with Gary “Fleen” Tyrell being the only webcomic news blogger to write about the latter more than once to my knowledge. The Diesel Sweeties drive has made over ten times its goal.
  • However, the first true beneficiary of what, in their case, may be more accurately termed the Double Fine effect may be the Idle Thumbs podcast. They made their $30,000 goal in two hours and shot to over $70,000 seemingly out of nowhere by late Monday night, about a day after launch, now standing at about $87,500 with a month still to go. Becoming the next million-dollar Kickstarter may be out of reach (if only because I have no idea what a podcast could possibly do with that much money), but people probably said that about the OOTS drive; certainly cracking the top ten drives in Kickstarter history is very much within reach. It’s worth noting that like OOTS and Double Fine, Idle Thumbs has a pre-existing audience; I’d say that makes it all the more incredible that the first million-dollar project was able to crack that mark without one.
  • On the other hand, keep an eye on the Ramos alarm clock as well. That drive made its $75,000 goal in about a week (including a steep rise at one point from around $40k to over $60k in less than 48 hours) with five and a half weeks still to go, and now stands at $83,514. I really don’t think a million dollars is likely there, but the top ten overall certainly is, and the rave reviews posted on the project page remind me a lot of what was said about the Elevation Dock.
  • I’m also interested in whether we’ll see new frontiers for individual categories. In the Comics category, for example, OOTS broke the record held by the Womanthology at $109,301, but that was a fairly exceptional project in its own right, with a pretty big gap of its own between that and third place at just over $46,000, less than OOTS’ original goal. (Now you know why Rich was skeptical of the prospects of his drive.) Well, Benign Kingdom is changing that, raising $51,000 entering its last 48 hours and making the $50,000 range seem like more of an attainable goal for a comics project.
  • Meanwhile in Games, Code Hero is making such a late push as its drive comes down to the wire that it has an outside shot at holding the category record for the time before Double Fine finishes, becoming only the fourth Games project over $100,000. Third place among completed drives is held by the Schlock Mercenary Board Game at $82,056, a mark Idle Thumbs has already passed, putting them sixth in the category overall. Third place could be as much as double that depending on how high Code Hero climbs, and that’s before Idle Thumbs moves past that territory. I caution that I have reason to believe that some projects are not being listed with their category and so aren’t showing up on their category’s “Most Funded” list.

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