Broken Age was one of the first massive Kickstarter success stories, and the project from Double Fine Games certainly inspired many more developers and companies to follow suit and look to crowd-funding to source their games too. Tim Schafer and his Double Fine team ran into some trouble however when they announced that despite gathering around ten times their original Kickstarter goal, that they had run out of money.
The truth of the matter was that Double Fine had taken the ball and ran with it after its Kickstarter success. They kept making the game bigger and more ambitious, and as such they had to split Broken Age into two acts, with Act Two being partially funded by revenues from the sales of Act One. This caused confusion to those outside the project, whereas Kickstarter backers were less concerned – which Schafer says was down to communication:
“People who hadn’t been following us all along thought we were out of money and going under,” Schafer said. “No, no, no. We were just expanding the game and paying for it ourselves, not asking for more money. Seeing that difference between backers’ and non-backers’ perspective on the whole thing was illuminating… That was really a lesson for us, learning that even though our backers are really well informed, the rest of the world hadn’t really heard of us since the Kickstarter happened.”
In an interview with Games Industry International Schafer explains in more detail why they made the decision to split the games, and what lessons that he and his team have learned through the experience. More encouragingly, he confirms that enough revenue has come in from Act One to allow for Act Two to be fully funded. It will be completed soon and delivered as a free title update to those who already own the first half of the game. At least there isn’t much of a wait left, but if you have yet to try Broken Age, check out our review of Act One here.