Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro announced his new project, The Good Life, in August, and took it to Fig in early September in a quest for $1.5 million in funding. That campaign ends today and despite his stature as a game maker, it's going to fall far short of its goal. It ain't over 'til it's over, as the man said, but the campaign is currently sitting at $557,000, barely a third of its goal, with just a few hours left on the clock.
Swery himself acknowledged the looming loss in a message posted on Twitter earlier today, in which he said, ever-so-slightly (but not really) prematurely, that "our 40-day battle ended in failure." He also shared some thoughts on where things went wrong, including a leak of the title and concept art before the campaign began, and a concept trailer "that only made everyone even more confused."
The campaign itself was also confused (and confusing), he said, because of all the bundles and extras that people had to sift thorugh. "I think all my supporters must have needed a lot of courage to choose the 'Purchase an extra sheep' option, without fully understanding how the game worked," he wrote.
Despite the stumble (which, let's be honest, is really more of a faceplant) Swery said he's not giving up on the game, or on crowdfunding it. "What we plan to do, is to relaunch the campaign as a Kickstarter, and launch before the end of the year. We will use all of the information that we learned for this campaign, and make the Kickstarter one that we believe can succeed," he continued.
"This will include a more clear trailer and information on both versions [Cat and Dog] from the start, a lower goal (due to some great partners that will be joining production, that we're excited to announce), physical editions of the game with our pals at Limited Run, and a big, proper PR push at launch."
I appreciate his enthusiasm, but I have to wonder what the move to Kickstarter will really accomplish. It's a better-known crowdfunding platform than Fig, but it's also vastly more crowded. And while a lower goal will obviously be easier to achieve, bear in mind that half of the money The Good Life campaign has pulled in on Fig has come from investors, not backers—funding that won't be available on Kickstarter.
And since we're on the topic, the overall level of interest in Swery's game doesn't seem all that high either: His campaign has attracted a little under 3300 backers so far, compared to, for instance, more than 18,000 backers for the recently successful Pathfinder: Kingmaker Kickstarter.
Despite Swery's move to Kickstarter, there are apparently no hard feelings. "Fig is a community publisher. We work with amazing developers on unique projects. We give them the platform, support, and tools to reach a game's potential community so it can be as successful as possible. Several developers and their games have achieved amazing results," Fig CEO Justin Bailey said.
"But in the end, the community decides which projects will succeed and which ones will not. The Good Life didn’t resonate with the community enough to support the $1.5M campaign goal. It is our hope that Swery is successful in all his future endeavors. We wish him success."
Swery's full message to his backers is below.
This is my final message of the FIG campaign of The Good Life.Little bit ling, so I attuched pic.@yukiof @ryanpayton #Thegoodlife #supportswery #supportcreativedevs pic.twitter.com/VPAS2M48tIOctober 12, 2017