Apocalypse Now developer moves to in-house crowdfunding after Kickstarter struggles

It's been evident for a while now that the Kickstarter for the Apocalypse Now game that began last month is not going to be successful. Its goal is $900,000, but with nine days remaining, it's currently sitting a little under $175,000. But the team isn't giving up. Instead, they've launched their own internal crowdfunding program at apocalypsenow.com, set to run for 459 days, with an even more ambitious goal of $5.9 million. 

"Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope and the team of game industry veterans developing the Apocalypse Now videogame adaptation have moved the project from Kickstarter to a dedicated platform at ApocalypseNow.com. The new platform will serve as a rallying point for the community and represents the team’s long-term commitment to both funding the project and sharing details of the development process," game director Montgomery Markland explained in a Kickstarter update

"ApocalypseNow.com will be an engaging space where fans and backers can get the latest updates, communicate with the team making the game and continue to support the project through the entirety of the game’s development cycle. The team will rely on this dialogue with the community to help them to create an Apocalypse Now game worthy of the motion picture in every way." 

"We are making a unique interactive experience with the Apocalypse Now videogame—it’s like Fallout: New Vegas on acid in Vietnam,” Markland added. "The Apocalypse Now team plans to raise $5 million to produce an authentic game that the people want to play."   

Pledge tiers begin at $25 and run all the way to $1 million, which includes a ten-day "Family Coppola Hideaway Adventure Package" in Central America. People who have already backed the Kickstarter are eligible for a "free tier upgrade" under the new program. The fate of the Kickstarter itself is unclear: Some sites are reporting that it's been (or will be) canceled, but for now it remains active, and Markland said in a comment that its internal program "is complimentary to Kickstarter." He also claimed that this was actually the plan all along. 

"Launching our site has been the plan for two years. So this isn't a change. And we appreciate all of Kickstarter's support and help," he said. "But we never intended to our expected to be able to fund this game with only a Kickstarter. It requires the community site." 

Internal crowdfunding campaigns can work—Star Citizen is the most high profile proof of that—and five million bucks isn't an unattainable goal (again, note Star Citizen). But the Apocalypse Now Kickstarter isn't even close to a near miss; nine days remain, yes, but it's not even a quarter of the way to the finish line at this point. Raising more than five times that goal on a standalone platform, even with an effectively open-ended timeline, seems awfully optimistic. 

Assuming all does go according to plan, the estimated delivery goal of the Apocalyse Now game is the second half of 2020.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.