Crowdfunding in 27 Easy Steps
Harebrained Scheme's Jordan Weisman walks through the do's and don'ts of crowdfunding your project through to completion.
All right. Well, let's start off with a lie. There's nothing easy about crowdfunding. I don't care how many steps we claim it to be. So we'll decide to do all the things are hard, because nothing's easy.
As he said, my name is Jordan Weisman. I'm CEO of a studio here in town called Harebrained Schemes. We have done four Kickstarter campaigns over the last roughly 4 and 1/2, 5 years. And so we find that from the kind of trenches, we've now shipped three of the four titles that we did crowdfund.
So a couple things right off the bat that are really important to make sure that you can do this very concisely. You obviously have your own vision. You have to be able to express that vision with an enormous amount of clarity in a very short period of time. And you have to be able to build confidence in the audience that you can actually achieve this vision that you're expressing.
Now, some of us are old, which is not many of us. We've been making games for a long time. We kind of get a buy on that last one, but when you're just starting, you don't. You really have to spend a lot of focus on how you're going to build the confidence in the audience that you can achieve the goal you're stating. And the audience is pretty well informed and very smart.
So the old thing you always heard when you were a kid-- you can shoot for stars, but you couldn't get over the hedge. Kind of reverse that. Don't go saying you're going to get to the stars, because the audience isn't going to believe you.
Be very measured in what you're establishing as your goal, such that your are building credibility just by the statement of what you're going to achieve. Because the easiest way to undermine credibility is to state things which the audience is not going to be able to believe right from the beginning.
The steps that I look at is, you have to be able to first inspire them with that vision. These are people who are taking risks with their money. They're investing mentally, not financially from a sense of investment, but emotionally, and they're putting their money at risk. They're pre-ordering a game before the game exists. So they have to be inspired by that to motivate them to do that. Right?
It isn't going to be the rewards, the tchotchkes or the t-shirts or whatever you're going to send them to inspire them to do that. It has to be a game that they don't think is going to get made any other way, right? That they believe in this and when they see something that's unique in the marketplace, they understand why it's not getting built someplace else.
So that vision is critical, being able to get that vision across quickly is what's important. You have to be able to illustrate that vision through the clarity, that you'd be able to boil that down into something that you can do visually, do in words and in graphics very, very quickly. And, of course, we're talking about the confidence.
To be able to build that confidence, the first thing is really do your homework. You have to know what it's going to take you to build this thing. Have you built them before-- similar games before? What did you learn from that? If you're building something you haven't built before, you really have to do your homework on others who have.
You have to budget this extremely carefully. There isn't a well to go back to. There have been a handful of attempts, and people have gone back to try to raise additional funds to finish something they said they were going to finish on initial funds. This does not usually go very well. The audience is not very forgiving in that sense.
The traditional publisher in EA or at Microsoft and so on, they are much more forgiving and understanding that you were off on your budget than a crowdfunding audience is. So you really have to make sure you know what's it's going to cost to do that-- to get there.
And even though this may be your first time, this will stick with you. If it goes well, if it goes poorly, that reputation you're building is going to be part of your future. So you want to treat that with the an enormous amount of caution as you go forward.
And you want to be careful about the publishing costs as well. Your goal is probably not just to get this game to the people who backed it, but to have the backers help you bring the game to a wider audience.
Well, bringing it to that wider audience has cost associated with it, and you want to think about what is that going to take? What kind of marketing budget do I need or PR budget do I need? What are my distribution channels that I'm going to be selling this to later? And include that in your concepts of what it's going to take you to actually create and publish this game.
There's a whole very different kind of mindset on Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general. It's changed pretty radically over the four years that we've been doing crowdfunding to create a mentality to try to encourage you to have very low targets. We'll talk about that a little bit later, into kind of the [? art. ?]
But when you're setting those goals, you can't only look at what other people have set for goals on their campaigns. While those are interesting data points, that has to be balanced with what it's going to cost you and what your other sources of revenue potentially are, what other sources of funding are for doing the campaign. And you have to make sure that when the two are together, you can actually ship the thing.
People are only going to invest in the vision after they've seen you invest in it. This is another place where people who really hold and ship a lot of titles get a buy that new people don't. And that's just unfair and upside down in the world and it is.
But if you've shipped a whole bunch of titles, you have that credibility where you can go out and say, hey, we're going to doing and, you know what? We can actually invest less on the title up front before we bring it to an audience. Then the new team actually has to invest to be able to illustrate and build that confidence.
So as part of that confidence-building dynamic, how much do you need to be able to illustrate before you go ask for other people's money? And it's going to cost you money to make that initial prototype or the concept or whatever that minimum bar you feel is that builds that credibility on. And you have to figure out where the first funds come from before you even go to the larger audience and ask for more funds.
I'm going to keep moving, because we've got a short period of time, so I'm going to just kind of plow through things, and then hopefully have a couple minutes of your questions at the end.
On campaign planning, you really want to think about this like a military campaign. When we did our first Kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns, like I say, about four-ish years ago, we went into it pretty much with about a week's worth of planning. We said, hey, we'll throw it together and off we go. And it was a bulldozer that hit us right between the eyes.
Now, if you take the last one we did last fall, we had four months, five months, of planning and preparation before we went live with that campaign. Because of the way that this marketplace has developed, you cannot go at it half cocked. You've got to really know exactly what you're going for.
So it means step one is do a lot of research. Look at similar games for similar projects and see what kind of funding ranges have they been successful in. What kind of reward pricings have been working?
And there are sites out there like Kicktraq and so on that you can get an enormous amount of data from. It may take some manually copying of numbers over into a spreadsheet so that you could then analyze them, but all of this data is available to be able to really do work on here.
So for instance, at first we'd be at zero planning. This last campaign, we went through and manually entered all the data from every day of how many backers we got on every day, how much dollars we got every day. And then built a day-by-day revenue model of what we projected our next campaign would do based upon the data of the previous campaign.
And that data that we were getting is not proprietary to us. Even though they were our campaigns we were looking at, you can get that data day by day, backer and dollar for every campaign that's run through the website on Kicktraq.
So what [INAUDIBLE] items and content worked? Different kinds of things worked for different audiences. One of the key things is social missions. This is something relatively new over the last year or so, of trying to take your audience and encourage your audience, reward your audience, for helping you spread the word.
And this is game design. It is creating a game that you're going to be playing with your audience over the course of the campaign. And you're really going to look at what kinds of mechanics have worked, what kinds of things that inspired contributions and got picked up.
The other part of this is to really understand the cost of everything involved. We discussed first, what is it going to cost to make the game you're talking about? What are the campaign and the rewards going to cost? And this is really highly usually not anticipated [? enough ?] [? well. ?]
So, for instance, distribution costs. Even just getting someone a digital copy of your game is not free. There are costs associated with your servers and your bandwidth and if you're going to be using a third party to do that.
If you're doing something on mobile, well, the people-- iOS, Apple-- they didn't give anything away for free, right? They're going to actually charge you. One, you have to get someone's attention there, which is very hard. And then, two, they're going to charge you as if you sold it. So you're going to have a very high cost of fulfillment for an iOS product.
Design and sourcing. So, let's say you're going to give away a t-shirt. Don't give away t-shirts. But let's say you were. Who's going to design the t-shirt? Who's going to take the time to source it? You talk to different manufacturers, get the prices, make sure that the quality is good, be able to figure out how you're going to get them boxed up and shipped out.
All of that takes time away from making your game. And so being able to budget the time it's going to take to do that and incorporate that with your budget and actually your development schedule of actually doing your game is a big thing.
And then, of course, producing anything in low quantities costs-- you have some cost of goods-- is a challenge, whether you're going to make a dozen of a really cool item you came up with and 500 copies of something that typically is produced in the thousands, you want to look at what the ramifications of making small numbers of items are and what that results in their unit price.
Let me call the three horsemen of the crowdfunding apocalypse picking, packing, and shipping. You would be surprised how many fledgling companies, these three things have killed them. They are vastly more expensive than you anticipate, especially if you're shipping overseas.
For instance, on Shadowrun, we had prints like you do for [? art ?] [? block ?] and a t-shirt, and we made all the mistakes you can think of. All these beautiful things that we were giving away as part of the rewards, right? To ship that package to the places where some of our backers were in Europe and Asia was $60, just to send them the thing they backed. So we lost money on every one of those that we provided.
So you really have to do your homework. And this was back before Kickstarter even let you have different shipping costs for international and domestic. But you've really got to do your homework on these items, understand if you're doing physical goods.
Now, if you can avoid physical goods at all, do so. It's an enormous time sink and money sink and opportunity for losing money. So if you can avoid it, do so all together. But if not, you really need to do your homework on it.
A pitch, like [INAUDIBLE] says-- you keep it simple or you're the one that's stupid. This goes back to that clarity. You want to think about the hierarchy of information in a crowdfunding pitch. Number one is the video and, more specifically, the first 30 seconds of the video.
A lot of your audience, even people who will back you, won't make it past the first 30 seconds. If you haven't made your case that quickly, you're going to lose a lot of your audience right there.
And then there's a giant step-down factor from the video to the graphics on the page and then another giant step down to the text on the text on the page. And then anything you put in a FAQ will never be read.
I would say 70% of email questions we get during the campaign or the questions we get on the Kickstarter in the comments sections or on the forums are questions we've already answered in the FAQ, but nobody reads them.
So you've just got to think about this giant step factor down of information and make sure that you're communicating everything in the beginning in the video and then in the graphics.
But the video itself is important. It wants to be professional. That's part about building credibility. But it needs to be enormously personal. This is not a big corporate enterprise. They can get that game from EA or anyplace else.
What this audience wants to do is help you. They want to help you recognize your vision. They believe in it, and they want to back you. So you have to put yourself out there. Videos that have tons of slick graphics, and there's no connection with the person, that's a commercial. That's not a pledge. That's not trying to say connect with me and help me.
People that are putting money into helping you make games, not only do they want to see a game they haven't seen before, they actually want to get behind the scenes a little bit to watch you make it. And that's where that personal connection comes in and also where a lot of the additional workload for you comes in.
So the arc of the campaign, this is a marathon, not a sprint. This is the typical arc of a campaign in all of our experiences. You've got the first 48 hours, which is a giant peak. You've got a doldrum for 26 days, and then you've got another giant peak at the end for the last 48 hours.
These right here are rough percentages of the revenue during those periods. And the middle of that doldrum feels like 26 days of hell. It's actually where it gets half your revenue. So it's important to understand this kind of pacing. And one of the reasons that we did like the study of looking at backers and dollars per day was to understand kind of the arcs and then be able to plan for that.
So in this campaigning, in the first 48 hours, you need to open with a giant bang. And if you take one thing away from this talk it's this point-- the reason it's going to take you months and months to prepare to launch your campaign is that you need to know where your audience lives.
Who are the people most likely to like the thing you're making? Find out where they live digitally and physically and go live there with them. Spend months in those communities. Become an active and valued contributor to those communities. Expose those communities to your ideas and to your vision and build support long before you pull the trigger on the campaign.
Because if those people aren't there to support you in day one, you're dead. And there's no way they're going to find out about you just because you launch under a crowdfunding site. You have to have built that support base before you pull the trigger.
And this even applies-- our last one was for a game called Battle Tech. I designed that game 30-plus years ago, and it's had a very large audience in the past. But we needed to go find all the fan communities where they exist on Facebook and on message boards and everyplace else they exist. And we reached out to them months before that campaign launched. And we started to expose them to some of the ideas.
We gave them assets to share among their members and to promote. And we gave them a countdown clock that lived on all of those sites, all targeting when that campaign launched so that they would all show up on day one, and we would get the kind of notoriety from an energy.
Because one of the things that has shifted a lot in Kickstarter and crowdfunding overall in these years is that it used to be like when we did the first Shadowrun campaign, it was about the end goal, right? And it was about people who would back-- some people would not back a campaign that had already been funded because it had already made its goal, which makes sense, right?
Now it's the reverse from that. A lot of people won't back a campaign that isn't already funded. And I think it's a combination of psychologically wanting to back a winner, getting involved with something where there's a lot of energy as opposed to where there's a struggle.
But it's also a little bit financial because if there are people who are doing a lot backing, when you agree to back something, that's a commitment to pay for it. But you don't actually know if you're going to be paid for it or not.
So if I say I'll put $50 on this game and $50 on this game and $50 on the third, and my budget this month is really only to spend $100, well, I'll make liability for $150 because I've placed kind of three bets out there. And so if I know the thing's already funded, then when I put my money into it, I know I've spent my money. It's a known entity.
But the combination of the two, and those are really supposition on my part as to why this idea shifted so radically, but it is that. It has shifted. And so it is important to come out of the chute in those first 48 hours with as much energy as possible, because it really does have an enormous impact on people, on additional backers as you move forward.
Once you are live, you've had to build that audience, build that awareness, get them on there on day one. And then once you're live, you have to continue to market that. This is where that social missions concept comes in. You don't have a big marketing budget. You're not buying tons of advertising, otherwise you're probably not going to make your game.
So how do you use what little resources you have to motivate your initial audience to help you spread the word? And that's where you want to look at some of the social campaigns that have been done in other campaigns and look for ideas that resonate with your audience and make sense with your title. Then figure out how to spread that word during that period.
During the 26 days of hell, the hard part is keeping the energy up. You want to think about that during this period, you need to be constantly releasing new content, new things about it, you know, things about your game.
Google is very helpful though. So that means you can't go into this kind of like trying to make that up as you go. You have to really work this through like that military campaign and have put onto your hard drive weeks of updates ahead of time.
The way we do it is we put down kind of a whole bunch of [INAUDIBLE], if you will-- interviews with members of the team, discussing some different features, new concept art, that talk about different features. And we put those, and we have as many of those as we can have ready before we launch so that we can go to them and not have to be generating them in a flurry.
And then we leave cycles for us to then do things that are responsive to the audience, because the audience is going to get all the fascinating discussions on things. And they're going either explode positively or potentially spin off in a negative direction. And you want to have cycles available to respond to that but then still also have regular content. So make sure you've got all of that content ready to go [INAUDIBLE].
The other thing I just mentioned is connection to audience is critical. This is about you as people and so you need to be able to be manning every message board that's related, that's whether it's on a platform like the Kickstarter platform, your own website, whether there is a Reddit thread that's developed.
Wherever community has started to post questions and talk about your campaign, you need to be there and be responsive, answer questions promptly. Never underestimate the value of a personal thank you. If someone backs you, write them back and say thanks. And then that will start a dialogue and you continue that dialogue. And that dialogue, wherever that is, be part of it all the way in.
And then creative activities, right? How can you get your audience engaged? This can be part of your social missions or they may be separate, but activities for them to get involved in. If you're making up an idea, you're doing a sci-fi game. Hey, start a thread about what your favorite sci-fi stories? Get them talking about their [INAUDIBLE]. Just more that you share with each other and you build in community, the more likely that you have something that's going to sustain in the funding.
The fourth horseman of the apocalypse that you need to be very aware of during the 28 days of hell is stretch goals. When you did your initial budget, and you did all of your work in planning your campaign, anticipate the need for these, have budgeted them all out ahead of time.
When we did our first campaign, completely caught unaware, not anticipating, you know, and all of a sudden we blew through our funding all in the first 24 hours. We now have 29 days left to entertain the audience. They're pushing for more.
We're reacting in real-time, coming up with more we're going to add to the game in real time. And at one point we said, oh, so we're going to add multi-player to the game. And everyone, yay. And then the next morning, I woke up and I went into the office and talked to them. It's like, there's no way we can hit multiple players. What were we thinking? That's insane.
And we actually went back on the next day and said, hold on. New video. Sorry. We were swept away in the excitement, and there's no way to add multi-play to this game. It's not what we're going to do. And you know what? You can score more points for that.
One of the things we have learned continuously with the audience is don't hide bullshit. Don't say bullshit and don't try to hide with more bullshit if you say something wrong. Be honest, be forthright.
Even during development, like on Shadowrun and other games where we said, hey, this is a feature that we're going to have in the game. And then we get six months into development, and we find that we can't have that feature for whatever technical reason or budget reason, come out and say it. Say it as early as you can.
Provide context. Why can't we do it? Did we try it and it wasn't fun? Which was the case in some features. Well, we built it. It wasn't fun. We built it three different ways, and it still wasn't fun. Here's what we're doing instead.
As long as you are straight with them and provide actual information, they are enormously supportive. What they don't support is when you try to BS them. So don't BS them on the thresholds. Really know what you can do, and when you're done, say you're done.
We were on Shadowrun Hong Kong, which was our third campaign, and we had blown past the goal, blown past all the thresholds that we had planned. And I didn't start asking what's the next one, what's more, what's more, what's more?
And we got together and decided, you know what? We have to do the responsible thing. We have to say there are no more goals. We think adding anything else to the game is irresponsible and puts the game at risk. So any additional money will just be used for more tests and polish. We're not going to add any more features.
And we were pretty sure that the funding would just stop. We said that. We were wrong. They went and did another 20% of funding after that statement, because they interpreted it as realist thinking and responsible thinking. And it gave them more confidence in the game that we were actually going to deliver on a game that they liked because we weren't promising them the moon. So it's OK to say no to the audience as long as you do it with context and with respect.
The last 48 hours, now it's a sprint. You're really going to amp up the energy. Save some really juicy things to reveal in those last 48 hours. Now, Kickstarter has a feature which I love and hate, which is where you can hit a button and rather than backing a project now, it will remind you about the project 48 hours before the close of the Kickstarter.
So a huge number of emails go out at that 48-hour window. So a lot of people who had expressed interest but hadn't backed will come back at that point. Now, a lot of people use that because they want to see everything that got funded in between, right?
They were like, I'm not convinced yet, but let me see all the stretch goals that got unlocked. And we see other things. So you want to make sure that when they come back to that site that you've completely cleaned it up, that you've done your messaging of everything that's been unlocked, everything that's being done, really prominent and easy to see.
You can't replace your video, but you can replace your page graphics and [AUDIO OUT] really see everything that's there. And you've got something really new and juicy to really draw in excitement, whether it's a feature you're holding back or a character appearance, or whatever it might be. Whether it's a new reward tier, which is sometimes also a tactic you can do where you can introduce a new reward tier towards the end. But you want to have something juicy that really gets people excited right there at the end.
All right. There is no such thing as free money in [INAUDIBLE], and that's certainly true in crowdfunding as well. You want to be very careful about that. The platform cost itself is about 10% covering credit cards, and the platforms, and their charge.
When you're looking at the three horsemen and your COGs, that's going to be anywhere from 15% to 20%. That's if you're doing it well. If you've screwed it up, it can chew up a lot more than that. And if you're on a smaller side, you've got to assume that it's going to be closer to the 20% than to the 15%.
Don't underestimate the cost of the community management. You have started a conversation and an engagement with that audience, and that is going to exist from now until you die. No, I mean it. It just goes on. We're still doing community on our first Kickstarter five years later.
The people want access to you. That's part of the value quotient for them. And you have to live up to that. You have to be accessible and responsive. You have to be publishing regular updates on your development with things that are going right, with the things are going wrong.
All of that takes cycles, and all those cycles come out of [? doing ?] your name. So if you're building a community, you're not building your name at the same time. So you have to count on that as part of your budgeting process. So that's why I say it's not free money. You've got to really be aware of that.
You're going to have to pay taxes on the money that you collected. And there is a whole bunch of discussion in the State of Washington, which we've been actively involved in about what is the tax rate and when do you pay it? And so your accountants will give you different information on that, but be ready for it and reserve it. Know that you're going to have to pay taxes.
Also the other thing to remember is that some of your early adopters have already bought your game. So when your game comes out, they're now not an additional revenue source. So you've kind of moved that money to the front end of the process and so you want to make sure that you're not in a situation-- ideally, you want to be aware of that so you're not in a situation where you're really counting on it to monetize them again.
So [INAUDIBLE] good. I don't know if we have time for questions? We have like 10 minutes for questions. But if it's stunned silence, then that's fine. Yeah.
Have you heard of the [INAUDIBLE] before?
Yes, I have.
So I think they're the most successful crowdfund than anything ever, right? So what is it [INAUDIBLE]
So [? Chris ?] is an old friend, so I'll be careful what I say. So I think that's a different animal, right? A, that's kind of in the camp of an guy who's coming back and building a game for people who loved his games and specifically this game a generation ago. So I think the initial-- if you look at the track record of the funding, which is now I think close to $100 million-- what's that?
$114 million. So if you look at Kickstarter, I think he did about 2-something. On his own website initially, in the first period, he did another 2, something like that. And that's when the shift kind of went from crowdfunding to asset sales. So the vast majority of that revenue is selling assets in a game that's not out yet, which is a really fascinating model.
And I think could only be pulled off with somebody with a lot of credibility that they're going to ship a game and people aren't going to care. Because of that, the assets they're selling are not cheap. They range from tens to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
So I wouldn't count on that as a model that's going to work for early games. Chris is also kind of up against some pressure now, because a lot of people are going, well, this game's been in development for a long time, and we're not seeing the releases we anticipated.
And there's been kind of a cycle of anxiety going, and then he releases something, anxiety dips and comes up. So for all of our sakes, I hope he knocks out of the park when that thing ships, because otherwise it's going to leave a pretty big crater.
We've seen some of them, a little bit this week, with [INAUDIBLE] number seven, I think that's the name of [? the term. ?] They raised about $4 million in crowdfunding, and they shipped-- they made a couple of kind of serious mistakes with their audience. They gave the game to others besides their backers first. That's a really big, really big faux pas. Never do that. Your backers paid for the front of the line, and you don't do that.
I guess what I've seen in the press release. I don't know anything personally. They're saying people are unhappy with the game they received. Those don't help our causes in terms of being able to continue to use is as a mechanism to bring things into the world. But it's a creative enterprise.
They shipped, and the fact that they shipped is already better than 50%. You have to recognize one of the reasons there is a fair amount of skepticism-- well-earned skepticism-- is that less than half the titles funded actually ship. And that's even after years of delay. And that percentage seems to be true regardless of whether you're 30-year veteran or a first-time player.
So the audience has a fair amount of skepticism, and that's why establishing that credibility that you actually know how to do this and you ship is so important. Any other questions before I get kicked off? Yeah.
So [INAUDIBLE] crowdfund [INAUDIBLE]
Absolutely. If you have a vision that you can realize with self-funding, do so. OK? Crowdfunding, as much as we love it, and we've done a lot of it, and we love that relationship with the audience, it places some sense of shackles on you in your development process, because we've had to commit to a whole bunch of things prior to building them. And that means that there's a higher cost to changing path.
Now, as I said, we've done that. We have gone to our audience. We have made changes in that. But there's no question that it weighs heavily on you, because you don't want to do that. You don't want to disappoint an audience that backed you. And so it does weigh heavily on you when you're working in design.
And to me, iteration is about what the quality-- finding the fun, and then iterating the hell out of it to make it really high quality. Well, if you've already got kind of some shackles on you by committing to things, you've restricted the amount of iteration and the freedom to explore paths during development as much.
So that's why I say-- and also the cycles-- just the support cycles, which again, we feel we get a huge amount out of that exchange with the audience, but it's expensive to do it. We have to support the team that is doing all of that communication.
So I would say, for all the reasons of building smaller is always better than building bigger, it's just a safer way to go-- to build small titles and incrementally make them bigger rather than trying to jump to a giant title.
It's just, you know-- it's that old shoot for the stars rather than have-- and too, you just have more creative freedom and more focus on the title. So if you really have a vision that you feel is going to blow people away on a smaller scale, fund yourself [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah.
You mean so as an added title so that the community names would continue to grow? Is that the question?
Yeah. So after you've already funded and [INAUDIBLE] because you've earned the credibility [INAUDIBLE]
Oh, no, no. You have to talk. Absolutely. No. We have a very active publication schedule of new updates, new Q&As, videos. It's kind of a tax-- I'm calling it a tax-- but it's a scheduled production line effort that has to take place all the way through development and post ship, like I say, for a long time afterwards.
Just because, again, though you've established credibility earlier, doesn't mean that that's there. Look at Peter Molyneux. No one has more credibility than Peter Molyneux. He's shipped some of the most brilliant games of our age, but he didn't communicate and completely soured his audience on what he was building, not because they didn't believe that he could build the game but because he wasn't talking to them.
He wasn't engaging them in the conversation in terms of exposing them to the process and treating them with what they viewed as the respect they deserved. No one gets a buy on that. You really have to spend the time and energy to be engaged with that audience from then on. Yeah.
I think there are two [? holes ?] that you can [? crawl into ?] to find out where people are talking about you. But it's a brute force thing to be there present. Because even just the kinds of information you release in each medium are actually different from each other-- what you put on a tweet is different than a blog post, which is different than Twitter-- excuse me-- a Reddit discussion. And so you really do need to have people do those. Now, they all don't need to be FTEs. They don't need to be full-time employees inside your company.
Over the years, and as you know, early fans-- like if you've gone and you've lived in those communities, as we were discussing, right before you launch your campaign, some of those people are going to want to sign up and help. And if they're people who really get it, and they're willing to devote some time, well then, those are people that can really help you and help you moderate some of those environments and start to represent you in some of those environments.
You want to give that trust sparingly, but you want to incorporate the community to help with the rest of the community But it is a pretty brute force kind of effort. I think there was somebody with a question there.
Yeah. So the reason I [INAUDIBLE] how much of that [INAUDIBLE] to success with Kickstarter, and should be concerned [INAUDIBLE] title to older titles [INAUDIBLE]
In our case, there's no question that having been making games for a long time and being able to come back to properties which people had an emotional connection to from long ago is an enormous success.
So what's the quick way to be successful in Kickstarter? I say, well, invent a time machine, go back in time. Invent a game people like, come back into the present, reintroduce it. Then you're done. No problem. Or I expanded that to my friend, [? Elan, ?] which is team up with a world-famous comic who has three million monthly users, and then you're set.
So there is no question that having properties that people care about, having track records that people know of or can research and find to build credibility are valuable. Teaming up with people that have audience already like the [INAUDIBLE], enormously valuable. And if you can find that kind of relationship, that makes sense. That certainly helps.
It's not the only way to success. Look at Banner Saga. Those guys, they have been in the industry for five years each. They knew how to make a game. They had never made a game on their own. They had no previous IP experience in terms of being able to say look at this great thing that I invented 25 years ago. But they had a beautiful vision, and they invested in enough of preproduction of that video to really illustrate it to others.
It's certainly not a requirement by any means. Is it helpful? Absolutely. But you have to recognize that when you reach out to somebody and say, hey, I want you to come get involved with us, that they're putting their credibility on the line with yours. And so it's a big ask. And you're going to have to prove your credibility to them even to get them to team up with you. Do we have more time or we don't?
Oh, were there any other questions? No? All right. Well, best of luck.