Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a new trend in video game Kickstarters really start to take off; the original developers of well-loved series taking to crowdfunding platforms, with high hopes of finding funding for a spiritual sequel.
It’s a strategy that we first saw used in conjunction with a high-profile franchise when Mighty No. 9 was funded back in 2013. That game sought to bring back the classic gameplay of the Mega Man series, whereas now it’s Castlevania and Banjo-Kazooie that are being resurrected.
As of the time of writing, the Symphony of the Night-inspired Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is on the verge of passing $2 million in funding and accomplishing its penultimate stretch goal — and all with nearly a month of its campaign left to run.
Meanwhile, Playtonic’s revival of the 3D platformer genre, Yooka-Laylee, has just passed $2.4 million in funding. A new stretch goal has been announced for the milestone of $3.1 million: free DLC for anyone that backs the game ahead of release.
While crowdfunding is quite rightly put under scrutiny thanks to projects that didn’t deliver on their goals, it’s difficult to find fault with a system that can help games like this become reality. Some developers abuse services like Kickstarter, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
These games simply wouldn’t have been put into production if it weren’t for the crowdfunding model. Fans have been very vocal about their desires for new titles in both series — both the Metroidvania and 3D collect-a-thon genres, even — but the studios that own the original properties haven’t been convinced.
Crowdfunding lets passionate fans put their money where their mouth is. As a result, both Bloodstained and Yooka-Laylee will see a release — the latter breaking records for a video game Kickstarter after it reached its stipulated funding goal in just an hour.
Now the real work begins, as the studios working on these projects have to return to the nitty-gritty of game development, under far more scrutiny than before. It’ll be no easy task to satisfy the reams of fans who have paid for their games up front, but given the talent that’s been assembled for both projects, the teams seem up to the job.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set to launch in early 2017 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Yooka-Laylee is anticipated to launch in late 2016 for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U.