Thanks to Kickstarter, Kingdom Come: Deliverance will be developed. The game that publishers turned down and gave developers two nervous years.
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For two years Warhorse Studios tried to get a publisher and no one was interested in realistic RPG title. No one but a private investor who wanted to be sure that there is a market for this type of a game. Only few months ago it seemed as there was no hope for Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Back in November 2013 “If you, like our colleagues, were expecting our phones to start ringing off the hook one day after our return, swarming us with promises of millions of dollars, then you were expecting incorrectly. The first call finally came about a week later, and it was from our agents, letting us know who had already passed on our game. Very disheartening.” Developer wrote on their blog. “One of the biggest blows was being turned down by a very promising, international publishing company. Although the U.S.-based wing of the corporation seemed very excited about the project, their European representative let us know that they didn’t think the game would fly with Americans. We’ve faced rejection from other companies, too, of course, but that one was perhaps the most painful.”
The problem was that no one believed a realistic RPG would be a success. A game with no dragons, wizards or magic was thought to be doomed. The storyline would take players into the Middle Ages and all of its brutality, glorious castles, knights and a huge open world. Based on historical events, where civil war is about to start.
Kickstarter was their last hope and it changed all. Late in January Warhorse Studios launched a Kickstarter campaign, seeking £300,000 which was one tenth of the total amount they were looking to get from private investor. It was the only way to show their investor that gamers would want to play a non-fantasy RPG game. You can imagine how nervous developers were when the campaign launched.
“Should our Kickstarter campaign fail, it will mean that we were wrong, that there is no interest to play a game with the atmosphere of Braveheart, and that we will have to start considering working on some mobile MMO, because that's where the money is these days (or so everybody tells us). We are, however, positive that our instincts are right.”
It took 36 hours to reach the campaign’s goal, and by the end Kingdom Come: Deliverance was backed by 35,384 people who pledged more than £1,106,000. A lot has happened in just one month. People became aware of the game and started talking about it. Even Chris Roberts, you know that guy behind Star Citizen, contacted Warhorse Studios and they agreed to share experience and knowledge to make both games even better.
So what does the story of Warhorse Studios tells us? Do publishers even try to research the market, or do they just go with the flow and choose same games time and time again? This isn’t the first time a good game had to seek financial backing through crowdfunding platform and will certainly not be the last one.
When everyone told them no, developers believed in their dream and pursued their vision. Thanks to Kickstarter and backers, we will be able to enjoy a realistic RPG game called Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The campaign has ended, though the pledging continues on game’s official website.
The work isn’t over yet, in fact it only just begun. Developing a full version will require a lot of time and knowledge. Although, Warhorse Studios has no lack of experienced devs. The plan is to expand team to more than 50 people and few senior developers from the recently disbanded 2K Studio will join them next month.
You can follow the development on Kingdom Come: Deliverance blog. The game is expected to be released in Q4 2015. However, some delays are to be expected as this is a huge project. Not that delays are a bad thing, I’d rather have those than a game that has been launched full of bugs.
Thanks to Maxxina for keeping us informed and for translating information when it wasn't available in English.
Dolores is SEO and Digital Marketing consultant who has been completely hog-washed into doing this site by KC.