UK creators will be pleased to hear that Kickstarter is launching in the UK. Previously, only US-based project backers could donate via the website. There’s no launch date as yet but we’re waiting to see how this changes the nature of publishing in the UK. Let’s take a look at some of the most successful US-based Kickstarter projects.
Kickstarter allows technology to flourish outside of the usual corporate R’n’d systems. With Printrbot, the makers took it one step further and created something a revolutionary 3D printer kit that was available for $600 to anyone who wanted to buy one. This is one of our favourite Kickstarter projects, without a doubt.
The creators of Double Fine Adventure realised that although publishers weren’t interested in adventure games, a lot of people in the gaming community were actually craving a brand new adventure game. The creators encouraged input from the project funders in the community and gave them oodles of free and fun content. Adventure games are a little more lo fi (and therefore less flashy and marketable, they don’t require a broadband speed test prior to installation!) but their following remains strong.
The Pebble iPhone Watch is a watch that syncs wirelessly with iPhone and Android devices. It raised an astounding $100,000 in an even more astounding two hours in 2011. The Pebble can be used as a bike computer and is even useful for runners and other athletes. On full charge, the device can run for seven days. The designers behind the device provided it in three colour ways and let Kickstarter backers vote on a forth colour. Early backers received discounts on the device’s already very reasonable retail price of $150.
It’s widely agreed that before the Elevation Dock, most iPhone docks on the market were unsatisfactory. The elevation dock works whether the iPhone is in its case or not. It’s made from a single piece of aluminium, reflecting the high design values of the Apple unibody Macbook models.
It’s recently emerged in the last few days that Kickstarter is the fourth largest publisher of graphic novels in America, behind industry giants like Marvel, DC and Image. In profit terms, Kickstarter made $2.2 million, which is substantial compared to market leaders Marvel who made $2.76 million in a three month reporting period from February to April.
Kickstarter has removed the need for artists, engineers and designers to create working relationships with large publishers wherein the balance of power is tipped in favour of the large company. However, some Kickstarter creators have talked about the heavy burden of being directly accountable to their fanbase.