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Descent: Underground is Funded

Posted Apr 11, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Descent: Underground is Funded

I got home from my day-job Friday afternoon to find Descent: Underground was only $15k away from their funding goal on Kickstarter.  I was actually a little surprised to see them finishing so strong having not seen the earlier surge throughout the day.  I was pretty confident they’d be funded, but their pace was actually a lot better than what I’d been expecting.  Then they pushed past the $600k mark, and I got a bit of a shock as I was mid-cheer.

As they pushed a couple grand past their funding mark and started to look towards stretch goals, the pledged ticker took a drop worthy of any day-trader’s notice.  For the next several hours Descent: Underground’s total funding fluctuated between being several thousand above their funding goal and down to a mere $2 over.  It was a bit of a tense, and frankly odd, situation.  Though, I think Eric Peterson and team at Descendent Studios accurately identified what was happening fairly quickly.

Several early backers wanting to ensure the game was made, likely backed more than they were really comfortable with, but began adjusting to more modest packages as the game was safely over the funding threshold.  As the total pledged figure fluctuated up and down like a schizophrenic stock broker, the number of active pledgers continued on a solid upwards trajectory.

Some would probably point to the fluctuating funding and call it a negative, but I think it actually says something really positive about this effort.  It shows that while the target audience isn’t as large as some of the bigger projects, it’s one that wants to see the game made enough to stretch their budgets in an attempt to make it happen.  That’s the sort of core audience and dedicated base of fans that puts a project in solid position to grow.

I definitely expect Descent: Underground to grow beyond what the crowdfunding campaign actually indicates.  When Eric asked what I thought they could get in a Kickstarter campaign for the game, I answered with a modest $500,000.  Not because I didn’t think the idea was worth more, but because I think it’s a really hard idea to crowdfund.  On the other hand, I they have a concept and franchise that lends itself extraordinarily well to a cash shop system as they move forward towards a funding model that I suspect is even more viable.

I speak with Eric and some of the other team members fairly regularly.  While I suspect the initial drop and continued fluctuations in pledges were emotionally painful, maybe even felt a bit like betrayal, the view in retrospect is actually pretty humbling for them.  It’s indicative of a group of backers who really stretched themselves to empower a mutual dream and suggests a strength in the core community that maybe hasn’t been as obvious until now.

Whatever else it might say, it still says the project is funded and moving forward.  With a solid plan and hand-picked team of developers who are all supported by an engaged community, I see really good things on the horizon for Descent: Underground.  I see a project that better than many others that embodies the old maxim, “per aspera ad astra.”

~ Red Thomas

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom