Kickstarter opens doors to UK developers

Kickstarter opens doors to UK developers
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

October 31st 2012 at 10:23AM

Popular crowdfunding platform now available for UK-based projects

Kickstarter, the most popular vehicle for crowdfunding games development projects, is now available in the UK.

Whereas previously UK-based developers could only pledge, but not create projects, now they can seek funding on the platform. The move has be widely welcomed by UK studios of every size, who have until now had to sit and watch as their US counterparts secure funding from the platform, or navigate complicated loopholes in an attempt to position their projects as US creations.

“Kickstarter coming to the UK presents a great opportunity for developers to generate funds and produce games that are better and more expansive than originally intended,” said Richard Wilson, CEO of trade body Tiga. “We have seen some amazing projects already with Kickstarter and it is now UK developers' turn to realise its benefits.”

A number of UK studios and individuals have already prepared projects for Kickstarter, and at the time of writing, numerous others are considering the crowdfunding vehicle for their games.

“Publisher finance and other sources of development funds are becoming scarce,” stated Simon Prytherch, CEO of Chromativity, which is considering submitting projects to Kickstarter now it welcomes UK studios. “We still have to finance game development in order to bring quality game experiences to the consumer. I think virtually every studio has either a great title in their back catalog, or one or more of their team were the driving forces behind a classic game. I think if you have these elements and you have the right dev team then it is great start for a Kickstarter project.”

Meanwhile longstanding UK developer Rebellion is now  ‘strongly considering’ using the platform, as Jason Kingsley, CEO, co-founder and owner told Develop:

“Up to now if you wanted to put a project onto Kickstarter there were some legal hoops to jump through re having a US entity involved. Now Kickstarter has arranged things so it can be done by a UK-owned entity in a straightforward way,” he said, before explaining his previous concerns. “We were also a bit worried about making ‘taxable supplies’ in the US and therefore falling into the US tax system, at least in a technical sense.”
Kickstarter is, of course, not the only crowdfunding platform, and options already available to UK studios include the popular Indiegogo offering and the game-specific Gambitous alternative. However, Kickstarter’s status with both industry and consumers means it is proving very attractive to UK games makers.

“The main difference to me seems to be in terms of visibility,” said Steve Ince, freelance games writer and designer, on the contrast between Kickstarter and its rivals.“Kickstarter is clearly much more high profile even though, as I understand it, Indiegogo has been around for longer. Indiegogo offers more options on the money raising side but people may have to be cautious about what they go for. Kickstarter is much cleaner and simpler with lots of people already buying into its philosophy.”

Ince is looking to now use Kickstarter to fund his in-development adventure game project Caroline’s Secret. Other UK studios already committed to the UK iteration of the platform include SKN3 and its 2D games development tool Objeccty (creator Jonathan Pittock pictured), Kinaesthetic Games’ Kung Fu Superstar, and Raspberry Pi arcade cabinet kit Picade.

November’s print issue of Develop, coming to you in the next few days, features a detailed look at the launch of Kickstarter UK.

And if you have any questions about the finer details of how Kickstarter UK functions, from currencies issues to fees, check out our Kickstarter UK FAQ.