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Double Fine's Kickstarter passes $1M, breaks record


Kickstarter's tweet officially announcing Double Fine's breaking of records.

Double Fine's Kickstarter initiative to fund a point-and-click adventure game is a huge success.

The initial goal of $400,000 was met in just over 8 hours, and when In-Game first reported on this fundraiser yesterday, the $1 million mark was just on the horizon. It's since surpassed that amount, and in doing so, broke records for both the most funds raised in 24 hours and the highest number of backers, Kickstarter reports.

"There are crazy days and then there are days like yesterday" the Kickstarter blog announces, breaking down the past 24 hours of the Double Fine crowdfunding hour by hour. It's a big week for Kickstarter. As well as a shoutout  IFC comedy series "Portlandia," in an episode that airs Friday, the fundraising site hit another record via the Elevation Dock, a high end iPhone 4/4S cradle, which became the very first Kickstarter to break the million dollar mark, a few hours before Double Fine hit that number.

The TikTok+LunaTik Multi-Touch Watch Kit, a wristwatch cradle for the iPod Nano, held the previous record for most money earned for a single fundraising effort, generating $942,578. Check out that project, along with other notable projects that that reached their fundraising goals, at the Kickstarter's Hall of Fame. Since 2009, the online crowdfunding hub has helped finance a large variety of creative endeavors, including tech, journalism, film, music, print, food, even dance.

Now however, it's games maker Tim Schafer and his company Double Fine that everyone is talking about, especially in the world of video games. Many believe that his success is the first crucial step towards a massive shake-up of the traditional business mode that governs video game business. It's a change that quite a few have been begging for, hopeful to see game sequels that have yet to be green lit, despite a strong demand, all because the powers that be are skittish for whatever reason.

An example of this can be found in a post by Destructoid yesterday, in which contributors were asked games that they'd like to see be "Kickstarted" into reality. Most notable is the inclusion of "Mega Man Legends 3," a title that many devotees of the Mega Man series were happy to finally see happen after a decade's worth of waiting, only to be later disappointed when it was cancelled by Capcom, its publisher. The reason cited was lack of potential profitability, which is exactly the attitude that caused Schafer to resort to an alternate means of fundraising to being with.

Not everyone is entirely convinced that rules have changed completely. Kotaku notes that Double Fine's success gives hopes to established game producers to tap into their dedicated fan-base — but for everyone else, including the little guys, the traditional model established by publishers still rules the landscape. Unless you're a beloved creator with cult status or a very small outfit running a barebones operation, publishers are necessary to pitch games to, since it costs so much to create a title these days.

At the very least, industry watchers hope publishers will pay closer attention to what game players want, in addition to game creators, a sentiment that is echoed in another Kotaku editorial, published Thursday. Because, in the end, all the interest and potential revenue that Double Fine's new game has generated thus far is money that is not reaching any of publisher's pockets.

As of this time of this report, the Double Fine Kickstarter is at $1,354,779, with 32 days left to go.

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Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.