Despite 2016's downward trend in overall crowdfunding numbers, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has picked up nearly three times its initial funding goal with three days remaining in its crowdfunding campaign.
And while a $3 million campaign is likely the outlier in the crowdfunding world, there's still something developers can learn from one of the few ongoing Fig campaigns.
What’s especially worth paying attention to here is how those funds are broken down within the campaign, especially when recent investments and initiatives hint that Fig could be working to bring more games to its selective platform.
It is worth noting though that Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is far from an indie sleeper hit; the game is being developed by Obsidian, follows the success of the fan-beloved original Pillars of Eternity, and has had a fairly well-publicized crowdfunding campaign.
Fig is a hybrid crowdfunding platform that gives potential backers the option to either contribute money a la Kickstarter-style pledges or to directly invest in the title through Fig Game Shares. In the case of Pillars of Eternity II would-be investors can pick up a single share for $1,000.
As of now, 48 percent, or $1.49 million, of Pillars of Eternity II’s current $3.07 funding, is from Fig Funds, which are derived from Fig Game Shares in an investment process explained in-depth on Fig’s site. The remaining 52 percent, or $1.58 million, comes from more traditional pledge tiers that range from $5 to $5,000 and offer physical or digital goodies for contributions.
Similar near-even splits have been seen for less-funded projects on Fig, though many games in general see higher investments than pledges, as in the case of the multimillion Wasteland 3 and the $35,000 campaign Little Bug, with just a few campaigns receiving significantly more pledges than investments.
And while the $3 million number is a notable milestone of what developers can achieve when all the stars align in their favor, it should be noted that the Pillars of Eternity II is closer to being the exception than the crowdfunding rule. Currently only three campaigns have reached that level of success on Fig, one of which was Psychonauts 2. But the split between investments and pledges is par-the-course for Fig campaigns, and still could be a useful metric for developers interested in funding their own games on the platform.