Prison Architect by Introversion Software (best known for Uplink, Defcon, and Darwinia) have gone against the grain of the current crowdfunding trend: Instead of using Kickstarter they decided to do it on their own website.
“Kickstarter is for getting projects off the ground, and we were already two years into Prison Architect’s development so it just didn’t sit well for us,” explains Introversion co-founder Mark Morris.
“By doing it ourselves, we don’t have to time limit the alpha, and we hope that we’ll get more and more gamers interested as we progress and start releasing the updates.”
One of the other notable benefits to doing it themselves is avoiding Kickstarter’s fees.
“We don’t have to pay the Kickstarter fees which is nice, but I guess Kickstarter may have added value if they had listed us as a featured project,” he adds. “We also had to take the time to set up our own technology to implement the tiering. We used a service called Digital Delivery App, which I can really recommend, but it did take effort on our part.”
The game rated in the top 10 most sold games on Steam in both August and September, despite being an Early Access game. Its successful launch on Steam has undoubtedly helped the indie title (still in alpha) reach nearly $8 million in sales — and it looks sure to surpass that milestone soon.
The UK based team of seven are “astonished at how well crowd-funding has worked for us,” and said the profits have reached “a figure we would never have dreamed of achieving.”
“This investment by our alpha customers is enabling us to turn Prison Architect into the game we envisioned without having to make any creative sacrifices or cut any corners – this is the very reason we’re proud to be independent.”