These two things have basically nothing to do with each other, but they’re both pretty stonking powerful examples of things changing for culture on the web.
First, Kony 2012. Everyone knows by now that the film is an oversimplification and the charity behind it isn’t super efficient. There are problems. But when All Your Base suddenly Belonged To Us, did you think that a 30 minute documentary film about violence and exploitation in Africa would ever be able to spread in exactly that way? For all the thorny issues involved with the film itself, it’s a killer example of long form, serious content going viral. That would have been basically unthinkable a year ago.
Double Fine Adventure
Has crossed $3 million for its Kickstarter campaign, and is continuing to break records. When I help people with their campaigns, which happens a lot, I talk a lot about the power of pre-selling your thing. If you’re pre-selling tickets to a show, and you have a sell out audience before you book the venue, that makes you a lot more attractive to a venue. Pre-sale lowers the risk in making things.
What’s going on right now looks like a great start for Double Fine. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the vast majority of the sales for the game. And that might me a weird thought for the accountants, but it’s a really fascinating change for the internet.
But the sheer outrageous volume of sales the Double Fine has had makes it look less like a pre-sale, and more like their entire market buying through the Kickstarter campaign instead of through normal retail channels. I’d be very, very excited to see how well the normal release of the game sells when it comes around.
Kickstarter isn’t just a fundraising platform to get you going for them, or a place for a few pre-sales to finish off production. Double Fine has basically used it to replace its e-commerce set-up entirely. And the customers get the experience of being part of an exciting, record-breaking campaign right alongside with their actual game. And given the different prices inherent in the reward structure they might actually be paying well over retail for the game.
It’s not just for fundraising anymore. It’s for sales, too.