Who knew that the most funded Kickstarter campaign in history would be for a deck of cards?
The game, called Exploding Kittens, ended its funding period on Feb. 20, raising over a whopping $8.7 million, and surpassing its $20,000 funding goal in only 20 minutes. It also holds the record of the most backers for a project, with 219,382 offering their support.
"We've never seen anything like you guys, and neither has the planet," said the creators of the game. "You have proven beyond any doubt that you are unstoppable. There's nothing we can put in front of you that you can't do. There is nothing too great, nothing too hard, nothing too outrageous that you incredible group of incredible people can't accomplish as a community."
Just how did this card game get so popular so quickly?
For one, the creator of the game, Elan Lee, is a game veteran. We're not talking about just card games here either. Lee became the lead designer of games at Microsoft Game Studios, designing and being behind games for both the PC and the Xbox. In fact, he returned to Microsoft in 2013 to become Chief Design Officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios. He also co-founded 42 Entertainment, which is aimed at creating alternate reality games. Safe to say, he's had plenty of experience in the area of games.
There's a lot to say about the Kickstarter campaign itself, however. The campaign employed a number of unique ways to earn rewards, including one that asked backers to take pictures of people wearing cat ears. Audience engagement was a key part of the campaign's success.
The name is an important part of the game's success too. Originally it was to be called Bomb Squad, but the name was eventually changed to Exploding Kittens largely because of the Internet's overall obsession with anything cat-related.
It would be legitimate to simply say that the creators of the game got lucky with its support. No one could have guessed that it would be as successful as it is.
The path forward will be an interesting one for the creators of the game. It's important to note that raising over $8.7 million doesn't automatically make the creators millionaires -- it just means that they sold a lot of games.
Now, the creators have to think about manufacturing that game and sending it out to over 200,000 people, which certainly isn't a small thing to ask, especially for a company that has existed a little over a month.
"We don't have a retail plan yet. We made a promise to more than 200,000 people to ship them this game. That's our highest priority right now," said Lee.