Finding Success In A Wasteland By Being Open, Human And Awesome
from the kick-it-forward dept
If there is one sure way to succeed in the modern age, it is by being open, human and awesome. This is something that we are learning over and over again in the entertainment world, and it is especially true for those running successful Kickstarter campaigns. What started with the success of Double Fine’s adventure game campaign has lead to the success of a number of other games. One of those games is inXile’s Wasteland 2 project. This project is on track to raise over $1.5 million and as Brian Fargo has learned, this is all because the people behind the project have been open, human and awesome with their fans.
In the opening statement of the latest project update, Brian expresses his gratitude for the outpouring of support the project has received.
I continue to be overwhelmed by the positive feedback and enthusiasm from the support I have gotten from Kickstarter. The groundswell of people cheering us on and the evangelism – people spreading the word – is unlike anything I have experienced. In fact, I would say the last week was the high water mark of my career.
This is one of the best statements of gratitude I have ever read from an artist. Brian recognizes that this success is due completely to those who have shown support by donating and sharing the project with others. Without those two actions, there would be no Wasteland 2. As Brian further notes, all this came from being open and human. He shares the story of two people in particular that show the power of that philosophy.
On the next day I get a short tweet from an individual that confesses he pirated Wasteland as a kid and was donating to help make up for it. I of course forgave not knowing he had donated $10,000 dollars. An incredible gesture… now if we could get every pirate of Wasteland 1 to donate we could really beat the Kickstarter all time record.
This is the true power of openness and humanity. The power to turn a pirate into a paying customer. While not all pirates will turn around and pay $10,000, many will turn around and pay full price for later content made by an artist they love as well.
In the next story, Brian notes just how long lasting this openness and humanity lasts in the hearts and minds of fans.
And just today I got an email along with a donation from a kid who lived down the street from me when he was a teenager. His note was as follows:
“This message is intended for Brian Fargo. Brian, I was your next door neighbor when you used to live in Laguna. I was a pesky 15 or 16 year old kid that would come around and ask you about games. You would sit down and take time to talk to me about games, and the industry, and I just wanted you to know how cool it was that you didn’t blow me off. It meant a lot to me. Recently, I found out about your Kickstarter movement for Wasteland 2, and I contributed to it because I believe in you and your ability to resurrect the glory of the franchise. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, and thank you again for creating some memorable memories for me during my teenage years. Take care!”
It shows that being nice creates goodwill 20 years later.
If that kind of attitude toward his fans created a lasting effect of 20 years, just imagine how much more goodwill he has built up during that time and what he will now build up. This is not some get rich quick scheme but a way to find lasting success. Success that will last 20 years and beyond.
All of this success has led Brian to further express his humanity and gratitude. Rather than hold to this success and keep it all for himself, he has decided to help fund future Kickstarter projects. In a plan he calls “Kick It Forward”, he will donate 5% of the profits made from Wasteland 2 toward other Kickstarter projects and asks that all other successful projects do the same. While the money he pledges won’t come until after the completion of Wasteland 2, there are many other Kickstarter projects already making money that can really get this campaign rolling. What a wonderful way for artists to further express their humanity and awesomeness.