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Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Funded

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Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Funded

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 11 July 2015, 11:19:45

Tags: Brian Fargo; Chris Keenan; Eric Schwarz; George Ziets; inXile Entertainment; Jeremy Kopman; Josh Jertberg; Michael Cranford; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep; Thomas Beekers; Torment: Tides of Numenera; Wasteland 2

The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign concluded last night. No further stretch goals were achieved, but there were enough social achievements on the last day to unlock the Brian Fargo Bard Skin, as detailed in the penultimate Kickstarter update. I was too busy sleeping to watch the livestream of the wrap party, but I'm told that it featured about 11 minutes of Wasteland 2 Director's Cut gameplay footage, as well as some Torment: Tides of Numenera discussion (as announced in yesterday's Torment update). Here's the archived version of the stream:

5:00-21:00 - Brian Fargo on Bard's Tale IV
23:00-45:00 - Chris Keenan on Wasteland 2 Director's Cut (includes gameplay footage)
54:00-1:43:00 - George Ziets, Josh Jertberg, and Jeremy Kopman on Torment: Tides of Numenera (includes new concept art and details on Sagus Cliffs)
1:48:00-2:39:00 - Bard's Tale IV Q&A with Brian Fargo and Michael Cranford

With $1,519,495 of funding and 33,738 backers, Bard's Tale IV is the most successful oldschool RPG Kickstarter campaign since Torment. It's also far less successful than anybody would have expected after its very strong opening. It's a campaign that went from taking in over a million dollars within days to struggling to reach $5,000 per day. A campaign that went from an explosive launch featuring some of the fanciest in-engine footage ever seen in a Kickstarter campaign to a month of Shadowrun: Hong Kong-style "it's a marathon, not a sprint" nonchalance.

What to make of this? In my opinion, it's not so much that the campaign was missing some vital element, but more that it just didn't have enough of all those elements that it did have. One gets the impression that unlike inXile's previous two Kickstarters, the Bard's Tale IV campaign was run by people whose time and minds were occupied by other things. How much better could it have done? It's hard to say. Some might argue that a self-described dungeon crawler Kickstarter could never have reached much more than this. Perhaps gaining more than a million and a half dollars would have even required that Bard's Tale IV pretend to be something it isn't. And in that case, perhaps there's something just about this result.

It'll be interesting to see how inXile deal with having a much lower budget than they've gotten used to. Time will tell whether this tighter budget leads to tighter focus, especially given their promise to release a game that impresses visually. Then again, by the time Bard's Tale IV actually goes into full production, who knows how much extra money they might have to put into it. It's mostly a question of how much they're willing to risk on a genre that has now, alas, conclusively proven itself to be less popular.

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