Project Eternity closes with over $4.1m

Obsidian Entertainment RPG has become the highest-funded video game on the crowd-funding platform, beating Double Fine's upcoming adventure title. [UPDATE] Obsidian has released a final total of $4,163,208.

Obsidian Entertainment's Kickstarter campaign for isometric, party-based PC role-playing game Project Eternity has finished with a total of $3,986,929 (update: see bottom of story), becoming the highest-funded video game on the crowd-funding platform behind Double Fine's point-and-click PC adventure game Double Fine Adventure, which ended its Kickstarter with a total of $3.3 million.

Project Eternity's final goal will most likely stretch to over $4 million once Kickstarter counts the campaign's PayPal donations.

The first environmental screenshot of Project Eternity.

The Obsidian team live-streamed the final Kickstarter countdown, and celebrated by thanking everyone for their donations and joking that they'd start work on Project Eternity "tomorrow morning".

The project started on September 14 and had exceeded its pledged goal of $1,100,000 within 24 hours. According to Obsidian--the studio behind Fallout: New Vegas and the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth--the extra funding could be used to help the development team to put more resources behind new playable races, factions, crafting systems, and a personal stronghold for players to store gear and weapons in.

"Additional money we raise will go straight into the game to add new levels, companions, NPCs, features, and even entirely new parts of the world which will add hours and hours to the adventure," the developers said.

Obsidian also plans to attempt to enlist the aid of Neverwinter Nights 2's creative lead George Ziets and, since the campaign reached beyond $3.5 million, will add a final goal to the game called "Big Big City", where the game will feature a giant city hub, reminiscent of Athkatla from Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn.

Project Eternity will combine elements of past Infinity Engine role-playing projects like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment. Players will create their own character in Project Eternity, and will gather companions along their journey, which will be replete with "complex, difficult choices," according to Obsidian.

Obsidian turned to Kickstarter for Project Eternity because the company said it was "almost impossible" to secure the necessary funding through traditional publishing means. Additionally, the studio said it is asking for more than most Kickstarter projects because it is "creating a whole new world."

[UPDATE:] Obsidian has now released the final total for the Project Eternity Kickstarter campaign. The project received 77,667 backers with a grand total of $4,163,208.

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Discussion

2 comments
simon1812
simon1812

soooooo...what happened with this?

plincoln21
plincoln21

maybe this will send a message to more major developers that these types of games are still very much desrired by the community

Godlikan
Godlikan

I expect a lot from creators of my all times favorite games like fallout 1 and 2 and best planescape torrment. Thou you disappointed me with New Vegas its not big deal since game franchise like Fallout is perfect for his old engine and not for this 3D FPS one. Games that u make require rich details in all aspects of game. Good Luck there.

rarson
rarson

How can you have an article about a Kickstarter campaign without a link to the Kickstarter page? Come on.

 

Having clicked through to take a look at their Kickstarter page, I see that they were seeking $1,100,000 (the Kickstarter page still says the total is $3,986,929, but whatever). I don't think people realize how big a problem that overfunding these projects can become. The whole point of Kickstarter is for someone with an idea, means, and plan to execute a product to source additional funding for a project that is already underway. The person or company running the Kickstarter campaign should already know how much money they need to get the project running and exactly how they're going to spend it. They also need to know that they can actually provide the rewards that they're offering to their backers (although Kickstarter has changed their policy recently to allow more wiggle room on this, in the event that things don't turn out as planned).

 

With Kickstarter, the more people that pledge, the more goodies that have to be given away. Overfunding a project can skew the funding analysis or cause supply/distribution issues, leading to unhappy backers. The bigger problem, however, is where all that money goes. If the company asks for 1 million and gets 4, what do they do with the extra 3 million? They should have already allocated that 1 million specifically, so they have to figure out what to do with the rest. They may very well find something worthwhile to do with it, or they could easily squander it. Pledging money for a campaign that is already funded 2 times over is not spending your money wisely.

 

There's also the issue of transparency. People want to see where that 3 million is going, so even if it's being spent correctly, the backers might not see it that way if the person/company isn't being transparent enough.

 

For these reasons, I think Kickstarter should limit the amount of funding that a project can receive. Maybe something like 120% of the project goal. That way, Kickstarter campaigns can still benefit from a bit of extra cash, but the backing rewards don't get out of control and the companies aren't left with tons of money to figure out what to do with. Campaign creators could expect a hard limit to what their campaign earns, which should also encourage them to be more specific and better prepared when setting their initial goal.

SolidTy
SolidTy

My comment disappeared...Odd.

 

Why are some comments deleted anyways? I posted months ago to GS ask the mods forum, and no one really knows.

 

Anyways, I'm looking forward to this isometric Obsidian game. I am weary of so many Kickstarters lately though.

atn98
atn98

Failed to kickstart, but I still sent a 65$ for a physical copy of game.

 

The only aspect that bugs me when reading the Obsidian forums for more info on the game is the possibility firearms will be present in some parts of the gameworld.

 

How in the hell will they reconcile that with the fact that they want to continue in the direction of BG, PS:T, NWN, etc. ?

 

Guns, cannons, etc. were not that present in the Dungeons & Dragons setting (where all these games took place).

 

I hope they have the same balance between swords, magic and guns as in these games (i.e. firearms are quasi-non-existant).

 

If you agree with me, why not go vote in the "Project Eternity: General Discussion" part of the Obsidian forums ? There's a poll there (that I did not start) about the topic.

 

Thanks in advance.

richarrj
richarrj

This is going to be one of those games you just buy.

atn98
atn98

They had me at Infinity Engine.

q-bert39
q-bert39

Donated 1,000 and it was so worth it. I get to design my own __high level__ weapon. How about this guys? Quethbert's Rod of Snow Summoning +1. Upon oral stimulation, Quethbert's Rod of Snow Summoning casts Cone of Cold directly in front of the caster, dealing a base 5d6 damage plus an additional 1d6 damage per 3 levels of caster. THAC0 bonus of -2 if player strength exceeds target strength by a ratio of 1.5. If the target is at least two levels below the caster, it will be frozen in ice for 3 turns, after which it will be slowed for 3 more turns, and will have a pentalty to THAC0 and attack speed. There are no saving throws.

PetJel
PetJel

Just backed them on the very last moment with PayPal.

 

PayPal is still up on their site for a very very limited time if you still want to back them.

 

With PayPal included they passed $4 mil btw. ^^

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

I feel that with the stretch goals, they have commited themselves to delivering too much and spreading themselves too thinly.  The second 'Big City' would have been far better off (In my opinion), being part of a future expansion, and the effort put into making the first city & stronghold even...  Stronger.  Still, I am certain that whatever they do deliver, shall be Magnificent!

Lamesy
Lamesy

I'm not sure that anyone has asked this question: what happens if/when Obsidian is approached to make someone else's game before finishing Project Eternity? It would be crazy for the company to pass up another immediately paying job when Eternity has no timetable and no board of investors to enforce deadlines. It's way too easy for a nebulous project like this to be put on the backburner. Fans keep saying "take your time, make it perfect," but will they sing the same song if Obsidian completes a whole second outsourced project before release?

Legolas_Katarn
Legolas_Katarn

"will add a final goal to the game called "Big Big City", where the game will feature a giant city hub, reminiscent of Athkatla from Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn."

 

A SECOND big city

NoviSadDude
NoviSadDude

It fell just short of their final stretch goal, but what an amazing feat nevertheless! It will cost everyone an affordable amount to lower the influence of greedy publishers and their butchering, consolizing, delaying, understaffing, and outright canning games' development in order to maximize profits. Obsidian now has a great chance to show everyone how to deliver an, essentially, gamers' wishlist to the market, and still be financially viable.

lulababy
lulababy

I contributed and I will increase my pledge in few days time.

 

CONGRATS GUYS AND GIRLS !!! you did it !!!

 

So happy !!! If anyone watched the feed last night from Obsidian live feed it was insane !!! lol....I got drunk with my girlfriend and  them ...lol even at 2 am london time....;)

 

Nursing Hangover now....

 

Well done again !!!!

 

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Great news, i'm happy they did so well and look forward to playing what will no doubt be a great RPG =)

Jake518
Jake518

Congrats to Obsidian! Very curious to see updates, pictures, videos, and stuff of the sort of this project.

hemoleech
hemoleech

Soon, having your game bought by a publishing company will be a thing of the past. Indy games are taking over!

Derpalon
Derpalon

Best of luck to Obsidian. If this game turns out well, it will be a healthy step back in the right direction for the game industry.

Diggfinger
Diggfinger

Obsidian: take your time and make a masterpiece! 

AceBalls
AceBalls

Don't you just love a revolution? ;)  This is too awesome.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Take it home, boys! We're counting on you to use those funds on something other than 'the man's' personal snack fund!

pitosga
pitosga

I completely agree with you. While I know that kickstarter projects account for the possibility of pledges beyond the initial goal, in each and every project I've seen, the extra content hasn't overly impressed me. They are all content that a simple DLC could offer, nothing that would fundamentally raise the level of the original idea, only add to it. And this seems true even for Project Eternity's kickstarter, with a total pledge of 4 times the initial goal; although, admittedly, they might just present the best extras I've seen yet. Nearly all good stuff I would see included. And it's good to see the milestones set apart in only small increments of funding, increasingly so up to $3 mill. Of course, the last 2 goals seem the most captivating, but half a million dollars each? For a metropolis or an overall enhancement? Sounds too vague; could be great, could be far from it. Either way, not sure they're worth that much money.

Point being, with four times the initial funding, which is what they required to make a proper old school RPG, you would've thought the project gained more than merely additions to the base plan. Seems to me like they'll do more with the initial $1.1 million alone than with the extra $2.9 million. With the initial goal, they would make a game, a presumably pretty good game. With the rest of the money, they'll add content that, in total, sounds less than a whole game would offer. And that's fundamentally what concerns me, that overfunding might be squandered. Like I said, this is still the best kickstarter I've seen. The other day I saw one for a typical looking indie game and all the extra funding it got seemed to add NOTHING to the game itself. I suppose it's the better example of what you've been meaning to say, rarson. They had the game plan drawn. They had to make shit up to earn the extra money. Except, in my eyes, it's not earned.

Kickstarter and alike seem to be great tools for the gaming industry, but we must keep in mind that money corrupts everything. And the more there is of it, the easier and quicker the corruption takes hold. One's generosity plays to another's greed.

Doomerang
Doomerang

 @rarson You're effectively proposing to punish backers for not investing early on with the investment cap, which is a terrible idea given there are a lot of projects which people find only late into the kickstarter campaign. 

Dat-tsu
Dat-tsu

 @Suikogaiden No one's asking for a revolutionary game, we're asking for a game in the same vein as games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape. It's not too hard or expensive to make. 

 

Did Kickstarter kill your family or something? 

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

 @Suikogaiden "Donating"? They're not "donating".

 

Think of it as an investment.

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

 @Suikogaiden Donate? Or preorder for $20? That's how ~77K people saw it. I don't think anybody cares if their $20 is going to change the industry, you get a new, classic RPG out of it without any publishers telling them what to add or what to cut from it. There is a distinct lack of real RPGs out there if you haven't noticed, and this is the only way to get one made because all that people buy now are AAA bro games.

Miroku_of_Nite1
Miroku_of_Nite1

 @atn98 They explained that guns in PE are kind of crappy. Due to reload times, and accuracy. The main advantage of a gun is getting pass a mage shield. Basically guns in this game occupy the same area as the late middle ages. Easy to use, and effective. But with some major drawbacks.

q-bert39
q-bert39

Hmm, it needs a penalty. How about if the caster orally stimulates the rod too frequently or for two long the rod could backfire and deal maximum damage direct to the caster and any allies behind him with 100% chance to freeze.

PetJel
PetJel

 @Golden_Gonads Agree with all you said, it's going to be a huge project. I have faith though.

NoviSadDude
NoviSadDude

 @Lamesy If they can maintain their financial and creative independence as a studio from publishers, why would you exploit the hand that feeds them?

jhcho2
jhcho2

 @Lamesy 

As with all Kickstarter projects. One of these days, someone will pull off the biggest heist ever. I totally cannot imagine a system based off donation and pure trust, to not be exploited by at least one person.

pug987
pug987

 @NoviSadDude It didn't fall sort. If you add the ammout donated by paypal (kickstarter doesn't accept paypal so obsidian, like most developers on kickstarter, set up a paypal account as well) they got over 4.1 million.

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

 @Miroku_of_Nite1

 I gave a pitiful $35 (I originally signed up on the $20 tier, but upgraded a couple of days back as...  Its Obsidian!)  I would have gone for a physical copy, and dropped too much cash on it, but factoring in international shipping, I got grumpy.

Legolas_Katarn
Legolas_Katarn

 @Miroku_of_Nite1 I gave $270. If I hadn't donated around 2,000 to other projects I probably would have given about $500 to this and Wasteland 2 ($250) .

Shai182
Shai182

congrats i my self only gave 165$ and i believe it worth it

atn98
atn98

 @jorge69696 Track record: something people who have played the games the article refers to understand.

rarson
rarson

 @Doomerang 

 

How are you punishing them? By not letting them "invest?" Kickstarter already does this with the limited rewards for various levels of backing. That's how business goes. If you don't back the right company early enough, somebody else will. When a business is raising start-up capital, they don't keep going to other people asking for money when they've already raised the capital they need.

q-bert39
q-bert39

The rod probably also needs a cooldown of around 20 minutes to 2 hours as well, depending on how frequently it is used.

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

 @jhcho2  @Lamesy The really worrying thing is I'm not sure it would technically be a crime. Funding through Kickstarter is money given to the company. You give up all control of how it used. As for the incentives, they are just that, incentives not purchases so they aren't protected by statutory rights. The terms of Kickstarter give backers means there is probably no penalty for not delivering.

 

Also quite worrying is aside from the possibility of a blatant theft or project failing I don't think there is any way to detect some one skimming the funding.

atn98
atn98

 @jhcho2  @Lamesy Agreed, but I can't see any known business wanting to throw its reputation away by running away with the money.

Miroku_of_Nite1
Miroku_of_Nite1

 @jonwight Yeah, I got the cash to spare (after grown up things like bills, and mortgage).  Would have liked to donate at the $1000 level but that was a bit beyond my range. 2012 has been a pretty meh year for gaming, so basically the money I set aside for gaming each year is going to Kickstarter this year. From Wasteland 2, Shadowrun, and Project Eternity, to small time indie games, and other neat kickstarter projects.

rhymesmatter
rhymesmatter

 @rarson  Do you really believe that Obsidian had a "hard" time finding what to do with the extra cash??First of all their original plan was extended!Those new additions that they made every time a new cap was realized weren't gonna be included in the original 1.1million cap.And i know that they probably had those ideas before the original cap was reached , it is still a fact though that all those ideas wouldn't have been included if they barely made it to 1.1 Million. No there is not going to be a problem with us backers being dissatisfied with our investments because we effectively CHOSE to back this project up and HOW much we were willing to give!Besides we all have a vague idea of what we will get for the money we invested.Now if they manage to deliver or no...That's a completely DIFFERENT story!What stays true is that the game is happening and people believe that it is gonna be a wonderful classic RPG and that my friend is WHY we backed the hell out of this project.Have a little faith bro.It's not like Publishers did any better till this point!