The Banner Saga Kickstarter was proof that if you have a good team, and a good video game idea, the people will back it. The team at Stoic Studios went to Kickstarter to raise $100,000, and got $720,000 instead. This lead to not only a completed game that was beloved by all, but a sequel in Banner Saga 2.
But, with that success came a desire to do the sequel on their own. Which Stoic founder John Watson noted to Game Industry was primarily due to the fact that they were exhausted after it was done.
“We were quite exhausted at the end of The Banner Saga,” he notes. “Running a Kickstarter campaign is extremely demanding. There’s the setup portion, there’s running it for the month, and then for the rest of the development you’re supporting that community, answering questions, giving updates. It’s a full-time job, and we didn’t have anybody dedicated to being that community manager. It was a scary prospect.”
So, they did the game on their own, but the realization of what was going on quickly hit them:
“About halfway through, when the money starts getting tight, we started thinking, ‘why the hell didn’t we get a Kickstarter?'”
Then, when the game came out, it only sold a third of what it did with the original title:
“I think we dropped the ball there,” Watson admits. “We thought that audience would still just be there. We really neglected our community during the development of Banner Saga 2, because we were focusing on our work. I think that was a mistake. We all agree that was a mistake.”
Despite the down times, the team at Stoic still aim to complete The Banner Saga trilogy, but this time, with the community in mind, and a desire to make fans a part of the project like they were before.