There is a moment in every success story that seems to be a real landmark: for Mindclash Games this was the world’s most important board game exhibition in 2014 – here the audience could try the first board game. Although no sales were made at this event, the company received enormous positive feedback from both the visitors and industry professionals. This was a sign, that there was a demand for the product, and it would be worthwhile to start their own business.
Mindclash Games was launched as a board game development workshop in 2012 by Viktor Péter and Richard Ámann, they were later joined by graphic designer Farkas Villő. The three friends initially considered the project to be a hobby, but the ever-growing public interest convinced them to start a business. After many successful self-developed games, they continue to work on new projects.
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/mindclashgame/
Viktor Pèter first turned to alternative financing when the capital needed for the games development could not be raised by themselves. Using the brand awareness and new connections generated through the board game exhibition, they launched their first crowdfunding campaign in early 2015. The popularity of board games in the crowdfunding industry was the primary reason for choosing the platform. In addition, organic access and the possibility of fix payment methods were important to the team. Mindclash also had to prepare for difficulties: Kickstarter’s development shortcomings meant that they needed to find other tools to conduct their campaign (e. g. handle mailing addresses).
According to Viktor Péter, the most important element when starting a campaign is that the capital-seeking project already have an audience, where they can build on expectations. It is also essential to have detailed knowledge about the target group and the methods to reach them: in the case of Mindclash Games, continuous communication occurred through Facebook groups for fans of complex board games and on specific Kickstarter platforms. The company also went to many events, here , they provided trial opportunities for gamers to test out the games. Being present, generating subscriptions and holding active conversations with fans on forums is also very important. The reputation of the game and company can be made even stronger through influencer’s reviews about a prototype. Presence on as many platforms as possible is also a key element, this is because classic journalism does not yet notice the subject (in the Hungarian press there were only a few blog posts about their outstanding success).
Throughout the campaign communication strategies conducted on different social media platforms and attending events proved more important than other types of advertising and marketing methods. Viktor Péter suggests that the product has to be 80–90% completed when the campaign launches.
Throughout the active period of campaigns and after they are closed, it is important to keep in touch with the backers. Whether it is a development suggestion or a non-constructive comment, a quick and considered reply is always necessary. At the beginning of development the founders answered every question and comment received, nowadays they have a dedicated colleague for this task. Due to the games not being complete during the campaign period, they needed to keep backers updated on developments. After closing the campaign they sent out monthly updates to the backers about actualities, the manufacturing of the product and any news.
So far, Mindclash Games has launched five campaigns on Kickstarter, and each of them has been extremely successful. Throughout the course of the five campaigns, nearly 33,000 fans helped fund the new games with more than $ 2,870,000 – their latest and most popular campaign was supported by over 11,000 backers. The team spent. $ 15,000 on each campaign, this included the team’s payment, marketing and graphic design costs, and the cost of producing prototypes.
The success of Mindclash Games through crowdfunding has proven that a well-structured strategy on the right platform can reach many people. It is essential that the company that launches a crowdfunding campaign builds its community and reaches the potential users (buyers). Furthermore, it is vitally important that as many people as possible get to know and approve the prototype prior to the launch of the campaign.
After studying finance, marketing, game design, and gaining valuable work experience in a multinational environment, Viktor Péter started his game development company with his friend. Viktor is one of the Founders and the Lead Game Designer of Mindclash Games.
Image source: http://mindclashgames.com/about
“In many ways crowdfunding challenges a young business, but it can also provide enormous strength for pioneering work through the positive feedback and love of our supporters and fans,” says Viktor Péter.