Roth Rejoices: Maia Makes Mega-Money

Celebrate dead pigs c'mon

Three cheers for the small god. A couple of days ago things looked a wee bit shaky for Simon Roth’s Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress-inspired god game Maia, but a flurry of Kickstarting over the weekend has seen it beat its once faintly ridiculous-seeming £100,000 target and reach the esteemed status of A Thing That Is Happening.

What caused the game to bring in some £60,000 in its last few days? Well, perhaps it was assorted new coverage across the web, from both the old fogies of written words and the young people of YouTube. Perhaps it was a bunch of other indies heroically donating copies of games, including Project Zomboid, Death Ray Manta, VVVVVV and Revenge of the Titans, to a bundle available to those who pledged £56. Perhaps a sinister man in a sharp suit with a vague smell of sulphur told developer Simon Roth he could have the money in exchange for his immortal soul.

But it’s almost certainly because my cat was watching me while I put our interview with Roth and the CMS, and then went and told all her kitty friends. Cats have enormous god complexes, after all. (Speaking of which, anyone who opts for the new £303 funding tier can have their cat or – hiss-spit- dog digitised and added to the game).

So, glad tidings I think. Congratulations, Mr Roth. I’m personally very taken with the project and was disappointed when it looked like it wouldn’t meet its target just a few days ago. It’s now at some £115k, with about 50 hours left on the clock if you want to get in on the pre-funding/glorified pre-ordering action.


  1. Gnoupi says:

    Might just be a coincidence, but the gap to the goal got crossed in a few hours after this was posted: link to

    • James G says:

      Perhaps TB smells of sulphur?

    • Belsameth says:

      The moment that TB video hit was just glorious!

    • caddyB says:

      This is why I like TB. He isn’t always right, but he gives the impression of a guy who is trying to make things better, which deserves respect.

      • Cooper says:

        TB gets a bit too much flak from the “better than thou” indie / pseud crowd.

        At the end of the day, no matter how often he spouts the odd bit of nonsense or simply misses the point with some games, he’s definitely one of the good guys.

    • AngoraFish says:

      The game jumped 15K within six hours of being mentioned by TB. I can’t see how any other possible explanation might explain the late surge, and the failure of RPS to even mention TB’s contribution is serious disservice. One only has to read the flood of comments on the KS website in the hours afterwards to confirm.

      • Grey Ganado says:

        Let’s just count him as one of the young people of Youtube.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        You could argue that mentioning him (outside of other youtubers, etc) specifically does an equal disservice to everyone else who promoted the game enough to “bring in” the rest of the money.

        • AngoraFish says:

          No, you can’t. Or at least, you certainly haven’t done so in the above post. The overwhelming weight of evidence clearly leads to the conclusion that one youtuber was responsible for the vast bulk of the late surge, and this is more than worthy of note in a news article. This doesn’t discount the contribution of others, however the article is about the late and unexpected surge.

          It’s not unreasonable for a newspaper or blog to mention Bill Gates donating hundreds of millions to combat AIDS in Africa, even if me and a couple of hundred thousand others also tipped in a few quid to that cause ourselves.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            If it was an article about Bill Gates doing so, sure… if it was an article about AIDS being cured, I’m not sure it would matter where the money came from.

          • Duffin says:

            “the failure of RPS to even mention TB’s contribution is serious disservice”

            Charity, and I use the term loosely, should be done with no expectation of any reward or public acknowledgement. That the game was funded is all the reward that is needed. I’m sure the devs know who to buy a pint when they get the chance.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”Charity, and I use the term loosely, should be done with no expectation of any reward or public acknowledgement.”

            This does not mean that charitable acts should not be acknowledged or rewarded. That’s just plain rude.

          • RaveTurned says:

            There have been a whole bunch of factors contributing to the increase of general visibility of Maia – including the addition of new tiers, the support from other devs in the form of the Indie Hug Bundle, coverage here on RPS, stuff on reddit and forums all over, as well as existing backers uping their own pledges (for instance, I more than doubled my own pledge). While it does look like TB’s video has has a noticeable impact, I think it would be a mistake to assert that his coverage has saved the project single handedly. I also was unaware of it until this morning.

            All that besides, the news for gaming is: Maia is funded, hurrah! If anyone should be thanking specific people for their efforts in getting the game noticed by a wider audience it’s Simon himself, not gaming news sites and certainly not RPS. After all, they’re only a glorified blog. ;)

            Update: Oh look, he just did.

      • Zeewolf says:

        I agree, it seems strange, especially since Alec “speculates” about the cause of the surge in the article, when it’s pretty clear what that cause was. Took me three minutes to go from “wtf?!” to “aha!” when I got the “BOOM!”-update this weekend, and I assume Alec took the time to find the cause too.

      • Alec Meer says:

        You are all taking this and my playfulness about the cause exactly one thousand times too seriously.

      • El_Emmental says:

        Cloudy-grey-nothing day, isn’t it ? November is always a terrible month…

        Relax a little AngoraFish, okay TB helped, but there’s also the Indie Hug Bundle help, the okay-to-good PR job by Simon.

        Before the Indie Hug Bundle, reworked tiers, new Maia video and TB video, the game was going to hit £80k. TB might have helped getting £20k, the Humble Hug Bundle some £15k, the tiers + new video £5k : there shouldn’t be a “____ did it” medal delivered to a single person, everyone worked together.

        And I’m sure that TB, even if he sometime needs to tell people he is popular and influencing a lot of people, is a good guy and only wants Maia to succeed. Seeing the Kickstarter hits its £100 042 goal was the best thing he could ever get (imo), there’s no need to put TB on a pedestal and sound the trumpets.

        Also, RPS already talked about the major effect an influential Youtubber (like TB) can have on a crowdfunding project in previous articles, it is not something unknown or ignored here.

      • TotalBiscuit says:

        The only thing that matters is that the game got funded. The whys, whos and wherefores are of no concern.

    • yogibbear says:

      No, I actually looked at the Kickstarter Katchup on here yesterday and Maia was still at 80k. Someone in the comments said something like “Maia and would be criminal to not be funded”.. so I logged into Kickstarter and added my 25 pounds. :/ Never knew TB covered this.

    • Hahaha says:

      Stop making accounts to promote your channel ;)

  2. bard says:

    I actually did not know this was a thing until yesterday when I saw a yt video by TotalBsicuit about it. Now this fine gentleman has my money. That said maybe I should give him more of it, seeing as df and dungeon keeper are two of my favorite games of all times.

  3. Low Life says:

    Wow, great to see that happen. Not just the project being funded, but The Entire Internet™ getting together to make it happen (by advertising the project) after what looked like a certain failure just a few days back.

  4. ninnisinni says:

    I LOL’d at the alt-text. Yes. There, now I’ve gotten that out of me.

  5. Lobotomist says:

    “reach the esteemed status of A Thing That Is Happening.”

    Here is a funny thought : does reaching kickstart goal actually means developer will manage to make the game ?

    Companies like Obsidian or Interplay have lot of experience and most likely know how to manage the investment. But take a look at 38 Studios (Curt Schilling) that managed to spend huge investment and come up with nothing. I mean its not easy making such ambitious projects. I really wonder what will come of all these super ambitious kickstarter projects developed by virtual newcomers.

    • Gnoupi says:

      No, it doesn’t, it’s just what they estimated to be what they would need, their budget. What they do with it and what they actually deliver is a bet, it can very much fail. There has been a lot of talks on the topic, on this site.

      However, about Maia itself, the development was going to continue with or without the Kickstarter, from what Simon Roth said. It would just have been slower and more difficult without it.

    • jalf says:

      Of course, there are no guarantees whatsoever. Kickstarter recently added a rule requiring new pitches to include a section describing the risks of the project, so that people have a bit more information available in deciding if they trust the project enough to back it.

      And yes, this is definitely something you should keep in mind. As with any other outlet for hobbyist game developers, there are *a lot* of people who frankly just don’t have the skills, but *want* to make games. And their kickstarters are likely to just be money black holes.

      I’ve passed on a number of interesting kickstarters because I just didn’t trust the developers to be able to deliver.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I’m pretty sure that running a successful Kickstarter does not also grant one immunity to financial crisis, bad debtors, corrupt employees and/or any other act of god that might theoretically befall every other business in the known universe. I’m not clear from which alternative universe the possibility of business failure might simply seem curious, funny and somewhat implausible.

      For what it’s worth, I spent more on dinner this evening than the £10 I kicked into Maia a couple of weeks ago. If the game never happens, my £10 is going to be as ephemeral and easily forgotten as that meal.

    • Entitled says:

      Just because theoretically, things might go wrong in the future, right now, it is still “A Thing That Is Happening”.

      Just like how whenever a publisher announces a game, we instantly treat it as A Thing That Is Happening, even though they might as well change their mind and cancel it in the future.

      In fact, a kickstarted game is more likely to happen than a studio-announced one, since a publisher can cancel a project at their own choice, on their own pocket’s loss, so it’s just a promise, while Kickstarter creators already agreed on a legally binding contract that OBLIGES them to finish it at the risk of getting sued out of their pants, so bankrupcy is the only way away from finish it

  6. 1Life0Continues says:

    The Cynical Fleet strikes again.
    If TB ever realises the full potential of the army he has it his command, the world might truly be in peril.

    While this is not my genre of game, I congratulate Simon on getting funded.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m sure there’re illuminati snipers following his every move

    • Lemming says:

      People / Gamers / Youtube magazine fans / people who like him.

      I’d be surprised if that qualifies as an army, tbh.

    • yurusei says:

      An army of angry Internet men, following a Vastly Charming Angry Internet Man.

      World, you can wet your pants now.

    • Sayori says:

      Army of braindead fanboys.
      The irony… they are the one who usually do things when he requests so. Yet his “all fanboys must die”
      More irony? Fanboys are buying his shirts.

      • Meneth says:

        He has some braindead fans. Every major figure in the world has.
        In this case he pointed people at the game, and essentially said “buy this if it seems interesting”, and people did. That’s hardly people simply doing as he commands.

        • Hahaha says:

          TB is nowhere near a major figure in the world, his just appealed to the minecraft/terraria kiddies enough to become a fad.

          Parents need to buy christmas presents for the little hell spawns

          • darkChozo says:

            …If you’re going to take a flamebait-y jab at a semi-public figure, at least have the decency to make it a sensible one. Complain about him being an asshole or incompetent or self important or something, not that he tries to appeal to fans of a game that he explicitly refuses to cover (Terraria notwithstanding).

  7. Dowson says:

    Looks interesting, I tend not to back Kickstarters for a few reasons but I when its released I look forward to picking it up, assuming it has good word of mouth.

  8. LuckyBadger says:

    This title is misleading. They need to get to another order of magnitude to qualify as mega-money D:

    • Drakhoran says:

      £100,000 is more than 13 million Yen, so they only need a currency conversion for the title to be correct.

  9. fallingmagpie says:

    Why don’t you like dogs, Alec? I’m sure they like you.

  10. antoniodamala says:

    I wish i had more money to throw at these guys. This is easily the most interesting kickstarter out there.

  11. PostieDoc says:

    Dogs > Cats.

  12. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Really pleased about this. Roth seems a lovely bloke and the game very deserving.

    However as I am British, should this success lead to confidence, happiness and material success, I will be forced to tut and accuse him of rampant immodesty

  13. harvb says:

    This is like the other Kickstarters, I’ll only back ’em if they take PayPal. They don’t take PayPal, I can’t back ’em. Gutted though, I’d like to.

  14. Tams80 says:

    I’ve eventually been persuaded to p[en my wallet to this. While I really would like my name in tthe character generation list, as well as a poster and to go to the launch party, I just can’t justify the extra cost.

    Still £25 should be a good enough contribution right?

  15. RogerioFM says:

    For a minute I got excited about this game, it thoght the title was saying “Maia makes Mega-Monkey”. Too bad, we don’t have a lot of mega monkeys out there.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I played Serious Sam 3. Space monkeys have never been the same since.

  16. Banana_Republic says:

    TotalBiscuit has been known to pump adrenaline into other kickstarters, due to his videos and tweets. And not just kickstarters but also other, barely known titles that he takes a shine to. Funny how people work so hard in the attempt to discount his influence with Maia. I was watching pretty much from the first announcement and the numbers literally took off within minutes, my contribution among them.

    What’s the phrase — haters gonna hate?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      no no, it’s “anti-establishment counter-cultural anarchists gonna dissent in an attempt to espouse the communist ideology of equality without specific merit and disperse apparent belief in an individuals’ influence over the total process”

    • Gnoupi says:

      What is interesting is that Notch also talked about the game (link to, at the beginning of the month, and is usually known to kill servers with a simple mention of any game.

      Yet, there wasn’t a huge frenzy following this, or at least nothing that big.

  17. Didden says:

    He’s just going to spend this on more awesome hair care products. Congrats though Simon!

  18. Muzman says:

    It wasn’t TotalBiscuit. It was all that making eyes at the audience he does in the video having its latent effects.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      The true effects of which we will come to realize until it’s too late. *cue sunken Statue of Liberty*

  19. mickygor says:

    Do the people who demand developers/journalists/people-who-collectively-didn’t-quite-back-enough thank TotalBiscuit always wind up at posts like this about kickstarter projects he publicises? Because tbh, were I a game developer at the moment I’d very much be in two minds about him posting a video about my project.

  20. Synesthesia says:

    Yes! This makes me extremely happy. Congratulations mr roth! You deserve a beer. I’ll be buying this as soon as i get back on the money train.

  21. Junon says:

    Yet will the hype machine rescue Sui Generis?

  22. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I sure wish I had the money to get my sometimes annoying but lovely cats into the game.

    Where I could feed them to the wildlife whenever I’m angry at them, show the real ones the screen and say “This is what’ll happen to you if you don’t stop being a dick right now!”