They say lightning doesn’t strike twice. But they weren’t talking about one studio being able to pull off multiple successful Kickstarters when they said that, so it’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that Harebrained Schemes join the likes of Double Fine and inXile in getting a second [edit – third, in fact: they also had Golem Arcana, which I think makes them the crowdfunding leader?] game crowd-funded into existence. There’s lots of anxiety flying around about the Kickstarter era of videogame development winding down, but Shadowrun: Hong Kong flew in the face of doomsaying by getting itself funded within hours of the campaign launching.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong is the follow-up to Shadowrun Returns, a latter-day sequel to/adaptation of the old cyberpunk RPG. It’s had a funny old recent history, but one that’s seen it go from strength to strength. Shadowrun Returns itself was great from a presentation standpoint but somewhat lacking in its campaign; the Dragonfall expansion was a big improvement but a touch stilted; then by all accounts the Dragonfall Director’s Cut expansion expansion gave it a huge injection of life. I’ve not had a chance to play the latter yet, but it’s pretty much top of my RPG list right how.
Let’s hope the upcoming Hong Kong game continues the trend of betterment. Enough other people are confident that it will that devs Harebrained schemes have over three times what they were asking for on Kickstarter within less than a day of the campaign going live.
In fact, they passed their $100k target within two hours of things kicking off, and at the time of writing have $350k in the bank with over a month left to go. That means they’ve already unlocked six stretch goals, including new characters, a bigger audio budget and sparklier cutscene stuff.
Granted, $350k isn’t a record-breaking figure, but in the current Kickstarter climate it’s a hell of an achievement, especially to happen this fast.
I’m going try and have a chat with the devs about all things Shadowrun soon. If there’s anything you’d like me to ask on your behalf, please say so below.