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Sunless Skies definitely happening, KS closes tomorrow

Sunless Seas sequel Sunless Skies [official site] has a rosy glow to it as it nears the finish line of its Kickstarter. Successfully bringing in £300k in pledges – 3x what devs Failbetter originally asked for – will do that, eh?

In other words, the spaceshippy alt-Victoriana exploration, storytelling and sudden death game is, barring developmental disaster, looking like a sure thing.

Failbetter’s latest Fallen London title boasts £334,234 and 10,165 backers to its name at the time of writing, with 26 hours left on the clock. They’ve hit a whole mess of stretch goals since this thing started, most of which are additional in-game stories, characters and/or quests. More about that stuff here.

The £330k milestone was, apparently, “the full costs of Sunless Skies’ production”, so in theory this means they’ve broken even before the thing’s even released – a deeply enviable state for any game to be in.

That’s a lot of money by any benchmark, and seems to have been achieved at least partially by Failbetter pining stretch goals not only to monetary pledges, but to ‘social pledges’ that involved interested folk submitting fan art, writing, cosplay and similar that served to increase the Twitter-based buzz. There are some lessons for other devs to learn here, I suspect.

So, all being well, anyone can buy the thing when it’s released in May 2018 (according to Failbetter’s current schedule), but you’ve got until 7pm tomorrow if you want backer rewards like in-game owls or out-game t-shirts.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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