#Asia Why Indonesia’s Toge is taking a released game to Kickstarter


Infectonator Survivors | Featured

Toge Productions is one of the top game developers in Indonesia. The firm is the second Indonesian studio to get its game Greenlit on Steam, one of the most popular PC gaming distribution channels. To achieve the ‘Greenlit’ status means the game has passed a process where Steam users decide if the game is worthy to be sold on the Steam Store. Toge managed to do this on January 2014 with one of its recent hits, Infectonator: Survivors. Now Toge is taking it to Kickstarter.

Infectonator: Survivors is a survival simulation game about a group of humans trying to survive in a world ridden with zombies. It’s a reverse scenario from Toge’s previous Infectonator games, which put the player in the role of the antagonist trying to spread a deadly zombie virus around the world. The game is currently available on Steam Early Access, a feature in Steam that allows developers to sell their unfinished games so long as they update the game periodically and keep in touch with the community.

See: Toge Productions – how to take over the world with zombies

Some people might ask, “Why would they bring a game that has already been released on one of the most popular gaming platforms to Kickstarter? To find the answer, I’ve asked Kris Antoni, CEO of Toge Productions, about his reasons for trying to crowdfund the game, but also about its future.

Building the zombie apocalypse, one update at a time

Infectonator Survivors | Screenshot 1

Kris and his team already worked on Infectonator: Survivors for more than two years. They made many iterations of the game and covered out-of-pocket cost themselves. Kris believes his game’s availability on Steam can be an upper hand for Toge to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the game.

“Most game studios take their games to Kickstarter first and launch them on Steam Greenlight later, forcing players to wait months, or even years, before they can try the game. Some funded Kickstarter projects got canceled before they could even see the light of day.

“We are taking a different approach. We created a working game first, got it Greenlit, listened to our fans, and proved that we are able to deliver what we promised. This way our backers know that we have a working game and don’t have to wait to get their hands on the game,” explains Kris.

Infectonator Survivors | Screenshot 2

Considering the high number of failed Kickstarter games in recent years, Kris’ arguments definitely make sense. At least this way, people who decide to back the game don’t need to be afraid they’ll never see a result.

But, this still leaves one question. If Toge needs Kickstarter to finish its game, does it mean selling indie games, even on one of the most popular gaming platforms, is still not enough to survive?

See: How an indie game studio in Surabaya found the way back to a dream

Fasten the virus spread

When asked about the sales of Infectonator: Survivors, Kris did not hesitate to mention a number. “Since April 2014, we’ve sold around 12,000 copies through Steam Early Access. Although the number sounds big, it was barely covered our development costs,” admits Kris.

Infectonator: Survivors is sold for US$11.99. Steam takes a percentage of every game sold, and although the number has not been made public, the internet buzz says its likey around 30 percent. Of course, we can’t simply count 70 percent of 12,000 times US$11.99 as Toge’s income from Infectonator: Survivors. There are other factors that need to be counted like taxes, discounted prices, price localization, and other variables.

Infectonator Survivor | Animate 1

Even after the cut, the number can be considered high for a game that was born as a web-based Flash game. But making games is not easy, and it’s definitely not cheap. Kris says:

“Even though we managed to go this far, our limited resources did not allow us to go as fast as we hoped. We have completed most of the gameplay mechanics, but the game still needs a lot of content such as stories, quests, bosses, and more. This is why we are taking our Steam Early Access game to Kickstarter, so that we can finish the game faster and add more features and content.”

While the reason to bring the game to Kickstarter makes sense, will it satisfy potential backers to support the game? Surely some would prefer to buy the game after it “graduates” from Steam Early Access.

Infectonator Survivors | Animate 2

There are advantages to being a Kickstarter backer, Kris argues. “The Kickstarter campaign offers exclusive rewards that will not be available anywhere else such as the artbook, source code, and a chance to get your name in the game,” he explains. “If this campaign doesn’t reach its goal, not only will players miss out on those rewards, we would also be forced to remove features and content from the final game.”

Right now, Toge is opening its campaign with a target of at least US$20,000 until December 1. Whatever happens with the campaign, Infectonator: Survivors will still become a reality.

If you want to give Infectonator: Survivors a try, you can buy the game now on Steam, or you can back Toge on Kickstarter to receive the Steam copy right after the campaign ends.

Do you agree with how Toge is using Kickstarter for Infectonator: Survivors? Is this how other developers should approach crowdfunding, instead of providing concept art and raw ideas only? Share your opinion below.

This post was originally found on Tech in Asia Indonesia.

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