Projects on KickStarter can vary when it comes to success or failure, depending on the idea that’s being funded. For instance, an ambitious robot project can easily fail, while Rifftrax’s recent The Crappening event, where the comedic crew rips apart “classics” like The Room and Miami Connection via live audience, reaches its funding in just a single day’s time. However, there’s no success that can quite match up to the card game Exploding Kittens, which just set a new funding record for the site.
VentureBeat has reported that the popular card game has managed to produce a whopping funding total of over $8 million, with 200,000 funders on board. That’s a long way from the original $10,000 goal that co-creator (and comic writer) Matthew Inman originally envisioned, alongside Elan Lee and Shane Small.
By reaching this total, Exploding Kittens has become the most popular project on KickStarter in terms of supporters. It beats out LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow project, which raised $5.4 million from 105,000 backers) and Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars film, which reached $5.7 million from 91,000 backers).
It’s kind of amazing to see such a small project gain a big total, but most of it is due to the outreach of the campaign across social media, as users told their friends about the game, where you randomly draw cards and attempt to “defuse” exploding kitten cards before it’s too late. Of course, any explanation of the game’s popularity has to start with Inman’s audience of several million devoted fans, rather than the simple game itself.
“Production of the game is simple: it’s just a card game, so other than building the box it’s a relatively straightforward product to make,” explained the listing on the KickStarter page. “The biggest challenge for us would actually be if you blow us out of the water.” Which, of course, the funders clearly did.
Still, the team posted a thank you message on the page, and indicated that those who missed out on buying the game can still register to be notified when it goes on sale through the official Exploding Kittens page.
It’s amazing to see such a small project reach such heights – although Exploding Kittens isn’t the first card game to do so. The vulgar yet hilarious Cards Against Humanity has gained a massive following in just a few years’ time, with hundreds of thousands of fans subscribing to its many programs – including a recent Black Friday deal where they bought actual bull poop. (The promotion ended up raising quite a bit of money, with 250,000 customers buying it. The Cards team, in turn, donated the proceeds to the Sunlight Foundation.)
Exploding Kittens could easily lead a new wave of card games for the market. Even if it does have, you know, exploding kittens.