Bugbear Entertainment's motorsport game Next Car Game has been a resounding success on Steam's Early Access platform. This is a surprise result for the games developing company after it cancelled its Kickstarter campaign two months ago - due to the funding goal appearing to be unachievable at that time.
After its withdrawal from its Kickstarter campaign, Bugbear instead concentrated on a pre-order drive for its automotive action game. The game was launched on Steam Early Access and has brought in $1 million in just a week, according to lead game designer Janne Suur-Nakki, reports Polygon.
Following on from the gloomy days in the wake of the abandoned Kickstarter campaign, the success of the Early Access release has caught Bugbear by surprise: "Just before the holidays, we released the first playable build to our pre-order customers, and by the end of the Christmas week the title had already sold for more than our initial funding goal on Kickstarter," revealed Surr-Nakki.
Plans to cancel its Kickstarter campaign were always an option for Bugbear as it considered the potential for success or failure pragmatically. "In that sense, the actual decision was easy and done pretty quickly," Suur-Nakki explained. "We simply didn't see much point in continuing. We trusted in our game and knew that the development proceeded well, so it seemed feasible to redirect all efforts in running our own pre-order campaign and getting the game into the hands of the players as soon as sensibly possible. After all, our pre-order campaign had been doing pretty nicely all the time, so it made sense to us business-wise as well."
Steam Early Access suits games where a playable version exists
When asked about whether returning to Kickstarter will ever be considered by Bugbear again, Surr-Nakki mused "We think Kickstarter is a wonderful tool for developers, and in all likelihood we will consider launching another Kickstarter campaign at some point in the future." He went on to add "However, as is evident from the outcome of our Next Car Game campaign, it's important that the campaign is launched at the right point of the product's life cycle."
The game maker will be giving players what they initially envisioned, says Suur-Nakki. Although it is concentrating on developing the PC version there are high hopes of porting the game onto PS4 and Xbox One in the future.
Though Kickstarter and Steam Early Access are both great tools for developers needing a cash injection, and we have heard of great results from both, they do work in different ways. Crowd-funding is perhaps a better tool for people with strong concepts and something to show, but may not be suitable for finishing game in development thought Bugbear. "Steam Early Access is definitely the way to go if you have a great game at a playable state, something that we learned from our campaign," Suur-Nakki said.
Other games we have seen enjoy a good deal of success on Steam Early Access lately include the recently updated Rust.