While this is a sad story, I'm finding it hard to feel sorry for them. This is a prime example of excellent execution but poor marketing.
First, I've never heard of this game an it looks pretty awesome. My wife and I loved The Incredible Machine and this seems like a great derivation on that.
Second, it's iPad only so you are missing out on a ton of iPhone sales. I've bought stuff on my iPhone which I didn't on my iPad. It would be great if it sync'd between the two.
Third, .67%?! You've made some poor design choices if you can't get more people to upgrade that that. Sounds like you gave away the buffet and not just a taste test.
From the article author:
I had downloaded the game based on the positive word of mouth, and had already enjoyed what felt like a wide amount of content without paying anything.I wasn’t even aware there was anything to pay for to unlock ...I learned I could buy the game .. I went looking for that option .. took me a few minutes to figure out how to pay ...
This plug on Penny Arcade should give them a significant bump in revenue. Tycho and Gabe could talk up toilet bowl cleaner and the PA audience would go out and buy it in an instant.
With an hour and a half left, I'd expected this number to be three times larger than it is. Sure they "hit their goal", but when you set up that road map of stretch goals it seems like you're really hoping/expecting to hit $1M, and that doesnt look like a remote possibility.
I think they talked themselves up plenty, I don't think they made very good use of kickstarter. It is possible PA would have had significantly more success if they had put up each of their project stretch goals as individual campaigns. I would probably kick in for the automata and daughters projects but not for a reality tv show. Lumping everything together made it feel like a gamble as without enough people kicking in it's not very likely the projects you as an individual care about will make the cut.
Well, as far as Penny Arcade goes, their ads were non-intrusive and actually well targeted so it didn't make sense to pay not to see them. I think that was something that prevented this from really taking off.