The developers at Warhorse Studios were nervous.
They'd worked for nearly two years on Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a historical role-playing game focused on combat in a world devoid of magic. Despite Warhorse's best efforts, PR agencies and publishers weren't interested.
In late January, Warhorse launched a Kickstarter campaign for the open-world RPG. The developer asked for £300,000 (about $499,950). At closing, it had earned £1,106,371 from 35,384 backers.
"A month ago, we were all pretty nervous," creative director Dan Vávra wrote on the game's Kickstarter blog, where he looked back this week at the last two years of uncertainty.
"The main 'reason' we were rejected by all the publishers turned out to be totally false," Vávra wrote. "Not only do people not need fantasy or magic or dragons to enjoy a game, they desperately want games without them! Along the way, we were fortunate to receive support and promotion for the game from such personas as Chris Roberts, Brian Fargo, Sven Vincke and others. It's really been one helluva ride.
"We have raised almost 400 percent of our original goal. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is among the 30 most-funded Kickstarter projects of all time and in the top 15 of video game projects. We have 35 thousand backers, with an average pledge of $52. Our YouTube channel has more than a million views.
"Simply said: You are awesome! Thank You!"
Up next, Vávra will work with designers to write the story and quests. The studio will expand to more than 50 people and "twelve new colleagues (some of them quite experienced senior developers from the recently disbanded 2K Czech studio in Prague)."
He expects to release the Kingdom Come: Deliverance alpha within six months to those who pledged at the "Baron" level. In mid-2015, Warhorse should release a beta.
"So, on behalf of the whole team, thank you again for your generous support and enthusiasm," Vávra wrote. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we are going to have a little celebration!"