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Fig's second crowdfunding campaign has failed

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Fig, the crowdfunding platform that allows for equity investment as well as traditional rewards-based backing, has failed to fully fund its second campaign. Anchors in the Drift, from Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell, ended up nearly $400,000 short of its $500,000 goal today and will need to look elsewhere for funding. Justin Bailey, Fig's CEO, tells Polygon that no money will change hands.

"If the campaign doesn’t reach its goal," said Bailey, "then no money will be transferred to 5th Cell."

Anchors, a free-to-play game currently in development, features heroes like medieval archers, Vikings, ancient Egyptians and even samurai that can be upgraded over time. With those characters set loose in an epic battle to reclaim Earth from a transdimensional force, Anchors will allow players to create their own powers by combining collectible cards, acquired from crates. Keys to open crates will be available for purchase using in-game as well as real-world currency.

This is the first failure for Fig, a crowdfunding platform launched just this past August. Its first campaign, for the spacefaring adventure game Outer Wilds, earned more than $125,000 while attracting nearly $1 million in investment interest. That momentum makes Anchors' shortfall all the more surprising.

"Crowdfunding exists so that creators can take more creative risk than a traditional publisher would let them and get a signal directly from their fans," said Bailey, formerly of the developer Double Fine. "Sometimes the signal is that fans have always wanted this, sometimes for a variety of reasons it does not resonate. This is going to be the outcome sometimes, and that's ok. The market, which is made up of fans, ultimately decides successes and failures. What's not ok with fans is the idea of setting a fundraising goal that you hit, only to find out it's some massive subset of the budget you knew you needed to deliver the game."

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