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NightCry: Anatomy of a struggling Kickstarter campaign

Matt Leone has written about games for three decades, focusing on behind-the-scenes coverage of the industry, including books on Final Fantasy 7 and Street Fighter 2.

At this moment, the NightCry Kickstarter run is behind its target. The campaign, designed to fund a PC version of the Clock Tower spiritual successor from developer Nude Maker, is almost two-thirds through its schedule and at just over one-third of its goal.

The night before his interview for this story, Nude Maker CEO Hifumi Kono (above right) says he pulled an all-nighter.

"We're in a really tough spot right now," he says. "People involved are doing everything they can to turn things around."

Kono says he doesn't have a concrete answer for why the campaign hasn't performed as well as he expected, but that launching on a Saturday night, U.S. time, may have been a mistake. He says the team originally chose that date because it fell right after payday, thinking that people would have more money available to spend. But it found that Kickstarter projects tend to get less traction on weekends, and that timing may have also generated less word of mouth because of the slow start.


Kono also says that he's seen some players confused by the differences between the announced mobile and Vita version of the game, and the potential PC version that the Kickstarter campaign was put together to fund. He clarifies that the potential PC version would not only feature improved graphics, but also two additional playable characters and a more involved story.

Nude Maker's plan at this point involves a series of campaign updates and showing the PC prototype with improved visuals. Perhaps most notably, the team is considering adding "next-generation" console versions to the campaign, though Kono says he can't commit to those just yet since the team is still exploring whether it will be able to produce them at the target funding level.

At the moment, Kono says he doesn't have a backup plan in mind if the Kickstarter campaign fails to reach its goal, but he acknowledges that he is in talks with outside investors who may be able to fund a portion of the game's development.

As of this story going live, the game has just crossed $100,000 in funding out of a $300,000 goal.