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Crowdfunding platform Fig finally turned a profit for investors

Kingdoms and Castles returned twice the money investors put in, will continue to pay out for three years

A bridge spans a river connecting a tiny hamlet to a colorful castle on the other side.
Kingdoms and Castles is a city-builder inspired by SimCity and Banished.
Lion Shield
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.

Equity crowdfunding platform Fig announced that for the first time ever one of its projects has turned a profit for investors.

Fig mixes traditional rewards-based crowdfunding with equity investment and is not limited to accredited investors. Truly anyone can invest in its games, which so far have included high-profile titles such as Psychonauts 2, Wasteland 3 and Phoenix Point. The platform showed tremendous growth in 2016, picking up the slack from Kickstarter which saw a precipitous decline in the video game category.

Fig’s first game to turn a profit is called Kingdoms and Castles, a city-building game that met its funding goal in January of this year. Developer Lion Shield says they were inspired by games like Sim City, Banished and Stronghold. Fans were on board and funded the project to the tune of more than $108,000 on a $15,000 ask. The finished game launched July 20 on Steam, where 82 percent of owner reviews are favorable.

Fig says that Kingdoms and Castles generated over $1 million in sales after just two weeks after launch and will continue to pay out for the next three years. Investors received twice their money back, or a 100 percent return on their investment.

“Today we proved that community publishing is a successful way to launch a video game,” said Justin Bailey, CEO and founder of Fig. “By sharing the commercial success of a specific project with supporters, community publishing shifts the focus from that of just successfully funding games to instead focus on the successful development and commercial viability of the titles.”

After its launch in Aug. 2015, Fig spent most of 2016 in a series of negotiations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was finally given the green light to accept non-accredited investment in September.

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