WAKFU: Using Kickstarter Wisely

Kickstarter is a service that continues to enjoy a lot of popularity among filmmakers and entertainers. One of the main reasons that people turn to Kickstarter is to help fun the actual content. That carries a certain amount of risk though, so it’s always good to see someone using Kickstarter to fund something other than the animation, like what WAKFU is aiming to achieve.

Via: The WAKFU Kickstarter
Via: The WAKFU Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a great service that really helps creators find the necessary resources to make the content they love. However, funding always carries it’s own risks as well as rewards. Many people use the service to fund the actual content, or rather, parts of it. Since the animation is usually the most expensive and time-consuming task, it seems logical to seek to fund that.

Producing content can be problematic though. Unless everything is ready to go, development headaches, glitches and all manner of other delays can result in an unfinished production and sore backers, who place an awful lot of trust in creators to manage their money at the end of the day.

With that in mind, it’s almost refreshing to see someone use Kickstarter for something other than creating the animation. The WAKFU project is an attempt, instead, to raise funds for an English dub and Blu-Ray release of the series produced by ANKAMA.

There are some great key points to the campaign:

  1. The hard, expensive work (the animation) is already completed.
  2. The costs to be met are relatively predictable.
  3. The campaign adds, rather than creates, value.

These points are what make the campaign stand out. Dubbing is a long-established production practise so there should be relatively few hiccups or delays in production. Backers are being asked to help add value to the existing animation and to create a tangible artefact; the Blu-Ray release. In other words, it’s a low-risk campaign relative to the rewards being offered.

The costs are also relatively low. CAD$80,000 isn’t a massive sum of money, especially considering it’s for an entire series, and, at the time of writing, funding has been successful with just over a thousand backers contributing upwards of $90,000. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a very small number of individuals who will help make this venture a profitable one for ANKAMA.

Lastly, this campaign is designed to add value to the series for fans. Sure, the series is already available in French, but that doesn’t really help those fans who don’t know any. Subtitling is certainly cheap, but not everyone likes that, and it’s also a lot harder to increase viewership outside of the fanbase with it. Dubbing makes sense from that standpoint, but it will also improve current fan’s enjoyment as well. That’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

2 thoughts on “WAKFU: Using Kickstarter Wisely”

  1. This is slightly off subject but I’m worried about the kickstarters that aren’t getting finished. Look at what happened with Cans without Labels and how they ran out of money.

  2. @ GW: Well with John K. I don’t think that’s much of a surprise.

    As for this Wakfu series I don’t have much interest but they also want to also release an OVA that Japanese animator Masaaki Yuasa worked on. So it’s nice to see his work get more exposure in English.

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