The classic success story often starts with a few ambitious young guys in a basement with dim lighting, working tirelessly on a gadget that has taken hold of both their time and possibilities of any romantic relationship. Well, this story, however, starts off on a different note – it starts with Kickstarter. Three Danish guys, Dennis Risborg, Juan Garcia and Jonas Christensen banded together in October 2014 and founded the indie game studio Last Minute Games.
Since then, they have been committed to developing the game which they had conceived when working at their former studio, a game called Arco. The game has a portion of classic RPG combined with a Plants Vs Zombies-esque approach, and the team is very excited about having elements in their game that have proven popular among both casual and intimate gamers, yet fused with a huge amount of innovation and personal flair.
The crew has between them over a decade of experience in the game development industry, and they plan to use that to their advantage. When NordicGameBits asked them what they felt made them unique, Dennis Risborg, CEO of Last Minute Games, replied that the work they did at Progressive Media, a larger game studio that went under in 2014, has provided them with aspects of game development that most other upcoming indie game developers simply don’t have. In particular, aspects like actual experience in development and management.
“Some things you just can’t read in a book, you need to experience the industry and be in it for a while before you begin to understand it properly.” – Dennis Risborg.
Using Kickstarter to fund a game is a way for an indie game studio, not only to fund their project, but also to create awareness about their game, something that Last Minute Games are familiar with. After Progressive Media went under, a group of the developers went on to found Osao Games; they started with the revival of their final project at Progressive Media, Chronology. The game was well liked among those who knew it; the problem, however, was the execution of publicity and general awareness of the game, which hit them in the end. “Juan worked on Chronology and did the graphics there, plus we’re still in close contact with the people who made it, so yes we’re going to draw on the experience from that. Just like we all draw from our previous experience in the industry. We all learn from our mistakes, what matters is what we learn from it and I would like to think we’ve all learned a lot from before.”, says Dennis Risborg
However, using Kickstarter as a way of funding a video game these recent times has not always proven to be the right idea. As the crowd-funding site has grown to be massive, it has also attracted many aspiring game developers from across the globe. Something that may lead to a worry of flooding the market with games in need of backing. From 2013 to 2014, games being funded have been in decline as a result of supply exceeding demand.
At Last Minute Games they are confident in Arco, and with youthful cheer, they continue to have faith in both themselves and Kickstarter. When asked how they felt about Kickstarters’ numbers going down between 2013 and 2014, Dennis Risborg replies that “They went down? Just kidding! Of course that’s something we took into account, but honestly we think they’re still going strong. It’s a truly amazing place of opportunity and we still have a good feeling for Kickstarter. I don’t think they should be underestimated, as you still see a lot of games get incredible funding. We believe in Kickstarter, and are still positive that it’s a good way for us to get funding for our project or at least get some awareness.”
“We’re still very hopeful that the Kickstarter will go our way any minute now. Who knows maybe it’ll be at the Last Minute ;)”
One of the main qualities in a game developer and/or CEO is a positive attitude and a never say die fortitude. Something that Dennis Risborg seems to have in plenty. His and Last Minute Games’ plans for Arco are a Q4 launch in 2015, something that they see as a very likely event. When asked for a backup plan in case the Kickstarter campaign fails, Dennis replies with a gist of secrecy that they have a plan b, and that the team already took into consideration the need for one.
“Currently, we’re working on various fallback plans if the Kickstarter campaign isn’t successful. At this point, however, we’re still positive it can go our way. At the moment, Arco is Last Minute Games since it’s the only game we’re focusing on right now. That being said however, we are three creative guys and we all have a lot of ideas so who knows what the future will bring. I can say for sure that no matter what, this is not the last you’ll hear of us!” Concludes Dennis Risborg