What gets the internet REALLY excited? Kittens? No. EXPLODING Kittens
OMG what have we DONE?
Sysadmin Blog Let the internet run amok for long enough and you'll eventually find someone making millions with exploding kittens. Curious? Well look no further, because the internet has delivered!
As of the time of publication, Exploding Kittens: The Card Game has achieved $3,207,001 of its $10,000 goal with 27 days left to go. Exploding Kittens managed to reach its $10,000 goal within the first 20 minutes. It breached the $1m mark before the first 24 hours were up, was past the $2mmark before 48 hours were up, and now with three days elapsed are well past the $3m mark, with no example of the project slowing down.
Currently at 82,358 backers, the Exploding Kittens creators are aiming for their next stretch goal of 100,000 backers, seemingly because setting monetary stretch goals for a Kickstarter that has pulled in more than $3M for a card game had reached a level of futility.
Currently, Exploding Kittens holds the title of 4th place in terms of number of backers, and 14nd place in terms of sheer money received. The most funded Kickstarter of all time is the Coolest Cooler that pulled in $13,285,226. The Kickstarter with the most backers is Reading Rainbow at 105,857 backers. (Which currently holds 6th highest funded.)
At time of publication Exploding Kittens is only 23499 backers away from claiming the record for most-backed Kickstarter ever. That seem a much more reasonably achievable goal than the $10,078,225 they'd need to claim the most-funded crown.
So how do you pull in millions for a card game and have a real shot at blowing at least one of the major Kickstarter records out of the water? First, start with a team of rock stars. The project was started by Elan Lee, Former Chief Design Officer for Xbox Entertainment Studios and Shane Small, Principal Art Director at Xbox Entertainment Studios.
Oh, and Matthew Inman, better known to the world as The Oatmeal…which is pretty much where this whole thing starts to make perfect sense. The Oatmeal is responsible for making sure that A Goddamned Tesla Museum got funded, via his initial Indiegogo campaign, efforts like bricks for Tesla and just asking Elon Musk, the closest person to a modern Nikola Tesla currently living. But, you know, filthy rich.
Lee and Small have a heck of a lot of star power on their own. Their initial goal was $10,000 and there's no reason they couldn't have achieved that without breaking a sweat. My friends and I managed to raise $10,000 in our first Podcasting for Cancer attempt back in 2013, and that was before we had any idea what we were doing, how to capitalize on social media, or had made many contacts with the sorts of people who have money to spare*.
Lee and Small, however, showed their project to The Oatmeal and he immediately fell in love. As they put it, "If Matthew Inman ever asks you if he can join your team, the answer is "HELL YES". Quite right.
So what was a small hobby project for fun and some giggles is now an out of control monster that will redefine the social gatherings of an entire generation of nerds. Showing great foresight, the Exploding Kittens team had the good sense to turn to the Cards Against Humanity team to get a handle on how to sort out the logistics of Oatmeal-class popularity.
The fact that a card game named "Exploding Kittens" is in all likelihood going to eclipse an endeavour as worthy as Reading Rainbow makes some part of me very, very sad. On the other hand, as soon as this article is done I am going to buy a deck for my house, and several additional ones to keep in the "emergency holiday gift" pile.
The internet: it's awful. It's amazing. It exists and functions only due to the tireless efforts of the kinds of people who make up The Register's readership, and with all our labours combined we have created a world in which you can make your millions by inventing a game based on Exploding Kittens. I, for one, wouldn't have it any other way. ®
*For those interested, Podcasting For Cancer has just started another campaign for a friend of ours whose family has been put in a very difficult position due to a combination of cancer, stroke and the primary breadwinner's employer "pivoting" all happening at the same time.