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Matthew Inman, the creator of the Oatmeal, is no stranger to crowdfunding — and it seems that every time he launches a campaign, he makes crowdfunding history.
Inman’s latest crowdfunding project is Exploding Kittens, a card game, and yesterday it broke Kickstarter’s record for the campaign with the most backers, as announced by Kickstarter on Twitter, and on this highly sophisticated site, which keeps track of which Kickstarter project has the most backers.
The title was previously held by Reading Rainbow. Exploding Kittens (which will hit its deadline in three weeks) currently boasts 120,000 backers, who have pledged $4.7 million; Reading Rainbow, by comparison, saw 106,000 backers pledge $5.4 million.
Exploding Kittens is a card game created by Inman and game designers Elan Lee and Shane Small. The objective is simple — don’t draw the exploding kitten cards. Players can use cards that allow them to skip a turn, look at which cards are next in the deck, and more. The player who outlasts his opponents wins.
The campaign’s success isn’t really surprising. Inman’s the Oatmeal is highly popular online comics site, and he’s built up a large, loyal following since launching it in 2009. Advertising it to his fans got the campaign off to a fast start (it reached its initial $10,000 goal in just 20 minutes), and Exploding Kittens has snowballed since then.
Working in the team’s favor are the simple reward tiers: $20 for a standard deck, $35 for a NSFW deck. There were two larger reward tiers, but they’re all gone now. Keeping the reward tiers simple was a conscious decision, according to the campaign page. In the ‘Risks and challenges’ section of the campaign, the creators write that their biggest concern is having the campaign get too popular, which would make delivery difficult — better to keep things simple, in other words, than cause delays due to mismanaged tee-shirt orders. The creators estimate that the cards will ship to backers in July.
As mentioned above, it’s not the first crowdfunding record Inman has broken. Back in 2012, his campaign to help build a museum for scientist Nikola Tesla raised $1.4 million on Indiegogo, making it easily the most funded campaign on the platform at the time.