TriplePoint client Bitwise Design announced today that they’re less than a month away from releasing Hospital Havoc 2 on the App Store. The game itself is going to be free of charge for players who are looking to dabble in the exciting field of medical malpractice. Still, while it’s free for the end user, it’s hardly free for the developer. The game needs to be designed and programmed, publicized, distributed, and so on, and that takes several transfusions of capital. To get this funding for Hospital Havoc 2, Bitwise turned to investors through Appbackr, a crowdsourcing site specifically for funding Android and iOS apps. Call it socialized medicine if you like, but relying purely on individuals with faith in the game, Bitwise pulled in over $10,000 from two dozen investors, who put in anywhere from $100 to $1,000 each.
Crowdsourcing is not new to project funding, nor is it new to games; sites like Kickstarter have seen a number of indie titles put up for support. And, Hospital Havoc 2 might seem like a safe bet, being the sequel to a rather successful iPhone game. What makes this funding more unique, however is that HH2 is, as mentioned earlier, a free download. The typical ROI for an Appbackr project happens when an app is sold; investors “buy” a large volume of app copies and thus fund a project, and receive immediate returns as that same number of copies is purchased by end users. That won’t happen for a freemium game: all of the income will be produced through in-app purchases.
This speaks volumes about the faith the investors have in HH2. Not only has it got to attract gamers, it has to attract a lot of gamers, enough that there is a massive install base, enough to entice a large number of players willing to buy in-game content. This also means the game has to be good enough that gamers want to have more content, and the extra content has to be worth paying for. All of these obstacles, and Hospital Havoc 2 still raised more than $10,000 through crowdsourcing.
You wouldn’t think electroshock treatment was coming back into vogue quite so quickly, but hey.