A card game called “Exploding Kittens” — in which players use catnip sandwiches, the power of thousand-year-old back hair, and pig-a-corns to avoid drawing a card with a cute weapon of mass destruction — has raised well over $US3 million on Kickstarter in the three days it’s been live.
In under 72 hours, the absurd game became the 12th most-funded Kickstarter project since the crowdfunding site launched in 2009.
It’s a joint effort from Matthew Inman, creator of one of the most popular webcomics, “The Oatmeal;” Elan Lee, an entrepreneur and one of the designers of the original Xbox; and Shane Small, the principal art director at Xbox Entertainment Studios.
Lee and Small became friends at Microsoft, and Lee met Inman in Hawaii last October, Inman tells Business Insider. Lee showed him a simple card game he created with Small using a regular deck of cards called “Bomb Squad.”
Players would take turns drawing cards, hoping to avoid drawing ones designated as the “bomb,” which got them eliminated. Other cards allowed them to “defuse” the bomb, and others let them take actions like skipping a turn or forcing an opponent to pull double cards.
“I had been looking for years for a game to make,” Inman says. “So when I saw Elan’s game, I said, ‘This looks really fun. I want to join and change it into something else that’s got more of a soul to it.'”
After agreeing to partner on the deal, Inman added his signature goofy sense of humour and wacky drawing style that’s won him millions of fans. He was also able to help with the Kickstarter, since he’s run successful crowdfunding campaigns before, including raising $US1.37 million to restore the Tesla Science Center in upstate New York.
He kept the explainer video on the Kickstarter page as short and simple as possible, and he and his co-creators decided that they’d make the rewards for donating larger amounts of money to be “more game” rather than expensive gimmicks.
Inman’s “Oatmeal” Facebook page has 3.1 million fans and a reach of 12 million people, which the three knew would attract additional attention to the game.
The “Exploding Kittens” team had a fundraising goal of only $US10,000, but Inman figured they’d make a couple hundred thousand by the end of the 30 days. He was not expecting $US1 million in seven hours, $US2 million in just over 24 hours, and $US3 million in under 72 hours.
There’s still almost a full month left to go, and they’re now looking to reach 100,000 backers.
Inman says they have already been approached by “everyone you can think of” with distribution deals for the game, but they’re still weighing their options, figuring out stretch goals, and seeing where the Kickstarter takes them.
“None of us has been sleeping,” Inman says. “We’re just frantically running around putting out fires and high-fiving. Yeah, it’s been amazing. None of us expected this.”
Watch the short video from Inman below to better understand how to play the game:
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