Tech Companies Raising Record Levels of Cash via Kickstarter

Independent video game development studio Double Fine Productions shouldn’t have any problems keeping its latest project under budget. Looking to begin development on its upcoming title, the San Francisco-based company took the project to crowd-funding site Kickstarter earlier this month and now finds itself up to its forehead in cash.

With nearly three weeks still remaining, Double Fine Adventure has already received more than $2 million in donations, an astounding 500 percent above the studio’s initial goal of $400,000. On the current pace, Double Fine may have as much as $4 million to spend developing its point-and-click adventure game.

After achieving its goal in less than eight hours, Double Fine Founder Tim Schafer said that the studio is planning a number of enhancements for the game, including greater production value, an accompanying documentary, a soundtrack and support for additional languages.

The company later updated its Kickstarter page with more ways to spend its newfound cash, headlined by a closed beta and digital-rights-management-free version of the game available only to backers who pledged more than $15.

As promised, Double Fine also plans on paying back its supporters with a host of other extras, all depending upon how much each backer donated. No word as to when the game will be ready, but Double Fine did say it is being developing for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

The success of Double Fine’s campaign underscores the brilliance of Kickstarter and the desire for your everyday consumer to help fund ideas that they feel have real value. Two other inspirations – a comic book and an iPhone dock – each surpassed the $1 million threshold this month, with hundreds of other ideas achieving less lofty donation goals.

Many successful companies, ranging from solidified industry veterans to thriving start-ups, have begun heading to the Kickstarter to get funding from their supporters, rather than from banks or venture capitalist firms.

Portable storage device maker Hypershop was one of the more successful Kickstarter companies, raising over $260,000 to make a gadget that connects USB storage devices like hard drives, flash drives and cameras to iPads and other iOS devices. For a $69 pledge, backers were the first to get their hands on the $99 CloudFTP device.

The gadget, which is now available for sale on the general market, made its debut at CES 2012 in Las Vegas. Check out the video below for an insider’s look at the device and a more in-depth take on the Kickstarter campaign.

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