Let's be real, here. Released in 1994, Shaq Fu was not a good game. It wasn't even a decent game. It was a poorly-functioning Mortal Kombat ripoff that was only notable because of the bizarre use of Shaquille O'Neal's as a playable character.
Even still, nostalgia is a funny thing. So, in 2014, Shaq took to Indiegogo to raise money for a sequel, and pulled in over $450,000! Now, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is set to be released in the summer of 2015, to be followed immediately by over 1,000 backers collectively asking themselves, "Why did I donate money to this?"
Many people only know of Tank Girl via the atrociously unsuccessful 1995 film starring whats-her-name from Point Break, but comic fans remember the character much more fondly. Tank Girl was a punk rock-style absurdist series set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, and it was totally badass.
In early 2014, her original creators reunited for one last trip on Kickstarter, and fans responded in droves. Over 3,400 backers chipped in, and as a result, 21st Century Tank Girl is set to be released as a three-issue miniseries this June. Bombs away.
April 12th, 2013 will probably go down in history as the moment in which Kickstarter "made it." That's the day when the Veronica Mars movie officially got funded at a whopping $5,702,153 (shattering its original goal of a paltry $2 million).
At that point, the TV series had been off the air for six years, but fans proved to industry execs that they were willing to pay to see more. This landmark crowdfunding event led to copycat campaigns from other established filmmakers like Zach Braff and Spike Lee, but Veronica Mars will always be the first.
Video games have changed a lot over the last few decades, which is why it was so intriguing when inXile Entertainment announced their plans to Kickstart Wasteland 2 in 2012 -- a full 25 years after the original game's release in 1987.
Turns out, teenagers who played video games in the late 80s grew up to become adults with expendable incomes in the 2010s, and Wasteland 2 scared in almost $3 million by campaign's end.
Hmm... Maybe next we should Kickstart a new Arkanoid?
1999's SLC Punk! was a cult hit, but a total commercial flop (much like the punk movement itself, in a lot of ways). Then, out of nowhere in January of 2014, the original filmmakers turned to Indiegogo to fund a sequel. Not all that much was raised (about $90,000), but apparently it was enough, because Punk's Dead is coming out later in 2015. And, judging by the trailer, it looks...kind of awesome.
In July of 2013, a peculiar one-off animation, titled "Bee and PuppyCat" appeared on the Cartoon Hangover YouTube page. The short, which was about an unemployed temp worker who encounters a magical intergalactic pet, quickly amassed over four million views. Not long after, talks of a web series began brewing, and so the creator, Natasha Allegri, turned to Kickstarter.
The Bee and PuppyCat series was successfully funded at over $800,000, and to date four additional episodes were produced, with another five scheduled to come out later this year. You can catch up on it here, but warning: cuteness overload.
The Spike TV college series Blue Mountain State ran for three seasons to middling ratings. After the show was canceled, people started discovering it on Netflix, and talk began swirling about a revival. Then, in May of 2014, the creators decided to try funding a movie on Kickstarter, and were blown away by the support. They pulled in almost $2 million from 24,000 backers, and sped into production in late 2014.
It may have taken these students six years to graduate, but it looks like they're going to make it after all.
1991's ToeJam & Earl technically had two sequels, but they were both so terrible that I'm just going to forget they ever existed. So, wow, 24 years after its original debut, the video game ToeJam & Earl is about to get its first and only sequel, thanks to Kickstarter! The project raised $400,000, thus proving that there is indeed a timeless and universal language. It's funk music.
2012 was the 20th anniversary of the superhero team Cyber Force. So, in celebration, Top Cow Productions decided to go big by re-launching the comic book in print and online for free. Of course, releasing something for free costs a lot of money, so they raised over $115,000 on Kickstarter to get it done.
"How exactly is it free if everyone who wanted to read it had to 'donate' in order to get the series produced," you ask?
...You clearly haven't been around Kickstarter very long, have you?
We wanted to show you a screenshot of the original Ancient Domains of Mystery game from 1994, but due to its ASCII graphics, it just looked like a wall of text on a black screen. Even still, that wall of text meant a lot to a lot of people, which is why the sequel was able to raise $90,000 on Indiegogo in August of 2012.
The best part? This new version has actual graphics! Oh, the future is a wondrous place...
Little Witch Academia was a 2013 animated short created and directed by Yoh Yoshinari. He wanted to make a sequel, but realized that would cost $150,000 to produce, and who would pay $150,000 for a 20-minute YouTube video?
Answer: The Internet, of course. People all over the web were happy to open up their wallets, and by campaign's end, Little Witch Academia 2 has raised well over $600,000. So, why won't anyone fund my campaign to make a sequel to that video of my nephew's Christmas play from last year?
Wil Wheaton is a guy with a lot of nerd cred. In fact, short of Gene Roddenberry, he's probably the one person with the most nerd cred in history. So, when Wil started the web series TableTop on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel, nerds took notice, and it was an instant success.
But, after two seasons, Wheaton's side project has started to become a financial strain, so he asked people on Indiegogo to help fund a season three. He asked for $500,000, which, admittedly, is an incredibly large amount of money to request for a web series about you playing board games. In response, people donated an insane $1.5 million to the ex-Star Trek: TNG actor. Bet he bought a nice Settlers of Catan board with that money.
You're forgiven if you forgot about Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, the turn-based computer game that was released in 1985 on the ZX Spectrum. At the time, though, the game was considered top-of-the-line for its impressive presentation and multiplayer strategy elements. What I find even more impressive, though, is the fact that, thirty years later, over 5,000 people not only remembered it, but were willing to shell out money for its sequel.
Chaos Reborn still hasn't been released yet, but with the $200,000 it has behind it, we doubt those 5,000 fans will leave disappointed.
Remember Smash, the NBC musical drama series that ran for two seasons? Well, over the course of season one, the show's plotline revolved around production of a fictional Broadway play about the life of Marilyn Monroe called Bombshell. And here's where it gets weird.
In April of 2015, the show's producers turned to Kickstarter to reunite the cast of Smash for an actual Broadway performance of Bombshell...and it's really going to happen! Over 1,500 backers have contributed to make the musical a reality and, since it's a one-night-only performance, the producers of Smash had better find themselves a big enough venue.
Anyone who had a computer and absent parents in 1987 remembers the raunchy adult game Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. Well, in early 2012, creator and game designer Al Lowe had decided it was time to introduce a new generation to inappropriate innuendo and sultry digital babes. The Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded campaign raised over $600,000 and was the first major video game ever to be released via funding from Kickstarter.
The Longest Journey was a Windows-based point-and-click puzzle game that released in 1999. A sequel followed, which was loaded with hanging story threads and cliffhanger endings. And for years, that was all there was to the Longest Journey franchise.
Turns out, that's a brilliant way to set up a Kickstarter, because by 2013, people were practically throwing money at their screens to get Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey made. This was originally intended to be a final game to complete the trilogy, but after raising $1.5 million, producers decided to split it up into five separate "chapters," each released separately. Peter Jackson would be so proud.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach's 2005 comic book series The Middleman was about a struggling artist is recruited by a secret agency to fight against evil forces. It was adapted into a TV series for ABC Family, but canceled after only 12 episodes.
While Middleman's audience wasn't large enough to sustain the interest of a TV network of a major comic publisher, there were still enough people interested that wanted to see more issues. So, the creator took to Indiegogo and raised almost $70,000 to self-publish new issues, as well as re-release all of the previous Middleman volumes and stage a live cast reunion in Los Angeles. It's kind of the perfect type of project for crowdfunding, by going directly to the fans and taking out the, ahem, middle man.
When LeVar Burton started a Kickstarter in the summer of 2014, the response was immediate. He asked for $1 million to launch a new version of Reading Rainbow, and he reached that goal in under one day.
By the end, the "Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere!" campaign pulled in $5,408,916, plus another $1 million matching contribution from Seth MacFarlane.
So, how did the new show end up? To find out, you'll have to read the book. (Cue guitar sting.)
Shadowrun, which started as a futuristic fantasy tabletop role-playing game, went on to become a successful video game series...until they released that awful adaptation for the Xbox 360 in 2007. After that, Shadowrun was dead.
But then came the crowdfunding revolution, and so creator Jordan Weisman paid up the money to purchase the rights to Shadowrun, and took to Kickstarter to scrounge together the remaining funds to create a new game for tablets and PC. And, 1.8 million dollars later, Shadowrun Returns was greenlit.
And so, here we find ourselves on the cusp of yet another sequel that would have been considered impossible to finance, were it not for crowdfunding. Broken Lizard, the fellows behind Super Troopers, just announced their intentions to create a sequel, Super Troopers 2, if they can manage to raise $2 million on Indiegogo.
In under 24 hours, they managed to raise 90% of their goal, so you know it's only a matter of time before you'll find yourself sitting in the theater, watching Super Troopers 2 with some popcorn and a litre o' cola in your hands.