Editor’s Note: “Exploding Kittens” officially ended its Kickstarter campaign Thursday. The crowdfunded card game has more than 200,000 backers and has raised over $8 million.
"Exploding Kittens" is the most backed Kickstarter project ever
The fundraising campaign gained more than 108,000 backers
The card game has raised more than $4 million online
Curious kittens exploding are the Internet’s new potato salad meets “Reading Rainbow” with a guest appearance by Veronica Mars, meaning this card game is seriously winning the hearts of Internet users and party game lovers alike.
“Exploding Kittens,” the card game dreamed up by video game designers Elan Lee and Shane Small and illustrated by The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman, is now the most backed campaign in Kickstarter history, in terms of the number of backers, according to the crowdfunding platform. The card game has raised more than $4 million since its January 20 launch – far exceeding the initial $10,000 goal.
Kickstarter spokesman David Gallagher confirmed the game, which has everything from magical enchiladas to cats that can kill you, had set a record for the most individual donors. More than 108,000 individuals have pledged as of Tuesday evening.
That’s more backers than the crowd-pleasing reboot of Veronica Mars, return of “Reading Rainbow” or the Coolest Cooler in the 21st century received in their individual campaigns. (Although LeVar Burton is at a close second with 105,857 supporters.)
The fundraising campaign still has 22 days to go before it’s officially over.
Luke Crane, Kickstarter’s community manager for games, says the success of “Exploding Kittens” is a combination of The Oatmeal’s online popularity, Elan Lee’s great reputation in the games world, and Kickstarter’s own game-loving community.
“They love being a part of making something new. And they’ve pledged a total of $305 million to games projects since Kickstarter first launched,” Crane said. “We knew it would be successful given the people involved, but we had no idea it would get this big.”
In an interview with CNN Wednesday, Elan Lee described “Exploding Kittens” as a strategic kitty-powered version of Russian roulette that gets more intense as users play the game because there’s a greater chance of drawing an exploding kitten card.
In its blog post, the “Exploding Kittens” team says the success of its fundraising campaign has nothing to do with money, press or fancy graphics and it has everything to do with the people who feel passionately about backing the game.
“It has everything to do with you. You wonderful people have come together to form the largest community in Kickstarter history, and the numbers keep rising,” the creators wrote.
The community is also helping to improve on the game, Lee said. Commenters on the Kickstarter page flagged their concern about left-handed accessibility when it comes to fanning out cards. Now the “Exploding Kittens” team is looking into how to make the game easy to use for right and left-handed people.
Lee estimates card decks will start being shipped by July.
“We pushed away everything to focus on our core promise that you send us $20 and we’ll send you the game,” he said.
Initially, Lee planned on printing 1,000 decks of “Exploding Kittens” and got an estimate that it would cost $10,000. That was the original amount on the “Exploding Kittens” Kickstarter page.
But when the pledges soared into the millions, Lee shared the Kickstarter page with his printer because he wasn’t sure how many orders they could fill. The printer, who also works with the popular Kickstarter game “Cards Against Humanity,” was floored.
“She just started screaming,” Lee said.
That’s the kind of enthusiasm Lee is seeing on “Exploding Kittens” Kickstarter page. “This is an amazing community. This is the place where people are coming together to help build this game. These 108,000 people will tell us what they love and what they were concerned about,” he said.