Nearly five years after Stoic Entertainment's The Banner Saga Kickstarter was launched, the Banner Saga 3's Kickstarter comes back to where it all began.
Compared to the first Kickstarter, The Banner Saga 3's goal is still quite modest, with its target goal set for $200,000. To compare, The Banner Saga 1's goal was $100,000 and it eventually was funded for $723,886. At the time of writing, just over $125,000 has been pledged at just over the first day of crowdfunding. There are no stretch goals yet, but one can assume that they will be unveiled after the title hits its goal.
For those who are unaware, The Banner Saga series is a turn-based tactical RPG where one has to make difficult choices that ultimately drive the narrative. During the course of the game, the player will struggle with training, healing, and feeding their warriors so that they can continue onward.
The combat system relies upon three things: Willpower, Strength, and Armor. Willpower is utilized for attacks and abilities, Strength determines the attack and health of the unit, and Armor determines how much damage a unit will take. For those who want a more in-depth explanation, check this handy guide.
Stoic Entertainment acknowledges that there are risks when starting the development of any new title, and the studio promises to be "... honest, upfront, and easily accessible to our community." With the large difference in sales compared to the first and second title, due to the second's disappointing sales, going back to Kickstarter is partly a marketing move and partly to give the studio more "breathing room" in case they need the extra funds. The Banner Saga 2, unlike the first and now the third, was not crowdfunded and done by using the studio's funds.
For those who wish to contribute, there are definitely some interesting rewards for those who wish to back the title. For $20, backers receive the base game, with the potential to get the whole trilogy for any tier if you add an extra $20, with $30 backers receiving an exclusive start screen and wallpaper. For $50, backers will receive a Heroic in-game item and alpha access to Game Battles, which essentially allows players to test in-game Banner Saga 3 battles and give feedback to the Stoic.
If you back the title for $75, backers receive the entire trilogy's soundtrack, digital artbook, and James Fadeley's novel the Gift of Hadrborg, although you can already purchase the novel for $7.50 and the first two soundtracks for $5 each.
If one wants to put more behind their backing, Stoic has you covered. For the enterprising individual that's comfortable with putting down a loan, one can become an Executive Producer and join a "substantial Board Meeting" for a mere $10,000. In the Board Meeting, the backer and the developers will discuss the design, art, production, and business behind the game, as well as being invited to a single "major" conference such as PAX West, PAX Prime, PAX South, or gamescom.
While the first two games have made their way to a myriad of consoles and handheld devices, The Banner Saga 3's Kickstarter is online and PC/OSX (GOG and Steam) only. For those who spent $50 on the first title's Kickstarter for the trilogy, you will receive the third game when it is released, although if you back this project, you will also receive $20 extra to spend in the pledge manager for various goodies.
While I personally thought the first game was good, I loved The Banner Saga 2. I'll probably be backing this, and anyone who enjoyed the first or second game should back this as well. While it's true that Kickstarter is mostly a crap shoot, with the proven success behind Stoic Entertainment and the overall reception for the first two titles (over 80% on OpenCritic), I feel that unless something catastrophic occurs we should have the last game in the trilogy around this time next year. I can't wait.
For more information on the title, be sure to check out the Kickstarter trailer below and its campaign.
What do you think of The Banner Saga 3's Kickstarter announcement? Are you going to back it? Let us know in the comments!