Kickstarter Games: Will the 8Bit Boob Bounce Sell?

8bit beat 'em ups are a popular genre, but to Kickstart a game it's necessary to find a niche market. The creators of Axe Princess have clearly identified their market - horny gamer guys.

On March 3, 2014 Kickstarter announced that it had passed over $1 billion dollars in pledges. It should come to no surprise to gamers that Kickstarter Games projects receive the most money. Tech Times reports that “…Since launch, people have pledged $215.75 million to gaming-related Kickstarters, with $189.84 million of those dollars going to successful campaigns.” 

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There have been several hugely successful gaming projects such as the Occulus Rift, The Banner Saga, Shadowrun Returns, and of course, DoubleFine’s Broken Age. Scrolling through the “Discover Games” section of Kickstarter will allow you to glimpse at some beautiful, crazy, and downright outrageous projects – and will also make your curse your existence since you can’t fund them all. 

Then there are projects like this: 

Axe Princess describes itself as a fantasy, action, beat’em-up game aiming to be violent and sexy. 8bit beat ’em ups are a popular genre, but to Kickstart a game it’s necessary to find a niche market. The creators of Axe Princess have clearly identified their market –  horny gamer guys. 

The lowest common denominator is a sad route to take; damning the overall quality of the game itself.  If you can let go of the 8bit boob physics for a minute (I know it’s hard, the bouncing is hypnotic) the gameplay seems fair and it’s clear that the creators have made quite an effort to advance the game this far.

There is unfortunately a long history of boob physics selling in video games. Games like Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball and Rumble Roses XX were primarily marketed through semi-nude characters and bouncing. Despite evidence of sex selling in video games (*cough* Lara Croft *cough*), it is unclear whether Axe Princess has found a viable niche on Kickstarter. With 25 days left to go, the project has received only 7% of the funding goal, which seems like a bleak beginning.

If this game fails, it can tell us one of three things: 
  1. The games industry is growing up and games can no longer be marketed on the level of nudity alone
  2. People still like boob physics in video games, but the creators were unable to create enough publicity to garner enough interest in their project.
  3. People still like boob physics in video games, but find the idea of next-gen graphic iterations of sex more titillating than 8bit versions. 

Considering Ryse was recently criticized for its bizarre breast physics, my bet is on three. It’s clear that gamers are still heavily invested in jiggle physics, and demand the very best quality for next-gen games. Whether Axe Princess is funded or not, at least the squishy fun bits on the game’s protagonist move better than this: 

 


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