No web series had ever crowdfunded more than $1 million
“Tabletop,” Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day‘s popular web series, raised $1.4 million for its third season on Indiegogo, setting a new record for a crowdfunded web series, the principals said Monday. The show broke the mark set by Freddie Wong, who raised $898,144 for the third season for his hit show “Game High School.”
Wheaton hosts the show, in which he and a series of guests play a new board game each week. The show airs on Day's Geek & Sundry channel. Wheaton set a goal of $500,000, and he will use the additional funds to film additional episodes for the new season and create a new show dedicated to role playing games.
A show about people playing games may seem uneventful to some, but it makes for some of the most popular videos on YouTube. More than 26 million people subscribe to PewDiePie's channel, which mostly features videos of Felix Kjellberg reacting to video games as he plays them.
“Of all the things that make me a geek — and there are a lot of them — nothing brings me more joy, or is more important to me, than gaming,” Wheaton said in a statement. “I created Tabletop' two years ago so I could show by example why gaming has kept me connected to my friends and family for decades. I hoped that we would inspire people everywhere to play more games, and eventually add more and more gamers to the world.
“I'm proud of the show we've made, and thrilled to make more, but TableTop wouldn't be what it is without the community of new and veteran gamers who have embraced us as one of their own.”
WME represents Day and advised on the deal. The agency hired Erin Spahn from Indieogo in January, hoping one of the site's earliest employees would help guide their strategy for clients.
That paid off qucikly. WME digital chief Dan Porter and Spahn credited the plan put in place by Day, Wheaton and the agency with driving the contributions. They planned out various stages of the campaign well in advance, and updated the page a dozen times during the campaign.
Geek & Sundry offered new prizes for fans that helped the campaign cross certain thresholds, from tangible gifts like Cards Against Humanity to the promise of more “Tabletop” episodes. Porter and Spahn have discussed crowdfunding with several other WME clients, and dismissed the idea that you can throw up a project with some reward “and expect money to flow.”
“It came down to execution,” Porter told TheWrap. “It's very analogous to social media in that you have to continually talk to people.”