Project Eternity kickstarter campaign went live on September 14. The project achieved its original funding goal within 24 hours of launch, and was successfully funded on October 16, 2012, bringing in more than $4.1 million USD (including PayPal donations), making it the most highly funded video game project on all of Kickstarter!
On September 10, 2012, Obsidian's webpage began teasing about a brand new game (entitled "Project X"), it initially was a number 4 encircled by an Ouroboros. The next day it was revealed to be a countdown. On September 14, the Kickstarter campaign went live revealing further details of the project. The project achieved its original funding 1.1 million USD objective in just over 24 hours, and the first set of "stretch goals" were announced. In the last day of the campaign, Project Eternity surpassed Double Fine Adventure as the Kickstarter's most-funded videogame. On October 16, 2012, the campaign concluded with a total of $3,986,929, becoming the most highly funded video game on the Kickstarter platform. This record has since been beaten by Torment: Tides of Numenera. The team aims to have Project Eternity ready to ship for Q2 2015.
Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian's CEO, has explained why they chose to use a crowd funding model for Project Eternity instead of the traditional developer/publisher arrangement, "What Kickstarter does is let us make a game that is absolutely reminiscent of those great [Infinity Engine] games, since trying to get that funded through a traditional publisher would be next to impossible." In an interview, Josh Sawyer stressed that being free of the limitations of a publisher would enable them to "delve into more mature subject matter[...] slavery, hostile prejudice (racial, cultural, spiritual, sexual), drug use and trade, and so on will all help flesh out the story". Obsidian was inspired by InXile Entertainment's recent success of using Kickstarter to fund Wasteland 2. Chris Avellone mentioned at the project's announcement that if the campaign were to succeed, Project Eternity would become a franchise. He also ruled out a possible console port of the game, "Those [console] limitations affect RPG mechanics and content more than players may realize (especially for players who've never played a PC RPG and realize what's been lost over the years), and often doesn't add to the RPG experience." Additionally, he has pledged to write a novella set in the game world.
Project Eternity surpassed its initial founding goal and Obsidian has committed to incorporating additional features into the final product:
- 1.1 million, Base Goal – Achieved!
- Base game includes three races, five classes, and five companions. We have ideas for these, but we want to hear your opinions on what you'd like to see. Stay tuned to Kickstarter, our website, and our forums to join in on the conversation.
- 1.4 million, New Playable Race, Class, and Companion! – Achieved!
- Expands your options for character creation and adds a companion of the new class.
- 1.6 million, Mac & Linux Version of Project Eternity and The Story Grows! – Achieved!
- We've listened and we’ll make a Mac version of the game at this tier. We're also going to add a new major storyline along with new quests, locations, NPCs, and unique loot (special histories everyone?).
- 1.8 million, New Playable Race, Class, and Companion! – Achieved!
- The options grow for your main character and the roster of your motley crew expands with the addition of a new companion from the selected class.
- 2.0 million, Player House! – Achieved!
- Get your own house in the game that you can customize, store equipment in, and where your companions hang out, or, as the elves say, "chillax". Adds new NPCs, a store with unique new armor, clothing and weapons and.... more quests to adventure on.
- 2.2 million, a new Region, a new Faction and another new Companion plus French, German and Spanish translations! – Achieved!
- Great news, everyone! The wishes of the Tarball Knights of Gzippia have been fulfilled, and Linux is a go. But what are we replacing it with at 2.2 million? French, German, and Spanish text translations, that's what! That’s along with what we were already adding at this stretch goal - a whole new faction and all the territory it holds. This adds new NPCs, quests, magic items, stores, adventure areas and hours of gameplay. And yes, you got it, another companion.
- 2.3 million, Expert, Trial of Iron, and Path of the Damned game modes plus the Godlike race! – Achieved!
- Remember the Heart of Fury challenge mode from the Icewind Dale series? How about Ironman Mode from Temple of Elemental Evil? Hardcore mode from Fallout: New Vegas ring a bell? At $2.3M, we've got 'em all and they can all be turned on at the same time... Ouch! Also, Godlike races come at this level.
- 2.4 million, Crafting and Enchanting! – Achieved!
- 2.6 million, Adventurer's Hall with full party creation! – Achieved!
- 2.7 million, Paladins and Chanters! – Achieved!
- 2.8 million, George Ziets! – Achieved!
- It’s our pleasure to introduce our next stretch goal of George Ziets at $2.8m – with your help, we’ll be able to enlist the skills of George Ziets in shaping Project Eternity.
- 3.0 million, Stronghold!! – Achieved!
- At $2.0 Million, your support funded a player house. Inspired by features like The Sink found in Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues, the house is a convenient place to store gear, interact with companions, craft items (thanks to the $2.4 Million stretch goal), rest, and buy and sell from special merchants. Some of you wanted something that went beyond the standard player house, allowing you to take control of a full stronghold and its surrounding lands. Well-done strongholds provide players with the ability to make large scale changes, undertake special quests, customize the contents of the stronghold and the surrounding environment, and engage in light strategic gameplay between adventures. If we hit $3.0 Million, we will build a stronghold worthy of the title!
- 3.5 million, Big Big City 2!! – Achieved!
- Baldur's Gate and Athkatla are big cities. Spanning multiple large maps with a ton of interiors, characters and quests, big cities are a lot of fun. Like strongholds, they also take a lot of work to do well. We're going to have one big city in Project Eternity. Would you like two? If you take us on an exciting adventure to $3.5 Million, we will take you on an exciting adventure to another big city.
- 4.0 million, Enhance the Whole Game!! – Achieved!
- OK! After much team deliberation we have one final ultimate stretch goal. At $4.0m we will be enhancing the whole game. We will use live instrumentation for the soundtrack, add developer in-game commentary, and use every dollar between $3.5m and $4m to enhance the game. Also at $4.0m Chris Avellone will be forced to play Arcanum.