Exploding Kittens, a card game from the artist behind popular webcomic The Oatmeal, ended its Kickstarter campaign with over $8.7 million and over 219,000 backers, making it the most-backed project ever, according to a blog post from the crowdfunding website.. It surpassed the previous record holder, LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow revival, by a factor of two.
In the game, two to four players take turns drawing cards from a shared deck. Anyone that pulls an exploding kitten is immediately killed unless they have another card that lets them defuse the threat, like a laser pointer to distract the cat away. Players can delay the inevitable by using cards to skip turns, peek at upcoming draws, and attack one another, but the longer a round goes on, the more likely it is that someone will draw the cat.
$8,782,571 makes Exploding Kittens the most highly funded game ever on Kickstarter, and the third most funded project of any kind. 219,382 backers, however, is more than any project of any type. That makes seven out of the top eleven most-backed projects games or game-related, including Wasteland 2, the Ouya console, and Double Fine Adventure (which subsequently became Broken Age). Exploding Kittens is the only card or board game to make the cut, though, showing what an important platform Kickstarter has become for both digital and analog game designers.
The campaign’s explosive success meant the developer could pursue all of its posted stretch goals, such as improved components and a complete NSFW version of the game to compete with that other, lewd Kickstarter card game breakout success story, Cards Against Humanity.
The Oatmeal is a popular online comic created by former web developer Matthew Inman. Its long form comics on subjects like mantis shrimps and designer-client relationships have attained immense, viral cache on social media sites like its peer, Hyperbole and a Half. A comic about the life of famed scientist Nikola Tesla led to a grassroots effort to open a Tesla museum on the site of his Long Island laboratory.