The Oatmeal’s “Exploding Kittens” card game has raised nearly $8.8 million on Kickstarter, making it the third largest Kickstarter campaign of all time. It also became the most backed Kickstarter ever, with 217,000 backers. This puts the project just behind the Pebble smartwatch and Coolest cooler campaigns.
Matthew Inman, 32, aka The Oatmeal, is a popular Seattle-based web comic artist who partnered with game designers Elan Lee and Shane Smith to launch “Exploding Kittens,” a “highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette,” according to its Kickstarter description.
— Exploding Kittens (@gameofkittens) February 20, 2015
“Players take turns drawing cards until someone draws an exploding kitten and loses the game. The deck is made up of cards that let you avoid exploding by peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards, or shuffling the deck,” the instructions explain.
Elan Lee, 40, specialized in alternate reality video games and once worked as the lead game designer at Microsoft Game Studios. His past projects include 2001 game “The Beast” and 2004’s “I Love Bees.”
Shane Small currently serves as executive creative director at Interlude Ltd. in Culver City, California and served as a former principal art director at Microsoft for Xbox.
The success of Inman’s crowdfunding project doesn’t come as a surprise. The popular web comic has more than three million fans on Facebook and nearly 500,000 followers on Twitter. In August of 2012, he raised $1.7 million for the nonprofit organization Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyff to build a museum to honor Serbian-American electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla, who died in 1943.
Inman’s web comics typically go viral, and his site receives more than seven million visitors a month as of 2013, according to the Economist.