2015 BattleTech Video Game Crowdfunding Campaign

Promtional Image for the 2015 Clan Invasion Kickstarter

In 2015, Harebrained Schemes ran a crowdfunding campaign on the Kickstarter platform for the BattleTech Vide Game. The original target was only for US$250,000, but that was well and truly smashed within the first hour. Harebrained Schemes then went on to raise a staggering $3,984,457 (PayPal donations included), one of the best results for game projects on Kickstarter in 2015.

The Backer Beta was released via Steam on 01 June 2017; the finished game was first released on 24 April 2018.


Harebrained Schemes announced that they were going to run a Kickstarter campaign to produce a new BattleTech Video Game.


Harebrained Schemes built their crowdfunding campaign around four funding stages:

  • Stage 1 - Base Skirmish Game. The base minimum single-player "skirmish" game HBS committed to funding themselves, with additional stretch goals to add Combined Arms (Combat Vehicles), additional mission types and expanded battlefield environments. The campaign's minimum funding goal was completed within 53 minutes of launch with the full Stage 1 goals funded in less than a day.
  • Stage 2 - Single Player Story Campaign. The first stage entirely reliant on crowdfunding, the second stage assured the inclusion of a extensive single player campaign with stretch goals to add cinematic introductions and transitions, a extensively detailed player-character origin system, professional voice acting and 3D character portrait customization. With the minimum single player campaign unlocked on very first day of the crowdfunding campaign, the entirety of Stage 2 was fully funded on October 18 2015
  • Stage 3 - Expanded Mercenary Campaign. Focusing on expanding on the game's included features, this stage was to add a richly customizable and upgradable home base for players, which eventually became the Argo DropShip. Additionally, legendary character appearances were funded as part of this stage. This stage was fully funded on October 31 2015.
  • Stage 4 - PvP Multiplayer. This stage was to fund the creation of online multiplayer system themed around the arenas of Solaris VII and offer both casual PvP matches as well as tournaments and league system with matchmaking. While fully funded on November 3 2015, the day before the campaign ended, technical difficulties reduced the released PvP features to simply casual matches.

Rewards, Add-ons and Backer Missions[edit]

Learning from the problematic and drawn out delivery of physical rewards for their Shadowrun campaigns, Harebrained Schemes largely focused scalable on digital rewards, primarily offering copies of the completed game, its soundtrack, art book, exclusive back cosmetics as well as a brand new original BattleTech novella written by Michael A. Stackpole. Physical items only appeared in hundred dollar plus tiers taking the form of a heraldry pack (featuring a banner, cap, patches, pins and dog-tags) for one of the Great Houses or a generic Merc brand and a custom nylon MechWarrior Flight Jacket featuring a ComStar blood chit inside.

Rather than offer additional copies of the physical items, the even higher thousand dollar tiers offered the possibility to design in-game unit emblems, appear as unique pilots in game available for hire, as well as cameo and feature character roles in the Stockpole novellas. The highest ten thousand dollar tier included everything as well as HBS funded in-person studio visit, and proved so popular it was offered a second time. Catalyst Game Labs would contribute to the campaign by offering discounted table-top game sourcebook PDFs and Classic BattleMech Blueprints as additional add-ons for purchase along with HBS offering the ability to buy additional giftable copies of the completed game.

To maintain hype and interest throughout the campaign, Harebrained Schemes introduced Backer Missions which backers and non-backers alike could participate in games, quizzes and sharing of notifications and updates on social media. Points allotted for how many took part unlocked Backer Mission Rewards such as the in-game inclusion of notable units from BattleTech history such as the Eridani Light Horse, Sword of Light, Fox's Teeth and Black Widows, cameo appearances of legendary MechWarriors like Morgan Kell, Justin Allard, Grayson Death Carlyle and Natasha Kerensky, regular live-stream update events and the expansion of minimum guaranteed one Micheal A. Stackpole novella into a four volume full-length novel. The final Backer Mission Reward was a live-streamed table-top game of BattleTech between Randall Bills, Loren Coleman and Brent Evans from Catalyst Game Labs and Jordan Weisman, Mitch Gitelman and Mike McCain from Harebrained Schemes for charity with the loser forced to shave off their beards. CGL would ultimately triumph in the "Beard-off".

The following products were available through the Kickstarter, either as core items, stretch goals, or add-ons:

Name Item Type Status
BattleTech Standard Edition Digital Copy New
BattleTech Original Soundtrack Digital Album New
Art of BattleTech Art Book (digital) New
BattleTech Beta Access Digital Copy New and Exclusive
Heir Apparent Short Story (digital) New and Exclusive
Apparent Catastrophe Short Story (digital) New and Exclusive
Catastrophe Unlimited Short Story (digital) New and Exclusive
Unlimited Honor Short Story (digital) New and Exclusive
Cosmetic Atlas Variant Digital Item New and Exclusive
Order of Valhalla Digital Items New and Exclusive
Great House Heraldry Pack Physical Accessories New and Exclusive
MechWarrior Flight Jacket Physical Accessories New and Exclusive
In-Game Custom Backer Emblem Digital Item New and Exclusive
In-Game Backer Character Appearance Digital Item New and Exclusive
Novella Backer Character Cameo Appearance Short Story (digital) New and Exclusive
Novella Backer Character Feature Role Short Story (digital) New and Exclusive
HBS Studio Visit In Person Event New and Exclusive


External Links[edit]


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