The mistake these sort of projects keep making is using Kickstarter as the means of projects CrowdFunding. It's just about the worst method, relying solely on gaining public attention in a very short period of time. It's the very worst method of CrowdFunding a game ever thought of.
Early Acces on Steam is much better, yet still pretty awful for various other reasons.
Primary amongst them being Valve taking a very large slice of the money.
The best method of CrowdFunding any game is the most successful method ever used.
Star Citizen's method is the way to do any game CrowdFunding.
To head off the inevitable, "but it was a Kickstarter" posts.
RSI had already raised $2 Million and Kickstarter hype was then at it's maximum.
The backers asked RSI to take advantage of the hype and another $4 Million was raised.
The crucial fact is that a failed Kickstarter wouldn't have stopped development.
Currently Star Citizen is backed by $70+ Million.
The RSI CrowdFunding method is a proven success. Even if the Game never releases.
Despite those who would claim backers have been ripped off, paying too much for ships/game, the reality is all backers haxe invested in an idea and a proven developers reputation.
The successful return for that investment will be a great game. However all investments are risky and if it fails then backers would get no return. No-one ever bought any ships at all and backers must be prepared to lose that money.
So why did Star Citizen do so well?
Firstly, no time limit was set to raise the funding. This is crucial, when the project starts is the absolute worst time to set make or break limits. Having a project starting target is fine. Taking the money plege,d only once this target is reached. The one thing a project should never do is stop taking the money when offered due to an artificial time limit.
Stretch Goals is another thing RSI did right, they started out Great and got worse as more money was raised.
Until they finally stopped completely, but fund raising never stopped.
This seems to be the wrong way round, but it's not. Stretch goals must be substantial early on to help raise interest and enthusiasm (hype). These will be fully costed and funded. Later ones will not be fully costed and funded, if they are bigger and better each time. They will cost more than has been raised and the dreaded feature creep issue is the result.
By promising a smaller reward each time, more and more of the money is "spare" and can becomes the contingency fund for the entire project. There will always be unforseen costs and anything left over can fund extra bonus content.
The project should at least break even at release, the backers get the return of their investment and actual sales become pure profit, this is when using Steam or in my preffered option GOG, to actually sell the game is viable. The biggest issue with early access is backers funds are going to the retailer, not to making the game.
The biggest thing RSI did right is the open development involving the investors in the process from the start.
Consider this, Bethesda Game Studios started working on Fallout 4 at the same time as RSI started Star Citizen, we all know it, yet even now we must wait for E3, before they actually announce the fact.
Star Citizen's investors are involved in testing every aspect. Even providing content for it.
BGS gets modders fixing their broken game after release, if at all.
RSI involves modders in testing and fixing their game before it's add released. Allowing them to just add more content afterwards.
The final key aspect is keeping the workforce size in check. RSI was just Chris Roberts at the start. Many of RSI's key staff joined after the money to pay them was available, though I'm certain they knew well in advance and may even have done some of the groundwork.
Now I don't expect most games to match or beat RSI's CrowdFunding World Record, by using these methods, however if it's ever beaten it will be using those methods.
Whatever a projects size, to succeed the investors require confidence. This is the model to use to provide that confidence. Without investor confidence, the projects destined to fail to raise the funds.
That applies, whether it's a crowdfunded project or not.
Kickstarter is a blind bet, now the hype has gone, against the odds.
Independent and open project CrowdFunding is still a bet, but one where the cards are shown to all involved.