December 7, 2010 · Success Stories

6Qs with Brad Crawford of “100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience”



Not sitting back and hoping the internet will pick up on your project is what you need to do. 

–Brad Crawford

100 Yen is Brad Crawford's biggest project to date. Brad and his team, Bryan, Haruca, and Eric, raised their $9,000 goal in just two weeks. This campaign won't be "game over" anytime soon with more than two months left and fans still inserting coins to keep these players alive.

Brad Crawford According to Brad, the key factors that turned 100 Yen into an overnight (or fortnight) success story are connecting to their core audience, offering some unique perks that both non- and ultra-hard core gamers alike will enjoy, and lots of planning before launching the campaign.

Q1. Tell us about your project… your inspiration and goals!

Having lived in Japan for three years and experienced the arcade scene there firsthand I realized upon returning home to Canada that our once thriving scene here has all but completely disappeared. This past summer, I decided to return to Japan for several reasons. One of which was the opportunity to begin documenting this amazing world of video game culture that is so prevalent throughout the country. I wanted to explore the scene more closely and see what kinds of stories would emerge.

Our goals are to help promote the arcade scene world-wide and hopefully bring more attention to an industry that is on the decline. There is a possibility of a resurgence of this type of entertainment and we hope that by bringing forth some of the more interesting stories to the general public we can create awareness and support for a culture that we love and enjoy.

Q2. What's your funding campaign all about? Who should care and why?

We are looking to return to Japan and continue filming the documentary, there are some significant expenses related to travel and accommodation. What you see in the trailer was done by one individual over a period of 30 days whereas we will be bringing a small crew to Japan as well as some higher quality equipment to better capture the astounding visuals that are so abundant in these metropolis. The funding we receive will help supply us with this equipment as well as the means to travel through the country which can get quick expensive.

While our main goal is to get to Japan, the more funding we can accrue, the better the final product will turn out.

Gamers, oldschool and new school alike are one of our key audiences. Japan-o-philes are also someone who we are catering to with highlights on the Japanese culture. Travel enthusiasts will also find something that might pull them in and give them reason to explore Japan. There are many audiences that can enjoy this film and we are looking to give something to everyone, create an entertaining, engaging documentary.

Q3. How are you reaching, engaging and involving others? Your DIWO tactics, please!

Our tactics involve reaching out to our main audiences. Fans of fighting games, anime, Japan, Arcades, video gaming in general and all things technological. Essentially we try to appeal to our target audience. In doing this we are attempting to be as easy to contact as possible. We want to give the sense that we are connecting personally with each and every person who comments on our videos or emails us directly.


100 Yen comments

We are also trying to give back as much as possible, be that with prizes, incentives or simply just as much content as possible. We are trying to keep people interested and let them give us input into how we can make the project better.

Q4. You're rocking the fundraising on IndieGoGo. Congrats! What's working?

As we mentioned, connecting with the right audience is absolutely critical. Also reaching out to organizations who can help promote your product better than you can. Having the trust of your readers really helps and we can't get that kind of trust in a day, sending our videos out to large websites that we have previously dealt with or contacted is a great way to get the ball rolling.

Having said that, it all started with friends and family, its funny how a few little contributions can create interest and support for your project.

Not sitting back and hoping the internet will pick up on your project is what you need to do. Make sure your target audience is aware of what you're trying to accomplish, be honest and forth coming with how you plan on using the funds and update often! If you get your first contribution or your 100th contribution, make a big deal about it. If you don't show you care, why will anyone else?

Having excellent incentives will also help, we quickly sold out of our $1000 incentives because we were offering very unique and sought after prizes. Get adventurous, and don't be afraid to spend a little money to make money.

100 Yen Perks
All of 100 Yen's high-level perks have been claimed

Q5. Any surprises or especially fun moments during your campaign that you'd like to share?

The amount of overnight support was incredible, the willingness of people to contribute or even when they couldn't contribute they would personally take the time to contact us and apologize and wish us the best of luck. It is these types of reactions that you hope for but simply don't expect. We reached our lofty (or so we thought) goal of $9000 in just over two weeks. We were also contacted by some very interesting people and organizations that either wanted to contribute large amounts of money or supply us with services such as music for our film. The support we received and continue to receive is mind boggling and definitely affirms our desire to make a stellar film that everyone can enjoy.


Kotaku Within a few hours of getting a mention on, they've jumped from $5,500 to $7,400

Q6. Any tips/advice/DATA for other aspiring entrepreneurs, creators and project leaders like yourself?

I'm not sure how accurate the data is in the dashboard for indieGoGo ie: how often is updated etc… however by our numbers we have received until recently over $1 per view on indieGoGo. So while the amount of views is definitely a sign of success, the QUALITY of views can be a strong determining factor in how well your funding campaign may go.

My advice is to know your audience inside and out, before you even start your campaign make a list of websites or other media outlets to reach out to and even contact them prior. Feel out what kind of reaction they have to your proposed project and tweak as necessary.

Make sure that by the time you go live on IndieGoGo, everything on your page is clear, concise and well written. A sense of professionalism will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals!

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