It was when Google/YouTube started this channel initiative that Felicia Day submitted her proposal for the Geek & Sundry channel and then approached Wil Wheaton, and Tabletop was born. Well, apparently Google decided that they weren’t getting much of a return on their outlay and are no longer funding these things, so the only way to continue production is to find other funding sources. Thus, Indiegogo.
One thing that I did not realize initially on reading the Indiegogo proposal was that it’s a form of funding that I hadn’t seen before: flexible funding. With this model, contributions go immediately to the project rather than waiting to see whether the funding level is reached by the deadline. The goal for Tabletop was reached a long time ago, they’re now up to $650,000 of their original $500,000 goal: the more money they raise, the more episodes get made. And if they reach $1 MILLION dollars (in requisite Dr. Evil voice), they’re going to produce an RPG series.
In this blog post, Wheaton explains why they need so much money. It boils down to: good quality television production is very expensive as it requires good people, and no one is getting rich on this project.