The crowd-funding platform known as Kickstarter announces its figures related to video game campaigns, revealing the accrual of over $46 million in 2015.
Today, Kickstarter released new statistics on its blog, showing that crowd-funding for video games last year was much more successful than in 2014, as $46,177,705 was raised in 2015 by a total of 480,382 backers, which resulted in 421 successfully funded projects. However, last year’s figures for Kickstarter‘s video game campaigns fell short of 2013’s overall numbers, which ended with roughly $57 million altogether.
About 25% of the capital that supported video game projects in 2015 came exclusively from Shenmue 3, the most successful video game project on the platform, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which is the forthcoming spiritual successor to the Castlevania series from legendary developer Koji Igarashi. Both of the enterprises are still in development, and have garnered $6.3 million and $5.5 million, respectively.
Although a lot of dough has flowed into these and other campaigns, it doesn’t mean that 2016 will be the year that we actually see the final product of the aforementioned releases. After all, Cloud Imperium Games started raising money for Star Citizen all the way back in October 2012, and we’ve yet to see a completed release. Not to mention, statistical analysis has provided us with the knowledge that successfully-funded Kickstarter video game campaigns have a failure rate of only a third delivering a completed title.
Be that as it may, there have been many Kickstarter campaigns that actually went on to finish the process in its entirety and ended up releasing great games. For instance, without the crowd-funding platform acting as a financial intermediary for the independent developers at Larian Studios, the wonderful Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition would have never been possible. Not to mention, if Obsidian Entertainment didn’t use Kickstarter to help subsidize it’s isometric fantasy title, Pillars of Eternity, it may not have existed to become one of the best RPG games of 2015.
Due to an almost indiscernible amount of good and bad outcomes being possibilities for Kickstarter campaigns, it’s still tough to say whether or not the rewards of funding the projects outweigh the risks. At any rate, should ambitious titles like Shenmue 3, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Friday the 13th: The Game actually see the light of day, indie creators might become the torchbearers for a new era in game development with Kickstarter.
What do you think about the viability of using Kickstarter to fund video games? Do you believe that it’s nearly erased the dividing line between AAA developers and independent studios, or is such a notion still an impossibility at this point? That said, with disappointments aplenty (Peter Molyneux’s Godus comes to mind), should we even continue to fund games through Kickstarter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
In addition to Kickstarter‘s video game campaigns, creators have also found success with tabletop games, raising $88,916,039 in total for the medium.