While the popular crowd funding service has been around for several years now, Kickstarter truly came into its own in 2013. With high profile movie, tech, and game projects choosing to forgo traditional funding in favor of Kickstarter, the service’s public persona changed…for the better.
In 2013, for example, Kickstarter helped revolutionize the video game funding market, turning the end-user into backers and cutting out the middleman. Games like Double Fine‘s Broken Age and Star Citizen turned to Kickstarter for help, but more importantly they gained publicity from the service.
Overall, Kickstarter has been huge for video games this year, and video game projects were the service’s biggest category in 2013. All told, Kickstarter raised more than $200 million for video game projects, more than film and video ($186 million), tech ($86 million), design ($130 million), or any other category on the site.
That stat is a little skewed, however, as it totals money raised for all Kickstarter projects, even those that failed to hit their goal. Kickstarter, as most know, is an all-or-nothing crowd funding option whereby the backers only actually donate money if the project hits its goal and, similarly, the project creators only get to keep it if they hit the goal.
For those Kickstarter projects that hit their goal, like Broken Age or Double Fine’s other project Massive Chalice, the video game category accounted for about $178 million of the $789 million total, still more than any other category. This $22 million discrepancy isn’t all that indicative of Kickstarter campaigns’ success rate, though, as only about 35% of all game projects hit their goal. The Kickstarter for Shadow of the Eternals — the spiritual successor to Silicon Knights’ Eternal Darkness — fell well short of its goal, for example, despite substantial promotion and attention from the press.
Clearly, the Kickstarter “experiment” has grown into a viable source of funding, but it’s still treacherous waters to navigate. Some projects get funded and the result is less-than-ideal, while others never even get made. Nevertheless, video games are leading the pack, which means that gamers are adopting the service more than any other group.
Did you back any Kickstarter video game projects? What has been your experience with Kickstarter so far?