Perhaps, like us, you’ve noticed that since the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter campaign, the crowd funding platform has gained a lot of momentum in the games industry.
New success stories emerge regularly, and there are now 10 games successfully funded that way beyond $500,000. Not a small feat!
We’ve been working on a Kickstarter project with a client, and as this progressed I grew very concerned that the popular perception of Kickstarter = success is not complete, and that anyone thinking of funding their project this way should look at it very closely before going there and asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars. There aren’t a lot of data points to check, so we decided to do some research to understand the platform and its current capacity better.
First off, I should say that our methodology limited our data. We had to draw a line on the size of the projects we looked at, and we don’t have any data on the ones that failed (and that’s a real shame, as I believe this is the key information when you want to decide whether or not you should give this a shot). What we have is a snapshot of successful projects, but even this is quite helpful.
For instance, if you are trying to raise $250,000 for a PC game, you are trying to raise more money than the average PC game manages (that’s $233k). More importantly, you are trying to raise more than 10 times the median amount of money ($23k). Your project will need to be exceptionally attractive to pull this off.
Appblogger.com recently published a very useful infographic about Kickstarter. They used a scraper to get the data rather than collecting it manually (as we did), and I highly recommend checking it out: http://www.appsblogger.com/kickstarter-infographic/.
From their numbers, we can extrapolate that our data sample is missing about 656 games projects that are below the $10,000 mark. That’s a large number, and it would be nice to look more closely at those, but from a practical point of view we are not likely to work on any project of that scale.
We are likely to see a significant drop at some point when bad stories happen (and they are bound to happen) however, Kickstarter is generally set up to be a very nice way to finance small to mid-size indie games.
It is also clear that at the moment it favours PC as a platform and RPGs and adventure games. All good things to take into account if you are seriously considering putting your game out there and you want to make sure you set the right objectives for it.
Please let me know your thoughts and comments, especially if you find any errors in the thought process or the data.