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Kicked Off: The Majority Of Gaming Kickstarters Fail

So this is interesting. Kickstarter’s new stats page reveals that, despite Kickstarter being the focus of so much attention right now, only 33% of projects actually get funded. If you really want to get something funded, by contrast, you should be operating in the medium of dance, where 69% of projects have found funding. I’m not surprised about the figures for gaming, however, because many gaming kickstarters have been both highly speculative, and for relatively large amounts of cash.

Six hundred and ninety-nine game projects have so far been funded by Kickstarter (in contrast to 7,388 music projects). I realise I am responding without any real context for that number, but it seems like a huge figure, even against the rate of failure. That’s another seven hundred games due to come out in the next couple of years. And Kickstarter is just one small fragment of the overall picture of gaming.

Games are fourth in terms of overall amount of money raised, with $26.53m raised. That’s probably the most important figure, because it’s the one that reveals just how much money is – or isn’t – sloshing around in this brave new frontier of funding. Personally I am hoping that the crowd-funding revolution is just getting started, but the reality of the situation right now is that this isn’t going to fund anything beyond a large number of low-budget indie games. This amount of cash barely scratches a triple-A title budget, and will therefore give big publishers small cause for concern.

Nevertheless we have seen something critical come out of the gaming Kickstarters, which is that gamers have been seen as willing to fund the kinds of games that publishers no longer see as viable – like the turn-based RPG of Wasteland, or the Dungeon Keeper-alike of Nekro. We all know that there is some level of market for these games – because so many of us want to play them – and it’s my hope that Kickstarter will now prove to act as both a source of money, and a filter, for the games that we actually want to see get made.

You can keep up with Kickstarter’s gaming projects via our weekly column.

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Jim Rossignol

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