Kickstarter Investments Projected to be Down as Much as 50% in Gaming for 2014
The last couple of years have been great for independent gaming. With the consoles opening themselves up to be more open to indie devs publishing on the platforms and the growth of Steam and Humble Bundle, there are more indie games now than ever before. Also helping that was the rise of crowdfunding of games through Kickstarter.
However, really only a couple of years into the crowdfunding revolution in indie games, it might already be dying. A study suggests that 20% fewer Kickstarter projects in gaming are getting funded this year compared to 2013 and the dollars invested year-on-year could drop as much as 50%.
A report from consultants firm ICO Partners looked at Kickstarter gaming projects funding in the first six months of 2014 and compared that figures to the projects funded in the whole of 2013.
In 2013, ICO reports that 446 video game projects were funded on the popular crowdfunding site with total funds pledged of $57,934,417.74. They compared this to the period from January 1st to June 30th, 2014, which saw 175 games funded for $13,511,740.36.
At a straight extrapolation of doubling both of those numbers, ICO Partners projects 350 games will be funded by the calendar year end for a pledge total of $27,023,480.72. That’s a decrease of 96 project and $30,910,937.02. On a percentage basis, that’s 21.5% less projects successfully funded in 2014 with a decrease in money pledged of 53.4%. Yes, ICO’s projection has the games industry bringing in less than half of what they did last year from Kickstarter funding.
There are probably a few important reasons for the decrease in Kickstarter funding. There are fewer high-profile crowdfunding projects in 2014 and certainly fewer that are being covered breathlessly by the gaming “press” and talked about on Reddit and Twitter. Without that exposure, not as many eyes are coming to Kickstarter to fund the game that brought them to the site and any other interesting projects they come across.
The other change year-on-year is that 2014 is the first full-year of Steam’s Early Access. Early Access was launched at the end of March 2013 but Kickstarter had already been around for four years by that point so it was going to take Steam a bit of time to be seen as an alternative for funding to Kickstarter. Now that Early Access has grown more popular, more games seem to be skipping Kickstarter for Early Access instead.
I don’t think that this is the death of Kickstarter but more of a correction down to something a bit more normal in terms of funding. We’ll eventually the funding decline level out rather than being halved year-on-year. It’s just a matter of it reaching that bottom. It could be this year, next year or I could be wrong. With a relatively new product (crowdfunding), it’s hard to project what will happen to it. That’s why I’m interested to see what happens with Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general. It’ll be fun to see the evolution of a new industry before our very eyes.
Source: Games Industry