If you’re an indie game developer, you should probably try your luck on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding platform has hosted 11 campaigns that have passed the $1 million mark, and among those 11, seven of them have been game related.
This year, Kickstarter declared, is the year of the game. The platform has had the most dollars pledged to the game category this year, with $50 million, and has been bumped up from being the eighth-most funded category in the history of Kickstarter, to the second-most funded category.
Kickstarter released some data that displays just how much money the gaming category is bringing in for campaign owners and Kickstarter. In 2009, just over $48,190 was pledged to game-related campaigns. By 2010, $519,885 was pledged, and that amount jumped to $3,615,841 by 2011. With the data from 2012 tallied up for the first eight months of the year (through August 31), 2012 saw a nearly 1,400 percent jump. Kickstarter revealed that of 36 projects that have raised over $500,000 in 2012, 20 of them have been games. And yes, there is still another four more months left in this year.
Kickstarter explains that the growth was spurred by the indie game project Double Fine Adventure, which ended up raising a total of $3,336,372 — over eight times its goal of $400,000. In just the first hour alone, the project raised $1 million.
“The gaming world hasn’t looked at Kickstarter the same way since. Double Fine signaled to game developers that they could use Kickstarter to do something that previously seemed impossible: make the game they wanted without outside interference,” Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, and Fred Benenson, an engineer, wrote in Kickstarter’s blog post.
Since then, game projects like OYUA, and the latest, Reaper Miniature Bones, and Planetary Annihilation, have breezed past the $1 million mark. A project like Reaper Miniature Bones, you may not realize, falls under the subcategory of board games, despite the fact that much of the attention on Kickstarter games has been focused on video games. But with the increasing profile of successful Kickstarter game projects, board games have tagged along for the ride to the extent that the amount of money pledged to board games has doubled, with 47 percent of board games successfully reaching their funding goals. Just 23 percent of video games, on the other hand, have been successfully funded, with an average of $96,000 pledged to video game projects.
Kickstarter notes that game backers tend to be the most frequent supporters of campaigns, but as more and more indie developers take to mediums like Kickstarter to raise awareness and funding, the competition for the backers’ attention will intensify. And hopefully the hype doesn’t lead to fatigue.