Kickstarter has undoubtedly had a notable impact on game funding, for better and for worse. The crowdfunding site enjoyed a golden launch in which there was a lot of excitement and success, with a mix of inexperienced and veteran content creators using the service. We'd suggest that its image has taken some hits, however, with funded projects that have been delayed or cancelled and related issues attracting negative publicity.
Nevertheless, the UK version of the site has passed a notable landmark - projects launched in the country have now received £100 million in pledges. That's a hefty figure, and as the graphic from The Guardian shows below, gaming has been the lead area.
Though Technology is close behind, it should be noted that this is courtesy of these campaigns attracting higher average pledges due to the nature of the category. As you can see below, the number of pledges is significantly higher for games.
The figures are boosted by notable successes, the most significant being the Dark Souls Board Game, which accounts for nearly £4 million all on its own. These figures are only for UK projects, of course, with the US equivalent figures reportedly reaching $2 billion in pledges in November 2015.
While Kickstarter is still a notable force, its image is a little more complicated and mixed than the overwhelming positivity that greeted its launch. Nevertheless it's still proving to be a valuable funding platform for projects and creators of all sizes and types; unless you're trying to pitch a dance project, it seems.
everytime i see an exciting new product, i get interested. then the second i see 'on kickstarter', i am overwhelmed with a sense of 'ugh'.
I still don't like Kickstarter that much. If a game is cancelled, you can't get refunds so you're money has to be that lucky enough for these guys to give the game to you.
@Socar I view Kickstarters less as investments and more as donations, in a sense. If I back a game, I do it to show support for the project, though of course with the expectation that I'll get to play the pitched game at some point.
I've only backed one game on Kickstarter. It hasn't been released yet, but it's expected release date hasn't come and gone either, like so many others have.
With all the games that have cancelled their Wii U versions after using the platform to secure enough funding for their project, (so many games wouldn't have reached their goal without backing from wii u owners) I just can't justify backing any games on Kickstarter.
How many houses can you build in the UK for 100 mil?
@MitchVogel Thing is, when you donate for something like charity, your money will be used for a purpose. Here it just doesn't feel like its used for a good purpose.
What percentage of the £100 million has been invested in hookers and blow?
NVM, clearly acknowledged the Dark Souls board game. I am so hyped for that
I've backed over 50 Kickstarter projects. Most of them have succeeded, and those that didn't all provided a refund. There were varuous reasons for the failures, but it was usually because even with interested supporters, there wasn't ever any outside support behind them. Kickstarter successes usually don't just run on word of mouth (unless they're tiny, or are recalling past successes elsewhere). Big projects that succeed always have some kind of press and other third party support, whether it be reports for their clients/users to read, or networking with prominent figures.
As for the funding structure, Kickstarter is not quite the same as others like Indiegogo: if a Kickstarter project fails, the user has the right to get their money back. If the project proprietors don't handle it, then the user can ask their bank to rescind the charge. It's not an investment or pre order, but it's not a straight up donation either. It's more like a trust fund with conditions.
For Indiegogo projects, on the other hand, once the money is charged, there is no way to get it back, regardless of how the project goes. So it really is just a straight up donation in Indiegogo's case.
Kickstarter gets a lot of unwarranted flack for project failures. There's always reasons behind them, but they're either due to shortcomings of project management, or network opportunities that don't match up to their supposed level of interest. (The latter happened to at least 3 different edutainment titles I've backed.)
The public is also to blame sometimes- lots of people seem to only be interested in fancier projects that benefit them, as the graph in this article shows. What it doesn't show is that almost all of those games are similar to the types of games we would get traditionally, with enough differences that a traditional publisher wouldn't fund them. It is much rarer for more useful games like educational and other sorts of teaching games to succeed. It seems that people are more interested in having fun than learning...
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