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Kickstarter: more than half of game projects fail - report

By Mike Williams

Kickstarter: more than half of game projects fail - report

Tue 12 Jun 2012 12:03am GMT / 8:03pm EDT / 5:03pm PDT

Getting your independent game on Kickstarter doesn't always guarantee success

A new infographic (below) shows that Kickstarter may not be the instant cure-all that some independent developers think it is. Appsblogger created the infographic after scraping 45,815 Kickstarter projects on the official site. As of June 2, 2012, $214,558,344 was pledged across 2,974, 842 backers. In the games category, only 43 percent of projects were successful, with $22.7 million being raised in total.

In terms of number of projects submitted, the Games category takes distant seventh place with 1,729 projects total. Film & Video lead here, with 13,502 projects submitted, followed by Music with 10,887 project, and a steep drop off in Publishing with only 4,761 projects submitted.

On the flip side, the Games category takes third place when it comes to total backers with 499,562, meaning the backer-to-project ratio is among the highest with 288 backers per project. Film & Video and Music take first and second once again, with 681,912 and 571,421 respectively.

Successful projects averaged $5,487 per pledge, while failed projects averaged $16,365 per pledge, meaning those looking to launch Kickstarter projects should aim for a larger number of small donations instead of hoping that a few large backers can save you. All told, only 8.5 percent of all funded projects exceeded their funding goal by more than double.

On the bright side, if you play your cards right, you'll have a fully-funded game. Not unlike the Two Guys from Andromeda SpaceVenture Kickstarter, which just passed its $500,000 funding goal with 17 hours to go.


AppsBlogger's KickStarter infographic

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Alex Byrom Studying Multiplayer Online games design, Staffordshire University

33 0 0.0
Thanks for the article really useful. Not really looked at the other genres apart from games, hope to fund my own soon, to be honest there where some terrible game ideas on there so it's no big surprise that 50% fail

Posted:4 years ago


Andreas Tawn Lead Technical Artist, Ubisoft Reflections

1 0 0.0
It would be interesting to see success rates for pitches to traditional funding sources. I would be stunned if it was higher than 5% (not that we're ever likely to see that sort of data).
So while it's obviously not a guarantee of funding, Kickstarter is having a huge democratising effect over VC/publisher funding models.

Posted:4 years ago


Nick Parker Consultant

362 262 0.7
It's horses for courses - crowd funding is targeting start-ups (look at average raise for successful projects above), it's in the high networths category (although investors don't have to be wealthy in CF) for sourcing investment at early stage. VCs, on the whole and certainly in Europe, are for later stage so not really comparable but I do think that crowd funding will impact on the way VCs do business.

Posted:4 years ago


Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer

163 24 0.1
Why do people say that 50% is not a good score? One project over two get funded, isn't it good enough?

Posted:4 years ago


Kieren Bloomfield Software Engineer, EA Sports

104 102 1.0
True Hugo, it seems like negative reporting to say over half fail when you can state that almost half succeed...

Posted:4 years ago


Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer

301 169 0.6
The more interesting is the end result, yes, 50% get's funding (just like the new Space Quest did just in time), but what happens AFTER that, how many projects actually finish in the end, and to me it was never clear what happens with the money if a project isn't finished, because as far as I remember, you get the money if your hit your funding goal...

Posted:4 years ago


Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

621 727 1.2
@Jakobs: this is why the success of these early projects are so crucial for the future of crowd funding.

And I don't find the headline helpful at all. "Half of kickstarter projects fail", or "Nearly half of kickstarter submissions have been successful!". I quite like the second one as it better reflects what's actually going on.

Posted:4 years ago


Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer

640 370 0.6
Excuse me.

If 43% of game projects succeed - that is a HUGE success rate!

Posted:4 years ago


Brian Smith Artist

203 103 0.5
Failure has got to be expected for a %. Funding doesn't mean success. Sounds like good numbers to me and not the disaster that most were worried about.

Posted:4 years ago


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