2013 was a year of continued growth for games projects on Kickstarter, analysis has shown, with around 30 per cent more video game projects successfully funded than in 2012 - and around 30 per cent more cash being pledged towards them.
The breakdown, from Thomas Bidaux of UK games consultancy ICO Partners, shows that games as a category was by far the biggest on the crowd-funding site last year, outpacing its closest competitor, film, by a margin of around $35 million. That figure, however, includes sponsorship for board games - a category which has shown considerable growth of its own to make up nearly 50 per cent of that total funding. Both video games and board games took nearly $60 million in Kickstarter funds last year, compared to around $44 million for video games and just $18 million for board games in 2012.
Drilling down into specifics, Bidaux finds that video games attracted an incredible $57,934,418 in pledges across 446 successfully funded projects - an increase of around a third from 2012's $43,968,843 across 297 campaigns. That increase, he says, shows that there's continued public faith in the model, rather than the fatigue-driven backlash which some had predicted.
In fact, he notes, whilst the number of tentpole successes - those campaigns raising $500k or above - has remained largely flat at 20-21, there has been a wide increase in other categories.
"To me, this looks like good news overall," he writes. "It shows a wider selection of projects can get funded via Kickstarter, and not just the very cheap or the very famous...I think this evolution stems from the development of a community of video game enthusiasts embracing the crowd funding principles. A growth from the bottom up sounds a lot healthier overall."
Bidaux also analyses the split of donations by region, finding the US an unsurprising winner with over $50 million worth of pledges, followed by the UK on around $5 million. Canada, Australia and New Zealand follow up.
"So far, there have been 5.4m individual people that have backed a project on Kickstarter," Bidaux explained to GamesIndustry International. "However, there have only been about 800,000 individuals backing a video game project. It is impressive that so much money has been pledged for video games considering that number of individual backers. They gave, on average, $120 to video games each. It also means that 10 per cent of them have backed Double Fine Adventures."