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Games projects grow by 30% on Kickstarter in 2013

ICO Partners analysis shows games as biggest category

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.

Spring time seems to be the month to push out your games campaign, but Bidaux notes that this spike is deformed somewhat by the huge success of individual projects like Double Fine Adventure.

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."

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