If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Kickstarter "maturation means more money, but not for more people" - ICO

ICO Partners' latest analysis of Kickstarter shows dominace by fewer, larger game projects; also mobile appears to be a dead-end

While Kickstarter already shared some stats on the health of the video game sector on the crowdfunding platform ($46 million pledged by a total of 480,382 backers with 374 projects being successful), the researchers at ICO Partners decided to take a more in-depth look. According to Thomas Bidaux, "despite seeing a larger amount of money being raised for video games, I would put 2015 at the same level as 2014." What Bidaux and ICO found is that there's been a small decline in the number of projects being funded while success has been driven by large projects.

"The range of projects that are less common from 2014 are the $10k-$50k and the $50k-$100k ones. We keep seeing a growth of the very small projects, year-on-year, though," Bidaux noted.

"There are more projects than ever trying their hand at getting funded on the platform though. I suspect the quality bar to get funded is just getting higher. For most projects, it now necessary to have a demo of the game already available and the ability to show a rather advanced stage of the development process, much more so than in 2013. The fact is also that video games projects don't scale the way board games do. The average for a funded Video Games project is $43,000 while the average goal for a funded Tabletop Games project is $9,700. There are many differences in the way both mediums are built and developed and the ecosystem in which they evolve that mean that they will always behave differently as far as crowdfunding is concerned."

Interestingly, in 2015 it appears that Kickstarter got better at filtering out bad projects. "The junk ratio (proportion of projects that raised $0), while higher than the one for boardgames, is quite under the average you see on Kickstarter (20 percent). And even there has been a significant increase in the number of projects suspended by Kickstarter, overall the subcategory has not a massive amount of those," Bidaux continued.

Elsewhere in the report, ICO looks at how mobile games fared on Kickstarter. In a word: poorly. If you're a developer working on a mobile title, you're probably better off looking elsewhere for funding.

"One of the first questions to people coming to me with a video game project is 'Is it a Mobile Game?'. Those games don't get funded the way PC or Console games get funded and still many people aren't aware of this. This is a very small category. First, very few of them get funded. Then, the ones that do get funded, few raise a significant amount of money," Bidaux explained.

Check out the full blog post from Bidaux over at ICO Partners for much more analysis.

James Brightman avatar

James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.