Over the years there's definitely been a waning in promotional significance and cultural relevance for Kickstarter in the gaming community, mostly due to scams and unfinished products. However, 2017 still saw a significant amount of traction for crowdfunded projects through the service, making it a huge year for games on Kickstarter.
The tweet comes courtesy of Luke Crane, the creator of The Burning Wheel. Crane is also the head of the games department on Kickstarter. He posted just before the new year, revealing that throughout 2017 the platform raised $163 million from $172 million worth of pledges. There were 7,033 projects that were launched, 2997 of which were successfully funded from three-quarters of a million backers.
I suppose it's good news, but the success rate of crowdfunding for 2017 was less than 42%. That means just under half of all projects failed to get funded.
Then again, a lot of it depends on the kind of projects that were funded. We don't really get a breakdown of what kind of projects made it through and which ones failed (i.e., were bigger projects more successful or were smaller projects more likely to fail?).
What we do know is that Crane reveals that to date, 2017 saw the most games funded on Kickstarter in year-over-year comparisons. Crane also revealed that 2017 saw an increase in gaming crowdfunding by more than 29%. So despite some people being soured on the service, there have still been significant contributions from the community to help kickstart games and software that otherwise wouldn't be made by a traditional publishing house.
I suppose the uptick in monetization from having more projects on the service compensates for the lack of fewer but higher profile games. During the early days of Kickstarter, it wasn't uncommon for big named game developers to pitch an idea and get anywhere between $3 million and $5 million for a project. These days the numbers are far more conservative, but the frequency of projects have definitely increased.
That's not to mention that some other studios have also resolved to finance games off-site. For instance, Warhorse Studios garnered initial funding on Kickstarter back in 2014 for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, but the remainder of the funding came through public donations on the official website.
Even with the exodus of some of the bigger names in the gaming industry, Kickstarter still managed to find a way to connect plenty of game developers with a dedicated audience willing to see specific ideas brought to life through crowdfunding, and it doesn't look like it'll be slowing down anytime soon.