2015 in Games: Kittens, Zombies, and Kung Fu

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Zombicide: Black Plague was funded on July 6, 2015.
Zombicide: Black Plague was funded on July 6, 2015.

Kickstarter loves games, and we know you do, too. But this year, we were blown away by the sheer force of your love. In 2015, more than 978,000 backers pledged over $144.4 million to Games projects — that’s nearly twice as many people and nearly twice as much pledged money as in 2014. We couldn’t be more psyched.

Tabletop and video games both hit major milestones this year, but what would a 2015 celebration be without a nod to the game that very nearly hairballed the internet? Exploding Kittens, from Elan Lee, Shane Small, and Matthew Inman, became the most backed project in Kickstarter history — and the most funded games project ever — raising nearly $8.8 million from a record-shattering 219,000 backers. 

Early in the year the board game Conan climbed atop the skulls of its enemies to overtake Zombicide: Season 3’s 2014 record as the most funded board game, with 16,000 backers pledging $3.3 million. But the zombie horde bit back hard during the summer with Zombicide: Black Plague, to which more than 20,500 backers pledged nearly $4.1 million — making it the current reigning king in board games. 

Exploding Kittens was funded on February 19, 2015.
Exploding Kittens was funded on February 19, 2015.
 

Tabletop games are definitely experiencing a major cultural moment, reflected in the breadth of innovative projects in that arena, but video games creators raised many a triumphant banner in 2015. Bloodstained whirled into the fray with $5.5 million in pledges, beheading Torment: Tides of Numenera's 2013 record total of $4.2 million — and then along came Shenmue III to knock Bloodstained off the hill, raising $6.3 million from a roaring crowd of more than 69,000 backers.

Shenmue III was funded on July 17, 2015.
Shenmue III was funded on July 17, 2015.

Thank you, each and every one of you. We anticipate even greater victories from the visionary games you create and support in 2016!

Update: We made a fix to the graphic to include the correct figures for the number of successful tabletop and videogame projects in 2015. We mistakenly put the 2014 figures in there earlier.

Comments
    1. Denis Michel on January 15, 2016

      Tabletop Games Total Backers: 522,061
      Video Games Total Backers: 480,382
      Total Backers: 1.002,443

      Your graphic says 978,189

    2. Missing avatar

      Thomas Fintzel on January 15, 2016

      @Denis Michel: Those 24,000 may have pledged in both categories...

    3. Josef Caruthers on January 16, 2016

      Exploding Kittens is retarded... I just don't get this cat crazy..

    4. Rowanty on January 17, 2016

      You show a total number of launched projects, but it might be helpful to show a breakdown of those total launched projects by category: tabletop vs. video games. Did tabletop do so (relatively) well because there is more interest in tabletop games, or because there simply isn't enough supply of video game projects on kickstarter? The total number of backers suggests the latter, but I can't be sure without seeing the breakdown of total launched projects.

      Looking at the stats we do have available though, supports my theory:

      Money per successful project (total pledged/successful project)
      Tabletop = 63,693.44
      Video Games = 123,467.79

      Money per Backer (total pledged/number of backers)
      Tabletop = 170.32
      Video Games = 96.13

      Backers per successful project (total backers/projects successful)
      Tabletop = 373.97
      Video Games = 1,284.44

      In two out of the three statistics I provided, video games more than doubles tabletop game in value. The third could be showing that video gamers are less likely to spend a lot on a given kickstarter, but I would venture a guess that it is due to a difference in the way the kickstarter campaigns themselves are run. Many video game (including Shenmue III, and Bloodstained, last years big players) have many tier levels, with few (if any) add ons. Gamers in general, tend to be collectors, or "completionists" but in order to access a lot of the goodies in video game campaigns, you have to be willing to put down hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The price tag for entry is too high because of the tiered entry system that video game kickstarters employ. A lot of tabletop games I've seen do the opposite. Fewer tiers, with lower price points, and lots of add-ons to allow backers to pick-and-choose their experience. This allows players an easy entrance to the kickstarter and eases them into spending more as more add-ons are unlocked and made available.

      What I'm saying is, I expect video games are going to be getting more attention in crowdfunding and I think kickstarter needs to do some work to show that crowdfunding for video games as a genre is not being overshadowed by board games as this article suggests:

      http://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/01/14/tabletop-games-raised-twice-as-much-as-video-games-on-kickstarter-in-2015/…

      But rather, video game projects are being undersupplied, and the campaign system currently in use could be tweaked to result in larger campaigns. This results in more value for the creator, the backer, and Kickstarter itself.

    5. Missing avatar

      Pixel Media Arts | David Clayton on January 29, 2016

      The math isn't adding up...

      Successful projects is wrong: 1396 + 374 does not equal 2,259
      Please provide a more accurate and detailed report. This is useless.

    6. Missing avatar

      rak minimarket on February 3, 2016

      thanks for sharing, i love so much this content.

      http://www.ancol-pulauseribu.com/

    7. Missing avatar

      happy valentines on February 6, 2016

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    8. Missing avatar

      happy valentines on February 6, 2016

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    9. Missing avatar

      happy valentines on February 6, 2016

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    10. Missing avatar

      happy valentines on February 6, 2016

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    11. Missing avatar

      happy valentines on February 6, 2016

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.