Over $100 Million Pledged to Games

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As we gear up for PAX East, the big gaming convention in Boston this weekend, we thought we would share an exciting stat: more than $100 million has been pledged to Games projects on Kickstarter, giving 1,476 new games the green light!

Games Category Stats

  • Total Dollars: $107.6 Million
  • Successful projects: 1,476
  • Total Backers: 633,242

In the past four years, more than 633,242 backers have pledged to more than 4,500 Games projects, nearly 1,000 of them in the past year alone. After the launch of Double Fine Adventure in February 2012, things really took off:

Dollars Pledged to Games 

  • 2009: $60,601
  • 2010: $546,362
  • 2011: $3,855,692 
  • 2012: $83,144,565
  • 2013: $22,423,264 (to date)

For a good illustration of how times have changed, look at creator Adam Poots, who raised $1,741 from 28 backers for his Kingdom Death miniatures project in 2009, becoming one of the first successful projects on Kickstarter. In 2012, Adam launched another set of Kingdom Death miniatures, raising more than $2 million. 

Even better than the amazing sums projects are raising? The games they’re producing. To celebrate this $100 million milestone, we polled the Kickstarter staff to come up with the ten favorite Kickstarter-funded video games and tabletop games we’ve been playing over the past few years, along with links for where to play or buy. We hope you enjoy!

10 Kickstarter-funded Video Games you can play right now (in no particular order)

  • FTL (Faster than Light) (2013 IGF Finalist), a space simulator aimed at recreating the feeling of cruising through the galaxy in a spaceship.                             
  • Kentucky Route Zero (2013 IGF Finalist), a magical realist adventure game set on a secret highway in Kentucky.                                                                                                          
  • Organ Trail (at PAX in the Indie Megabooth), a zombie apocalypse parody of the classic Oregon Trail.                                                                                              
  • Blindside (2012 IndieCade Finalist), a survival/horror adventure game with no graphics at all.
  • Guns of Icarus (at PAX in the Indie Megabooth). You are the captain of a steampunk airship in this post-apocalyptic MMO.
  • God of Blades (at Kickstarter Arcade), a sword-and-sorcery saga RPG for iOS.
  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, the 25th anniversary edition of this classic where you jump, dash and twist through a warped dimension. 
  • Strike Suit Zero (at Kickstarter Arcade), a fast and frantic space combat game for PC.
  • Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller,  a supernatural adventure game where you play an FBI agent on the hunt for a serial killer.
  • Zombies Run, an immersive mobile game where you help rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse.
  • Sidius Nova, a combination of turn-based and real-time space strategy.

10 Kickstarter-funded Tabletop Games you can play right now (in no particular order)

  • Miskatonic School for Girls, the first deck-building game where you get to build your opponent's deck.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse, an award-winning cooperative comic-book-themed card game.
  • Mobile Frame Zero, Lego mechs battling for control of your table.
  • Cards Against Humanity (at Kickstarter Arcade), a party game for horrible people.
  • Everything is Dolphins, an old-school RPG clone in which you play a dolphin instead of a dwarf, elf or human.
  • Zombicide, a zombie survival game featuring 71 amazing miniatures.
  • Tammany Hall, determine who really rules New York City in this boardgame about 19th century politics.
  • Unexploded Cow, a new board game by Cheap Ass Games creator James Earnest.
  • Gunship, dice, cards and boards collide in this tactical space combat game.
  • Ghost Pirates (at Kickstarter Arcade), a board game of ship-to-ship tactical action.

Thanks so much to all of the creators and backers and the incredible gaming community that has made these projects happen. We hope to see many of you this weekend at PAX East!

    1. Keegan Fink

      Unfortunately, Miskatonic School for Girls looks wonderful, but plays horribly. That aside, bonus points for mentioning Tammany Hall! What a great game :)

    2. Missing avatar

      Pedro Perez on

      Too bad Elite: Dangerous is not on the list because it's gonna be awesome! By the way, since the project "Gameleon" is a web business to make video games, could I make something like the project "Try iOS"? I'm asking this because on the Design and Technology guideline it says:

      "This means no e-commerce sites, web businesses, or social networking sites."

      I will appreciate your clarification.

    3. Missing avatar

      Andrew Martin on

      This all sounds great. Too bad I won't be backing any more projects via Kickstarter due to a recent highly questionable project that Kickstarter approved (think 9 year old and RPG camp). I have one open project remaining and that will be the end of it. In the future I will only support projects that allow me to bypass Kickstarter via direct Paypal contributions etc. IMO Kickstarter should sell themselves to Goldman Sachs...since you are well aligned with their 'any transaction is a good transaction as long as we get our fees' policies. I assume this post will be removed (unless your guidelines here are as vague as your project ones) but since legitimate complaints about that 'fund my life' project have seemingly been ignored I figured I'd give it a shot.

    4. Herb Campbell on

      Don't cry too much, else your soapbox will get wet and collapse under the weight of your self-righteousness.

    5. Missing avatar

      B Galliart on

      I agree with the following statement that the $100 million in pledges is "giving 1,476 new games the green light!" However, the bullet point below it makes a very damning statement about how Kickstarter defines success.

      Take a careful look at the following equation:
      1,476 green lighted (funded) games = 1,476 successful projects

      Note that the bullet point isn't "Successfully funded" but is worded specifically as "Successful project." Kickstarter is claiming there is a 1 for 1 ratio between being funded and being (as stated in their own bullet point) a "successful project."

      But this is far from how the average person or the game industry would define a project as successful. In October of 2012 the media had plenty to say about the Kickstarter project of Haunts: The Manse Macabre by Rick Dakan [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]. What seems to fit into the Kickstarter definition of being one of the 1,476 so-called "successful projects" brings from the media such words as "collapse," "failure," "quits," "sinking," and "mothballed." Not exactly popular words to describe what is considered to actually be successful.

      I was never actually a backer of Haunts, so I would like to talk about another one of the 1,476 game projects. I backed a creative sounding video game called Bacillus. The project author indicated the backers would be getting both beta updates of the game and the full copy for Windows, Mac and Linux. The game was funded on March 23rd, 2012. By May 18th, 2012 he stopped providing updates via Kickstarter. By August of 2012 his blog stopped being updated. The last update about the game was on twitter in September of 2012. The beta releases or any other hard proof of actual progress being made on the game where never provided. The project has halted to the point that the author doesn't even bother to pretend to be updating it anymore! And Kickstarter's only response seem to be to add it to the list of 1,476 so-called "successful projects"!

      I understand that it is Kickstarter's position that it is "not a store." However, even on that point it seems like Kickstarter is being less than honest with it's community. They have said "it's hard to know how many people feel like they're shopping at a store when they're backing projects on Kickstarter, but we want to make sure that it's no one." If achieving this goal is of real importance to Kickstarter then why is it that no place on the "What is Kickstarter?" page is there the words "not a store." How are they really making an effort "to make sure that it's no one" when the statement it tucked away in the corner of a blog entry back in September? Another key item to the "not a store" blog post is "Risks and Challenges." But coming back to the more prominent web page of "What is Kickstarter?" neither the word "risk" or "challenge" is used. Instead the page ends with a link to "A look back at 2012" where Kickstarter focuses completely on it's successes. Even in this blog entry specifically about Kickstarter games, discussion of risk and the story of Haunts which made media last year is just dismissed.

      Most upsetting of all, is that the bullet point of "Successful Projects: 1,476" suggests Kickstarter tracks project fulfillment, much like a store would. But, of course, Kickstarter is *NOT* a store. And they don't actually make any attempt from what I can tell to track project fulfillment. If they had, I would have expected to get a poll which asked me if I felt the project had been successful and if not then why (such as asking if the project provided updated ETA, project provided refund, project is unresponsive and no longer updated, etc). Without such a poll, I don't see how their claim of "Successful projects: 1,476" can be considered to be anything other than deceptive.

      I believe the issue of deceptive presentation of statistics and lack of transparency about the risk on prominent web pages are for the same reason. As pointed out in the statistics, there has been over a $100 million that has been raise which means Kickstarter's cut is over $5 million. While they are willing to speak of caution in the dark corners of their blog archives, they are dealing with big money and I feel they rather keep that trend going than really have backers take caution. If they actually poll backers on what the backers consider to have been successful or unsuccessful, they won't be able to pad their statistics to claim 1,476 successful projects. If Haunts is unsuccessful despite having gotten funded then they can only claim 1,475 which doesn't sound as good as the padded statistic of 1,476. What if the results of a survey indicate that backers consider over 10% of projects to be unsuccessful? What if that means they get 10% less backers in the future? At over $5 million in Kickstarter fees, just a 10% reduction is still a $500,000 loss! So, it seem to me they take the easy route of just not asking and then fictitously claiming 100% of funded projects are successful projects.

      I would like to make clear, I still believe in the concept of crowd sourcing--I really do. But Kickstarter is failing to build a trustworthy brand. Instead, the media seems to be picking up that when backers get cheated or scammed then Kickstarter just does not care.[8][9][10][11]

      [1] http://www.joystiq.com/2012/10/24/haunts-anatomy-of-a-kickstarter-collapse/
      [2] http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/10/haunts-kickstarter-failure-highlights-the-risks-of-crowdfunding/
      [3] http://techland.time.com/2012/10/22/when-promising-fully-funded-kickstarter-projects-go-wrong/
      [4] http://venturebeat.com/2012/10/19/the-haunts-kickstarter-collapse-only-two-backers-requested-refunds/
      [5] http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/10/18/fully-funded-kickstarter-game-goes-belly-up-haunts-the-manse-macabre-is-out-of-money-as-programmers-call-it-quits/
      [6] http://www.cabrerabrothers.com/indielife/kickstarter-haunts-manse-macabre/
      [7] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20003916
      [8] http://kotaku.com/5921739/kickstarter-doesnt-really-care-if-you-get-scammed-out-of-25
      [9] http://agbeat.com/finance/kickstarter-pledge-fatigue-scams-and-stalled-projects/
      [10] http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130212/09493721951/fake-kickstarter-game-raises-worries-about-platform-should-it.shtml
      [11] http://www.dailydot.com/business/why-kickstarter-ripe-scams/

    6. Jihad Alsawadi on

      oo bad Elite: Dangerous is not on the list because it's gonna be awesome! By the way, since the project "Gameleon" is a web business to make video games, could I make something like the project "Try iOS"? I'm asking this because on the Design and Technology guideline it says:

      "This means no e-commerce sites, web businesses, or social networking sites."

      I will appreciate your clarification.


    7. Missing avatar

      Andrew Martin on

      Kickstarter wishes to wash their hands of possible fraud on their site, but there is evidence that they are deleting 'negative' comments on projects which seems to contradict their stated goal of allowing the public to police itself. At this point they just want people to shut up and give them their money...'liar projects' being the new 'liar loan'...it's all good as long as we collect our fees!

    8. Msnadz List on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    9. Missing avatar

      Mike Hense on

      While most projects are born from legitimate goals by ethical starters, there are indeed some projects where the prospective supporters should definitely look beneath the surface... Leadwerks For Linux is one of these projects http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1937035674/leadwerks-build-linux-games-on-linux

      As a long term Leadwerks 2 licensee, i can no longer in good conscience remain silent as the one man show that is essentially Leadwerks, attempts to use KickStarter to fund what promises to be, based on past performance, an ongoing failure to deliver on promises made to prior licensees, and an outright misrepresentation of the capabilities of the current by posting screenshots of works made with the previous version, which has, for all intents and purposes, been abandoned (as has the licensees) , which exhibit graphics the current version is incapable of creating...

      In my opinion, this project is akin to a three card monty, where a you and your money are soon parted by slight of hand promotion and spin...

      Before you contribute to this project i strongly suggest that you Learn The Facts...
      Check out the Leadwerks forums yourself... download the demo...

      you'll see...

    10. Esteri on

      As a gamer who adores indies, this makes me incredibly happy to see. Some smaller studios simply wouldn't be able to realize their projects without the crowdfunding platform to demonstrate their merit and popularity. Steam is amazing for indie games as well, but Kickstarter ensures that games of all platforms and stages of development have a chance to get their ideas off the ground.

    11. Missing avatar

      nada on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    12. السيد مانجو on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    13. عبدالوهاب اسماعيل on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    14. السيد مانجو on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    15. السيد مانجو on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    16. السيد مانجو on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    17. Missing avatar

      Brenda C. Goodman on

      i totally agree with that Miskatonic School for Girls looks wonderful, but plays horribly. That aside, bonus points for mentioning Tammany Hall! What a great game :)

    18. Missing avatar

      esooturky on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    19. Missing avatar

      Namaku Keren on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    20. Missing avatar

      Doa Ibu Tersayang on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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