Just when you thought the Games category on Kickstarter couldn’t get any bigger, it did. 2018 was the category’s best year yet, featuring over 3,300 funded projects from both household names like Homestar Runner and new voices like Miguel Angel Espinoza.
We at Kickstarter are very proud to be part of such a powerful, positive, and proactive community. Here, we look back at 2018 in numbers and projects.
Today we’re excited to announce that Oriana Leckert has joined Kickstarter as our Journalism Outreach Lead. Oriana has spent more than a decade working in the media: She’s written for a variety of outlets, including Slate, New York Post, Gothamist, Atlas Obscura, and Curbed, and she has edited for many more, including MTV News, Hyperallergic, Pitchfork, Voice of Witness, and The Believer. Her first book, Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture and Creativity (Monacelli Press, 2015), grew out of a multi-year project chronicling the rise and fall of under-the-radar creative places across New York City.
For the eighth year, Kickstarter creators will bring their documentaries, narrative features, shorts, and series to Park City.
This year, we’re thrilled to share that nine Kickstarter-funded projects will be making their way to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (January 24—Feb 3, 2019), joining the 123 Kickstarter-funded documentaries, features, shorts, and series that have been invited to screen at the fest since 2011.
From Jimmie Fails and Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Franciscoto Knock Down the House, a documentary following the campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other women running for U.S. Congress in the 2018 midterm elections, this year’s selected films push forward new narratives, showcase emerging talent, and enhance the way we tell stories on-screen.
Kickstarter’s Film team will also be at Sundance this January, hosting events, panels, and parties at the Kickstarter Lodge and cheering on creators at their films’ world premieres. (Follow @Kickstarter on Instagram for live updates from the mountain.)
“So many of these films began as projects on Kickstarter years ago,” says Kickstarter’s Director of Documentary Film Liz Cook. “It’s a true testament to the time, grit, patience, and care these filmmakers bring to the stories they tell.”
This fall, Kickstarter and the French graphic design and visual culture magazine étapes: teamed up to launch Bold Type, a celebration of typography in France. From September 1 to October 31, we invited artists, designers, and type enthusiasts of all stripes to launch typography projects on Kickstarter.
Last week, the Kickstarter campaign for Street Masters: Aftershock received a pledge of $209. For the creator, the independent game studio Blacklist Games, that represented another step toward bringing their board game expansion to life. For Kickstarter as a whole, it represented a thrilling milestone: $4 billion pledged to creative ideas on our platform.
You’re invited to launch a limited-edition project in January as part of Make 100.
In January 2017, over 470 creators launched projects as part of Kickstarter’s first year of Make 100, a creative initiative focused on limited editions of 100. Since then, we’ve seen creators take the idea in directions we never expected.
To kick off 2019, we invite you to join the Kickstarter community and launch a Make 100 project of your own. Whether you’re a curious first-timer or an experienced creator, there’s no time like a new year to take a creative risk, explore a new direction, and make good on your creative ambitions.
This winter, let us summon the ancient forms and blazon our sigils on portentous parchments!
Emerging in the early 1970s, RPG zines were hugely influential in the early days of role-playing game fandom and publishing. Inspired by classic titles like Judges Guild and Alarums & Excursions, Kickstarter is inviting creators to launch their own RPG-inspired zine projects in February 2019 as part of Zine Quest, a celebration of these influential documents.
A year ago we launchedDrip, a tool for people to fund their creative work on an ongoing basis. We saw this as another way to fulfill our mission — to help creative projects come to life — outside of the project-based funding we’ve pioneered with Kickstarter, and creator resources like The Creative Independent.
Since its launch, Drip has operated as an invitation-only service with about 100 creators. Recently we began talking with our friends at XOXO, Andy Baio and Andy McMillan, about the best future for Drip, and the best way to support creators and creative work through such a tool. These discussions opened up a new direction that we want to share today.
A New Project With XOXO
We are partnering with XOXO on a new project that will ultimately replace Drip, one in which Kickstarter will be taking more of a supporting role. The project, which will build on the work of the Drip team, will help independent artists and creators get discovered, find a community to support their work, and build a long-term, sustainable career.
To date, subscription-based funding has proven to be a viable source of support for YouTubers, podcasters, and other serial digital-content creators — but it is still a challenging model for artists and other creators whose output is less episodic. With Drip, we endeavored to build a method for ongoing funding to support creators who didn't see subscriptions as fitting their creative practices. Andy and Andy are in an excellent position to pursue that goal, as well as to better serve creators who are already finding traction with this model.
XOXO has formed a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) for the new project, which will be led and driven wholly by the vision and experience of Andy and Andy. Kickstarter is contributing seed funding, making the Drip code available to them, and providing other support. Andy and Andy’s work in developing XOXO, the premier festival for independent artists and creators who work on the internet, has been a master class in how to support people who fight every day to bring their ideas to life. They are the best people to be leading this new effort.
Kickstarter and XOXO have a long and deeply intertwined history. In 2012, XOXO was launched through a Kickstarter project. It has since grown into a thousands-strong community filled with people creating new things — and many of those people have used Kickstarter and Drip. Andy Baio was Kickstarter’s first CTO, has remained a longtime friend and informal adviser to its founders, and most recently served as a Kickstarter Fellow, working often with the Drip team.
Supporting Current Drip Creators
Kickstarter will continue to operate Drip in its current state for another year. We’re committed to supporting creators and subscribers on Drip while the new project is developed. (In fact, the Kickstarter and XOXO teams have already been in close contact with many Drip creators about the change in direction.) We’ll help creators export their content and securely transfer subscription and payments information to the new platform when it’s ready. And if a creator wants to leave Drip sooner than that, we’ll help them move to another platform.
Our Mission at Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation with an obligation to serve our mission, not one to maximize our profits. When we make big decisions, we focus on impact — how can we help people bring more creative projects to life? We still believe ongoing funding can work for a broad range of creators, and we’re big believers in the ability of Andy and Andy to make that happen.
Meanwhile our teammates who have been focused on Drip are being rededicated to the big challenges and opportunities within Kickstarter itself. We’re a relatively small company in the internet landscape (140 people), so that shift will have a real impact. Simply, there’s a lot to do through Kickstarter proper, and we’ll do it better and faster with more helping hands.
We’re thrilled to be working with XOXO, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as their plans take shape. You can read their announcement of the new project here.