Correction (12/31/2012 @ 6:45 a.m.): This article previously read that 52,000 people contributed the $79M. That is not correct. It is actually more than 520,000 backers. Before publishing, we double checked these numbers with Kickstarter. The company’s spokesperson assured us everything was accurate. That was not the case, and we apologize for providing incorrect data.
As we punch the clock on 2012, we can safely call it the year of Kickstarter … at least for games.
After developer Double Fine (The Cave, Psychonauts) broke the crowdfunding concept wide open with its hugely successful campaign that raised over $3.45 million to produce a classic-style point-and-click adventure game (tentatively titled Double Fine Adventure), everyone wanted in on the concept. That led to the games category exploding on the site.
If you’re still somehow not aware, Kickstarter is a platform that creators can use to get funding for their projects from a lot of different people in exchange for small rewards, copies of the final product, or simply credit — and not from investors who will get a percentage of ownership in return. Inventors and creative people must pitch Kickstarter users on an idea, and then the public can contribute small (or large) sums of money if they want it to come to fruition.
We contacted Kickstarter, and a spokesperson told us that it was the crowdfunding site’s biggest year ever, and the 520,000 backers who contributed more than $79,000,000 toward game-related projects were a big part of that.
Above: The Android-based Ouya console brings the indie-game concept to hardware. It raised over $8 million on Kickstarter.
Kickstarter in 2012 vs. Kickstarter in 2011
In 2011, Kickstarter only hosted 87 successfully funded video game projects. That number skyrocketed to 255 in 2012 — and that doesn’t even count this month in December.
The number of backers in the game category (which includes video games and tabletop games) jumped from 45,622 in 2011 to around 52,000 in 2012, and the amount they contributed rose from a measly $3,616,530 in 2011 to nearly $80 million this year. Project creators must have stepped up their backer-reward game.
As popular as video games are on Kickstarter, there were even more board and card games. The site saw 385 tabletop titles successfully reach their funding.
Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, 162,665 people have backed more than one project in the games category.