[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]very month on Kickstarter is filled with success, failure, and tons of excitement. As such, February featured a whole host of great projects which found themselves funded! If you want a general look at all 27 successful video games then you can check it out right here. Such data is great for a quick reminder of all the great projects on Kickstarter last month, but leaves many questions left unanswered. How much money did project creators make in February? Were most projects funded by a substantial margin or barely scraping by? This post exists to answer some of those questions crowdfunding fans likely have but have never seen sufficient answers to. Although we can’t yet use this information to analyze trends (as we have only started this article series now in 2015!) but in the future it will enable us to do so.
Note: All non-US $ amounts have been converted to dollars based on exchange rates as of this writing.
Let’s begin with the biggest, and in many ways most important, number that people want to know. Exactly how much money was funded through Kickstarter video game campaigns? February saw a total funding of $2,545,952. This is as compared to the total goal value of $1,203,126. Basically, 27 campaigns accrued double their funding goals. Obviously, not every campaign shared in a 200%+ funding achievement. On the whole though this is quite a healthy chunk of change that was funneled into campaigns. As far as averages are concerned, the funding average was $94,295 with average goal value set at $44,560.
Averages do not tell the whole story, of course. Although the funding goal makes it appear $45k is how much campaigns can ask for and succeed the reality is that most campaigns last month asked for far less. 20 of 27, in fact asked for under that value. What skews these values is that a few choice campaigns asked for $100k+. Removing such super-confident campaigns reveals a lowered average goal of $15,380. Then there’s the matter of that funding average which was skewed by one campaign raising over a million dollars. If we remove the most far-out success (and statistical anomaly) Shadowrun: Hong Kong then average final funding drops to $51,586. Basically, this serves to show that most creators should be cautious when attempting to fund games for more than $50k.
One thing worth asking from both a developer and backer perspective is how long it typically takes a campaign to succeed. After all, there’s nothing worse than watching a great campaign lose steam in regards to increasing funds. Project creators must face the stress of watching their campaign daily while plagued with uncertainty. Will the project succeed by the end or will it fall just short? On average, it took video game projects in February close to 18 days to achieve their funding goal. This means that for campaigns which generally have a 30 day goal it takes a little over half the campaign to succeed.
Sure, there’s still the possibility of day one funding but that is incredibly rare unless your campaign is a revitalization of some beloved franchise or offers a darn small funding goal. The only two campaigns part of the “day one” club for February were DrawAndRace3 with a goal of $153 and Shadowrun: Hong Kong with a goal of $100,000. A few other campaigns saw week one success, thanks to their sub-$1000 goals. 14 of 27 campaigns, or 52%, were funded after 20 days. Not only were these last week pushes, but a few took to the last three days! Those campaigns which cut it closest were Steel Assault and Project Scissors: NightCry (we’ve got a series of articles on NightCry if you’d like to dig into that campaign more!). It’s not possible to say with certainty right now, but it definitely feels like more campaigns are barely scraping by during their final campaign week.
We already know $2.5 million was pushed into Kickstarter last month, but how many backers contributed to that pool? There were a total of 66485 backers which is a pretty drat excellent amount of people. Average amount of backers for all campaigns is about 2554, but without Shadowrun influencing the numbers it drops to nearly half at 1395. As always, these backer counts reflect a shifting populace. Many arrive for one campaign and may never return, while others are Kickstarter fans always seeking out the next great project.
But how much did these backers pledge to the collection of video game projects? Average backer pledge comes out to $55.62, but that’s suspect in a few ways as well. For example, campaigns likely funded by friends and family such as Project DeMarque8, Gem Wars saw an average backer pledge of over $100. Beyond these circumstances, almost no campaign had backing nearly as high. One aberration is Project Scissors: NightCry at estimated $130.72. This can be explained by the very special circumstances surrounding the campaign (which you can gain more insight into via our Post Campaign Analysis). Removing the three most expensive average backer pledges yields a new, more “honest” average of $30. If you’re looking to run a campaign definitely consider having tiers right around this amount.
One aspect that might be a surprise is the apparent non-issue of campaigns lacking a playable demo. Of all 27 successful campaigns this month only 7 featured a demo. There’s no doubt that these were beneficial to those 7 campaigns, but they were not required to convince backers. Until recently, my personal belief made it seem that backers were growing far more reserved. If you have the option of providing a demo definitely do so, especially if your game concept is hard to explain or seems “samey”. On the backer side of things, it’s just a lot of fun to play upcoming games!
There is always more information to generate from Kickstarter video game campaign data, but these are just the most notable tidbits to us. If you’d like to know something else (more specific to one campaign, or other stats) then please let us know in the comments or even our forums. This is just the start of a very data-driven year here for Cliqist so please look forward to March’s stats!
Here’s a look at each successful campaign in a handy table to see where our information came from: