[dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]ay felt like a massive turning point in Kickstarter’s fortunes for 2015. Up until that point, the amount of successful campaigns, and the degree to which they succeeded, seemed far smaller than it had been in the past. Because of the launch of two massive campaigns (Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Yooka-Laylee) I felt that the website was re-energized with both new blood and existing members who were reminded of the crowdfunding site. With that said, I did not anticipate other events which would occur in June, such as the welcoming of more regions in the crowdfunding fold. Beyond that, we’ve seen many, many new users launching campaigns which are of the low information variety… But, enough with all that chatter, let’s highlight some of the coolest campaigns which ended successfully in June!
Raised: $7,501 of $6,317 goal
Days to Success: 29
You know what genre is pretty awesome? Metroidvanias. Of course, not every campaign can have the maestro of the genre himself at the helm (Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night) but Kickstarter isn’t just about fame. That’s what The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human showcased when it squeaked by with funding in the final week of its campaign. The 2D pixelated Metroidvania adventure game puts players in command of a teeny submarine in a vast ocean. Not only that, but it’s our Earth’s ocean after climate change has completely messed with everything in the future. The story concepts are interesting enough, but gameplay looks quite impressive as well. Fights against gigantic undersea bosses alone seem like they’ll be challenging!
Raised: $31,064 of $30,000 goal
Days to Success: 28
I’m going to just lay my cards on the table right now. Power Stone was a fantastic 3D fighting game and more titles should have been inspired from it instead of the genre’s more 2D (and, okay, popular) brethren. I’m definitely glad that Combat Core came back after an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign in the past. You see, back then it just didn’t feel like the title had been in development long enough to generate its own personality or style. By now, though, it definitely has a tremendous amount of both. Even with that being the case, this multiplayer-focused fighter just barely succeeded on the last day of its campaign! With that said, they now have a lot of folks excitedly waiting for the release of Combat Core.
Raised: $168,041 of $150,000 goal
Days to Success: 28
Horror games have undergone so many phases over the years. In recent times, we almost saw a return to “classic” horror stylings, before jump scares quickly took precedence again. Perception is a sort of horror adventure experience that’s unlike most everything else because of how players explore a big, creepy house. The protagonist is blind, meaning that players do not get to truly see everything around them, but instead get a ghostly image formed by sound and touch. As you might expect, this means you’re also not going to be wandering around with a shotgun or axe poised at the ready to take on whatever else resides within the estate. This is the kind of horror I can get behind, and apparently 4000+ other people felt the same way.
Raised: $42,079 of $36,347 goal
Days to Success: 29
In many ways, Power Drive 2000 reminds me of Drift Stage. Both racing games place a huge focus on 80s aesthetics, while also ensuring that gameplay has tons of awesome drifting. With that said, they both appear different enough for me to want to play both obsessively. It’s worth noting that the former is getting a place on the PS4, which is absolutely ridiculous (in a good way!). But all of this wouldn’t have occurred if the campaign failed outright, which it almost did. Yet again here we’ve got a project which was funded within the last 48 hours. Now that it’s coming retro racing fans can breathe a sigh of relief and wait for its impending arrival.
Raised: $17,867 of $15,000 goal
Days to Success: 27
I lamented the Kickstarter failure of Unraveled: Tale of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter earlier the year. It wasn’t just a cool concept to me. After playing the demo I found it to be an engaging RPG with a seriously beautiful world and unique storytelling. It seemed painfully unfair that the title had been overlooked. Luckily, the second Kickstarter campaign was a success (even it if was yet another one of those stressful, last week successes). With this game funded, others will finally be able to experience a really special game. My main hope now is that Unraveled: Tale of the Shipbreaker’s Daughter sees far more interest at launch then it saw during its funding campaign. Fingers crossed!
Here we are again, right around the middle of 2015. June proved to be an impressive month for crowdfunding, perhaps even record setting in regards to video game campaigns which finished sometime during the month. Last month saw total funding close to $900,000 — and that was high compared to April’s $400,000 performance. Of course, thanks to both Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night ($5,545,991) and Yooka-Laylee ($3,319,294) pulling in multiple millions each, well June far surpassed everything else with over $10 million in total funding spanning 33 projects. A definite thanks goes out to each of these projects for both drawing more users to the website and reminding others to utilize their Kickstarter accounts again!
Since we’re well aware of the two heaviest hitters this month, let’s take a quick look at the next two after that. Those campaigns are Umbra and Squad which raised $406,979 and $352,983 respectively. Umbra by SolarFall Games is a totally gorgeous, top-down hack ‘n’ slash game reminiscent of Diablo. Considering the massive affection for these types of games on PC, it makes sense this succeeded, though the fact that it did so with so much vigor is at least a little surprising. Offworld Industries’ Squad is a game that I personally have a lot less knowledge about, but it appears the fanbase is absolutely massive. In the end, this online FPS more than doubled their goal.
That’s great and all, but how much were campaigns asking for to begin with? In total, the asking price was “only” $1,816,442. The average goal pegged between all 33 game projects was $55,044. There were actually a fair share of developers asking for over $100,000 this time around, though a few asked for just a couple thousand. This average is substantially higher than the typical values around $15,000 in previous months. It seems there just happened to be a lot of powerhouse campaigns this time around. Notably, one campaign (Quadra Wolf Studios) this month asked for a single dollar in funding. Aside from that it appears everyone else was asking for a fair amount.
As for averages of actual funding, those initially tally up to $322,656. Of course, this is a number massively pulled upward thanks to Bloodstained and Yooka-Laylee. Removing only these two tosses the funding average way down to $57,495 which is just ever so slightly higher than the average goal amount. Again, even this value is much higher than the norm which typically flies somewhere around $20,000. It really appears as though June was a superb month for Kickstarter… at least when we’re looking at successful campaigns. For as many victories as this month saw there were also a huge amount of failures, but we’ll get to that in another article! If you’d like to take a look at each successful campaign then check out the handy chart at the bottom of this post.
I have particular interest in checking out just how long it takes video game campaigns to be funded. This small obsession formed as we continued to see projects seeking funds within the last week, and in particular final days. I can’t say for certain whether or not this has increased or decreased since past years, but it is certainly common in 2015! As is shown by the above table, a good deal of campaigns were funded early on, but then about half saw themselves squeaking by in the final week. It’s worth noting that only two projects this month utilized the 60 day period (Con Before the Storm 2015 and Machine Made: Rebirth) and Yooka-Laylee used a thoroughly non-standard 47 days. With that said, their campaign was funded within a day so it certainly doesn’t count in the “Over 31 Days” funding category.
This is the first month where I began gathering additional points of data to further the potential utility of Kickstarter data. Though I’m still working through how to use some of it, one data point proves interesting to me, and that’s where exactly campaigns are coming from geographically. For a bit of time I had believed that non-US $ campaigns seemed destined to fail more often than not, but that is certainly not the case after all. According to the information for June, while 14 campaigns were USD, 7 were CAD, 5 were Pounds, 4 were Euros, 2 were AUD, and 1 campaign succeeded with SEK. That means over half of all successful projects this month were via projects using non US currency. Yes, I realize that the currencies don’t always mix with the location of the campaign, though. For example, Tokyo Dark funded via CAD despite having its location set as Tokyo, Japan. Still working out the kinks!
So, this month’s backer graph looks quite silly, doesn’t it? Thanks to our two star campaigns of the month there’s little room to even see what was going on with other campaigns. Even relative successes such as Hero-U, On a Roll, and Perception barely eke out a bit of a bar on the graph. In any case, total backers this month topped out at 180,196. Please note that this number is the largest possible as it is immensely likely that some folks out there backed multiple campaigns this month. How many backers were pledging to successful campaigns last month? Just around 22,000. If we remove the powerhouse backer pools then that leaves us with 42,123 backers. That’s still double the amount from May which is definitely a good thing.
With backers in mind, it’s worth checking out what the average backer funding amount was. Between every campaign that reached its goal in June that value is approximately $43.40. Not bad, right? It’s especially exciting when you consider another piece of data I’ve begun gathering, which is to collect the lowest tier which comes with a copy of the game. This number ranges from $0 (free to play titles) to $30. Avoiding the $0 values, we end up with an average game reward tier of $13. That’s a pretty stellar deal for a game, and this value shows that most people this month were backing for more than just a digital copy of a video game. Perhaps they were seeking physical limited editions, t-shirts, or something else. In any case, it goes to show there’s a great deal of value in carefully creating a variety of reward tiers!
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. We look forward to continue sharing monthly wrap ups throughout the year! You can review analysis and wrap-up articles from previous months using this link.
Here’s a look at each successful campaign in a handy table to get a glimpse at (a small sampling of) the information we gathered to make this post possible: