[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]very month Kickstarter is full of wild successes, and depressing failures. While some are always going to have that massive fan push behind them to see hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding others barely make it to the finish line. Due to the nature of Kickstarter, there’s simply not enough money to go around to fund every worthwhile campaign. The purpose of this post is to shine a light on those campaigns that had the chops for success, but for one reason or another failed to make their goal this time. Given campaign restructuring, additional social media pushes, and more they might make it in the future! Of course, anyone who has browsed through Kickstarter pages recognizes that many projects simply don’t have any effort put into them.
Curious about successful and failed Kickstarter campaigns and their data from previous months? Check this tag to see all our posts for 2015 so far. First, let’s shine a light on some of the cool campaigns of June that unfortunately failed to attain their funding goals.
Note: All non-US $ amounts have been converted to dollars based on exchange rates as of this writing.
Raised: $10,469 of $20,000 goal
Have you heard of a little mobile game named Ingress? This title may have not hit your radar, but it has gotten big enough to players are actually going to real life meetups in order to further their “team” progress. CCTV Nation expands upon the existing Ingress formula by implementing a new type of augmented reality game with people’s smartphones. Or at least, it would have, had the campaign succeeded. Players would “hack” security cameras and other devices in the real world environment in order to see their faction reign supreme over security systems. Perhaps it was a bit too similar to Ingress which has people scanning portals viewable in AR? In any case, Open Realities Inc. will soon be announcing their next plans.
Cyberpunk stuff is cool, right? Action RPGs are still a big genre too, aren’t they? Despite a nice mix of both in the futuristic world of Defragmented, it failed to draw an audience to get it at all closer to the funding goal. Heck, they even offered up a pre-alpha demo for play so folks could get a better taste of the world before choosing to back. It seems that the pitch from Glass Knuckle Games wasn’t enticing enough to draw attention from backers (and the eye of gaming websites). Or, this failure could be due to explicitly stating that Defragmented would be released regardless of funding and that the Kickstarter was primarily for licensing great musicians for the soundtrack. If you were looking forward to this one you’ve just got to wait until late 2015/early 2016 to give it a playthrough.
Raised: $16,902 of $20,000 goal
In a gaming landscape full of presumed or explicitly straight characters, the few folks who appear otherwise are a welcome breath of fresh air. With that said, when there’s an entire game focused around any portion of the LGBTQ community it’s one that I simply must share with anyone who is willing to listen! Fantastic Boyfriends was one such game poised to bring beefy bara dudes to smartphones in a romantic JRPG. Unfortunately, it appears that the larger “gayming” community didn’t catch on, otherwise I have a feeling it would have had no trouble being fully funded. The team got close, but will not be receiving the funds (despite being an IndieGogo campaign, they selected Fixed Funding). Of course, if you checked the page then you also know Fantastic Boyfriends is still set to release — it’ll just take longer!
Raised: $1,151 of $20,000 goal
Here’s a very thinly veiled secret about me: I dig 1) Horror games and 2) Women as protagonists in games. Nightfall: Escape jumped onto my radar for both reasons. Not only that, but it also brought folklore from the Philippines into the spotlight, which is an awesome concept. With that said, it appears the pitch was not compelling enough for potential backers who didn’t have my exact same mindset. Perhaps it appeared too much like every other first person horror release cropping up on Kickstarter and Greenlight. Zeenoh Games canceled their campaign but not their dream of creating this game. Since the Kickstarter, they released Nightfall: Escape onto Steam Early Access and so far have positive reviews.
Raised: $120,274 of $200,000 goal
I’ll admit, the wealth of games that have launched in a post-Kickstarter world with a heavy focus on exploration, crafting, and voxels often tend to fly right over my head. It’s so easy to write them off as attempting to simply cash in with a similar property, rather than create something new based off Minecraft inspirations. Voxelnauts was one of the few campaigns which appeared to be in the latter camp, at least from my perspective. They were not content to simply create a world — they were creating a galaxy that players had the freedom to play around in. There was just a lot of room for player control in ways that seemed more immediately open than what might have required mods in Minecraft to make work. Even though the campaign was eventually canceled, Retro Ronin announced they’re still fully committed to making this game and will even give backers a discounted price when they’re ready to start selling Voxelnauts.
Welcome to another month of (slightly delayed) failed Kickstarter game analysis! Please note that although one Indiegogo campaign was featured up top (Fantastic Boyfriends) this article is otherwise still devoted to Kickstarter specifically. If there is enough interest and time, and Indiegogo proves itself to offer more successful game campaigns, we may consider covering it as well. For now though, Kickstarter is the way to go!
How many campaigns failed in June? 108. Want to know something eerily coincidental? That’s the same exact number of failed campaigns from May! As with the month prior, this means that May and June are the current record holders for highest number of losing Kickstarter projects in 2015 so far. At least it’s good that even more didn’t fail or get canceled instead? This is compared to 33 successes for the month in regards to video games which means about 30.5% of projects made it. That’s one way in which June beats May (in a good way). May only had a successful percentage of 26%, meaning just slightly over 1/4th of everything submitted reached their funding goals. The jump might not seem huge, but, as a fan of crowdfunding, I’m definitely always hoping to see things get better rather than worse.
It’s important to note that not all 108 campaigns were of the same “quality.” If you’ve been on Kickstarter long enough then you’re incredibly well aware of some people posting a paragraph and a scribble and then asking for a hundred thousand bucks or more! That’s what we classify in the data as a “low information” campaign. Please note that only the most egregious examples of low information are counted in this check, as we don’t intend to skew a view of what is an acceptable pitch via what we are personally interested/not interested in. With that said, there were 31 low information campaigns counted this month. That’s higher than May’s 23, but also lower than April’s 36. It’s kind of gross to recognize that nearly as many low info campaigns existed as successes, but that’s the nature of the beast with crowdfunding. Here’s hoping one day Kickstarter can even slightly increase their standards to ensure that projects with a single line of text and no images cannot go live on the site.
You know what’s always fun? Taking a look at the total funding goal asked between every failed campaign on Kickstarter during a month period. For June, the value sits perched at the mightily high value of $10 million. This is in fact double the asking amount in May, which sat just slightly over $5 million. What’s up with that? Well, one only needs to peruse the realm of failed campaigns to see that one asked for over half this amount. Diablo Games (listed initially as Demon Gaming) has the honor of being forever remembered for asking a little over $6,000,000 on a campaign with only a few paragraphs, no video, and no artwork. Had they not cropped up in June, we’d be looking at a total funding goal of closer to $4 million which falls in line more accurately with other months. This isn’t the most expensive low info campaign we’ve ever seen (Virtual Tourism and its $11 million goal is set to break a record for July’s stats!), but it appears folks are reaching for the moon in increasing amounts!
Enough about what people asked for, as we know that the actual funding amount is far lower. Between 108 campaigns they saw $525,693 in pledged funds. That’s not absolutely abysmal, though of course all this money was never secured from backers because none of the campaigns made it. This number is also a climb from May where $300k was raised. In regards to average funding, that results in a small $4,868 per campaign. This is double the average raised per campaign in May which makes sense considering there were a few very “successful” failed projects this month. If we kick the top two (STARFIGHTER INC. and Voxelnauts) out of the picture then the average dips down to just $1,685. Yeah, it definitely appears that the less of a strong pitch you have (or total lack of attention via social media/sites) the lower the degree of funding set to appear at your doorstep. Take a look at the chart below if you’d like a better glimpse at how close some of June’s most (rightfully) expensive Kickstarters got to being funded.
None of this funding would have been possible without backers. June attracted a maximum of 9797 folks to contribute, although it’s entirely likely that some people backed more than one failed project this month. And what’s the average backer amount look like across all 108 campaigns? The average turns out to be just about 91, which isn’t bad. Given the very near success of a few Kickstarters, we’re going to remove the few outliers to get a more accurate picture of what the typical backer count really looked like. Removing STARFIGHTER INC. and its impressive 5389 backers, the average is snipped in half down to approximately 42. Oh, it’s still possible to succeed with that many backers, but generally the more the better… This is just a few less than the average in May of 45 (which also happened to be the same in April). It’s intriguing to see just how little this value seems to vary month to month!
Sometimes it seems that we see a lot of the same old faces relaunching campaign after campaign on Kickstarter, but June didn’t seem to be a huge month for that. In fact, only 10 project creators had already utilized the service before. Well, that’s based mostly off the “First Created” comment on a creator’s profile. Although I’m personally able to catch some such as One Final Breath’s repeated listing under new accounts (similar to AJTilley.com’s behavior), there are likely some I will never recognize. If you ever notice a campaign such as this yourself, please share it in the comments. Luckily, our community seems to be very aware of these things and have already done so with past articles. Thank you! Back on topic, the 10 repeat “offenders” is far less than May’s count of 26. Perhaps some folks are finally getting the picture that Kickstarter backers will not just throw money at every little thing.
Finally, I’d like to share some information related to the location of projects. Please note that I’m still working through how exactly to make this information useful, and at the moment can only tell us the different currencies campaigns used. Things are complicated because Kickstarter projects may use USD while listing their location as a completely different country, and so on and so forth. In any case, from most to least prolific currency we have: USD with 57 campaigns, Euro with 18, Pound with 14, AUD with 6, CAD with 5, and SEK with 4. Eight of the 108 campaigns also wore the attribution of “Kickstarter Staff Pick,” which may in fact be rather meaningless if what I’ve heard about it is correct. Do you have information as to how companies attain this label? Let us know!
We’re working on a brand new page where folks can view every single failed campaign in June (or heck, all of 2015!). Were there any that you wanted to see get funded? That’s it for the failed Kickstarter video game campaigns of June 2015. Be sure to check out our other month-end Kickstarter data recaps to get your monthly dose of analysis.