Crowdfunding site's 2013 figures show games have biggest payouts despite unlikeliness of success

Games draw $200m in Kickstarter pledges

Kickstarter has revealed figures for the year showing that games are once again the hottest item in crowdfunding.

It was only last year that games took centre stage for crowdfunding projects, and though skepticism has certainly grown since Double Fine launched its first Kickstarter campaign in February 2012, it doesn’t seem to have reached the pockets of consumers who want to see more unique or nostalgic indie games.

Games were the fifth most popular category for funding seekers, with only a quarter the total number of projects of Film, but managed to beat all other categories for the top earner spot.

Gaming campaigns drew a total of $200 million in pledges, of which $178 million went to successful projects.

That’s $112 million raised this year compared to $83 million in 2012.

The rest went to the rather high proportion of projects that didn’t reach their goal. Games were actually the fourth least likely category to succeed, beating only technology, publishing and fashion.

Of 7,930 games projects launched this year, 4,937 failed to reach their goal. Most failed projects – 3,518 to be exact – received between one and 20 percent of their funding goal.

This leaves only 2,669 game campaigns to divide up the biggest earnings of any category on the crowdfunding site.

This shows a few facts about how consumers spend on crowdfunding campaigns: gamers are more likely to bet on a horse that’s already out of the gate and on its way to a win, and successful games projects tend to have bigger budgets than other categories.

The two of course go hand-in-hand. More ambitious projects generally require more cash, and both of these translate into risk. If anything can be said of the two years crowdfunding has been of a staple of the game industry, it’s that consumers are just as risk averse as publishers.

On the other hand, a project that convinces the hordes of internet skeptics to lighten their paypal accounts will almost certainly get more money than the initial pitch sought.

The honeymoon is certainly over for crowdfunding, but by no means does that mean there’s no gold to be found.

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