Kickstarter successes in the games industry have been smaller and less frequent so far in 2014 - and consultancy firm ICO Partners expect developers to muster less than half of 2013’s total by the end of the year.
What’s to blame? A relative dearth of big name developers, ICO reckon, and Steam Early Access.
ICO have extrapolated data from the first half of this year to come up with a likely total for Kickstarted gaming projects in 2014 - $27,023,480. That’s huge, clearly, but shrinks in the shadow of 2013’s $57,934,417.
The analysts also expect to see around 20% fewer games projects succeed this year - an estimated 350, compared to last year’s 446.
Nostalgia fuelled much of 2013’s total, which included funds from Elite: Dangerous, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Camelot Unchained, Dreamfall Chapters, Mega Man successor Mighty No. 9, and Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar.
21 games raised over half a million dollars each in 2013. So far this year, we’ve only had three: Amplitude HD, Unsung Story, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
ICO analyst Thomas Bidaux said Steam Early Access might now be Kickstarter’s biggest competitor.
“The vast majority of the Kickstarter video game projects are PC-based,” he said. “When you consider the amount of work required to get a project funded on Kickstarter, compare it to the relative ease to go to Early Access in comparison, and add to that the fact that on Early Access the funding doesn't stop after one month, I suspect a lot of Early Access successes skipped the crowd funding phase to go directly to alpha funding.”
Kickstarter is evidently still an incredibly useful tool for PC devs. But is the “honeymoon over”, as Bidaux puts it?