Kickstarter has helped fund an innumerable amount of video game projects since it was founded in 2009, but 2016 exhibited a decline in support of potential gaming endeavors.
In the first six months of 2016, only $8.2 million was pledged to Kickstarter video game projects according to U.K.-based analyst consultancy ICO Partners. This pledge amount is down from the more than $20 million pledged to gaming projects in both the first and second halves of 2015 despite a comparable amount of projects being available to pledge in each period.
The success of last year can partially be contributed to pledges made to a small handful of projects such as Shenmue III, which earned over $6 million between June 15th and July 15th of 2015, as well as Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which took in $5.5 million the month prior. This year has not yet seen a major project that rakes in the pledges, although even without last year’s bigger projects, both periods of 2015 would still have a 40 percent edge on 2016’s first half.
When ICO Partners divided project funding by category it noticed that, while larger project funding has taken a significant hit, smaller projects are being supported at a higher frequency. This isn’t enough to make up for the major losses Kickstarter is seeing which could be partially attributed to the introduction of alternative crowdfunding networks, such as the near $4 million pledged to the creation of Psychonauts 2 via Fig.
Another symptom of Kickstarter’s decline could be the exponentially increasing turn-around for larger projects. As exemplified by the delays of Mighty No. 9, the more anticipated– and funded– a project becomes, the more it is likely delayed to meet consumer demand. This could discourage donors who perhaps do not have the patience to wait years to see the fruits of their contribution.
On the bright side, the number of “junk projects” are down in the past six months according to ICO Partners. These are projects that received no pledges, and their increasing absence could imply less of a inclination by potential developers to just throw out ideas that aren’t fully realized.