Funding for Kickstarter Games in 2014 Drops by More Than Half

With fewer big names and competition from Steam Early Access, Kickstarter games aren't raising as much money as they used to.

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If data from the first half of the year is any indication, funding for Kickstarter games in 2014 will drop by more than half compared to 2013, according to game consulting and market intelligence agency ICO Partners.

2013 saw 446 Kickstarter game projects get funded compared to the 175 projects that were funded in the first half of 2014 (between January 1 and June 30). If funding keeps going at that rate for the second half of the year, 2014 will see only a 20 percent decline in the number of successful Kickstarters. However, things look more grim when looking at the total amount of money pledged.

Kickstarter games raised $58 million in 2013, while the first half of 2014 stands at $13.5 million. "If 2014's second half is comparable (something that is not easy considering you need a similar number of big hits), 2014 would be less than half of what 2013 has been… A sobering consideration," ICO Partner CEO Thomas Bidaux said.

Bidaux theorizes that the decline is in part because all the big name Kickstarter projects were already funded. In 2013, 21 project brought in more than $500,000 in funding, a lot of which had recognizable brands or developers behind them. These include projects like Torment: Tides of Numenera, Mighty No. 9, and Elite: Dangerous. So far, only three projects raised more than $500,000 in 2014: Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Amplitude, and Unsung Story.

Another reason for the decline, Bidaux thinks, is that people are more aware that Kickstarter projects can fail. In 2013, we saw success stories like Double Fine's Broken Age and the Oculus Rift, but now we've also seen projects like Yogventures and Clang fall apart.

Finally, Bidaux says that some priojects might be going directly to Steam Early Access instead of Kickstarter, which might be better for many developers with playable builds since there's no end date for the funding campaign.

Which do prefer, Steam Early Access or Kickstarter? Let us know in the comments below.

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