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Kickstarter game projects collect over $20M - Report

New York Times data shows crowd-funding site users have pledged over $20 million for game projects since site's inception; alleged scam project Mythic pulled from site.


Game projects have collected over $20 million on Kickstarter since the crowd-funding platform launched three years ago, New York Times data has revealed. The average financing total for successful game projects came in at $26,910, with only design endeavors ($29,409) and technology projects ($27,677) besting that figure.

Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men appears to itself be a myth.
Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men appears to itself be a myth.

The average financing for all game projects--those successful and unsuccessful--tallied $12,759. Double Fine's adventure game is the second-most-funded project on the site to date with $3.3 million, topped only by the Pebble E-Paper watch ($7 million). Other game projects to cross the million mark for crowd funding include Wasteland 2 ($2.9 million) and Shadowrun Returns ($1.8 million).

As Kickstarter grows, so too do concerns about scams using the crowd-funding site. A game project titled Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men was hosted on the site until three days ago, when Something Awful and Rock Paper Shotgun forum users exposed the project as a potential scam based on numerous examples of cribbed artwork. The product page remains live on Kickstarter, though funding requests have been canceled by the project's creator.

According to project founder Seth Westphal's LinkedIn page, he had been previously employed at the Burton Design Group in San Margarita, California. The company's CEO, Alfonzo Burton, told GameSpot today that Westphal was fired in February and that he should be "brought to justice."

"It has been brought to our attention a former employee Seth Westphal has taken images and footage from our website and other artists website's around the world to try and fraud individuals on," reads a line from the statement. "Mr. Westphal was terminated by Burton Design Group as office manager back in February for noncompliance.

"As an independent game developer we understand the value and importance of such services as Kickstarter and we are highly disappointed in Mr. Westphal and his deceptive practices and lack of judgement in an attempt to try and fraud gamers. We hope to see Mr. Westphal brought to justice and we'd like to see the entire gaming community stand up for our right as independent game developers to utilize crowd sourcing revenue to develop AAA games that people love to play."

Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men was to be an open-world action role-playing game developed by former Blizzard staffers and was described as similar to World of Warcraft, with graphics on par with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game's information page even noted that animations would be handled by "some friends at Disney/Pixar."

Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men originally sought $80,000 and recorded close to $5,000 before being shut down. The game's website has also been taken offline. As of press time, Kickstarter had not responded to GameSpot's request for comment.

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