Crowdfunding in the Gaming Industry: Kickstarter and Beyond

By Srikanth
8 Min Read
Crowdfunding in the Gaming Industry: Kickstarter and Beyond 1

Crowdfunding is a unique opportunity for businesses, especially in the video gaming industry, to get a chance to develop their projects. After the 2007 financial crisis, numerous technological companies found themselves lacking access to conventional capital that was nowhere to be taken from. Eventually, a lifeline for these innovative companies turned out to be crowdfunding.

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In a few short years, crowdfunding has established itself as a fundamental pillar in the evolution of video game development, along with several other industries. While not every creator can enjoy the benefits of traditional funding avenues, crowdfunding is definitely a way to promote and develop very promising projects if people believe in them.

Not all industries that are associated with games can enjoy crowdfunding; for example, if you look at $5 deposit casino sites at CasinosHunter, none of them was or could be developed using crowdfunding. One of the key reasons is that casinos do not make their own games, they buy games from providers. On the other hand, some indie providers might have used crowdfunding to make their first games. So it all depends. In this post, we tell more about the intricacies of crowdfunding.

What Is Crowdfunding, Exactly?

Crowdfunding, simply put, involves rallying a “crowd” or a collective to finance your project, steering away from relying on major investors as most companies tend to do. In fact, proving the game’s worth to major investors and eventually becoming dependent on their view is a harder task than proving a game’s worth to potential players directly (or basically other stakeholders in the industry).

In the array of video game funding options, crowdfunding campaigns have emerged not only as a source of financial backing for smaller studios but also as effective publicity platforms. Yes, crowdfunding has more chances if the company has already built an audience but these processes can go simultaneously. This is because the nature of these campaigns directly fosters community building in the first place.

It is important to keep in mind that although many projects start well with their crowdfunding campaigns, not all of them cross the release line. In addition to the fact that a successful campaign demands huge effort, commitment, and dedication, it is also a fact that not all games are really fitting for the crowdfunding model.

What Games Are More Likely To Be Success With Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding platforms, especially the major ones, prove advantageous for games that leverage nostalgia in a powerful and compelling way or explore genres overlooked by most developers.

This explains the success of titles like Mighty No.9, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Yooka-Laylee on crowdfunding platforms. These games cleverly tap into the fond memories associated with the Mega Man, Castlevania, and other franchises, respectively.

Using the nostalgic charm of some classic games to push forward a new one is an efficient method for at least attracting the attention of the audience, but this is not all. Crowdfunding can be extremely valuable as a method of testing some completely new concepts that may be way out of the mainstream genres but the developers believe in their value.

In fact, many companies turn to crowdfunding not as a tool to actually finance their full production cycle but to test their concept, create a community, and provide their game’s value to potential publishers or major investors. The key here is to ensure that people are genuinely enthusiastic about your game.

Unconsidered Nuances About Crowdfunding: The Power of Community 

Crowdfunding, as it eventually turns out, is not only about money. While engaging major investors seems to be a safer option – financially, technically, and in terms of promotion – than navigating the whole journey from A to Z alone, crowdfunding can provide both support and freedom that investors can never afford.

One of the key nuances that many miss out on is communicating the value not only to the investors but to the potential players, as well. Engaging major investors to develop and release the game may lead to failure when the game is to be marketed to the gaming community.

While investors bring financial support and some insights, they inherently lack the influence of an enthused audience. Crowdfunding, on the other hand, allows to test the concept, create a community of fans and potential players, and also collect funding.

The community of players is also invaluable when it comes to fixing the issues, expanding the content, deciding upon uncertain aspects, of the game, and so on. Moreover, the community that eventually gets what they wanted will willingly, passionately, and completely free of charge market the new game to their own audiences, thus creating an even bigger wave.

A successful crowdfunding campaign can also capture the attention of potential publishers. When you’ve cultivated a sizable community willing to contribute funds to bring your vision to life, it signals that your project holds something extraordinary.

Three Best Platforms To Use

There are only a few platforms that enable crowdfunding on a decent and effective level. The three major video game crowdfunding platforms you need to be aware of are Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Fig.

Kickstarter

Since its establishment in 2009, Kickstarter has amassed a staggering $1.4 billion for over 65,000 gaming initiatives. Remarkably, 40% of video game crowdfunding endeavors on Kickstarter achieve or surpass their funding goals. Having hosted numerous triumphs in video game crowdfunding, Kickstarter has solidified its brand as a platform synonymous with quality and promise.

It’s crucial to note that Kickstarter operates on an ‘all-or-nothing’ basis. In simpler terms, if your project falls short of its funding goal, none of the pledged funds from your backers are received.

Indiegogo

Indiegogo is another crowdfunding hub that brought us gems like Factorio and Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn. What sets Indiegogo apart is its unique approach: unlike Kickstarter, you’re entitled to retain all the funds raised in your crowdfunding venture, irrespective of whether you hit the specified target or not. Indiegogo adopts a no-approval-needed policy, ensuring your campaign gets published on their site.

Fig

Unlike its counterparts, Indiegogo and Kickstarter, Fig embraces a blended model, accommodating both supporters and investors keen on contributing funds to a project. Supporters can easily back the project, enjoying the perks that come with it. On the flip side, investors secure a share of the revenue once the game hits the market.

Only campaigns that receive approval find their place on the Fig website. Fig operates with an open-access crowdfunding model, allowing you to continue receiving donations even after your campaign concludes.

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