Video games have had their best year on Kickstarter since 2015, with over US$22.9million pledged to the medium so far in 2020.
This is according to a new analysis by Polygon, which noted that funding for video games “sprung back to life after years of anaemic growth”. In the four years prior, funding in the category had hovered around the US$17million range, dipping in 2018 with only US$15.8million.
Luke Crane, Kickstarter’s vice president of community, has attributed the growth to continued outreach to Japanese creators. “The culture of asking for money in Japan […] for a creative project is very different than it is here. We’ve been working with the communities there and trying to understand what it is they need to be comfortable to launch and also building up partnerships,” he said.
Of the games that were successfully funded, only four titles cleared the US$1million mark: Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes, The Wonderful 101: Remastered, Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous and Sea Of Stars. Together, the four games make up about US$10million of the category’s overall funding.
This year’s most successful video game was Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes, which ended its campaign in August with US$4.6million from 46,300 backers. The game is a spiritual successor to the Suikoden series and is headed by Rabbit & Bear, which was co-founded by Yoshitaka Murayama, who directed and wrote Suikoden and Suikoden II.
However, the amount raised by video games paled in comparison to tabletop games, which garnered US$233.8million in 2020. The most funded tabletop Kickstarter was Frosthaven, a sequel to 2017’s Gloomhaven, with just under $13million raised.