Ambitious Blogger Calculates Kickstarter Games' Failure Rate

Ambitious Blogger Calculates Kickstarter Games' Failure Rate

A huge number of Kickstarter game projects go down in flames.

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You may have wondered just how many Kickstarter projects make it, and how many don't. AppsBlogger Jeanne Pi knows; she crunched the numbers for over 45,000 projects, looking to see whether there might be lessons lurking in the data for future money-hungry fundraisers. The answer may surprise you, for, though Kickstarter's mega-successes tend to hit the headlines, only 8.5% of the projects examined made double their funding goal or more, while 41.3% crashed and burned. Of the ones that crash and burn, gaming projects rank high, with 57% of those never meeting their funding targets.

It's not all doom and gloom for gaming Kickstarters. They do tend to attract the most backers, with only music and film or video projects being more successful at getting out the numbers, but their bloated funding goals may be a stumbling block to their success. According to Pi's data, projects with lower funding targets - something in the region of $5,500, tops - are the most likely to work, and gaming Kickstarters often have much higher benchmarks than that. You'd be forgiven for thinking that gaming was the most popular type of Kickstarter project, but it doesn't even come close. The winner in that particular horse-race is Film and Video, with over 13,000 entries, as opposed to gaming's relatively meagre 1,729 projects.

Pi has a personal stake in this, as she's looking to Kickstarter to get funding for her own projects. "I believe there's value in understanding failure," she says, "and in this case, failure to get fully-funded in a Kickstarter campaign." Her numbers are current as of June 2nd, 2012, and she's turned them into a very handy infographic, which anyone interested in their own Kickstarter should take a hard look at.

There's something here for everyone. For me, I had no idea theatre Kickstarters are as popular as they seem to be - and as successful, with 71% achieving what they set out to do. But then, they're not asking for a lot of money, and that seems to be the key: keep your goals modest, and you're more likely to get what you want.

Sources: Gamasutra, AppsBlogger

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For projects that no one else will fund, 50% success in achieving funding is pretty damned good.

You know what? I'm glad 57% of game projects don't make it. Just because it's on Kickstarter doesn't mean it's automatically worth investing in. Open funding from people who actually PLAY games is the best kind of quality control.

Captcha: dark horse
How fitting.

That pretty much coincides with most entrepreneurial endeavors. Only about 40% of those are successful. People are always over optimistic about new endeavors. They ignore the data that is right in front of their eyes and think that their ideas are so good that they cannot possibly fail. But, just because they fail once doesn't mean they won't try again and succeed. That is the thing that is maddening about the responses to Kickstarter projects that some gamers have. Just because it's not funded, doesn't mean they won't make a game. Einstein said the only reason he was successful in what he pursued was not because he was smarter or better than anyone, he just didn't give up.

I think 50% is pretty damn good. Thought the percent of failing projects would be much higher.
So, yeah. To me, this is somewhat good news. Yay!

DVS BSTrD:
You know what? I'm glad 57% of game projects don't make it. Just because it's on Kickstarter doesn't mean it's automatically worth investing in. Open funding from people who actually PLAY games is the best kind of quality control.

Captcha: dark horse
How fitting.

You worded that awkwardly. I know what you mean, but one could ask: why are you glad any fail? Wouldn't be nice if they were all awesome and all got funded?

Clearing the Eye:

DVS BSTrD:
You know what? I'm glad 57% of game projects don't make it. Just because it's on Kickstarter doesn't mean it's automatically worth investing in. Open funding from people who actually PLAY games is the best kind of quality control.

Captcha: dark horse
How fitting.

You worded that awkwardly. I know what you mean, but one could ask: why are you glad any fail? Wouldn't be nice if they were all awesome and all got funded?

Yes it would, but we both know they're not ALL awesome. It's better to have a game project fail because gamers themselves didn't want to play it rather than because investors didn't think it was enough like COD that Day One sales could pay for their mistresses' penthouse suites and breast implants.

DVS BSTrD:

Clearing the Eye:

DVS BSTrD:
You know what? I'm glad 57% of game projects don't make it. Just because it's on Kickstarter doesn't mean it's automatically worth investing in. Open funding from people who actually PLAY games is the best kind of quality control.

Captcha: dark horse
How fitting.

You worded that awkwardly. I know what you mean, but one could ask: why are you glad any fail? Wouldn't be nice if they were all awesome and all got funded?

Yes it would, but we both know they're not ALL awesome. It's better to have a game project fail because gamers themselves didn't want to play it rather than because investors didn't think it was enough like COD that Day One sales could pay for their mistresses' penthouse suites and breast implants.

But it would be nice, a world full of breast implants and penthouses. I mean... a world full of good games.

Unsurprising honestly. A large number of Kickstarter games have either or both issues.

1) Reaching beyond their means. I'm talking about projects like facebook-only games demanding $200,000. I understand thats the amount necessary, but you gotta sit down and examine more than just the cost. Certain platforms are just guaranteed to fail after you pass the $20k requirement.

2) No presence. I've seen plenty of games that looked awesome, having practically zero presence online outside of Kickstarter itself. And unlike the above, the platform means jack squat to this point. You don't get your name out there, no one is going to hear about it, and word-of-mouth doesn't exactly work as well when it only covers a web page and some ideas.

It really doesn't help when there's no proof of concept either, videos or even just some screenshots will do much more to motivate a person than reading a bunch of things.

Clearing the Eye:

DVS BSTrD:
You know what? I'm glad 57% of game projects don't make it. Just because it's on Kickstarter doesn't mean it's automatically worth investing in. Open funding from people who actually PLAY games is the best kind of quality control.

Captcha: dark horse
How fitting.

You worded that awkwardly. I know what you mean, but one could ask: why are you glad any fail? Wouldn't be nice if they were all awesome and all got funded?

Well, there's two kinds of possible failure. There's failure to get funded, which in the end doesn't cost people that pledge anything, and there's failure to deliver after being funded, which wastes people's money.

The presumption is that significantly higher rates of meeting funding would result in significantly higher rates of failing to deliver after funding. Better to fail at getting funding than waste people's money.

I am curious to know from those project that do get fundings how many of them do deliver the promises

Well, people have less money because of the whole world wide recession and many don't have the money to donate to kick-starters...

I think kick-starters are becoming far too common, I mean, nearly 46'000 projects...damn.

The numbers give overall rates of success/failure/ongoing for ALL projects - is there any breakdown by category?

Specifically, are there any numbers for computer games projects?

From what I'm seeing on Kickstarter, there are far too many game projects being floated by people with pathetically little experience and almost fraudulent sales pitches (some of which I don't see being technically possible). Is this a trend of "propose a dream project, take the cash and let the project fail as you dance to the bank"?

Seems like the perfect environment for a slick marketing professional to walk off with bags of cash.

Well I'm actually glad to see that at least 50% of the projects are successful. As others have said this is an investment and investing in something have risks to them. Not every investment is successful, look at the Nintendo Power Glove or the Virtual Boy. While people didn't fund them Nintendo themselves invested in the projects and they turned out to be failures. Such is how things in the world work.

 

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