In recent years, crowd funding has become a great way for developers to get to create their games and avoiding the hassle of having a major publisher loom over the creative process. The concept sounds idyllic:
- Get estimates for how much your game will cost to make;
- Ask for people to donate money in order to reach that estimated cost – with little to no obligation on your part towards those who invest
- If you get to your sum, you get to make your game
Only recently the game Star Citizen boasted the sum of 55 million dollars earner from crowd funding, making it the most successful crowdfunded anything. However things in the world are not so idyllic. When the concept launched every single project seemed to get the sum required for creation, people being very optimistic in investing in non corporate products; sadly, in time, the numbers have began to dwindle. In 2013 Kickstarter raised over $58 million for video game projects alone, with 446 games reaching their goals. However so far 2014 only boasts the sum of $13.5 million and 175 projects. A Kickstarter representative had this to say according to Escapist.com:
“The number of successfully funded video game projects is actually up this year vs. the same period last year. And more importantly, there are so many super-imaginative projects on Kickstarter right now. The robots-vs.-monsters trailer for Human Resources has blown away everyone who’s seen it. Black the Fall, a post-communist sidescroller, is going to be epically spooky. Elegy for a Dead World is a game about… writing fiction! And it looks beautiful. The Black Glove (just launched) is a surrealistic game from a team of developers who helped makeBioShock and BioShock Infinite. And there are more than 200 other live video and mobile game projects on the site. It’s a great time for games, and our incredibly strong backer community knows that. The system really works – just ask backers of Wasteland 2 – but this whole approach to bringing games to life is still in its infancy. The best is yet to come.”
While the official word seems to be optimistic in view, it’s hard to believe that in the 3 months left in 2014 gamers will donate $40 million to at least come close to the yearly figure of 2013.
The apparent decline is – according to the online games consultant firm ICO Partners – is due to the decline of interest from gamers who may have found themselves caught up in the excitement of crowdfunding and also the growing power of things like Steam Early Access.