Successful UK games projects on Kickstarter raise more than £5.5m

Successful UK games projects on Kickstarter raise more than £5.5m 

An excellent analysis of UK Kickstarter projects has been published by Nesta’s Creative Economy Researcher Juan Mateos-Garcia. He collected data for 678 UK video game projects between Sept 2011 and Jan 2015. A number of interesting findings were shared:

119 (18% of total) projects were successful in reaching funding target, raising £5.5m. This amount is small compared to the usual budget for AAA console games but still quite important when considering that the Albertay Games Prototype fund distributed £5m since 2010. Kickstarter campaigns can also be seen a “seed funding” that will often be complemented later by early access and investment by publishers.

5 projects raised 60% of the total funds. They were:

  • Elite: Dangerous (£1.6m)
  • Project GODUS (£527k)
  • Broken Sword – the Serpent’s Curse Adventure (£479k)
  • Carmageddon: Reincarnation (£402k) 
  • War for the Overlord (£211k).

The top 25% projects raised 91% of the funds. This concentration is similar to other creative markets according to the researcher, usually dominated by a few blockbusters followed by projects with smaller projects and a long tail of niche projects. There is good news for niche genres: while shooters, sports games and adventure arcade games like GTA usually clearly dominate the consumer charts, it’s strategy, adventure, “other” and multigenre games that lead on Kickstarter. The presence of the “other” and multigenre titles hints at the platform’s potential for niche games.

The strength of companies is apparent when looking at the campaigns outcomes: while slightly more than 50% of projects were initiated by individuals, they were looking for 39% of the funds and ended up raising only 15% of funds. This highlights the assets a company has when spreading the word about a Kickstarter project: bigger network, experience in promoting (via videos, etc), a fan base and perhaps the most important: a professional track record of successful games that will reassure backers.

To analyse the current decrease of amounts raised by Kickstarter, the researcher mentions that potential explanations are projects that attracted one-time backers just for them and the stronger competition from projects from other territories or other media.

If you have any questions about the report you can, tweet them to Nesta's economoist Juan Mateos Garcia 

See full report here