RPG Crowdfunding - What a year and 150 projects brings to light

harpy

Retired User
#1
Rather than just keeping my posts buried 50+ pages in over on the Kickstarter thread in Open I figured I'd come here.

In my own quest to do a Kickstarter I decided that to do it right I needed data so I could make some evidence based decisions on how to go about it.

Over a month of work and I've got two reports I've done after collecting data from 150 RPG related crowdfunding projects from April 2011 to April 2012.

Part One deals with the broader numbers of the survey as a whole.
Part Two looks more closely at what occurred at various funding levels with backers. Along with that I look at key rewards that are offered for the RPG market.

I have a part three in the works, and I'll once I get my spreadsheets cleaned up I'll post the raw data files and then the real statisticians can tear this stuff apart.

I hope it helps people to figure out their own projects and how to get them off the drawing board and into people's hands through crowdsourcing.

Enjoy!
 

Destriarch

Sane Studios
Validated User
#2
Thank you for this, it rather confirms my own suspicions about the crowd funding craze.
Let's hope it can sustain this growth, I worry that people will soon become tired of it.

-Ash
 

harpy

Retired User
#3
There is likely going to be some form of "market corrections" but it's difficult to see it be a fad.

How I see things now is that crowdfunding is going to likely take over a lot of the traditional business model for RPGs. It makes sense in that the traditional approach has a huge cash flow risk attached to it. Now any company can greatly mitigate their risk. A big shift in the company is developing the most efficient and effective ways of running a crowdfunding campaign, which will drain some resources and brain capital, but the leverage is just too good not to invest in this new science.

One thing though that is interesting in this transition phase is the concern over what happens when all the major companies move towards crowdfunding. I get the feeling that there is some afterglow of the traditional business model where the publishers are the primary gatekeepers into the marketplace. What's happening now is that the marketplace is overtly becoming the gatekeepers and so it is less likely that crowdfunding will end up being used in just one manner.

Instead, crowdfunding really just becomes a tool that can take on varied forms. It could be a grassroots patronage, a pre-order or a ransom. The market isn't likely concerned with how it's being used, just what is being presented. With the market as the gatekeeper one of the last choke points an amateur has to overcome is their own ability to communicate compelling ideas to an audience.

I believe it was Daniel Solis who wrote a piece on the secondary market that is build up around Kickstarter. I could easily see a new "publisher" category of business being created where they are simply a marketing firm that knows how to take a product and sell it well on a crowdfunding site. They just take a cut from the funding raised and then move onto the next project and leave the creator with their end product and audience.
 

Destriarch

Sane Studios
Validated User
#4
Afraid the trend of major publishers moving to Kickstarter has already begun. Steve Jackson has one, for example, and there are a couple by other quite respectable and well-travelled companies. That worries me a little because I'd hate to see the Indie developers who really *need* a Kickstarter campaign to get their projects underway, overshadowed by companies with more advertising and a larger fan base.

-Ash
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered User
Validated User
#5
Afraid the trend of major publishers moving to Kickstarter has already begun. Steve Jackson has one, for example, and there are a couple by other quite respectable and well-travelled companies. That worries me a little because I'd hate to see the Indie developers who really *need* a Kickstarter campaign to get their projects underway, overshadowed by companies with more advertising and a larger fan base.
On the other hand this might bring more people to Kickstarter who then find out about the small indie companies.
 

Knarf

Registered User
Validated User
#8
One thing that I've been hearing about the last few months is the importance of offering a sponsorship tier targeted at retailers. I don't suppose anyone took a look at those numbers to see if a retailer tier is an important element to Kickstarter success.
 

NexusX

QT Games
Validated User
#10
Thanks much for your input, Harpy.

The thought of bigger companies getting into the mix at Kickstarter is a bit disconcerting. I was hoping it would be mostly a tool for those of us who really need the help. I know that Steve Jackson Games is still not huge financially, nor in staff size, but they do have a decent, fairly-solid fan base and have been in the business a long time. Even if bigger companies using Kickstarter drove more people to find out about the little guys on Kickstarter, there is still only so much money to go around.

It is also for this reason that I would hope game designers would think very hard on a project and what it takes to make it happen, before putting it on Kickstarter, (and to work very hard on it, when it is funded, of course) to minimize loss of faith over the little guy and minimize the number of games that fall on their face. We need to bring professional quality products to the market to help keep interest in funding around, otherwise if more big companies enter Kickstarter, they just might hog most of the money. Fortunately, there will always be those that like to support the under dog, but I'm not sure in the long run if it will be enough, especially if some of the money gets earmarked for projects that are destined to fail. Of course this means that hopefully the funders on Kickstarter will be more discerning. There are some neat projects on Kickstarter, but junk as well. Hopefully Kickstarter and the little guy will be able to thrive for many years to come.
 
Top Bottom