While I’ve got Kickstarter on my brain, I thought I’d point you to Kickstarter’s “Best of 2012” slideshow. It encapsulates another huge year for the crowd-funding site in a series of highlights. Some of them, like Double Fine’s whopping success or the MaKey MaKey banana piano, I already knew about, but others were surprises (or, at the very least, new to me).
10% of last year’s Sundance films were Kickstarted. 17 projects raised over a million dollars. (Double Fine, for instance, raised $3.3 million.) I didn’t know that Chattanooga got its own font, and Kickstarter was the #2 publisher of graphic novels according to Publisher’s Weekly. 2012 also saw the first marriage proposal via a Kickstarter project — but probably not the last.
But aside from the individual stories, I was also interested in the numbers. Kickstarter tends to list the good stuff: amount pledged, amount collected, projects launched and successful projects — but understandably they don’t highlight the downsides. For example, they do mention that the Games category (which includes both tabletop games and video games) was the highest-earning category this year, with over $83 million pledged. (Go, Games!) What they don’t include is that Games had the third-lowest success rate: only a third of the Games project launched were ultimately successful, even though the Games category generated the most pledges per project (and the most pledges overall).
The category with the highest success rate at 74% was Dance, which had the fewest projects launched, and after that came Theater at 67%. The overall success rate in 2012 was 43%, down a point from last year. More and more people are launching Kickstarter projects, but apparently we’re not getting much better at it. It’ll be interesting to see what 2013 brings.
I think in late 2011 a lot of people were worried that the Kickstarter board game market was oversaturated, and that the bottom was about to fall out. But in 2012 board game projects picked up steam. The question is, are there any great breakout games waiting to be discovered? I guess we’ll find out.