Kickstarter is to me, perhaps, the most fascinating industry force of the past few years. While, I remain unconvinced that it has the likelihood or even potential to change the face of gaming or of funding for development of games — claims which I’ve occasionally heard whispered — there’s no doubt that it is also tapping into a deep well of interest from an aging internet generation with an increasingly disposable income to give at least some corner of the industry back to the people. Kickstarter may not have companies like Activision quaking in their boots, but there’s no question that it’s becoming a player in the game.
I have to remind myself that Kickstarter is a larger enterprise, where video game funding is only a part of the whole. It is somehow intellectually rewarding to log into the home page and see artistic endeavors of all kinds getting attention and patronage, and to know that because of Kickstarter, there will be more books, more art and more music in the world. And, more importantly, that those artistic endeavors have been facilitated through a more intimate medium, where the relationship between creator and receiver is direct.
But Kickstarter is also facilitating significant sums of cash. Add up the combined total of the top 3 funded projects for each major section of Kickstarter, and you get a number that is in the $20,000,000 range. Granted, the total sum of funding to all projects for Kickstarter since 2009 probably would be barely enough to back your average studio romantic comedy — the vast majority of those dollars come from within the past year, or even 6 months. Kickstarter is obviously on a roll, which to my mind leads to an important question about the long term feasibility of this system.
What happens when some of the high profile projects inevitably fail?