is probably the most well known crowd funding
website in existence. Basically, here you can obtain money for any creative projectnote
you have by submitting a description of your project (usually alongside a short video) and promising rewards to people who "pledge" different amounts.
While the site has enjoyed a reasonable success beforehand, Kickstarter has gone through an explosion in popularity after February 2012: not only did an iPhone dock become the first project to raise a million dollars, but legendary game developer Tim Schafer
announced he was going to raise money for a new adventure game, and Double Fine was only asking for $400,000 as its goal. Said project ended up raising over 3 million
, with 1 million raised in a single day
. The Order of the Stick
Reprint Drive also joined the 1+ million club the same month. Here you can find a nice retrospective
they released for their fifth birthday.
Schaefer's success then caused a large number of game developers to turn to Kickstarter
in the following months, and later talents from other fields as well. The website has played a significant role in popularizing the concept of crowd funding as a whole.
Notable Kickstarter projects include:
- Awkward Zombie: Volume One
- The Banner Saga: A Role-Playing Game made by former Bioware staff.
- Barkley 2
- Bee and Puppycat
- Betrayer: A Deliberately Monochrome Survival Horror game from former developers of First Encounter Assault Recon.
- Brawl in the Family: Volume One
- Broken Age (AKA Double Fine Adventure)
- Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse
- Boot Hill Heroes
- Buddy & Me
- Cans Without Labels, a short from John Kricfalusi tributing the frugality of his father through George Liquor.
- Carmageddon: Reincarnation
- Chivalry Medieval Warfare
- Chroma Squad
- City of Titans, a Spiritual Successor to City of Heroes.
- CLANNAD: An official localization by Sekai Project
- Darkest Dungeon
- Deep Dive Daredevils: A Diesel Punk webcomic about the USS Custer and its' brave crew.
- Defense Grid The Awakening 2
- Dick Figures The Movie
- Distance, Spiritual Successor to Nitronic Rush.
- Divinity: Original Sin, a prequel to Divine Divinity and Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.
- Dreadball, a sci-fi sport board game from Mantic Games. Like the Reaper Miniatures one further down this page, they used Kickstarter to fund and release the game and expansions far faster than they would have through traditional means. It also influenced development at points - the community's response to one MVP, Mee-Ken Judwan, led to the creation of the Judwan species as a team for the Season 2 expansion, for example. And much to the backers' delight; the game is far from being merely Blood Bowl In Space.
- Dreadball Xtreme, a sibling game focused on illegal, backalley games of Dreadball sponsored by crime-bosses and those who aren't happy with the DGB regulations, is also being funded via Kickstarter.
- Dreamfall Chapters, a sequel to the traditionally-funded The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey adventure classics.
- David Braben, one half of the team behind the groundbreaking Elite space trading/combat sim, succesfully reached his £1.25 million goal for ''Elite:Dangerous''.
- The Death of "Superman Lives": What Happened?: a documentary made by filmmaker John Schnepp detailing the history of the failed Superman movie, Superman Lives - the infamous film that refused to have Superman fly, have him fight a polar bear and deal with Brainiac and his "gay R2-D2 with attitude" robot sidekick.
- Dude Bro Party Massacre 3
- Ehdrigohr, a Tabletop RPG inspired by Native American Mythology.
- Erfworld, four times. The first was a project to make a motion comic from Book 1, that ended up funding several other goals. The second, an alphabet book featuring characters and creatures of the world. The third, a set of lapel pins featuring the battle crests for the seven major factions in the world. The fourth project is currently underway, with the goal of funding production of Book 3.
- Exploding Kittens: A card game, from the creator of The Oatmeal. Recently overtook Reading Rainbow as the most backed project of all time.
- Flash Point: Fire Rescue and multiple expansions for it.
- FTL: Faster Than Light: One of the first games from the site to actually get released.
- Freedom Planet
- The Gamers: Hands of Fate, as well as the mini-series spin-offs:
- Ghost Song: A Journey Of Hope: A Metroid Vania style romp.
- Girl Genius: The professors sought funding to print volume 12 of the comic, and ended up with enough to reprint the entire run. It's currently the fourth most funded Kickstarter in the comics category.
- The Girl Who Would Be King
- Godus: A god sim from Peter Molyneux.
- The storyboard animatic for a CG feature film adaptation of The Goon.
- Grave: A surreal, open-world Survival Horror game.
- Grim Dawn, an Action RPG developed by some people from defunct Iron Lore Entertainment. It will use the same game engine as Titan Quest and will be set in a Victorian Era. Expect to be Darker and Edgier and Bloodier and Gorier.
- The Grisaia Trilogy: An official localization of the Grisaia visual novels by Sekai Project, consisting of...
- Guncraft: A hybrid of Minecraft and Counter-Strike
- Harbinger Down, a horror film about a research team of college graduates who stumble upon the wreckage of a Russian ship and discover that the crew were performing experiments on tardigrades which are rapidly mutating, the film is being produced by special effects legends Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. and there will be absolutely no CGI creature effects.
- A Hat In Time, a Collect A Thon in the style of Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie.
- Homestuck Adventure Game: Reached its goal within two days, and ultimately raised over 350% of its $700,000 goal. It is to be set within the universe but not following the main canon.
- Hunie Pop
- Hyper Light Drifter
- I Am Big Bird - A documentary about Carroll Spinney, the last original Muppet puppeteer, who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.
- Johnny Wander: To finance the printing of the third paperback volume.
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance: A medieval but decidedly non-fantasy RPG from the creators of the Mafia series.
- Kingdom Death: Monster: A boss rush style tabletop horror game set in an original universe by Adam Poots.
- Kung Fury
- La-Mulana 2
- The Last Days Of Coney Island: An animated film by Ralph Bakshi a crime drama set in the 60s, his first in 21 years, it had been in development since the mid 90s.
- The Legend of el Lobodestroyo Vs. la Liga de los Villanos
- Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded
- LeVar Burton brought up a Kickstarter to help resurrect Reading Rainbow as a web series, even providing a large library of interactive books and video field trips to promote literacy to deserving kids across America. Its $1 million goal was funded in seven hours, and has finished with almost $5.5 million in total (including an extra million from Seth MacFarlane, of all people).
- Little Witch Academia Episode 2
- Lords of Xulima, an old-school Western RPG in the vein of Might and Magic
- "Manos" The Hands of Fate HD Restoration
- Massive Chalice, Double Fine's second KS entry.
- Mercenary Kings: A Retraux 2D shooter with action film inspirations and Item Crafting.
- Mighty No. 9, a Spiritual Successor to Mega Man led by Keiji Inafune himself. The third highest-funded console game so far.
- Mekton Zero: Funded in 3 days just before Memorial Day Weekend.
- Obduction, the Spiritual Successor to the Myst series and made by the same developers.
- Pale Blue
- The Pathologic remake.
- Pillars of Eternity, pitched by Obsidian Entertainment under the provisional title "Project Eternity", managed to reach it's $1.1 million goal within roughly 27 hours, and ended up making almost 4 times its original goal, beating the Double Fine Adventure as the most supported game Kickstarter on its final day.
- Planetary Annihilation, a Spiritual Successor to Total Annihilation and the Supreme Commander series.
- Penny Arcade Sells Out: Rather than one specific project, PA is looking to get the fans to pick up the site's operating expenses for a year. If successful, then they can work on projects for the fans instead of for advertisers.
- Downloadable Content podcast season 2: "Funded" at $10, reflecting the creators' desire to restart the podcast.
- Potato salad note
- Project Awakened
- Project Phoenix, the first big-name JRPG pitched on the platform.
- Project: NightCry, Hifumi Kono's spiritual successor to his Clock Tower series.
- Puzzle Clubhouse
- The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive
- The Ouya: An open, hackable console based off the Android OS which retails for $99. Its controller features two analog sticks, eight buttons, and a touchpad screen.
- Reaper Miniatures: Rather than expand their Bones range over several years, they used Kickstarter to try and expand the range a bit faster, with the newer models from the range being the rewards. They originally asked for $30,000 with a rather nice selection of models for a $100 pledge. As of this edit, they have nearly reached the $2.15 million mark and by expanding the $100 level reward with each stretch goal, those backers are now getting somewhere in the ballpark of 200 minis. As Tycho put it; "Itís a good thing that the Bones line being funded consists of plastic minis, because if they fulfilled this order in pewter or white metal it would influence the tilt of the earth, killing billions."
- RetroBlazer, as its name implies, is a throwback to classic first-person shooters such as Quake and Doom with some exploration and RPG elements. It unfortunately only reached $4,483 out of its $110,000 funding goal.
- RiffTrax wanted to live-Riff Twilight in August 2013. They asked Kickstarter users for $55,000 so they could get the rights from Lionsgate. They ended up with $264,860. The studio declined, so the guys ended up taking on Starship Troopers instead.
- RiffTrax returned to Kickstarter when they wanted to get the rights to live-Riff Godzilla (1998). (After Twilight, they made sure that the studio was already OK with the plan as long as the check cleared.) They asked for $100,000, and got it in a couple days. So they announced (again, after checking with the studio first) that if they reached $250,000, they'd add a live-Riff of Anaconda to the schedule. Final total: $265,011.
- Initially Chris Roberts tried to crowd-fund Star Citizen through his own website, but so many people tried to pledge that the server couldn't handle it and crashed. To address the site's instability and make up for lost time, he started a Kickstarter project as well.
- Sunless Sea
- Super Retro Squad
- The English-language localization of The Tale Of ALLTYNEX
- Thanks Killing 3
- That Dragon Cancer
- Theatre Is Evil, an album by Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Notable for surpassing its $100,000 goal to the tune of $1.2 million, and the album debuted on the Billboard top 100 Album list at number 10 due to the immense number of Kickstarter pre-orders. (Later provoked a bit of a controversy online when Palmer invited local musicians to play with the tour gratis.)
- Torment: Tides of Numenera, the Spiritual Successor to Planescape: Torment based on Numenera. Fully funded in just six hours and went on to become the most funded video game to date on Kickstarter, having surpassed Project Eternity by $200k on its final day.
- Tropes vs. Women in Videogames
- Time Of Eve was hoping to raise 18,000 dollars for an English subtitled release on Blu-ray. Instead it got over 10 times that and hastily added more subtitles, a dub, artbooks, merchandise and shorts.
- TV Tropes (yes, this very site) launched a Kickstarter on November 30, 2014, seeking at least $50,000 to improve the site and the servers its on. It was part of a change of leadership with the original creator and founder stepping away from running everything behind the scenes. In the words from the staff:
After 10 amazing years, it's time for TV Tropes to grow a beard
- On December 8th, the $50,000 minimum funding goal was achieved.
- On December 26th, the first $75,000 stretch goal was achieved, allowing the team to get more servers, hire a part time programmer, and work on an API.
- On December 30th, the last day, and with at least four hours remaining, the second and final $100,000 stretch goal was achieved. The staff will then work on Season 3 of the Echo Chamber and a vlog series. In the end, $105,186 was raised from 3,109 backers (not counting any Pay Pal donations).
- Under the Dog, an OVA set in a near future world, where the UN trains augmented assassins
- Underworld Ascendant, a continuation of the Ultima Underworld series
- Veronica Mars (The Movie): The fastest funded film project on Kickstarter at the time after being fully funded with a million dollars raised in under 11 hours.
- War for the Overworld, a Spiritual Successor to the Dungeon Keeper series, unconnected to but fully endorsed by the latter's original creators.
This website provides examples of:
- Follow the Leader: While Kickstarter had hosted hundreds of gaming projects before Tim Schafer, Double Fine Adventure caused several high profile developers to join in. It also paved the way for much more expensive projects: before DFA getting over 100k on Kickstarter was a bit of a stretch, now several projects have tried and succeeded getting money around and over the 500k range.
- Honest Axe: It has been repeatedly shown that Kickstarter backers are on average a lot more forgiving towards projects that publicly explain why and how they failed to reach certain promised goals and deadlines than towards the ones that try to gloss over their mistakes with standard PR lines.
- Self-Deprecation: The pitch-videos that tends more towards the humorous side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness usually include this in spades. The one for CLANG being a prime example, even getting an "it takes time" joke out of Gabe Newell.
- Sturgeon's Law: As with everything, most submissions are not funded for good reason. Whether or not the trope also applies to the things that do get funded is a matter of debate.