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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kickstarter, Games, and Portland

Posted by Angela Webber on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Monday morning, Kickstarter announced that the crowdfunding platform has received over $1 billion in pledges for projects around the world. $215 million of that has gone into games projects. That's so much money, you guys. Kickstarter loves sharing its data, especially this data—but we went ahead and broke down some Portland-specific stats for you.

druids_copy.jpg

First of all, the most funded games project in Portland ever ended last weekend! A board game called Lagoon: Land of Druids, by local company 3Hares Games, raised $147,762. It is one of 54 successful games projects in the history of Portland Kickstarters. 52 percent of games projects in Portland have succeeded: just under the 56 percent success rate for Portland Kickstarters in general. Our success rate is higher than Kickstarters overall, which is only 43.55 percent.

Here in Portland, we've funded 1,299 of 2,316 launched projects. Our most funded project, a technology project of an iPhone dock, raised $1.46 million back in February 2012.

Keith Baker is a local Portland game designer whose game The Doom That Came To Atlantic City is Portland's third-most funded games project, which raised $122,874. He's also published his card game Gloom through a traditional publisher, and told me that Kickstarter has changed the game for independent designers like him.

"Kickstarter makes it possible for someone with a good idea for a game to make a game in a way that was impossible before, by raising the capital directly," Baker said. "It's also very dangerous, though. Just because you have a good idea for a game, doesn't necessarily mean you know how to produce it."

The direct-to-customer model puts a lot of pressure on designers to also be businesspeople, which he has seen not always work, Baker said. Kickstarter also cuts game stores out of the equation, which is another complicated problem. Overall, though Baker says Kickstarter is a helpful tool and he will be using it to fund a new RPG project later this year.

If you want to see some more local Kickstarter data for Portland, check out this spreadsheet we put together. (I should also probably note that I just finished my own Kickstarter campaign, too.)

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