UPDATED 15:41 EDT / AUGUST 19 2013


How Crowdfunding Changing the Game for Developers – Fifteen Kickstarter Games Worth More Than a Million Dollars

Crowdfunding is booming. More than one million campaigns across 308 platforms raised $2.7 billion last year. According to the annual 2013CF – Crowdfunding Industry Report, the volume is set to almost double in 2013, to $5.1 billion.

Crowdfunding first gained popularity as a way to fund creative, philanthropic and social endeavors. This popularity prevails, but crowdfunding’s application for entrepreneurial ventures has gained traction as well, especially crowdfunding models with financial return.

The success of the game is also a windfall for Kickstarter. The proliferation of platform has encouraged more niche players to see crowdfunding opportunities for development of games. Here are fifteen such titles that broke the one million dollar mark, many of them even tripled their crowd-funding goals.

Broken Age

Previously known as the Double Fine Adventure and knighted by the players who have contributed to its development up to $3,336,371, Double Fine’s Broken Age original target was to raise $400,000.

The legendary adventure game guru Tim Schafer (Monkey Island, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango) and his company Double Fine Productions last year made use of the Kickstarter to get community to support a classic point & click adventure game stars a girl trying to avoid being the sacrificial lamb in her village and a lone space boy. Both are in their teens and dissatisfied with their lives. The girl was even selected by their village to be presented a horrible monster as an offering. But she fights against it and flees.

The boy lives on a spaceship where it actually is doing well. Yet that seems to bother him, because he wants to experience adventure. He decides to leave the space shuttle and explore the world on his own. The title is slated for a January 2014 launch.

Camelot Unchained

In May 2013, the Kickstarter campaign for fantasy MMO game was complete successfully. Camelot Unchained goal was to raise $2 million and the developer raised $2,232,933 from nearly 15,000 backers.

The game will focus on Realm versus Realm and will include a fight between three factions – the Viking, Arthurian, and Tuatha De Dannan. Tech Director and lead programmer Andrew Meggs is spearheading the game by allowing players to fight epic RvR battles in a dynamic world. The first beta test of Camelot Unchained is now planned for the month of January 2014.

Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey

Dreamfall Chapters takes players on an emotional, exciting and challenging journey. Anyone familiar with the earlier series will once again recognize many of the characters and places. In the game itself, there will be three playable protagonists that spans across two worlds – Stark and Arcadia.

The Kickstarter campaign reached total of $1,538,425 whereas game developer target was for $850,000. The game’s official website has all the up to date information including an expected launch in November 2014.

Elite: Dangerous

Budding hobby space pilots in David Braben upcoming space adventure game Elite: Dangerous obviously get some work to do. Elite: Dangerous is the latest installment of a long series of epic space games, starting with “Elite” – one of the most successful games of the 1980s.

The final game will be quite impressive with 100 billion star systems that can fly to the players – including our own solar system. Each of star systems should also include up to 100 objects, so that the player will offer numerous possibilities for interaction. The game pledged £1,578,316 in total from 25,681 backers in the Kickstarter campaign.

Hex: Shards of Fate

After a few days in Kickstarter, the developers of Cryptozoic Entertainment Blizzard successfully funded the required fund through crowdfunding. The developer had pledged $2,278,255 from 17,765 backers.

From the creators of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, HEX is a TCG / MMO that combines the best of both for your PC & MAC. Hex: Shards of Fate is a collectible card game with MMO elements based on a Free2Play model. You select one of six character classes and eight races, explore various dungeons, and collect new equipment.

Homestuck Adventure Game

Homestuck is created as part of the MS Paint Adventures, a series of satirical interactive stories that ridicule familiar themes of adventure. The author finally decided to go one step further and move their ideas into the actual game.

This project differs from the others in that its originator will not perform the work themselves, but instead through collaboration with independent development studio. The developer admitted that their goal of $2,485,506 should be enough for the project. This game is aiming for a Q2 2014 release date.

Massive Chalice

Massive Chalice is a project of Brad Muir and Tim Schafer, two legendary head of Double Fine Productions team. In this strategic game you are fighting an endless war with enemy goblins. You will not fight with one or two heroes, no – you fight with generations of soldiers.

The Kickstarter campaign had two-part game consists of a strategy and a tactic part and works similar to XCOM. Double Fine plans for the game the way a fairly modest Kickstarter budget of $1,229,015. The game is expected to launch September 2014.

Pathfinder Online

Development studio Goblinworks in partnership with Paizo Publishing is wanted to create an MMO that takes place in the world of the popular, beloved tabletop series of the same name. The highly-anticipated Pathfinder Online game pledged $1,091,194 in Kickstarter campaign with an initial goal of $1,000,000.

MMO includes use the business license system, allowing players to control the economy of the game world through consumable items created by players. The game is slated to release on summer 2014.

Planetary Annihilation

In three of the most successful games funded through Kickstarter, the Planetary Annihilation team received more than $2.2 million from forty-five thousand backers. Uber Entertainment, the creator of Planetary Annihilation, is promising a sci-fi RTS with epic battles across massive planets.

The studio was founded among others by Jon Maver, who already had the graphics engine for the classic strategy game Total Annihilation. Accordingly, Planetary Annihilation focuses on battles with hundreds of units spanning several planets.

Project Eternity

Project Eternity is directed by Chris Avellone, which relies on the collaboration of other historical figures of the panorama RPG classic like Tim Cain, Adam Brennecke and Josh Sawyer. The game is built on Unity technology platform and will arrive in Q2 2014 in the formats PC, Mac and Linux.

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, Project Eternity will be distributed via Steam and Gog, is one of the major success stories on Kickstarter, with nearly 4 million dollars raised from 73,986 backers.

Shadowrun Returns

One of the first projects to have earned the trust of the public in Kickstarter was Shadowrun Returns, the sequel to the spiritual of a great RPG isometric appeared on the Super Nintendo in 1993. The top-down RPG blew past its $400,000 goal with over $1.8 million in support. The game is already available to play and mostly got positive reviews from game experts.

Shroud of the Avatar

Richard Garriott, better known as Lord British, started the Kickstarter campaign for the RPG game Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken, which requires at least one million U.S. dollars to complete.

With a focus on discovery and player choices and a single player story campaign and three separate online modes, the game pledged $1,919,275 in total from 22,322 backers. Built using the Unity Game Engine, Shroud of the Avatar will support Win/Mac/Linux for official launch. The game is expected for an October 2014 release.

Star Citizen

Studio Cloud Imperium Games announced that Star Citizen has collected more than $2 million in donations from Kickstarter campaign. Star Citizen is a multiplayer computer game in the genre of space simulator.

Star Citizen is a rich universe focused on epic space adventure, trading and dogfighting in first person. It’s a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. The game is expected a late 2014 launch.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

As a follow up to Planescape Torment, the development team inXile initiated and completed a successful Kickstarter fund raising of more than $4 million. The role-playing game of 1999 is still considered a classic of the genre, one of the few stories that capture and fully immerse the player through a story. The importance of the story and dialogues are the foundation of the new project.

The new Torment Tides of Numenera follow in the footsteps of the historic RPG game and promises to revolutionize the industry with innovative content and gameplay. Torment: Tides of Numenera will be made with the Unity engine and will be released via Steam for Mac, PC and Linux.

Wasteland 2

More than 20 years after its birth, the legendary Wasteland is back again with a post-apocalyptic turn-based top-down RPG. Designed by inXile Entertainment, Wasteland 2 is one of the games that have raised more money in crowdfunding campaign than was originally planned. With over 60K backers donating $2.9M, three times its funding goal, Wasteland 2 will take us back to the desolate West Coast of the USA, where the skin of a group of Rangers will face the vicious and terrible fate of planet Earth. Wasteland 2 is set to release later this October.

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