Crowdfunding and video games is not a new phenomenon. In 2012 the Kickstarter platform hosted some of the first large-scale games to be crowdfunded. This included games such as Pillars of Eternity, Broken Age & Wasteland 2, to name a few.
Since 2012, the number of big releases funded via crowdfunding seemed to decline. Some cite a few large flops which shook consumer confidence, such as MIGHTY NO.9. Others cite the long waiting period that game development takes. Usually the waiting period takes a few years as opposed to a few months for other products.
In 2015 a relatively unknown Czech indie developer called Warhorse Studios posted a game concept on a crowdfunding website. Their game Kingdom Come: Deliverance offered a unique RPG based in a historically accurate 15th century, central European world. The game was funded quickly, and even reached 7 out of 8 stretch goals. The most interesting part regarding Kingdom Come: Deliverance is the fact that although it was a crowdfunded game and backers received a free copy, it still sold over a million copies without a large marketing campaign.
For comparison, the highly anticipated and heavily marketed, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus sold just under half a million copies. Both games are 1st person, single player only games and are available on the same platforms, making it a fair comparison.
Recently, there were a few large AAA game flops. These flops include: Star Wars Battlefront II, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Sonic Forces. Despite these games having massive marketing budgets, well known characters and established developers, these games failed hard. Sequel fatigue might be to blame for the disappointing sales of AAA games in 2017 & 2018. Another culprit might be the lack of originality or risk taking in those game’s creation.
Game Protocol’s GameStarter will host many amazing game concepts for crypto-based crowd funding. GameStarter will hopefully become synonymous with game crowdfunding in the future.
Crowdfunded games tend to take large risks in game development and have more out of the box thinking. Many crowdfunded games either become a momentous success or a flop, leaving little room in-between. What is most impressive with Kingdom Come: Deliverance, is the fact that crowdfunded games finally managed to overcome AAA studio games in sales. It is likely that we will see many more envelope pushing, amazing crowd funded games in the future.