Crowdfunding. It’s the wave of the future. These 10 Most Successful Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns have challenged the old-school publishing model. Kickstarter has allowed dead IPs to come back to life, dead companies to flourish, and old game developers washed away by the AAA pricing model to rekindle what they loved about game development in the first place. It’s reshaping the world of game development as we know it, and these projects have used it most successfully. These are the 10 Most Successful Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns.
Camelot Unchained is the spiritual successor to Dark Age of Camelot. The idea is to make an MMO that focuses almost solely on PVP. It would have no grind, but would have a lot of social mechanics, going as far as to filter out the speech of anyone who speaks a language you don’t know. This game, coming in at #10 on our list of 10 Most Successful Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns, barely reached its goal, which was lofty to begin with. But it’s impressive that the developers thought they could make two million dollars and they were essentially right.
As opposed to Camelot Unchained, who shot for two million dollars and hit it, HEX, a combination of an MMO and trading card game, only asked for $300,000 and went way beyond its expectations. It was brilliant in its execution as well. It offered booster packs for particularly donation tiers, even going as far as to offer full sets of cards, essentially removing the need to “collect” anything in this collectible trading card game. In a way, it made a lot of its money off the addicting properties of a TCG before you were even able to get the cards in your hand.
Homestuck Adventure Game$2,485,506
Let us tell you about Homestuck. Homestuck is a web comic made by Andrew Hussie done in the style of an adventure game. Each comic follows a “command prompt” which has, of course, already been chosen for you, but the actions of the protagonists play out as if you typed them in yourself. So why not actually make it a real game? That’s what the Homestuck fanbase said and Andrew Hussie agreed, earning nearly 2.5 million dollars in the process.
You’ll have to take our word that Elite: Dangerous made more money than the Homestuck adventure game, even though it’s in a totally different currency. In a world where the space sim genre is practically dead, Elite: Dangerous gives you the ability to “Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.” If there’s anything Kickstarter is good at, it’s resurrecting dead genres.
Another thing that Kickstarter is good at is re-invigorating old development teams and IPs. Wasteland 2 was inXile’s first Kickstarter attempt, and it went over better than they could have ever hoped for. They made nearly three million dollars for this sequel to an old school post-apocalyptic RPG, over three times as much as they originally asked for. Move over Fallout, there is a new king of the post apocalypse in town.
Broken Age was at one point just called the “Double Fine Adventure Game Project.” Yes, without having a story, title, or concept, Double Fine managed to raise over three million dollars. This was the original gaming success story, the Kickstarter that made everyone else believe that Kickstarter was a valid way to raise funds for a gaming community. For a while, it was the most funded gaming Kickstarter of all time, but that record was eventually broken by even more long shots. The fact that Broken Age started the Kickstarter craze gets it in at number five on our 10 Most Successful Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns list.
Mighty No. 9’s Kickstarter closed only a few days ago, and it is one of the most funded Kickstarters of all time. Keiji Inafune, the former head of Capcom and creator of Mega Man, made this project in order to bring classic Mega Man gameplay to the masses. He asked for $900,000 to make an indie PC game, now he has nearly four million dollars and will be releasing it to the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, and 3DS, as well as Mac and Linux. It’s proof that the blue bomber is still alive in the hearts of his fans.
One of the most startling successes in the world of Kickstarter, is the genre of the top down isometric RPG. It appears as if old school gamers really do pine for the days of old, when all you had to do was click to hack someones head off with a broad sword. Obsidian says that this game will include the, “exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and… the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.” That’s quite a bit to promise. Let’s see if Obsidian pulls it off.
Torment: Tides of Numenera$4,188,927
Speaking of top down isometric RPGs, Planescape: Torment in particular, InXile decided to one-up their Wasteland Kickstarter with this resurrection of a fan favorite franchise. Torment: Tide of Numenera brings together phenomenal talents in both the video game and pencil and paper RPG world, names like Christ Avellone and Patrick Rothfuss. At over four million dollars of funding, it is currently the most funded video game on Kickstarter of all time.
But number one on our list of the 10 Most Successful Video Game Kickstarter Campaigns isn’t a game at all. It’s a console. Yes, the Ouya, the powerful little Android box that sought to challenge the AAA strangle hold on the console market, was a child of crowdfunding. Asking originally for a mere $950,000 to fund an entire console, the Ouya nearly earned 10X as much! The Ouya is also one of the only Kickstarted projects which has actually released, as most of the others are still in development. It hasn’t seen the most success on the market just yet, but it doesn’t have to. Nearly everyone who wanted an Ouya already got one as part of the crowdfunding drive. The Ouya team already had their money! Everything else is just icing on the cake.