If you’re still hoping for Kickstarter as the new future for video game funding, you may well be disappointed to know that it seems to be undergoing a downturn. A study by U.K.-based consultancy firm ICO Partners has determined that people have pledged significantly less to Kickstarters in the first half of 2016 than they did during the first and second half of 2015, with $8.2 million pledged in 2016 compared to about $20 million pledged in each half of 2015. And this doesn’t mean that overall success rates have changed; roughly the same number of projects are hitting a successful funding mark in both periods.
A number of factors appear to have caused the decline, including the lack of an obvious big-ticket project in the first half of 2016, crowdfunding moving to other platforms, and a general public skepticism. The lukewarm reception of Mighty No. 9 (the most expensive Kickstarter project with a full release to date) has also been indicated as a potential exhaustion with “spiritual successors.” It’s possible that both players and developers are realizing that Kickstarter success is difficult on its own and doesn’t translate to future success. But all of that is speculation; what’s an undeniable fact is that people are less wiling to kickstart a game this year.