If 38 Studios was the mainstream game industry story of the year, then crowdfunding site Kickstarter is indisputably the industry watcher's story of the year. Kickstarter has changed the way developers fund and market games into the foreseeable future. It altered the industry so radically this year that we had to discuss and create a new internal ethics policy at Joystiq about contributing to Kickstarter projects. Furthermore, based on the number of tips we receive about new Kickstarters every day, we could create a new site called Kickstiq... or Joystarter, and never want for content.
In discussing video game funding on Kickstarter, we must recognize it in terms of Before Double Fine (BDF) and After Double Fine (ADF). Kickstarter had been around for a while, but it became the multi-million dollar headline-capturing phenomenon after Double Fine's $3.3 million haul for Double Fine Adventure. This also led to the $8.5 million for Ouya, the first crowdfunded console. We have not a clue how the ADF era will play out, but 2013 and the (hopeful) eventual release of many of this year's funded projects will determine Kickstarter's viability for video games.
- 'Code Hero: The dangers of a Kickstarter success story.' The story we don't want to write all through 2013. Code Hero earned $171,954 at the transition point of the BDF in late February. Promised deliverables have yet to exist.
- Jessica Conditt covers the BDF of Kickstarter in an editorial written during Double Fine Adventure's record-breaking ascent.
- Joystiq Editor-in-chief Ludwig Kietzmann's editorial examines the rise of the fund-it pundit.