Reasons for video game crowdfunding

Over the past two weeks, we have looked at how often PC gamers crowdfund video game projects and how much they spend annually on video game crowdfunding projects. What criteria do they use when deciding whether or not to support a crowdfunding project? What factors are most important? In our latest RapidPoll, we asked 404 US PC Gamers “What is your primary factor when deciding to back a crowdfunded video game project?”

Not surprisingly, the most significant factors in funding a project were elements of the project itself. Over half of respondents (and 80% of those that have backed) chose factors about the project as the primary factor when deciding to crowd fund a project. For these people, there was something interesting about the project that motivated them to support it. They were drawn to the game concept or game genre (38%) or they trusted the development and leadership team putting it together (19%).

This makes sense, as many of the most funded┬ávideo games projects on Kickstarter have been from some industry heavy-hitters such as Brian Fargo (Wasteland 2, Bard’s Tale 4) and developer Obsidian Entertainment (Pillars of Eternity), and are often in niche genres that are largely ignored by the major publishers, such as point-and-click adventure games and turn-based RPGs. It also means that the quality of the project is the most important factor that people consider when backing a project.

A smaller percentage was influenced by their “return on investment”, with price (5%) or the availability of exclusive bonuses (3%) being the most important factor. These supporters are looking to get a good value (get the game for a price lower than it will retail for) or get special exclusive benefits that they could not get from a more traditional release.

Social sharing is a key element to any successful crowdfunding campaign. However, only about 4% of respondents were most influenced by their friends or colleagues supporting it. It appears to be of more importance for awareness of a crowdfunding campaign; most people, however, will still decide whether or not to support a project based on the merits of that project.

About 30% of respondents indicated they did not support crowdfunding projects. However, only 6% do not fund because they do not believe in crowdfunding. The majority of those that do not support haven’t been interested enough to support any projects…yet.