The Economist: Kickstarter success comes from publishers' failure

Video games and related projects have been successful on Kickstarter because large publishers have become risk-averse.

Video games and related projects have been successful on Kickstarter because large publishers have become risk-averse, according to The Economist.

Using Electronic Arts and Activision as examples, the article states that big publishers prefer relatively safe investments like sequels to popular games like Call of Duty, while simultaneously straining developers with long hours, short deadlines, and creative sandboxing.

"The games industry doesn't retain developers very well," Aubrey Hesselgren, a U.K.-based developer, told the publication. "But it's pretty good at training up rebels."

Games and related projects like the open source Ouya console account for five of Kickstarter’s 10 most funded projects, and Kickstarter backers are tech-savvy, in their mid–30s, and have "plenty of disposable income" to fund the kinds of projects that the big studios won't make, according to The Economist.

Kickstarter projects tend to address each of these concerns. Backers get to fund games from underserved genres like Double Fine Adventure, a throwback to classic adventure games. Developers get to create games that they and their backers want without publisher interference.

"I don’t have any crazy people [from a publisher] in my office telling me what to do," Brian Fargo, the developer of the Kickstarter-funded Wasteland 2 told The Economist.

To get an idea of how popular the funding service has become, you can always catch up on Polygon and The Verge's coverage of gaming and tech-related Kickstarter projects.

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