2013 was a banner year for games on Kickstarter, with more than 4,000 projects launched in the Games category bringing in more than $106 million in pledges since January 1st.
That's a significant increase from last year, when the 2,796 projects launched in the Games category accrued $83 million in pledges.
The growth may seem odd if you, like me, don't remember as many big games coming through Kickstarter in 2013 — though this year's big crowdfunded success stories include Mighty No. 9, Torment: Tides of Numenera and Massive Chalice — but it seems likely that the unexpectedly large success of a few gaming Kickstarters in 2012 — including Double Fine's Broken Age — earned the crowdfunding platform a great deal of attention from both players and developers in 2013.
It's great to see notable developers like inXile and Double Fine continuing to find success on Kickstarter, but for my money, the most interesting gaming-related Kickstarter projects of 2013 were the smaller ventures. Games like The Long Dark or projects like Boss Fight Books asked backers to take a chance on an unproven idea, and they were successful — at least in some small part — because Kickstarter's Games category has blossomed into a great platform for developers seeking a broad audience of people willing to spend money on promises. The lion's share of those promises have so far rung true — FTL and Shadowrun Returns being two notable examples — and hopefully the trend continues into 2014.