What Are The Most Successful Kickstarter-funded Games?

Are you ready to discover the games that have taken Kickstarter by storm? “What Are The Most Successful Kickstarter-funded Games?” dives into the incredible world of crowdfunded gaming projects that have not only met their funding goals but surpassed them, delivering exciting and memorable experiences to players worldwide. You’ll learn about the creativity and passion behind these standout titles and see how they captured the hearts and wallets of backers to become some of the most celebrated games in the industry. Get ready for a fun and intriguing journey through the triumphs of Kickstarter gaming! Have you ever wondered what the most successful Kickstarter-funded games are? If so, you’re certainly not alone! Kickstarter has been a transformative platform for numerous game developers, allowing them to bypass traditional funding avenues and reach out directly to the gaming community for support. Many have found phenomenal success, creating games that have both shattered records and captured the hearts of players around the world. Let’s dive into the world of Kickstarter-funded games and explore some of the most iconic, groundbreaking titles that have come out of this crowd-funded landscape.

What Are The Most Successful Kickstarter-funded Games?

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What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that allows creators to pitch their projects to potential backers. Inspired by the notion of collective creativity, Kickstarter empowers anyone—from indie developers to major industry veterans—to bring their ideas to life with the financial support of a community. By pledging money to these projects, backers get to be a part of the creative process and often receive exclusive rewards in return.

Why Kickstarter Matters in Gaming

Crowdfunding has fundamentally changed the landscape of game development. No longer do developers have to rely solely on publishers who often impose creative and financial constraints. Instead, they can present their vision directly to players and gauge their interest. This democratization has led to the creation of innovative games that might have otherwise never existed. By building a community of invested backers, developers can ensure that they maintain creative control and produce a game that truly reflects their vision.

What Are The Most Successful Kickstarter-funded Games?

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The Most Successful Kickstarter-funded Games

It’s time to dive into some of the most successful games that have emerged from Kickstarter. These games have not only met their funding goals but often surpassed them, setting new benchmarks in the gaming industry.

1. Shenmue III

Funding Goal: $2,000,000
Amount Raised: $6,333,295
Backers: 69,320
Genre: Action-adventure

Released in 2019, Shenmue III stands as one of the most successful gaming ventures on Kickstarter. The original Shenmue games, released in 1999 and 2001 by Sega, had garnered a cult following but left fans longing for closure. After years of speculation, Yu Suzuki announced a Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue III in 2015. The campaign smashed its funding goal within hours, ultimately raising over $6 million. The game’s release was met with widespread enthusiasm, capturing the essence of its predecessors while introducing new elements and enhanced graphics.

2. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Funding Goal: $500,000
Amount Raised: $5,545,991
Backers: 64,867
Genre: Action RPG

Created by Koji Igarashi, one of the key minds behind the Castlevania series, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night promised a modern take on the “Metroidvania” genre. Kickstarter backers were revved up at the opportunity to support a game from a beloved creator, leading to a campaign that raised over $5.5 million. Released in 2019, Bloodstained received high praise for its gameplay, artistic direction, and homage to classic Castlevania elements.

3. Torment: Tides of Numenera

Funding Goal: $900,000
Amount Raised: $4,188,927
Backers: 74,405

Torment: Tides of Numenera is the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment. The campaign, launched by inXile Entertainment in 2013, promised a rich narrative set in a vivid, sci-fi world. Fans responded eagerly to the project, leading to it raising over $4 million. Released in 2017, the game was lauded for its deep storytelling and complex ethical dilemmas, capturing the essence of its predecessor while adding new layers of narrative depth.

4. Mighty No. 9

Funding Goal: $900,000
Amount Raised: $3,845,170
Backers: 67,226
Genre: Action-platformer

Developed by Keiji Inafune, one of the co-creators of Mega Man, Mighty No. 9 was seen as a spiritual successor to the popular franchise. The campaign was launched in 2013 and quickly soared past its initial funding goal. However, despite high expectations and a successful funding phase, the game’s 2016 release was met with mixed reviews. Critics and players alike pointed to issues with graphics, gameplay, and lack of polish. Nevertheless, its successful campaign demonstrated the potential for beloved creators to rally support for new projects.

5. Pillars of Eternity

Funding Goal: $1,100,000
Amount Raised: $3,986,929
Backers: 73,986
Genre: RPG

Launched by Obsidian Entertainment in 2012, Pillars of Eternity aimed to revive the classic isometric RPG experience. The campaign’s incredible success, raising nearly four times its goal, demonstrated the community’s appetite for deep, narrative-driven RPGs. Released in 2015, the game garnered rave reviews and was praised for its intricate storytelling, rich world-building, and strategic combat.

6. Broken Age

Funding Goal: $400,000
Amount Raised: $3,336,372
Backers: 87,142
Genre: Adventure

In 2012, Double Fine Productions, led by Tim Schafer, launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new point-and-click adventure game. Given Schafer’s legendary status in the adventure game genre, the campaign smashed its goal, ultimately raising over $3 million. Broken Age was released in two acts in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The game was praised for its storytelling, memorable characters, and captivating art style, reaffirming the potential of adventure games in the modern era.

Factors Behind Successful Kickstarter Campaigns

So, what makes a Kickstarter campaign successful? Several factors come into play:

Brand Recognition and Credibility

Brand recognition and the credibility of the creators often play a huge role. Games like Shenmue III and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night leveraged the reputations of their creators and the nostalgia associated with their prior works.

Engaging Story and Vision

A clear and engaging story resonates well with potential backers. People don’t just invest in a product; they invest in a vision. Campaigns that articulate their vision effectively, often with compelling concept art, detailed descriptions, and enthusiastic updates, tend to perform better.

Community Involvement

Successful campaigns often create a sense of community by engaging backers throughout the development process. Frequent updates, stretch goals, and exclusive backer content can foster a loyal follower base eager to see the project come to fruition.

Realistic Goals and Transparency

Setting realistic goals and being transparent about the budget and timeline also instills trust. Backers appreciate knowing how their money will be spent and the anticipated time frame for project milestones.

Marketing and Exposure

Lastly, effective marketing—whether through social media, press coverage, or word-of-mouth—can significantly amplify a campaign’s reach. The first few days of a campaign are critical, often setting the tone for its overall success.

What Are The Most Successful Kickstarter-funded Games?

The Impact of Kickstarter on the Gaming Industry

Kickstarter has had a profound impact on the gaming world, democratizing the development process and providing a platform for innovative, genre-bending projects. It has enabled the creation of games that might have been deemed too risky or niche for traditional publishers.

Indie Renaissance

Kickstarter has fueled the indie game renaissance, giving small teams and solo developers a viable path to bring their unique visions to life. Games like Hollow Knight, FTL: Faster Than Light, and Darkest Dungeon are prime examples of indie successes that brought something fresh and exciting to the gaming world.

Rejuvenation of Classics

By enabling the creation of spiritual successors to classic games, Kickstarter has also contributed to the rejuvenation of beloved genres. Gamers nostalgic for the old-school RPG or adventure games have found new favorites, thanks to projects like Pillars of Eternity and Broken Age.

Crowdfunding as Pre-sales

Crowdfunding campaigns often serve as an effective pre-sales model, allowing developers to gauge demand and secure funding without risking financial instability. This model also allows developers to build a community of dedicated supporters who can provide valuable feedback and serve as ambassadors for the game upon release.

Challenges and pitfalls

However, it’s not always smooth sailing. Some Kickstarter-funded projects face significant hurdles, including delays, budget overruns, and unmet expectations. Games like Mighty No. 9 demonstrate that even with a successful campaign, delivering a polished product is no guarantee.

The Future of Kickstarter-funded Games

What does the future hold for Kickstarter and games? While the platform has matured and the initial gold rush has subsided, Kickstarter remains a valuable tool for developers looking to fund their projects. The continued success of new campaigns suggests that there is still a strong appetite for crowdfunding in the gaming community.

Innovation and Diversity

Expect to see even more innovation and diversity in the types of games funded. As technology evolves and new genres gain popularity, Kickstarter will likely continue to be a birthplace for groundbreaking projects.

Hybrid Models

We can also anticipate more hybrid funding models where Kickstarter serves as one of multiple revenue streams. Developers might combine crowdfunding with early access sales, partnerships, and traditional publishing deals to mitigate risks and ensure a smoother development process.

Greater Transparency

The increasing demand for transparency and accountability from backers will continue to shape how campaigns are run. Successful developers will likely be those who maintain open communication lines, set realistic goals, and are transparent about their progress.


Kickstarter has played an instrumental role in fostering creativity and innovation within the gaming industry. By allowing developers to connect directly with their audience, it has made room for a plethora of unique, genre-defining games that may have never seen the light of day through traditional funding avenues. As the platform continues to evolve, it promises to remain a powerful force in game development, enabling the next generation of gaming experiences. So, next time you back a game on Kickstarter, remember—you’re not just funding a project; you’re helping to shape the future of gaming!

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