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Take our survey on the motivations of Kickstarter contributors
Take our survey on the motivations of Kickstarter contributors
July 6, 2012 | By Staff

July 6, 2012 | By Staff
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    21 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing



Gamasutra is conducting a survey to gather information on both those who have and have not contributed to Kickstarter projects, researching the importance and influence of what motivates pledging, the ways contributors help promote projects, and the demographics of potential contributors.

While Kickstarter has recently shared internal data regarding project success rates, the information around who pledges and what motivates their pledges remains ambiguous.

This survey aims to disambiguate that information. Gamasutra will share the results of this survey in the coming weeks in the form of a detailed feature on why people do -- or do not -- back a Kickstarter for a game.

This survey is aimed at backers of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding campaigns, and sharing it with others -- and you can answer it now by clicking here.


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Comments


Chris Hendricks
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I don't know if this is worth mentioning, but the majority of Kickstarter projects are not games (and I've backed a Kickstarter project, but it was not a game). Just looking at the questions on the first page, would it have been possible to glean information from a more generic survey?

I understand, obviously, that this is a game development website, and that the viewers of the survey would be most interested in how a game's Kickstarter can have the best potential. However, hearing about how people back ANY Kickstarter would still have value, wouldn't it?

Christian Nutt
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Of course, information on how to run a successful Kickstarter should be taken from all campaigns. People should really be reading about Amanda Palmer's Kickstarter (she's been blogging extensively.)

But as this is an audience survey, and we're polling the audience who is most likely to back games, we're interested in what they're looking for. That seems to make sense to me, at any rate.

Kyle Redd
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After taking the survey, question 22 - "Should a perk level be less, the same, or more than the game's final sale price?" - is confusing and should be rewritten. Even thinking about it now, I still don't have an idea what exactly it was asking.

(I answered "more," since I usually end up contributing at a level higher than the amount that only gets you a copy of the game.)

Federico Stein
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I came back to tell the same thing.

Kyle Redd
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Guerric, your interpretation sounds correct. Although it actually adds to my confusion since, knowing the survey is targeted at those who pledge to Kickstarter projects rather than those who start them, why would a potential pledger ever want to pay more for their copy of the game than they would have to pay if they just waited for the game to be released?

I guess it may appeal to those who give to Kickstarter primarily as a form of charity, but I suspect that is a miniscule percentage of backers overall.

Colin Schmied
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My thought was that they were asking if there should be pledge levels lower than the value of the game (i.e. a $10 pledge for a $20 game), or the lowest possible pledge is the price of the game itself, or the lowest possible pledge is more than the price of the game as sold (i.e. $40 for a $20 game, and probably has a number of extras included). I'm not sure why anyone setting up a Kickstarter project would do the last method unless the game was going to be very cheap or even free though as it would cut out a lot of potential backers.

My choice was a perk level lower than the game itself so that people who wanted to contribute because they might like the idea but did not want to pay full price and commit to it for whatever reason.

John Polson
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Guerric's interpretation was what I was aiming for. "Should the perk that includes a copy of the game be less, the same or more than the game's final sale price?"

Fortunately, we added question 18, which somewhat gets at the issue: "Have you ever considered but ultimately decided not to fund a Kickstarter project?" with "Game was not available at a low enough reward tier," as a possible reason.

If chosen, this seems to suggest a mismatch between what the project creator and contributor expect they should "pay" for a copy of the game. I think it's interesting that that level is essentially a "pre-order perk," and other perks are merely higher or lower (and not the same).

Thinking about it, I would have liked to have asked about beta or alpha related perks. The Minecraft "model" says to charge less (as a means of incentive) when people purchase a game earlier in development. However, Kickstarer perks with beta/alpha access (that I've seen) are often set HIGHER than a final digital copy.

I wonder if the alpha/beta perks fail to enitce because of this.

Michael Rooney
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I think having a cost less/more than the final sale price is less important than having a value greater than the final sale product.

I tend to only kickstart board games so far, but a lot of them will add expansions for more players or more dice or whatever.

Also, I'm not sure if stretch goals were mentioned in the survey. Stretch goals definitely increase my liklihood of backing.

Lucas Daltro
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It will help me a lot:D

Maria Jayne
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Only yesterday, eurogamer posted an article about a kickstarter project being funded, the annoying thing was, I would have contributed to that project had I known about it before it finished. It got funded, but of course now I can't get involved in the project as a backer, which makes me sad.

I'm aware I can visit kickstarter anytime but there are a lot of none video game projects I'm just not interested in, which makes it a chore to read through the pages sometimes. Interesting how powerful a gaming news site, posting an article, is for me.

Kyle Redd
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That must have been Dead State, right? In fact, I had heard of that project before it ended, but I had *not* known that it was being made by the lead designer and writer of Vampire Masquerade Bloodlines until I read that Eurogamer article. Had I known that, like you, I would have definitely contributed.

Similarly, coverage from gaming sites (primarily Rock Paper Shotgun, Gamasutra, and Eurogamer) is my primary source of info on worthy Kickstarters, as I'm sure is the case for a lot of other potential backers. That's not really fair to the projects by lesser-known developers who can't rely on press coverage, but that's just how the gaming media works. Nearly all sites have to worry about page views when dividing up their schedules, so projects like Retrovirus and Tortured Hearts (which truly seemed like a worthy effort to me, even with a rather unrealistic funding goal) don't have much hope. I think that at least RPS, which generally covers smaller games anyway, does a pretty good job at giving all projects a solid look for their weekly Kickstarter roundups.

Lauren Mikov
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Great point, Maria! There are so many games on Kickstarter these days, it's hard to find out about the good ones independently - we have to rely on the (hopefully timely but as you mentioned most often not) insights of gaming news sites.

@Kyle - Exactly! It's so sad to see worthy projects fail that can't get the pull of traditional press coverage for the exact reason they are turning to Kickstarter for backing - lack of funding and support from larger organizations. The field is flooded with so many small independent games that the funding and awareness is diluted, and all of the attention and support turns to the big projects like Banner Saga and Wasteland 2. (PS - Despite their Kickstarter campaign failing, Tortured Hearts is still alive and kicking, and working on a playable demo and new website. You can follow their progress on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TorturedHeartsRPG)

Maria Jayne
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Yep, was dead state. I had read about it a long time ago and thought it sounded interesting. Then forgot about it, this was long before Kickstarter took off though. I also had no idea someone from black isle and troika games was heading the project.

Eyal Teler
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I just looked at the first page, and won't do the survey. Nothing is essential, it's all a combination of factors. I backed Double Fine Adventure which didn't have anything about the game beyond its genre. I backed games from unknowns. It's a combination of my trust in the game's creator, my sympathy for the creator, how attractive the concept is to me and things like the look of the game, if that is available, and the general presentation.

There are lots of factors, and I can't detail them but not in a way that will fit this survey. Their combination will determine whether I back and how much I'm willing to back. Even having a copy of the game isn't mandatory. I backed, though minimally, a free to play game.

Jeremy Reaban
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Unless I've forgotten already (my short term memory isn't so hot) one thing you missed in the survey was your likeness (or name or something) being in the game.

That seems to be an extremely popular high end option. Obviously it works better in games with lots of characters/items, but it's something that should be considered in all games, big or small. One recent game I pledged to, Haunts, was only funded because someone paid $7,000 to be a main character in the game (otherwise it would have been $3,500 short)

Jeremy Reaban
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And I should add, another game, Moon Intern, is taking this idea to a crazy level, with most of the in game characters being backers, and starting at a relatively low price.

Raymond Grier
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Actually it was in the part of the survey that asked you to rank from 1 to 11 which perks are most important to you.

Lech Lozny
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I took your survey, what do I win?

Raymond Grier
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This survey was limited to asking us questions as (potential) backers. It doesn't ask if we have made our own project (or tried) and what our experiences have been. Their lack of support for international projects has been on-going for quite a while and know at least one company that will be using Indiegogo instead, mine.

Eyal Teler
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It's a serious limitation of Kickstarter, which comes from working only with Amazon.com, but I'd suggest that you try to find someone in the US and go with Kickstarter. You're likely to make a lot more money that way.

Eyal Teler
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By the way, I just saw this: http://hexus.net/business/news/enterprise/42161-kickstarter-headi
ng-uk-autumn/

Looks like at least UK people will be happy. Still a lot of countries but it's a good start.


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