More than one in ten video game crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter never deliver a satisfactory title to players.
That’s according to a new report from Ethan Mollick at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, which measured the delivery rate of successfully-funded Kickstarter projects.
Defining a ‘failure to deliver’ as backers either never expecting to get what they paid for or receiving a reward they felt was different to that which they were promised, Mollick asked nearly 50,000 Kickstarter backers about their experience with a variety of different campaigns. The number of campaigns studied came to more than 30,000.
He found that the average delivery failure rate for video game projects is approximately 12 per cent – which initially looks higher than the average of nine per cent across all campaigns.
“However”, Mollock clarified to Develop, “that is in part because video game projects are a bit bigger than the average project.
“When you statistically control for the size of the project, video game projects are no more or less likely to fail than the average project of its size.”
The total amount pledged to a campaign was found to affect the probability of it failing to deliver, with backers of both the biggest and smallest projects most likely to never see their investment returned.
Projects that raised under $1,000 were the most likely to disappoint backers, with almost 15 per cent of such campaigns failing to deliver.
Meanwhile, those earning between $1,000 and $10,000 and those gathering over $500,000 – the maximum bracket studied – saw similar failure rates of roughly nine per cent.
Campaigns that were pledged between $10,000 and $15,000 were the most likely to produce the product they originally set out to, seeing the lowest delivery failure rate – approximately seven per cent.
Mollick added that, of those campaigns studied that failed, only 13 per cent of backers were eventually refunded.
Luckily for the crowdfunding platform, almost three quarters (73 per cent) of backers stung by a failed project said they would be willing to pledge towards another campaign.