Playable Kickstarter-funded games hit 100

JAMES 'DEXX' DOMINGUEZ
Last updated 12:35, June 29 2014
RECYCLING: Wasteland 2 almost set a record for most money raised in a video game Kickstarter, although the full game is currently slated to arrive more than a year behind its original schedule.

RECYCLING: Wasteland 2 almost set a record for most money raised in a video game Kickstarter, although the full game is currently slated to arrive more than a year behind its original schedule.

Backing a project on Kickstarter is always a gamble.

Even if a crowdfunding campaign gains traction and meets its funding goal, there is never any guarantee that the project and its associated rewards will ever be delivered.

A startling study published in January revealed that, of all the video games successfully funded on Kickstarter that were meant to be fully delivered by the end of 2013, only around one game in three had actually been completed.

Slightly fewerthan one in 10 were partially delivered, such as via "early access" (allowing players to purchase and play an unfinished game) or in the form of a single chapter of a multi-chapter game.

Only one in 10 was formally announced to have been cancelled or placed on hiatus, meaning that around half had not been delivered by the stated deadline.

"Only one third of video games funded on Kickstarter get delivered on time" is a damning headline, and many gaming news sites ran with something similar back in January.

So it may come as a relief to the gamers backing these projects that they have hit an impressive milestone. One hundred Kickstarter-funded video games can now be purchased and played on Steam, the largest online store for PC games.

There are some big names in here, and some record-breaking crowdfunding campaigns. Legendary game designer Tim Schafer set the highest total ever earned by a game when his then-unnamed adventure game raised US$3.3 million; it was recently released under the title Broken Age. Wasteland 2 nearly stole that crown only a month later when it stopped just short of US$3 million.

These games are appearing on other platforms as well. Octodad: Dadliest Catch was even featured in Sony's 2013 pre-E3 press conference, despite being a low-budget, independently made game. Another Kickstarter game that has made it to PS4 is Strike Suit Zero, a beautiful space combat game.

This touted figure of 100 carries an important caveat, however. While it is true that all of these games can be acquired on Steam and played right now, many of them are unfinished.

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The fans who backed Broken Age, for example, were disappointed to be told that only the first half of the game would be released on time. The second half is due to be released "later this year".

Schafer's funding rival, Wasteland 2, is also incomplete. While it is available through an early access program, the complete game has been delayed until August, almost a year behind schedule.

Some games never arrive. Several fully funded games have either been confirmed as cancelled or have been delayed for so long their cancellation has been assumed. With the development money spent, backers may well receive nothing for their investment.

Despite the risks, however, video game projects continue to be popular on Kickstarter: seven of the 20 highest-funded projects on the site have been video games.

DexX is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

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