Games Have Exploded on Kickstarter, but Company Will Stick to Creative Projects

By Cameron Scott 

perry chen, kickstarter, crowdfundingGames have exploded on the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter this year, increasing by 20-fold over last year, said CEO and co-founder Perry Chen.

Games accounted for $3.5 million in funding in 2011 and have already driven roughly 20 times that in 2012, Chen told the audience at a GigaOm conference this morning in San Francisco.

But Kickstarter will continue to focus on creative projects, despite its increasing importance for tech hardware startups.

Film continues to be the largest funded category on the site, Chen said. Kickstarter has supported two Academy Award nominees this year, and its projects made up 10 percent of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. While film accounts for the most money, music projects are the most numerous, Chen said.

Responding to questions about the company’s need to remind users supporting hardware projects, which are sometimes pitched as pre-orders, that the platform doesn’t guaranteed delivery of a product, Chen said, “You’re not shopping at Best Buy, you’re supporting someone who’s probably at the early stages of their project. Delays occur in complicated areas like film and software development.”

“I think in general people are aware of that, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t recognize that that could be better,” he added.

While Kickstarter continues to grow in popularity and influence, Chen was clear that he didn’t foresee selling the company or taking it public. He was also clear that Kickstarter won’t delve into selling equity in private companies, as some Silicon Valley insiders might like.

“We think the most disruptive aspect of this model is the removal of the investment component. People are supporting projects because they want to see them happen, not because they want to profit in some way. I’d say 90 percent of the ideas in the world aren’t built to make money, and we’re thrilled to be able to help that full spectrum,” Chen said.

Kickstarter has had 60,000 people create crowdfunding projects and 3 million people back a project. 750,000 backers have supported more than one project, according to Chen.