Top 10 Successfully Funded Kickstarter Campaigns

Top 10 Successfully Funded Kickstarter Campaigns

Kickstarter has paved its way to becoming the premiere go-to destination for crowdfunding startups. Since its 2009 launch, more than 4.4 million people via its platform have pledged nearly $700 million, and those are numbers that continue to grow. Kickstarter gives creators a chance to spotlight their creations and talents, and there are many startups that have been able to thrive because of it. These next 10 companies are the most funded campaigns on Kickstarter. As you’ll see, they range in category from design to film to games to technology.

10.) Wasteland 2

Funded: $2,933,252

Asked For: $900,000

Percent Funded: 325%

What Is It? Role-playing adventure games are all the rage on Kickstarter, and Wasteland 2 is no exception. It puts the player in the shoes of a character set in a post-apocalyptic world with a storyline that requires some painful decision-making. The company behind the design, inXile, also successfully funded another role-playing game, Torment: Tides of Numenera (see #4). Wasteland 2 is a sequel to the 1988 game that was one of its first kind to have a cause-and-effect world, where the gamer makes choices that shape the adventure. The Kickstarter video touched mostly on the fact that big-name publishers don’t want to touch games that don’t enforce current trends (for example, vampires).

Quote: “Kickstarter is all about helping the smaller development community. In fact, I’m trying to start a movement called ‘Kick It Forward,’ which encourages developers to take 5% of the profit of the game after it ships and put it back into the community to help other developers. -Brian Fargo, CEO of inXile Entertainment

9.) Form 1

Funded:  $2,945,885

Asked For:  $100,000

Percent Funded: 2,945%

What Is It? Form 1 is a high-resolution 3-D printer for professional creators. It had only 25 spots open for pledgers who wanted to donate at least $2,229 and receive the printer—and those spots were bought out almost immediately. Form 1 aimed to have a reasonable cost with high-end quality, and compete within the professional markets.

Quote: “Bringing the cost of these expensive machines down isn’t enough. These machines are usually operated by someone entirely dedicated to the job. We knew if we wanted to make the Form 1 available to every maker, every designer, we had to make every part of it accessible. So we streamlined the process.” –Maxim Lobovsky, co-founder

8.) Wish I Was Here

Funded: $3,105,473

Asked For: $2,000,000

Percent Funded: $155%

What Is It? In April, actor Zach Braff, most famous for his role in the series “Scrubs,” turned to Kickstarter to secure funding for his film “Wish I Was Here.” Braff wrote the screenplay with his brother and, like his previous indie-film, “Garden State,” he plans to direct it as well. He will also star as 35-year-old Aidan, the main character who is an actor struggling to find his identity. Braff has successfully achieved funding for 13 Kickstarter campaigns.

Quote: “After I saw how the amazing Veronica Mars fans rallied around that project in a mind-blowing way, I couldn’t help but think, like so many others, maybe this could be a new paradigm for filmmakers who want to make smaller, personal films without having to sign away any of their artistic freedom.” –Zach Braff

7.) Double Fine

Funded: $3,336, 371

Asked For: $400,000

Percent Funded: 834%

What Is It? Games take the top most-funded catergory, and this game was one of the lucky bunch. Double Fine was completely funded in just eight hours. Double Fine is a “point-and-click” graphic adventure game. In addition to the game, the people at Double Fine and 2 Player Productions decided to document the entire creative process to show fans what was happening behind closed doors.

Quote: “One of the things I’m most passionate about is making games. And one of my favorite types of games to make is adventure games. But these days it seems like adventure games are a bit of a lost art form. They exist in our dreams and our memories and in Germany. But if I were to go to a publisher and pitch an adventure game, they’d laugh in my face.”

6.) Reaper Miniature Bones: An Evolution of Gaming Miniatures

Funded: $3,429,235

Asked For:  $30,000

Percent Funded: 11,430%

What Is It? The Reaper Miniatures are small, intricately designed molded figures that have been around for more than 20 years. The Kickstarter campaign aimed to push production to make the miniatures as fast as they could without compromising quality. The miniatures are based on fantasy characters and come un-painted so that buyers can do with them as they choose.

Quote: “Twenty years ago, you could go into a gaming store with a couple of bills and come out with a handful of minis. Not so much today. But today’s quality is far superior to those figures of the past. Reaper’s Bones meet that sweet spot where low price intersects with incredible detail.” –Reaper Mini

5.) Project Eternity

Funded: $3,986,929

Asked For: $1,100,000

Percent Funded: 362%

What Is It? Created by Obsidian Entertainment, this is a role-playing computer game. Its Kickstarter  campaign says it wants to pay homage to similar role-playing, including Planescape: Torment, a game with the same designers as our #4 listing. In the game, you create your own character and gain companions along the way. From the campaign: “You will engage in dialogues that are deep, and offer many choices to determine the fate of you and your party … and you’ll experience a story that explores mature themes and presents you with complex, difficult choices to shape how your story plays out.” Not only did they cross over the amount they asked for, but PayPal donations added later pushed them over the $4 million threshold.

Quote: “I don’t think there is any reason for Obsidian not to approach Kickstarter again [for a sequal]. It’s just that if we did, we’d want to have a compelling concept for it, so that would probably be a discussion that we had.” –Chris Avellone, Game designer

4.) Torment: Tides of Numenera

Funded: $4,188,927

Asked For: 900,000

Percent Funded: 465%

What Is It? Torment: Tides of Numenera is a story-driven roleplaying game that succeeds the 1999 critically-acclaimed, Planescape: Torment. It’s from the inXile Entertainment team that successfully funded Wasteland 2 via Kickstarter as well. A prime feature of the game is that it follows an intricate story, much like a novel, and the gamer plays the main character. The advantage is that the gamer’s decisions shape the story, much like a choose-your-own-adventure book. The concept art is visually stunning and highly imaginative. The game is slated for an early 2015 release.

Quote: “Kickstarter has been a godsend for bit-size developers like inXile. I was awed by the support with Wasteland 2. It allows us to get back to making the kind of games that we want to make. We are making the kind of games that we like to play. Crowdfunding goes beyond our ability to gauge product interest or for you get a game at a discounted process. It also is a more open and interactive product development process. We get to know what you want and you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.” –Brian Fargo, CEO of InXile Entertainment

3.) Veronica Mars Movie Project

Funded: $5,702,153

Asked For: $2,000,000

Percent Funded: 285%

What Is It? While it didn’t make the record for the top most-funded project, it did have the most number of backers ever (more than 90,000). The funding supports the summer 2013 production of a movie based on the noir series of the same name. The campaign was started by creator of the series, Rob Thomas. The film is slated for a 2014 release, and recent news has revealed that a book deal with Alloy Entertainment will pick up the plot where the film leaves off.

Quote: “Words can’t even express how excited we are. You came through, and I’ll keep my promise too. We’re going to make the best Veronica Mars movie anyone ever made, and the movie you deserve. Because you made this happen.” –Kristen Bell, Actor

2.) OUYA

Funded: $8,596,474

Asked For: $950,000

Percent Funded: 904%

What Is It? The people at OUYA wanted to solve a problem; they saw developers heading towards the social and mobile markets because those were more developer-friendly. Ouya is a game console that’s built on Android and allows independent developers the ability to create games that can be played on the television. The OUYA console has an exclusive store with apps and games designed specifically for its platform. It’s been just three weeks since the game became publicly available, and according to founder Julie Uhrman, things are going “great” and Ouya titles are “fun, creative games that would never find a place on traditional consoles.” The console sells for just $100 and there are currently 252 games on its market.

Quote: “There’s a lot of hurdles for developers to get their games on television. Developing is extremely expensive; I love the television and I want those games on the television.” –Julie Uhrman

1.) Pebble: E-paper Watch for iPhone and Android

Funded: 10,266,845

Asked for: $100,000

Percent Funded: 10,266%

What Is It? Pebble is a customizable watch designed to be synchronized with your Apple or Android device. You can run apps on it, or connect it via Bluetooth to your smartphone (the watch had previously been designed for Blackberry devices). It features a high-resolution display, customizable watchfaces, and Caller ID; it comes in several colors and you can read messages (including Facebook and email messages) and listen to music on it.  The Kickstarter pledges purchased a total of 85,000 watches. You can purchase the watch on its website for $150.

Quote: “After our Kickstarter project closed, we opened up a website that took pre-orders and people who were interested could sign their name down, and tens of thousands of people signed up.” -Eric Migicovsky, co-founder