The Kickstarter video game dataset

| Sieuwert van Otterloo | Project Management

The development of new videogame projects is often financed through crowdfunding. Unfortunately not all financed projects are delivered successfully. Jasser Bakridi compiled a dataset of 100 videogame projects that started as a kickstarter projects. The dataset not only contains data from the kickstarter campaign page but also the delivery status: whether the game has been developed. You can download the dataset here. The research shows that only one third of projects delivered as promised. This is similar to the rate of other  software projects.

Data set description

The data set contains data on 100 video game projects that have been crowdfunded successfully via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. All 100 projects have been funded successfully. Not all projects have been completed successfully. Even with a very forgiving definition of ‘on time’, only 25 out of the 100 projects have been completed successfully.

For each project, additional data has been added that allow one to build prediction models on whether a project will be successful. Some of the factors included are:

  • Original budget, amount of funding and overfunding
  • target delivery date
  • Actual delivery date
  • Team size
  • Whether it is a 2D or 3D game
  • Nr. of platforms
  • The quality rating of the game delivered

As you can see in the chart below, there are some factors that seem to have an influence on success rate: the team size and the previous kickstarter experience of the project creator.

Download data set

Use the following link: DataSet_Failure-Rate-Crowdfunded-Video-Projects.xlsx

More information

If you are interested in project management research and kickstarter research, we recommend the following resources:

  • Measuring project success: the fulfilment rate of crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter Journal article based on a similar data set
  • Mollick, Delivery rates on kickstarter. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2699251 The abstract states: “Using a large survey with 47,188 backers of Kickstarter projects, I examined the factors that led to projects failing to deliver their promised rewards. Among funded projects, a failure to deliver seems relatively rare, accounting for around 9% of all projects, with a possible range of 5% to 14%. There are few indicators at the time of project funding as to which projects might ultimately fail to deliver rewards, though small projects (and to a lesser extent very large projects) are more likely to fail to deliver rewards, as are some project categories.”.
  • Woortman, “Evaluating risk management methods for software projects“. This thesis summarizes project managemen literuature in general, including work by Boehm, NEN and Standish group.

We believe the failure rate by Mollick of 9% is wrong: in our research we find a much higher failure rate of between 30% and 60%, depending on how you count partial failures. It is however the most detailed previous work on this topic we could find and contains interesting insights.


Author: Sieuwert van Otterloo
Dr. Sieuwert van Otterloo is a court-certified IT expert with interests in agile, security, software research and IT-contracts.