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Gamasutra's Kickstarter Survey: The Results
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Gamasutra's Kickstarter Survey: The Results

August 31, 2012 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

Battle of the Operating Systems

Whereas sites such as Humble Bundle have publicized the pledging trends of groups based on operating systems, Kickstarter and its project creators have not and cannot, since OSes are generally lumped in one perk level. For this section, data was separated into OS-specific groups and a Linux/Linux+PC group (since Linux-only excluded 82 percent of all Linux users). This group is labeled in the charts as "Linux+nonMac."

Of all respondents, 2 percent used only Linux, 69 percent used only Windows, 6 percent used only Mac, and 7 percent used Linux or Linux+PC.

Of particular note, Mac users were most willing to pay more than the final purchase price for a downloadable copy of a game. Linux-only users most preferred to pay less, and no Linux-only users wished to pay more.

Regarding average pledges, Windows users had the highest percent of $100-plus pledges, and Mac users had the highest percent of $50-plus pledges. Linux-only users did not pledge above $50, and Linux/Linux+PC users pledged the least amount above $50.

Finally, Linux-only users were the largest percent pledging to 10-plus projects in the last six months, followed by Mac users.

Mac users were also the group to least likely fund zero projects, suggesting they rather strongly want to support Mac-compatible game development.

Based on this data, there appeared to be no clear champion of Kickstarter projects. Each operating system-based group had different tendencies to suggest how it chooses to support. Linux users supported the greatest number of projects, Windows users had the highest average of pledges, and Mac users were the most willing to pay extra for the perk that includes a downloadable game.

Conclusion and Further Study

This survey received completed responses from 1,445 individuals, resulting in a 91 percent completion rate. As shown in the data, the motivation to pledge to Kickstarter projects largely comes from spoken suggestion. It is also the most common way in which respondents tell others about the projects to which they pledge.

Developers also may want to use their words (and proof of concepts) adequately to earn pledges. Respondents expressed the two main reasons they don't pledge are when the text and videos failed to ignite interest or instill trust that the projects would be completed.

While many trends surfaced from the majority and subsets of data, this Kickstarter survey is not an exhaustive look at how people pledge to Kickstarter gaming projects. For one, the survey was largely advertised by Gamasutra and IndieGames sites and social media; the former caters to business- and development-oriented individuals and the latter caters to independent game fans. This survey did not record traffic sources, so a broader-reaching survey may be more representative.

A few respondents expressed concern about interpreting the question: "Should a perk level be less, the same, or more than the game's final sale price?" This should have been interpreted as "Should the perk that includes a copy of the game be less, the same or more as the game's final sale price?" Fortunately, the survey included another question that mostly gets at the issue, "Have you ever considered but ultimately decided not to fund a Kickstarter project?" with "Game was not available at a low enough reward tier," as a possible reason.

For the operating system comparison, a future survey could have users select their predominant operating system rather than picking multiple OSes.

A survey regarding one or more specific projects with thousands of supporters could provide different insight, where reactions can be attributed to specific examples. A future survey could also explore the more recently predominant stretch goals.

Finally, this researcher would like to have asked about beta- or alpha-related perks. The Minecraft model suggests charging less (as a means of incentive) when people purchase a game earlier in development. However, Kickstarter perks with beta/alpha access are often set higher than a final digital copy. It would be interesting to learn people's reactions to these differences.

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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