L.A. becomes major center for Kickstarter funding

kickstarter2.jpg The online fundraising site has helped finance 122 projects in L.A., topped only by NY with 144 (SF is third, with a curiously low 67 projects). Film and video is the most popular category among creators who need money, and it's second-most popular among donors (games is tops). All told, Kickstarter projects generated $274 million in pledges from 2.2 million people, and almost half of those projects received the necessary funding. (check out Fast Company's nifty infographic). The site, which is basically an expansion of the old friends-and-family source of funding, gained further legitimacy earlier this month when the producers of an upcoming movie based on the TV series "Veronica Mars" received more than $2 million in pledges over a 12-hour stretch. But video game development seems to be an especially popular area for funding. From the Economist:

One reason that games get financed is that gamers are tech-savvy. With an average age in America of 37, they also have plenty of disposable income. They expect no return on their money, save a free or cut-price copy of the game itself. There are structural reasons within the games industry for Kickstarter's popularity, too. As development budgets for games have risen, says Aubrey Hesselgren, a games-industry programmer, big publishers such as Electronic Arts and Activision have become risk-averse. Like Hollywood studios before them, they have taken the safe option of churning out endless sequels to already-popular titles in big-selling genres, such as military-themed shooting games. That leaves a long tail of disgruntled fans who can't find new games they enjoy. The three biggest Kickstarter games are all from underserved genres.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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