RANKED: 31 Million-Dollar Kickstarter Projects

Updated: Click here for the most recent version of this list…

You may remember that we recently did this list on December 31st of last year. In just short of six months we have added 14 more campaigns to the list of Kickstarter raises that have crossed a million dollars. Of note here is the influx of gaming-related campaigns, with video games and tabletop games making up a significant portion of the newcomers on the list. Oh, yeah, and that whole Veronica Mars thing…

Pebble Watch Control Your Music1. Pebble E-Paper Watch

Total Raised: $10,226,845

Category: Product Design

My Take: Stands firm as the de-facto darling of crowdfunding.

Ouya Console with Controler2. OUYA Android-powered Gaming Console

Total Raised: $8,596,474

Category: Video Games

My Take: Since the raise, Ouya has raised more money and shipped consoles to lukewarm reviews. Ouya does have a first rate management team.  For anyone that values openness in their tech, this one makes you feel warm and fuzzy.  Take your walled garden and stuff it.

Veronica Mars on Kickstarter3. The Veronica Mars Movie Project

Total Raised: $5,702,152

Category: Film

My Take: You couldn’t have been on the Internet in the past six months or so and not seen, heard, watched or read something about this enormous project. Good enough for third on the all-time list, Veronica Mars set the stage for future big-ticket movies on Kickstarter.

Torment Tides of Numenera4. Torment: Tides of Numenera

Total Raised: $4,188,927

Category: Video Games

My Take: Visually stunning, great soundtrack, dovetails nicely with Monte Cook’s tabletop game Numenera. Great project, but more importantly a very smart project. Good case study for future game devs launching a crowdfunding campaign.


project eternity5. Project Eternity

Total Raised: $3,986,929

Category: Video Games

My Take: If you want to know how to keep your contributors in the loop after your raise, the Project Eternity team could write the guide.  Check out their updates page.

Reaper-Miniatures-Bones-Figures6. Reaper Miniatures Bones

Total Raised: $3,429,235

Category: Games

My Take: The high tech stuff gets all the press, but it is kind of refreshing to see an analog game this high on the list.  Makes me wonder what Kickstarter would have done for pogs.

Double Fine Adventure7. Double Fine Adventure

Total Raised: $3,336,371

Category: Video Games

My Take: A DRM-free copy of this game for a $15 pledge and they still raised over $3 million.  Enough said.

form1 3d printer8. FORM 1 3D Printer

Total Raised: $2,945,885

Category: Technology

My Take: 3D printing is hot right now, so it is no surprise that this campaign had success.  The design of the printer itself is very clean and sexy.  Their pitch video was excellent, too.  An MIT pedigree probably didn’t hurt.

wl2S-screen9. Wasteland 2

Total Raised: $2,933,252

Category: Video Games

My Take: I’m not a gamer, but apparently Wasteland creator Brian Fargo put out v1 of this game in the late 80’s.  Now crowdfunding has helped resurrect the title over two decades later.

homestuck adventure game10. Homestuck Adventure Game

Total Raised: $2,485,506

Category: Video Games

My Take: A video game based on a mockery of video games.  Our species is so fantastic sometimes.

oculus rift11. Oculus Rift

Total Raised: $2,437,429

Category: Technology

My Take: A virtual reality headset for video games?  What isn’t cool about that?  Games just keep getting more realistic, and this seems to be the obvious next step in that process. Oh, and Grandma loves it.

elite: dangerous space12. Elite: Dangerous

Total Raised: $2,411,193

Category: Video Games

My Take: Video game for PC and Mac and the highest-grossing Kickstarter campaign of all time funded in British pounds. Funded at £1.5 million, just over the goal of £1.25 million. It’s a video game set in space. What can be bad?

3Doodler13. 3Doodler: The World’s First 3D Printing Pen

Total Raised: $2,344,134

Category: Product Design

My Take: This was a fun one that also received a lot of press. A pen that you can 3D print with, the genius here was that the product designers put the product in the hands of Etsy artists before the campaign and asked them to make things with it. They received pictures of everything from jewelry to sculptures and even a man sitting in a chair!

zombicide_box14. Zombicide: Season 2

Total Raised: $2,255,018

Category: Games

My Take: A board game based on the zombie apocalypse. Of note here: 30,000 comments from a scant 8,000 backers. Talk about engagement!

camelot-unchained15. Camelot Unchained

Total Raised: $2,232,933

Category: Video Games

My Take: Another MMO RPG makes the list. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a crowdfunding campaign with a greater volume of sheer information than Camelot Unchained. There are even speadsheet-like charts to make sense of the stretch goals. The campaign itself feels like a game!

planetary annihilation16. Planetary Annihilation

Total Raised : $2,229,344

Category: Video Games

My Take: Now, I said I wasn’t much of a gamer… but I do love my real-time sims.  I was a big Starcraft geek back in the day.  This might be one I have to pick up one day if and when it wouldn’t likely cost me my business.  It is impressive from a visual standpoint, too.

star-citizen-logo17. Star Citizen

Total Raised: $2,134,374

Category: Video Games

My Take: Visually stunning game.  Star Citizen made a lot of waves this year in the media, and it seems to have paid off with their monster raise.


Kingdom Death Miniatures18. Kingdom Death: Monster

Total Raised: $2,049,721

Category: Games

My Take: This board game sports some of the craziest game pieces I have ever seen. Expected delivery in November of 2013, so backers had no problems waiting for a game of this caliber. The project creators have rewarded them with frequent updates.

shroud of the avatar19. Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues

Total Raised: $1,919,275

Category: Video Games

My Take: This campaign was the result of a very well-known game designer bringing his passion to the crowd and the crowd responded in a big way. Richard Garriott is one of the godfathers of RPGs, so this one is sure to be a hit. Again, long delivery horizon… October of 2014!

dwarven forge20. Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles: Revolutionary Miniature Terrain

Total Raised: $1,908,155

Category: Games

My Take: Another tabletop game project on the list. These tiles can be used to play games like Dungeons and Dragons and aid the player in creating a realistic landscape for gameplay. Lesson for me: things I barely understand can still get $1.9 million on Kickstarter.

shadowrun_banner_21655.nphd21. Shadowrun Returns

Total Raised: $1,836,447

Category: Video Games

My Take: A turn-based RPG.  Think Lord of the Rings meets Bladerunner.  The ability to play on tablets is a cool feature, and one that you’ll probably see more of in the future as iPads continue to take over the world.

Dreamfall Chapters22. Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey

Total Raised: $1,538,425

Category: Video Games

My Take: This funded a series installment for a video game series with a game to be released soon on Mac and PC. The game has a crazy storyline and boasts over 20,000 backers.

ElevationDockPlus23. Elevation Dock

Total Raised : $1,464,706

Category: Product Design

My Take: Sporting a nice Apple-esque design, this was the biggest raise ever for an iPhone accessory on Kickstarter.  Unfortunately it was rendered moot for future versions of the iPhone thanks to the new lightning connector.

lifx24. LIFX

Total Raised: $1,314,542

Category: Technology

My Take: An LED lightbulb you can control from your phone.  You can even change the color on the fly.  One case where the future is rapidly becoming the present.  LED lightbulbs are a no-brainer.

order-of-the-stick25. The Order of the Stick Reprint Drive

Total Raised: $1,254,120

Category: Comics

My Take: This campaign had 64 pledge options for contributions of up to $5,000. 64 PLEDGE OPTIONS. All 64 received at least one backer. That. Is. Insane. This campaign broke the crowdfunding rules and won anyway.

smartthings26. SmartThings

Total Raised: $1,209,423

Category: Technology

My Take: WiFi-enabled home devices are becoming more prevalent, so no wonder a universal device for just such a thing made the list.  There are probably more products like this coming.

Love Amanda Effing Palmer from Kickstarter27. Amanda Palmer’s Record, Art Book & Tour

Total Raised: $1,192,793

Category: Music

My Take: Another project that got a lot of press.  Amanda is well known as member of the Dresden Dolls, so her fans were eager to back her Kickstarter campaign.  This project minted Amanda Palmer as a crowdfunding expert and speaker, and she has since spoken at various events on the subject including TED.

RigidBot28. RigidBot 3D Printer

Total Raised: $1,092,098

Category: Product Design

My Take: Is there a hotter space than 3D printing right now? A $299 consumer-grade 3D printer is certainly the right product at the right price point at the right time, and the crowd agreed to the tune of almost $1.1 million.

pathfinder-online29. Pathfinder Online: A Fantasy Sandbox MMO

Total Raised: $1,091,194

Category: Video Games

My Take: This was the follow-up to a previous crowdfunding campaign to fund the tech behind the game. It seems many of those backers probably came back to fund the resulting game. Gameplay is very open-ended and characters develop based on how the player plays the game throughout.

flint-and-tinder30: The 10-Year Hoodie: Built For Life, Backed For A Decade!

Total Raised: $1,053,830

Category: Clothing

My Take: Flint and Tinder created this product and they’re honestly one of my favorite serial crowdfunding companies. This solves a huge problem with most hoodies in that they’re expensive but not built to last. Oh, they make their clothes in the USA, too. Have to love that.

cst-01-worlds-thinnest-watch31. CST-01: The World’s Thinnest Watch

Total Raised: $1,026,292

Category: Product Design

My Take: Definitely a unique design, and the campaign received a ton of press. The deconstructed pictures of the watch itself on the campaign page are kind of mind-blowing. It must have been a real challenge to design, and the team does say they spent a year in prototyping!

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