Project Phoenix, the month's highest-funded game ($1,014,600). The RPG-meets-RTS features an all-star crew, including Lead Composer Nobuo Uematsu, Art Director Kiyoshi Arai and Director/Producer Hiroaki Yura, each with ties to the Final Fantasy series as well as Diablo 3 and Valkyria Chronicles.
September will also be remembered as the month that Ouya's Free the Games Fund left its mark on crowdfunding. One game in the program, Gridiron Thunder, was accused of unfairly bolstering its own campaign by self-funding it past the $100,000 mark in order to earn rewards offered by Ouya. The hardware company's program fell under great scrutiny before being overhauled, at which point developer MogoTXT removed Gridiron Thunder from Free the Games Fund eligibility.
As an example of the discrepancy in funding, Evelend Games' action platformer Indiegogo project AdventurOS had over ten times as many funders as Gridiron Thunder (1,899 versus 183), yet the Ouya football game earned over eight times as much money as AdventurOS ($171,009 versus $21,323). Additionally, removing Gridiron Thunder from the action genre for the month takes the category's average pledge per backer rate down from $44.19 to $34.31.
As seen in our latest quarterly report, it only takes a few projects like Gridiron Thunder to shape the community's perception of entire crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. While September saw the same number of successful projects (29), the $2,211,975 raised by 40,701 funders were down by $764,575 and 23,218 people from the previous month, and were the lowest amounts seen in the last four months. It's unclear whether potential community distrust thanks to controversial projects like Gridiron Thunder or the release of big retail games, such as the recent launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 will have a bigger impact on crowdfunding in the coming months. Head past the break to see the month's breakdown by genre as well as a list of September's top five projects.