From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Beyond the Gates of Antares. Thon. Red Box Games. These are all Kickstarter drives that have failed recently. Is Kickstarter still the place to fund miniatures projects any more? There are many reasons why a drive might fail, though they all boil down to the same result – a failure to attract backers.
That Kickstarter can work for miniatures is not contested. In the games section, the Bones Kickstarter remains one of the all-time highest funded drives. Other miniatures projects have done well, as have miniatures-based board games such as Zombiecide. That was yesterday. How about today?
The three drives above all failed for different reasons. Antares was half-baked and suffered from poor communication and a lack of key information. It still generated close to one hundred thousand pounds. Thon was better laid out, but science fiction generica is hard to get off the ground, and Kickstarter is probably not the right place to try. Red Box have a previous successful drive under their belt, and it may simply be that this army lacked the popularity of their last one. Pins of War has a very good write-up on this.
These drives were all different from one another. From established and competent Red Box to the new and less than competent Antares there were different factors at work in each, but there are also some commonalities worth exploring, that apply to miniatures drives as a whole.
Miniatures are a large,but ultimately limited market. The incredibly successful Bones Kickstarter put the industry on notice that there was gold in them crowdfunding hills, but miniatures from that drives have only just begun shipping. By now there would be a pool of willing funders who are nevertheless withholding funds from future drives until their already-purchased models arrive. Unfair to the more recent projects perhaps, but that is why they call it the first mover advantage.
It might seem surprising, but there are other places to buy brand-new miniatures than Kickstarter. I know, right? The plastic revolution golden age is in full swing, and there are many quality models and ranges available outside the crowdfunding scene. I am a ran of Tre Manor’s work, but do I really need another goblin army range? Similarly why splash out on non-existent Thon or Antares models when I can mass buy Wargames Factory or for something higher up the quality scale, Infinity? The recent drives lack a truly new or unique nature that make people want to acquire now.
Successful drives have offered something new as opposed to something merely different. We have many choices as miniatures buyers but there is nothing like Kingdom Death out there, to look at one recently successful drive. Similarly Rivet Wars offers a unique look that is unmatched elsewhere. The days of crowdfunding “me too” miniatures are over.
It seems likely that crowdfunding for miniatures will be successful where there is something genuinely new on offer. For expansions of existing lines,the actual industry production method will be more reliable. The old boring one of slowly building an audience, links with retailers and distributors,and bringing your product to market.
For miniatures, crowdfunding if off the boil, and yet still holds massive opportunities. It is a combination as intriguing as it is frustrating.