From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
What was the question? How deep can a niche go and still be profitable? Tabletop games are a niche. Within that board games are a niche. Miniature-based board games are a niche of a niche of a niche.
I will try not to use the word niche as often again.
Kingdom Death recently wrapped up its second Kickstarter This is essentially the same game originally sold over Kickstarter, with some tidied up rules and brand new stretch goals. Very close to a re-presented project.
For those who don’t know, Kingdom Death is a very expensive board game with some exquisite miniatures. The games plays like a series of boss battles, and your heroes go from almost naked survivors to armoured veterans over the course of the game, which has heavy RPG elements – think interactive story.
The game is not cheap, costing hundreds of dollars for the base box, and will take hours if not days to play. Combined with the look and complexity of the models Kingdom Death flies in the face of industry wisdom which says players want family games that are quick to play and easy to learn along with decent miniatures that don’t require assembly.
If these are rules, Kingdom Death breaks all of them.
The look of the game is unique and appeals to many.
The audience was always going to be two-fold: people who missed out the first time round and wanted to pick up the game, and people from the first Kickstarter who wanted to expand their collection.
It turns out, this audience is HUGE. In six weeks (over the Christmas break) Kingdom Death made over $12,000,000. By way of comparison, industry leader Games Workshop brought in 118,000,000 in their most recent year of operation, with multiple games selling hundreds of stores around the world.
If Kingdom Death can do this, the miniatures market is larger than any of us might think, for companies that get it right. It doesn’t need to be mass market when the niche (there’s that word again) goes so deep.