From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
The creators of the crowdfunding website Kickstarter didn’t set out to revolutionise tabletop games production. Their ‘creative’ focus was more in other areas – theatre, film, music.
However the site which allows anyone to come up with whatever project they want soon attracted its share of tabletop games projects. A number of popular games today simply wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Kickstarter, including Gloomhaven, Zombicide and more.
Traditional production methods force a company or individual to take all the financial risk up front, paying for production and distribution of a game that may or may not sell. There’s no way of knowing until it gets within reach of the end user. It’s not surprising so few games are produced this way, even now.
Crowdfunding flips this on its head. If you can find your customer base they will fund your production costs up front, allowing games that can find an audience early to exist.
As I write this several tabletop projects are in Kickstarter’s top 10 all-time funded projects, including the dark and grim Kingdom Death and the light and silly Exploding Kittens. Plenty of other tabletop projects between these two extremes have flourished on Kickstarter.
When I look at my own history, I’m a light backer of products, being aware that while this model allows more games to be produced, it does so by throwing the financial risk on the end user (i.e. you and me). If the project fails to deliver we spent our money but we get nothing.
I’ve been fortunate in that all 12 of the projects I’ve backed since Bones I in 2012 have been successfully delivered. According to Kickstarter around 9% of their projects fail to deliver, so I’m beating those odds as of now.
It’s not just board games, but miniatures, role-playing games, accessories and more which get funded. While some retailers grumble about this new competition, it’s a fact that games funded on Kickstarter have gone on to become top sellers at retail too. Crowdfunding is making the gaming pie bigger for everyone.
Kickstarter’s creators may not have thought of tabletop gaming when they started out, but the landscape has changed hugely in the past decade. The variety and choice of games on offer is huge, but still, caveat