Tabletop gaming projects set new records this last year on Kickstarter, raising nearly ten times as much money as video games did in 2019.
Kickstarter revolutionized the gaming industry. There’s just no questioning it. In 2010, the crowdfunding platform had only 48 tabletop gaming projects, an amount which has increased exponentially over the last ten years, reaching a new height of more than 4,000 projects launched, and more than half of those, successfully funded. Year for year, pound for pound, tabletop gaming has been consistently breaking new ground and setting new records on Kickstarter.
This chart–and this data–comes via ICO Partners, in their annual report on Kickstarter. In the report we see that games, in general, raised two hundred and eight million dollars just last year.
And of that total, tabletop games are responsible for more than half of that total, with their hundred-and-seventy-six-plus million dollar total. The vast majority of the growth in the games category comes from tabletop projects, who collectively managed the following:
- +$11m year-on-year raised by successful projects
- 2,712 projects funded, up from 2,336, a +16% increase
- 67% of all the tabletop projects managed to reach their goal
This marks the fifth consecutive year of growth, and the eighth overall for the tabletop games category. This includes board games, miniatures games, and roleplaying games–some of which you can find covered on this very site. Kickstarter opened up an avenue to gamers directly, and they were hungry to find (and fund) the projects they longed to see. We’ve seen such a wealth of projects come down the pipeline, including experimental games that could never be commercially approved, like Kingdom Death: Monster, because you try and find a distributor willing to publish your horny anime Soulsborne-esque game that retails for $400–but Kickstarter offered developers a way around that.
Once the creators realized their audience was there, the doors were opened. This is how we’ve seen major RPG projects like the revamped Fate Core edition, or many of the various Powered by the Apocalypse or Forged in the Dark games, including the original Blades in the Dark. It’s unimaginable to think of what the ttrpg landscape would be like without Kickstarter. You certainly wouldn’t see as many indie games out there. And if you’re a fan of board games, you can all but say goodbye to your expensive games featuring resin and plastic miniatures that are expertly sculpted, and that come with accessories enough to supply a small retail store.
And if you’re a developer or a designer, the people are out there. You just have to figure out how to reach them through all the noise. But as we head into 2020, tabletop gaming looks poised to continue expanding.
What are you looking forward to funding this year?