Card Games: Crowdfunding’s Newest Frontier


Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last few years will have noticed the increasingly prominent role that crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are playing in the world of investment and entrepreneurship. Technology has given anyone with a dream and a good idea a global platform, meaning that those eager young inventors and entrepreneurs now have a global audience of investors that includes normal people like you and me, allowing all of us to freely and easily invest in what could potentially be the next billion dollar idea. From smart watches to digital wine coolers, themed dog collars, video games and even movie spin-offs of popular TV shows like Veronica Mars, last year, crowdfunding platforms raised $34 billion in cash from small and large donations alike. Crowdfunding is fast becoming a permanent and essential part of the business landscape, as it is giving people’s unique ideas a direct audience with those who are most likely to support them.

One area where crowdfunding has been explosively successful is that of card games. While classic, globally-known card games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering were launched as part of big money ventures backed by multinational organizations and investment funds, sites like Kickstarter have allowed a new generation of fun and addictive trading card games to make it to the market, thanks to donations from fans. Let’s take a look at how the sector is doing now, and what kind of innovative and original games we can expect to see in the future.

Health Check

As mentioned, the proliferation of crowdfunded card games is a relatively recent phenomenon, but one that is growing fast. A quick look on the games section of Kickstarter will immediately paint a vivid picture of an emerging industry in rude health, with dozens of potential card games that have either already raised the required funds or are not far off from doing so.

The funding required to launch a new card game varies, but it is rarely small change; the creators need to not only pay for print materials but also professional illustrations, marketing, distribution and legal services. It’s hard to pin down the average cost of launching a new game, with funding pots on Kickstarter ranging from $100 to $2 million, but it certainly isn’t cheap. The fact that these thresholds are frequently being met highlights the huge, unmet demand there is among what is clearly a large and passionate consumer market, so we can expect plenty more of this in the future.

What Games are Becoming Popular

You can find all kinds of games on crowdfunding sites vying to reach their funding threshold and make it to the top, but a quick glance at the frontrunners will tell you all you need to know about what’s hot right now. Many of the games are strategy trading card games with strong elements of magic, fantasy, and combat, with one of the biggest fundraisers being the medieval fantasy fighting strategy game Kingdom Death: Monster which managed to raise over $2,000,000 from a $35,000 target. Similarly, points-based fighting games based around types of combat, like the martial arts themed Martial Arts: The Trading Card Game, have also proved to be immensely popular. There are definitely some common themes, and it seems that tabletop card games involving intricate strategy and a high amount of competition are what the people want.

Classic Card Games: A Lasting Appeal

While there’s no shortage of original games making it to the top, there are some timeless classics which are still being enjoyed by legions of fans and are constantly being reinvented to this day. Long-established card games like Texas hold’em, blackjack and 3-card poker clearly haven’t lost their appeal, with classic card decks with new novel and artistic approaches regularly raising more than enough via crowdfunding. There’s little more versatile than a classic deck of playing cards, with popular estimates concluding that there is anything between 1000 and 10,000 existing games you can play with a standard deck, a considerable percentage of those being a type of blackjack, with the multiple varieties of blackjack on Betway illustrating just how much you can do with 52 cards. From celebrity-themed cards to cards made of rare metals, to geometric cards where you have to work out the number, it’s clear that classic card games are as popular as ever.

Card Games: Crowdfunding's Newest Frontier

What Does the Future Hold?

From what we’ve seen here, crowdfunded card games aren’t going anywhere, and what this means for the future is that we can expect a wave of trends in which new card games become fixtures in the gaming community and that more traditional trading cards might lose ground to these crowdfunded classics. Whatever happens, the next few years are guaranteed to be something of a gamer’s paradise!

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