Kickstarter Shows a Rise in Tabletop Games Being Funded


Kickstarter Shows a Rise in Tabletop Games Being Funded

Kickstarter saw an all-time high for board games, card games, and roleplaying games in 2018. Meanwhile, they’ve been witnessing a steady decline of crowd-sourced video games on their site.

Stop and try to picture what Kickstarter ads you’ve seen recently. Or what ones you helped fund. How many of them were board games, versus video games? Looking at the projects I backed for Kickstarter in 2018—they are all almost exclusively either books/comics or board games/game accessories. There isn’t a single video game in the bunch. Did you back anything on Kickstarter this year? If so, what sort of item was it?

Tabletop Games

Tarzan Lord of the Jungle board game (Dynamite Entertainment) Kickstarter press release image
A Kickstarter-funded board game, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

2018 showed a record high for Kickstarter tabletop games. In one year alone over $200 million worth of projects were funded on the site. Of course, not all of that money went to successful projects. In actuality, there were fewer successful projects, totaling about $165 million going to the ones that succeeded. Backers for the failed projects got to keep their money—unlike on a lot of other crowdfunding sites.

One thing the study doesn’t clarify is if it included products that support tabletop games. For example, a Kickstarter funding a new dice box or something like that. Those items have a tendency to go viral, and could potentially skew the numbers (but who knows by how much).

Video Games

Conversely, video games on the site dropped down for the third year in a row. The decline between the past two years was sharper than it had ever been previously. In total it appears to have lost somewhere around 1.45 million dollars from the previous year. A total of $15.8 million went to successful projects in 2018, a paltry number in comparison to the sum that tabletop games hauled in.

The Most Successful?

Based on the numbers we’ve been shown, it’s probably no real surprise that a board game was the leader (among all types of games, that is) for Kickstarter funding. Poland’s Awaken Realms came back to Kickstarter for its next game, and man did it rake in the money. It brought in $6.5 million on its own.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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