I recently came upon some statistics about Kickstarter projects and tabletop games that I think are particularly revealing.
According to an article published earlier this year by Polygon, the tabletop gaming category on the ubiquitous crowdfunding site earned more than $165 million in 2018, the most ever – and almost 20% higher than in 2017.
A successful tabletop campaign earned, on average, more than $70,600 (unfortunately, separate statistics weren’t available for the how much projects in the “hobby miniatures games” category earned).
At the same time, video game Kickstarter projects actually saw their earnings decline, dropping about 8%, with the average video game campaign earning about $45,000.
Indeed, a tabletop game campaign, “Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon” was the highest earner of ANY project on Kickstarter in 2018, according to the article, with over $6.25 million earned.
By any measure, these are impressive figures. While some lower earnings for at least one major company that depends on large-scale Kickstarters got some tongues wagging last year, it’s clear from these numbers that tabletop Kickstarters are here to stay.
And that’s good news.
When it comes to Kickstarter, I kind of take a “rising tides float all boats” approach – a big project can draw you to the site, and also make you look at smaller projects.
I’m almost always drawn to smaller projects usually because, just like smaller minis companies, they tend to be peddling the unique and hard-to-find. And I know a number of smaller minis companies that themselves have turned to Kickstarter more than once to get a project off the ground and successfully get some more much-needed funds in their pockets. Which is as it should be. That’s why Kickstarter was created, after all.
What’s really going to be interesting is to see where tabletop (and wargaming) projects on Kickstarter go in the next few years. I honestly don’t have any predictions, though I would hazard a guess that there will be an increased focus on projects offering files for 3D printing, which have already seemed to be very popular.
Honestly, the biggest factor in where Kickstarter goes in the near future is going to be defined by your wallet, and how much of its contents you decide to put towards any given project. While people quibble with how companies use Kickstarter and whether large companies should or shouldn’t, think of tabletop gaming Kickstarter projects as an exercise in democracy: You vote with your money, and the outcome of your vote will help shape the gaming landscape that you want to see.
About the author;
Peter Kuebeck is a writer, gamer and award-winning mini-painter living in the Midwest. He wages a constant battle against the ever-growing tide of unpainted minis in his basement, and occasionally GMs role-playing game sessions with friends. Catch his hobby shenanigans on Twitter at @popculturecube