Kickstarter Breathes New Life into Independent Board Games

Posted 4 September 2017 by in Technology

Source: Kingdom Death via Facebook

Source: Kingdom Death via Facebook

NEW YORK – Gaming – The world of gaming has seen an unprecedented rise in fans over the past few years. After the big bang of home video game consoles in the 1990s, new online multiplayer PC games like World of Warcraft and League of Legends dominate the scene. Initially embraced mainly by fantasy enthusiasts, RPGs (Role Playing Games) and intricate board games enjoy ever-increasing popularity among all sorts of social groups. And one platform might just be playing an invisible yet pivotal role in reuniting the world of modern, elaborate gaming with its grassroots origins: Kickstarter.

Crowdfunding Lets Creators Get Direct Access to Their Prospective Fans

Kickstarter is renowned worldwide for being one of the main – if not the biggest – crowdfunding platforms around the globe. It cuts the middleman investor out of the equation and lets people with brilliant ideas turn directly to the public, pleading their case and looking for funds to turn their concept into a reality. In the process, it also allows the people behind the project to retain a lot of that creative freedom that is often lost when they join forces with a professional production team. Fans expect nothing in return for the funds they pledge except that they be directed towards realizing the product so that they can get it – and, alright, the usual perks that come with contributing, ranging from receiving a first signed copy ahead of the release date, to having a character based on yourself written into the storyline.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Board Games Projects Immensely Successful on Kickstarter

Amazingly, Kickstarter has given a much-needed boost to the gaming industry and independent game creators – and especially to board games. Kickstarter users have donated more than $580 million (around CA$720) in over 20,000 successful game projects – which translates roughly to over 20% of the total funds that were pledged on the site. Tabletop games in particular seem to have hit home with the crowdfunding audience: a survey spanning across six months in 2016 revealed that board games along with card games and RPGs raised six times as much money as video games. The horror board game Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 managed to raise more than $12 million (almost CA$15 million) over its original $100,000 (CA$125,000) funding goal, making it the most successful and highly funded game pitch in Kickstarter history.

Classics with a Twist Popular among Kickstarter Users

It appears that users on the platform have a particular fondness for traditional games like card games and dice, over digital games; perhaps this is because of the unique combination of luck and intuition involved in dice games like Perudo, 10000 or Craps. For example, the best Craps bet is “taking the odds”, which eliminates the house edge, thus differentiating the game from any other game played in a casino, whether land-based or digital. On Kickstarter, old favourites are used as an inspiration and infused with further elements such as advantage cards and intricate decision patterns to keep the players on their toes; Diceborn Heroes: A Co-op Dice Adventure Game is a prime example of that approach and has received CA$146,973 already in lieu of its CA$32,000 initial goal.

Games have always been one of the main fields where human creativity, imagination and an appetite for having fun together have shown through; pairing that urge with crowdfunding and letting the audience back up games that are a bit out there seems like a match made in heaven.