This week we got a report that showed that the games category of Kickstarter had once again shown year-on-year growth. This growth is largely thanks to the tabletop gaming category, because the number of video games that were fully funded, and the amount raised for them, was pretty much the same as 2018. With the surge in interest in tabletop games over the last couple of years, this is hardly surprising. In 2019 380 out of 1,428 submitted projects were fully funded, which is amazing. Furthermore, six of those projects generated over $500,000 in funding, which is at least $3 million in funding for games right there. These games were Monster Prom 2: Holiday Season, Subverse, R-Type Final 2, Everspace 2, and Day of Dragons.
We report on a lot of indie games that are seeking funding on Kickstarter. This isn’t because we prefer games that haven’t been release yet, it’s because most of the games on Kickstarter are genuinely better than those that find a full release all by themselves, at least in terms of indie games. A big part of what makes Kickstarter games better than many other games is the community that they foster through the pledging process. Often there are alpha and beta builds of the game that are sent out to backers, and these backers form the bulk of the feedback that shapes the game’s development moving forward. The whole process is very similar to Early Access on Steam, which again is a great way for developers to improve their game whilst also ensuring their bills are paid.
Kickstarter had a definite boom phase, when there were loads of projects getting fully funded because it was new and shiny. Now the service has settled down, and it’s only the really great projects, with the really passionate creators, that actually make it to fruition. It’s easy to discount a game just because it isn’t completely finished, and looks a little rough around the edges, but Kickstarter helps support them, and I believe that the platform will see games grow yet again in 2020.
Take Spirittea for example. This game is seeking a very small amount of funding, relatively speaking. What that funding, £10,575, will allow the creator to do is to quit their job ad work full time on this game. This is often the case for most games, with developers simply needing the money to pay them while they work ridiculously long hours to get their game overt the finish line and launched. What you don’t see is the cut that Kickstarter take. This cut is justifiable, the service is helping the project creator get paid, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable, but that’s usually why a game needs about £10,000.
I think throughout 2020 we’ll see more and more games pop up from Kickstarter, including some tabletop games. I hope that they all see funding, because really I do believe that they’re the best games around.