There were numerous video game Kickstarter PBC campaigns that made headlines in 2015, but it turns out the real crowdfunding winners last year were tabletop players.
According to crowdfunding data released by Kickstarter today, video games pulled in over $46 million in pledges in 2015, but tabletop games raised nearly double that amount with over $88 million raised. Of that, roughly 10 percent came from Exploding Kittens, a cartoony card game that currently holds the record for the most funded games project on Kickstarter of all time.
Not only did tabletop games raise more money overall, but they were also far more likely than video games to meet their funding goals. There were 1,230 successfully funded tabletop Kickstarter campaigns last year, compared to 421 successfully funded video game campaigns.
One possible explanation for the popularity of physical games over digital games on Kickstarter is the greatly reduced development time and lower chance of overall failure compared to video games.
Unlike video games, tabletop games are generally not constrained by technological limitations or negatively affected by feature creep (the tendency for crowdfunded video games to tack on more and more features as more money is raised, increasing the complexity and dev time).
Perhaps one of the most interesting statistics to come Kickstarter’s report is the fact while tabletop games raised twice as much money as video games and were nearly three times as likely to be funded, the total number of backers was not significantly different between the two. Tabletop campaigns were backed by 522,061 people, whereas video game campaigns were backed by 480,382 people, a difference of only around 8 percent.
In the report, Luke Crane, Head of Games at Kickstarter, noted that tabletop games “are definitely experiencing a major cultural moment,” but he also pointed out that 2015 had been a great year for crowdfunded games overall, with nearly double the amount of both backers and total pledges compared to 2014.
Crane concluded, “We anticipate even greater victories from the visionary games you create and support in 2016.”