Tabletop games made more money than ever before on Kickstarter last year

Two-thirds of tabletop projects reached their goal.

Tabletop crowdfunding campaigns made $176 million on Kickstarter last year - more money than ever before - according to a new report.

ICO Partners’ look at the Games category (which includes both tabletop and video games) on Kickstarter during 2019 revealed that the last near-decade has seen the amount pledged to successfully funded tabletop projects alone grow by almost one hundred times, from just under $2 million (£1.5m) in 2011 to $176.4m (£135m) last year.

In total, the Games category made $208.4m (£160m) in 2019 - meaning that tabletop projects accounted for 85% of the money raised by successful Games projects, blowing the $16.3m (£12.5m) raised by video games out of the water. In comparison, $165.3m (£126.9m) was pledged to successful tabletop projects in 2018, with $192m (£147.4m) raised by the Games category as a whole - making tabletop’s share a similar proportion of around 86%.

The big tabletop hitters that were victorious on Kickstarter last year included miniatures title Etherfields, which raised nearly £4 million, while sci-fi horror board game Nemesis accumulated over £3 million and the board game adaptation of video game Bloodborne by Zombicide maker CMON raised over £3 million.

While not a game itself, upcoming animated show The Legend of Vox Machina - based on the hugely successful Dungeons & Dragons actual play series Critical Role - raised over $11m (£8.4m), making it one of the top five highest-funded Kickstarters of all time.

The number of tabletop projects on Kickstarter has been increasing steadily since 2010. Last year, 4,044 tabletop game projects were launched - an enormous growth from the 48 tabletop projects in 2010, and almost double the 2,239 tabletop games Kickstarted five years previous in 2014. 3,672 tabletop projects launched on Kickstarter in 2018.

What’s more, two-thirds - 67% - of the tabletop projects launched on Kickstarter during 2019 were successfully funded. 2,712 tabletop projects hit their goal - beating 2018’s record figure of 2,336 successful projects - while 1,332 didn’t reach their target.

68 of those successful projects raked in more than half a million dollars, matching the number of tabletop games that made over $500,000 in 2018. Together, those projects were responsible for roughly $83m (£63.7m) - just under half - of the total $176m raised by tabletop games. The majority of successful projects - 1,369 campaigns - raised less than $10,000.

Kickstarter is already off to a strong start this year, with some of the biggest upcoming board game releases 2020 has planned, as well as some crowdfunding this year but due in 2021 - including Root creator Col Wehrle's next game Oath, '80s reboot Return to Dark Tower and Gloomhaven sequel Frosthaven - all coming to the crowdfunding platform.


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Sara Elsam

Staff Writer

Sara has been writing since 2017, contributing news, features and more to outlets including Eurogamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Variety, The Guardian, BBC and Tabletop Gaming magazine. The team’s resident expert in Dungeons & Dragons, they’re also a fan of all things horror and psychedelia both on and off the table. They are happiest rolling big dice, raising mobs and rocking out with their Bard-Lock.