Board game publisher Ravensburger has confirmed its plans to launch crowdfunding campaigns for a number of projects following its recent investment in platform Gamefound.
The veteran company - estimated to be the second-largest player in the worldwide Games and Puzzles market, after Monopoly, D&D and Magic: The Gathering maker Hasbro - made a sudden move into crowdfunding last week by investing $4.5 million in Gamefound and partnering with its owner, Nemesis and Tainted Grail studio Awaken Realms.
The move came as a particular surprise given that Ravensburger has not crowdfunded any of its own titles to date. Among the publisher’s broad catalogue of hobbyist and mainstream family titles are board games including The Castles of Burgundy, Labyrinth, Puerto Rico and The Quest for El Dorado, as well as licensed board games based on movies and video games including Disney Villainous, Minecraft, Jaws and Jurassic Park.
In the initial announcement of its partnership with Awaken Realms, Ravensburger’s global head of games Filip Francke said the publisher would “lend industry expertise to Gamefound’s growing community and play a role in continuing to develop the platform’s tools and offerings”, adding that its involvement would “help deliver even more game experiences to tabletop fans around the world”. However, it did not confirm at the time what form this might take or whether the publisher would look to crowdfund its own titles.
Speaking to Dicebreaker following the news, Francke expanded on Ravensburger’s plans in the wake of its Gamefound investment, confirming that the company would look to make its crowdfunding debut with a number of games - including both original and licensed titles.
“While we don’t have specifics to share at this time, we can say that we are looking at a handful of projects, both with existing and new IP that we are evaluating and preparing to crowdfund over the next few years,” Francke said.
Francke noted that while Ravensburger has not directly crowdfunded any games, it has picked up several games originally funded via Kickstarter for wider distribution, including coding-based kids’ games Robot Turtles and Potato Pirates. Francke reiterated: “With our investment in Gamefound we aim to help more crowdfunded games reach much wider audiences.”
Ravensburger’s investment in Gamefound was the first project backed via its Next Ventures initiative, which aims to invest in up to four startup or innovation-based projects across the toys, games and puzzles markets each year.
“The investment in Gamefound is just the beginning of what we hope to do with Next Ventures in the game space, it’s an area we are particularly interested in,” Francke said.