3 Crowdfunded Board Game Success Stories

We can’t all be a Parker Brothers or a Hasbro.

At some point or another, in a Board Games enthusiast’s life, we’ll get this great idea whilst we’re halfway through a D&D campaign or totally bossing a round of Munchkin. Quickly, before the light bulb goes out, we’ll share it with our competitors. Soon, the D20s have been dropped, Gerrard’s dropped his Agility Stats and Sarah-Jane has all but forgotten that her Level 20 Elf is in danger of being knifed by a Forest Witch. 

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The night descends into a mad frenzy of ideas – pads are grabbed and notes are taken in a mad dash to record the minutiae of innovations that will make your game a one-of-a-kind. Once the idea’s fully formed, it’s 3am and the last can of Red Bull has been drained. You’re triumphant, safe in the knowledge that you’ve just created something special. But how will anyone ever get to play it?

If regular people, like you or me, want to make our board gaming fantasies come to life – we need more than just one crazy night of ideas to get us through. We need cash. Cash for graphic designers, printing, token moulding and copy writing.

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Of course, your Nan is always saying that she’d invest some money in a business idea of yours. But somehow I doubt that Trollfight: The Gathering (A Fiefdom Tale) is likely to get off the ground with her backing alone.


That’s why would-be gaming entrepreneurs turn to crowdfunding to get their ideas of the ground. Before you dismiss it as a fool-hardy venture, just take a look at these 3 examples of games that started out in a basement somewhere, and ended up in the hands of thousands of people:

Exploding Kittens

It sounds stupid, I know. Whether it was the unique Roulette-style approach to a card drawing game, or simply the idea of destroying your mates with a weaponized enchilada – this was one of the most successful gaming Kickstarters.

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The modest goal of $10,000 was reached and, well, exploded within a day. In fact, within 7 hours of starting the campaign Elan Lee and his pals had raised a £1,000,000. It holds the record for 3rd biggest Kickstarter campaign, raising $8.8m. The game has received an expansion, as well as iOS and Android adaptations in the last year.

Scythe

Crowdfunding can bring a wonderfully niche concept to the few thousand people who have been clamouring for such a thing for years. Have you ever wanted to create an empire of ‘monstrous mechs and industrious workers’ in an alternate-history competing with your friends for total domination?

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Well 17,739 backers sure as heck did. Over $600,00 was raised in the first day, easily surpassing the St. Louis based games company’s goal of $33,000. The game launched artist Jakub Rozalski from minor online artist to big time steam-punk maestro, you can check his online gallery out here.

Conan

Robert E. Howard’s world of Conan has been used and abused over the 80 years of his existence. Originally popping up in a series of stories in Weird Tales magazine, the licence has been passed around like a Cimmerian prostitute. Widely attributed to the creation of the ‘sword and sorcery’ genre, Howard’s creations were perfectly suited for Miniature Role Playing Games.

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Monolith Games smashed their target of $80,000 in a record 5 minutes and 37 seconds, proving to the world that Howard’s decades old character still had a truly global following.