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Sunday, 26th August, 2012, 02:09 PM #1
Hydra (Lvl 25)
The RPG Kickstarters Which Break The Bank: Fame Pays
Amongst the dozens of new RPG Kickstarter projects launching each week, we seem to be getting one major bank-busting multi-hundred-thousand-dollar extravaganza every few weeks. The most recent have been the Reaper minis project which has probably filled your Facebook feed for weeks, and Monte Cook's still-ongoing new RPG, Numenera. Here's a list of some recent really big successes in RPGs:
- Reaper Miniatures Bones (Reaper Minis) - $3,429,236
- Order of the Stick Reprint (Rich Burlew) - $1,254,120
- OGRE Designer's Edition (Steve Jackson Games) - $923,680
- Pathfinder Online Technology Demo (Goblinworks) - $307,844
- Traveller5 (Marc Miller) - $294,628
- Rappan Athuk (Frog God Games) - $246,541
- Artisan Dice (Charlie Brunfield) - $91,542
The oldest of this particular list (of seven, including Monte's) was in February this year, six months ago, so even without any I may have missed we're looking at an average of more than one such blockbuster per month.
In addition I estimate I'm reporting on RPG Kickstarters about a dozen per week, and I'm certainly not getting all of them, and have run two successful (though much smaller scale than the above) Kickstarters myself.
I don't know what conclusions a potential Kickstarter-starter could draw from the above list. A few data points to start with, though I'm sure others could analyse these in much greater detail and to more accurate effect:
- 4 of the 7 are reprints or upgrades of old existing material (arguably, I suppose, the Pathfinder MMO is an 'upgrade' of existing material), so it seems that "new" stuff isn't featuring strongly in the list.
- The dice and the miniatures seem to be the exception (and Monte's new game will be one, too, when it finishes).
- 6 of the 7 (including Monte) are from existing companies or already high-profile individuals. Or, to put another way, somehow leverage a large existing brand: only Artisan Dice does not.
Kickstarter is most definitely a very popular method of funding RPG projects. There's been a lot of talk about how there are just too many of them, that they're dominating the news, and so on - I've even been part of that viewpoint at time as the deluge seems to simply increase. However, I do feel it's important to realise that it's simply a funding source - the cool part is the RPG product. The mistake (from perhaps reporters like myself) is identifying them primarily as "Kickstarters" rather than "Here's a cool new RPG product coming soon!" - rather like if, a few years ago, I'd referred to every new project as "Funded By Bank Loan" or something. I'm looking at it more as "Holy crap, there's a lot of varied and exciting new RPG products around these days" and ignoring the fact that they're funded in the same way.
Oh, as a final tip - if you're running a Kickstarter, check out kicktraq.com - it very cleverly tracks and projects your project and provides more data than kickstarter.com itself does. I found it invaluable in my own recent Kickstarter. And, of course, don't forget to add your project to RPG Kickstarters.
Last edited by Morrus; Monday, 27th August, 2012 at 01:28 PM.
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