The RPG Kickstarters Which Break The Bank: Fame Pays - Page 2





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    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:
    1. Reaper Miniatures Bones (Reaper Minis) - $3,429,236
    2. Order of the Stick Reprint (Rich Burlew) - $1,254,120
    3. OGRE Designer's Edition (Steve Jackson Games) - $923,680
    4. Pathfinder Online Technology Demo (Goblinworks) - $307,844
    5. Traveller5 (Marc Miller) - $294,628
    6. Rappan Athuk (Frog God Games) - $246,541
    7. Artisan Dice (Charlie Brunfield) - $91,542
    In addition, Monte Cook's Numenera is closing in on $200,000 and still has three weeks left to run. I'm sure I've missed some others.

    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.
    It might appear from that list that to have a blockbuster Kickstarter, then, 6 out of 7 need to be capitalizing on existing material, brands, or name recognition. That doesn't take into account the dozens upon dozens of much smaller but still successful RPG Kickstarter projects, of course. You certainly don't have to be famous already to use Kickstarter successfully, as the sheer number of them attests.


    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.
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    Last edited by Morrus; Monday, 27th August, 2012 at 01:28 PM.

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