As you may know, I keep a record of all $1M+ tabletop roleplaying crowdfunding projects (which I imaginatively call the Million Dollar TTRPG Kickstarter Club). There are currently 25 members of that exclusive club.
Kickstarter launched in 2009. The first million dollar TTRPG Kickstarter wasn't until 7 years later, in 2016, with 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick. The next was two years later in 2018 when Matt Colville launched his Strongholds & Streaming campaign--the first of his three million dollar Kickstarters!
In 2021, the TTRPG crowdfunding scene exploded. 11 projects -- nearly one every month -- broke the million dollar barrier. The following year, 2022, saw 7 more join the club. 2023 so far has only only seen 2 million dollar TTRPG projects (not yet counting the Gloomhaven Grand Festival, which at the time of writing is still ongoing). It very much seems that the phenomenon is slowing down. The 'explosion' coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, although correlation is not causation.
Here's some more fun stats:
- The first TTRPG Kickstarter to break $1M was 7th Sea: Second Edition (2016) by John Wick.
- The first to break $2M was Strongholds & Streaming (2018) by Matt Colville.
- The first to break $9M was Avatar Legends (2021) from Magpie Games.
- The first to break $1M on its first day was Avatar Legends (2021) from Magpie Games.
- The first to break $1M without physical merch addons (minis, dice, shirts, pins, etc.) was Coyote & Crow the Roleplaying Game (2021) from Connor Alexander. The only other campaign to do this so far is Shadowdark (2023).
- The average pledge level for a million-dollar campaign is about $100. This is usually reached by including add-ons and merchandizing. The lowest average pledge level is $66 (Coyote & Crow with just the game itself) and the highest is $223 (Tanares with numerous miniatures packs).
- Most entries are Hit Point Press with 3 campaigns over $1M and contributor on two more; and Matt Colville with 3 campaigns over $1M.
- Ghostfire Gaming has one million-dollar campaign of their own, and is listed as contributor to three others; Hit Point Press has three million-dollar campaigns, and is listed as a contributor on two more.