On Kickstarter There Are More Successful Projects But Creators Earning 30% Less

More successful campaigns but smaller shares of the pie!

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A report from Polygon, which used data from Tabletop Analytics ( site which collects data about Kickstarter campaigns) indicates that while the tabletop segment of the crowdfunding platform is still growing, individual creators are getting smaller shares of the pie.

Individual creators earned an average of 30% less in 2023 compared to 2019, despite there being 22% more successful campaigns.

Interestingly, Kickstarter has historically shared data directly, but this year has declined to do so. Head of Communications at Kickstarter, Nikki Kris, told Polygon that "We’re not disclosing specifics around the total dollars raised at this time". However the data is available from Tabletop Analytics which draws from the public-facing campaign data on the platform.

In 2023 Kickstarter as a whole earned $10.2 million less from tabletop than in 2022; but in 2021 the decline was far steeper, a drop of $33.6 million--most likely caused by the ending of the pandemic lockdowns. However, it's still $50 million up from before the pandemic, while individual creators are 30% down. More campaigns, less money for each one.

Of course, the number of TTRPG million-dollar Kickstarters doesn't seem to be suffering. 11 in 2021, a drop to 7 in 2022, and then 10 more in 2023. Kickstarter is also starting to face competition from Backerkit which is starting to get a few million-dollar campaigns of its own.

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aramis erak

Of the RPGs I've backed on KS... I've been sorely disappointed by the core product in several.

  • Traveller T5 - too complex, too schematic. I've got enough traveller to serve the rest of my days already
  • Seventh Sea 2e - unreadable due to font and layout. Fortunately, not why I got in. I wanted the 1E PDFs. Oh, and the most recent installment of 2E arrived in my email just last month.
  • The One Ring 2E - Multiple things. First, once I got the PDF, I ran it. We did not enjoy it much. Second, my dead tree got lost in shipping. I'll give credit where due: Free League made it right. And a bit more than right, on the physical score.. It will not see the table again. 1E might.
  • TFT LE: Not to the extent of the others, but still, imperialization of what had been metric measures in OE was, IMO, a dick-move by SJ. The other changes are all relatively reasonable... but the dead tree I find hard to read due to font choices. I've heavily used the hex tiles.
WOn't get played because of players:
  • Blade Runner. I did get it to table, one of the 5 enjoyed it, 1 refused to try it...
That's about 2/5 - tho' several of the ones I backed I'm happy with because the price was stupidly low, and they fulfilled; they're worth the price for reading alone, whether or not they hit the table. And note - that list stretches a bunch of years... 2012...

And then, there are the three I loved most:
T2K 4e
Stargate SG-1

All three of those have paid off - If the session was good, i count the worth at $2 per person per enjoyable hour of play. SG1 paid off right quick... before the dead tree even got to me.

My biggest let downs have come from creators I've interacted with a lot (Marc Miller and John Wick) and from whom I've liked their prior work (Marc Miller, John Wick, Fria Ligan)... but I can't hold TOR2E against FL because the changes came from the guy with the license... And T5, well, it has some ideas I have used in my last MegaTraveller run. ANd, as noted, I didn't get 7th Sea 2E for the 2e...

I am not at all surprised that most KSs are down - less time to play than during the pandemic. Less emotional need to play, too. Plus, there are a lot of grumbles about the fails... but only the biggest get any press for success... so there's a shadow over KS...

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