Tabletop Games Explode in Popularity on Kickstarter in 2021

Tabletop games have grown even more popular during the first half of 2021, according to data pulled from the website. Earlier this month, Thomas Bidaux of ICO Partners published his semi-annual Kickstarter report covering tabletop crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter. Per Bidaux, tabletop game projects raised an impressive $146 million through June 30th, an increase from $120 million during the same time period in 2020. That comes out to a 22% increase, which was driven by a combination of high-profile projects, expansions of existing games, and a surge in tabletop roleplaying games. 52 different tabletop gaming projects on Kickstarter raised more than $500,000 each, including 28 projects that raised over $1 million.

Bidaux noted several trends in the tabletop game category, with several of the high-profile projects tied to existing video game franchises, including The Witcher and Monster Hunter. Another popular game category were expansions and re-prints of existing games, with projects like Zombicide, Everdell, and Root all generating strong revenue thanks to being a proven product. 

Tabletop roleplaying games was another surprising area of growth for Kickstarter. There were five tabletop roleplaying games that generated more than $1 million in 2021, and those projects didn't include the Avatar Legends or Tanares Adventures projects that both generated $1 million or more but were posted in the latter half of the year. In total, there have been nine tabletop roleplaying game projects that have generated $1 million this year. By comparison, there were only four tabletop roleplaying game projects to generate more than $1 million prior to 2021 in the history of Kickstarter. 

What's even more impressive about these numbers is that Kickstarter is now competing against another crowdfunding platform that is specifically catering to tabletop game projects. Gamefound launched earlier this year and has had several large game projects that have generated large figures. 

Kickstarter has proven to be a popular platform for not only building capital to produce tabletop games, but also raise awareness of projects and generate a steady base of pre-orders. It has also allowed some projects to thrive despite costs that would be untenable for a wider retail release.