The Struggle of Board Games on Kickstarter Lately

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by admin on September 23, 2014

This post was inspired by a brief segment in Episode 42 of the Punching Cardboard podcast. They talked about how there are some great looking games on Kickstarter right now that are struggling to fund and it’s a real head-scratcher.

The Boards & Beers podcast (Episode 14) also touched on this subject and questioned why games such as Clockwork Kingdom (only a handful of hours remaining in the campaign and nearly $7,000 to go) and Phillip duBarry’s Skyway Robbery (56 hours and $11,000 to go) game are struggling to fund.

Another game that just launched but I can already see the writing on the wall that, barring a sudden influx of funding, probably won’t fund either is Hooch. Talon Strikes (the company behind Hooch) has been creating a buzz in my Twitter feed for the last month or more with photos of their custom review copies and other promotions for the game. I have eagerly anticipated this Kickstarter since I first heard of it and couldn’t wait to back it (which I did).

Then, the Kickstarter launched and *crickets chirping* there are less than 50 backers four or five days into the campaign. It’s just unfortunate and it boggles my mind why this hasn’t taken off as it looks like a game I would enjoy playing.

Hooch Card Game

After taking another peak at each of the campaigns for the above games I did see one thing that stood out to me – price. Each of these games is at or above $40 for U.S. backers. Much, much more for international backers due to high shipping costs.

It also looks like the time between GenCon and Essen (which is September when kids go back to school and routines change here in the US) might be a bad time to Kickstart board games. Numerous new games are coming out around these two major conventions and people only have so many gaming dollars. I’m personally looking forward to Panamax, Tuscany, and still hoping to track down a copy of Diamonds. A board game Kickstarter going right now has to absolutely blow me away to get me to fund it. Otherwise, my gaming budget for this month and next is already tapped out.

Is there too much competition for board games on Kickstarter right now, or is there too much competition in general for Kickstarted board games now?

Are people burnt out on Kickstarter?

Is the rash of delays and the months long wait to receive games beginning to drag down the positives and catch up with the novelty of supporting something new?

For me I think it is a combination of the previous two questions. The long wait to receive the games is causing me to be burnt out on Kickstarter. Also, it is simply the fact that by the time these games come I am not nearly as excited for them as I was when I backed them because so much time has passed since that initial excitement.

Any thoughts on why you think there seems to be some really good looking games struggling/failing to fund?

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