Crowd Funding – A Board Gamer’s Story

Several years ago, I heard of Kickstarter. I would peruse the website with sparkles in my eyes as I read of the strange and amazing ideas these creative people had. However, I was disheartened to realise that they had no affiliation with Australia and I could not invest in these ideas.

Fast forward to late 2013 and boom! the crowd-funding website was live in Australia and New Zealand (yes!). This new world was open to me once again, however, a lot of the products seeking funding were not for me: too strange, too expensive, or too…useless. Eventually, I found a product that I was willing to invest in, a video game documentary created by a group I had followed for almost a decade, viewing their innovative twist on the thriving market (the dawn of HD). Now, I certainly trust the company to produce their product, even if it is over two years late, as they have provided their backers many updates and detailed live streams regarding their progress. I still look forward to the completion of their product and await the end of its production. But wait! What does this have to do with board games? Well…

crowd funding 101 board games and Kickstarter pledgesKickstarter has a multitude of games.

After the success and excitement of this project, I wanted more. I wanted to continue to help those that needed to achieve their dream, whilst benefiting with their product in my hands. I had recently been getting back into the board gaming hobby and enjoying the many fantastic games available, one of course being Pandemic by Matt Leacock. I had heard that Matt was working on a game and it would be going onto the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. I quickly scanned the project page, watched a few videos and finally clicked the big, green pledge button. This was a very well run Kickstarter and the team were very informative and transparent with the process of the production of the game (this is very important). Eventually I would check Kickstarter everyday for new projects and updates to the ones I had backed.

I have now assisted in the crowd-funding of over 50 board games and counting,. I recently received the Superbacker badge, attached to my name, for backing so many games (it is still up to debate as to whether or not this is a good thing). Of these games, many have been delivered and some are still in production or on a ship somewhere. I am not concerned that any of these games will not be delivered.

Kickstarter board games crowdfunding 101The most funded games on Kickstarter. Big business.

Over the coming weeks, I will reflect upon my experiences and explain why I backed a particular project and why I avoided MANY others. This series about crowd-funding will assist you to identify: what a Kickstarter is, how they work, the benefits, the detriments, when to avoid a Kickstarter along with many more topics (feel free to ask us questions in the comment section). I hope for many this series will be interesting and hopefully informative.