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Kickstarter Tabletop Success Stories: Where Are They Now?

The world of tabletop gaming as we know it is changing . No longer do we have to toss our silly board game projects we crafted in high school to the side: we now have the chance to share our really great ideas and get funded for them. And this is all thanks to two unstoppable forces—the Internet and

Kickstarter launched in 2009 and has been changing the face of the tabletop industry ever since. There have been hundreds and thousands of ideas that have come to fruition—all thanks to that little site. And not only are there some soft successes here and there, others end up being quite major. Here is a list of some of the most successful Kickstarter tabletop games out there and what has come of their success stories.

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Let’s start with the juggernaut known as Zombicide. Developed by Guillotine Games and published by CoolMiniOrNot, this tiny titan managed to dig up $782k on Kickstarter. Zombicide is a collaborative game wherein players take on the role of survivor, with each using their unique abilities to dive head first into the masses of undead. With zombies outnumbering your killing supplies, you must use teamwork in order to get through this game. An endless horde of zombies and only so many bullets? We’ve all heard the story before, but what makes this game unique is that your characters develop as you kick undead ass around the board. By the end, you’ll be able to hold your own against the massive swarm of zombies looking for a quick bite.

What happened next?

CoolMiniOrNot wasn’t quite established when this came onto the playing field. It was certainly on its way, but Zombicide cemented its publisher status in tabletop history—following its release, this board game has won several gaming awards and spawned several sequels. What is fascinating, though is how those sequels have actually generated more Kickstarter funds than the original game: the 4th installment, Black Plague, actually has the honor of being the highest funded Tabletop Game ever. Even crazier? The three sequels’ combined Kickstarter funding totaled over $9 million.

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Kingdom Death: Monster

This tabletop was published just this year and it has already joined the ranks of the most successful Kickstarter tabletop games. Kingdom Death: Monster ended up funding just over $2 million—an impressive figure considering this is the first game released by independent publisher Adam Poots. The game is a fantasy cooperative tabletop that takes place in a nightmarish world where participants must all play amnesiac players that team up in order to survive an extravagant, horror-themed setting.

What happened next?

In actuality, Kingdom Death: Monster reflects the hard work of one man, Adam Poots. Starting slow to build his dream of creating Kingdom Death, Adam began with just $10,000 in savings and selling miniatures for funding. Since launching his Kickstarter back in 2012 on Black Friday, the reaction has been unanimously positive. Adam’s dedication to detail—especially the sculptures—had fans exceptionally enthused, so the funds piled on, his perseverance finally paying off. Adam’s success story is hopeful to anyone independently pioneering their tabletop idea.

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Conan is a semi-cooperative board game that pits one player—known as the Overlord—up against Conan and his adventurers. Created by Frederick Henry and based off the famous universe by Robert E. Howard, this tabletop was also published this year and produced $3.3 million in Kickstarter funds, making it the 2nd most successful tabletop game on Kickstarter. All made doubly impressive when you consider he originally only asked for $80,000. Reaction from fans to the barbarian made this game a titanic success.

What happened next?

Conan comes from a French publisher, Monolith, and happens to be their first game release. Breaking into this industry is difficult enough, but Fred already had a fan base going into the world of cardboard and miniatures. As a result, the campaign broke records on Kickstarter and quickly became the number one tabletop game before being dethroned by Zombicide 4. Fred and company are still reaping the success of their first conception, but it will be interesting to see if their next project can mirror the original’s success.


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Cthulhu Wars

Published in 2014 by Sandy Petersen, this strategy tabletop ended up earning $1.4 million on Kickstarter because, let’s face it, everyone loves H.P. Lovecraft. Cthulhu Wars has players take part as alien races and gods from the Cthulhu mythos—even the titular behemoth himself if you so dare choose. Victory is achieved by collecting points throughout, as if engrossing yourself in this world wasn’t victorious enough. Sandy Petersen deviated from the typical Cthulhu-inspired game by being the actual disaster rather than running away from the madness.

What happened next?

It’s easy to say that amongst the tabletop industry, people are quite aware of H.P. Lovecraft and his folklore. So it is a no-brainer for someone to create a game off his most famous monster. Sandy Petersen is a well-known fan of the author, having even taken part in designing the RPG, Call of Cthulhu. When Cthulhu Wars launched, funds for the game immediately soared, eventually going on to earn over 3500% of its initial target, which allowed for the creation of more figures, map extensions, and additional scenario options. Sandy has since had success with another Kickstarter campaign for the game Theomachy, exceeding that original goal by over 500%.

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What are some of your favorite Kickstarter-funded tabletop games? Let’s discuss ’em in the comments!

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