News broke this week that Gamefound is now open to all creators in the board game realm.
Well, that begs the question. As a board game creator and backer, what do I do? Which do I choose? Let’s take a look from a few different views.
(These numbers are totals from the beginning when they started until April 1, 2022.)
Gamefound started in 2016.
Kickstarter started in 2009.
Size of Crowd
Gamefound – 698,487 backers
Kickstarter – 20,894,552 backers
In terms of size, Kickstarter is by far the bigger marketplace; however, Gamefound is very targeted. Kickstarter has just about any project idea can be crowdfunded, ranging from special watches to plant pots. It is a community with a wide range of interests and “products.” Gamefound only does board games and board game adjacent categories, like board game inserts. Even knowing that difference, Kickstarter has a very large audience. The Games category in Kickstarter has brought in the most total dollars out of all categories in Kickstarter and the majority of the Games category is Tabletop Games.
Gamefound is a great platform but in terms of numbers, Kickstarter is the bigger platform. Even with its longer history, it looks like there are more backers currently backing on Kickstarter versus Gamefound. Now, part of that was intentional. Gamefound just announced this week that any creator can now use the Gamefound platform in order to fund their projects. It will be an interesting year to see what happens and how much growth will occur.
As a backer, the majority of us use Kickstarter. We may prefer one over the other but in the end, the largest crowd is on Kickstarter. This will draw more projects and backers overall.
As a creator, if you have a board game with an IP (Intellectual Property) that extends outside of the board game market, then Kickstarter will most definitely be your best bet due to the larger number of users who you could appeal to.
Number of Projects
Gamefound – 717 projects
Kickstarter – 66,618 projects (612 currently live)
Now the Games category has video games as well as tabletop games, but the majority of projects are still tabletop games. It is no surprise that Kickstarter has far more projects but the scope of it is quite insane when comparing them.
As a backer, Gamefound is dedicated to nothing but tabletop games which makes browsing very simple and enjoyable. However, Kickstarter offers not only an in-depth selection but also a wide variety.
As a newer creator, Kickstarter’s immense size is a challenge. How am I going to stand out? How do I not get lost in a sea of board game choices? Gamefound is a much friendlier option in terms of not needing to try as hard to stand out on the platform.
However, when it comes to crowdfunding, you need to bring your own crowd. That means whichever platform you choose; you are still going to have to compete for attention from backers who use either platform.
Show Me the Money
Gamefound – $236,791,875 in pledges (approximately)
Kickstarter – $1,870,000,000 in pledges (approximately) ($234,000,000 in board game pledges in 2020)
Now there are some numbers here where I am not sure how to best compare. The issue becomes does Gamefound count failed project pledges. If they do, then these numbers can be compared. If not, then Kickstarter has $1.75 billion in successful pledges vs the $1.87 billion. However, in 2020, Kickstarter raised $234 million dollars in board game pledges.
From just looking at the numbers, Gamefound has seen some incredible growth, but Kickstarter is massive. In one year, it brought in almost the same amount of money for board games as Gamefound has done in 6 years.
As of right now, most of the crowdfunding will continue to stay on Kickstarter. It is so large that its size will draw in creators and backers alike. However, Kickstarter and Gamefound are not mutually exclusive in the market so there will be cross-over usage. Gamefound has a nice, streamlined interface with improvements coming on a regular basis. They have shown some real success and if they can keep that momentum going, they will make some very strong strides in the marketplace and start challenging Kickstarter for a portion of the market. It will be years and years before Gamefound can overtake Kickstarter in the top spot for board games, but they only need to start that process in order to better the experience for backers and creators.
For creators, if you are looking at which to choose, I will be doing a look at other aspects of the platforms that concern us as creators and publishers. In my opinion right now, if you are small, you want to use Kickstarter. If you have a larger dedicated following with people (meaning in the thousand range, not 100) that will follow you to either platform, then Gamefound could be a good alternative for you. I’ll talk more about that next week.
Also, if looking for some more interesting information about board games and Kickstarter, I used the following articles and sites: