For the first time since 2014, Kickstarter reported a decline in revenue from its tabletop projects in 2022. Per Polygon, money pledged to successful tabletop campaigns was $236.4 million, down 12 percent (or $33 million) from 2021's $270 million.
John Ritter-Roderick, who heads the company's games division, attributed the downturn to a potential recession on the horizon. He was quick to tell Polygon that sales in the tabletop world overall went down in 2022, stressing that "this is something [Kickstarter and the entire tabletop industry] are not immune to."
Over 4,000 tabletop Kickstarters were funded to success in 2022, up by 14 percent from 2021's 3,500. The overall success rate for these campaigns was 76 percent (compared to 2021's 72 percent), and on average, successful campaigns earned $58,000 in 2022, almost $20,000 less than 2021.
Among the most successful tabletop campaigns of 2022 were Marvel Zombies-A Zombiecide Game ($9.03 million), Stormlight Premium Miniatures ($4.1 million), and Elden Ring: The Board Game (£3.3 million, or $4.06 million).
2022 was also the year that Kickstarter crossed $2 billion pledged for tabletop and video games. Throughout the years, several titles in both mediums have been funded to success, such as Double Fine's Broken Age and ArtPlay's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
With those kinds of numbers, Polygon asked if it was viable for the tabletop industry to rely on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites. Ritter-Roderick advised against that, if only because a strategy for one company doesn't make it viable for others in its field.
"Having a company that just goes from Kickstarter to Kickstarter is one model, and there’s nothing that stops them from doing it," he said. "But ultimately, every company just needs to do what’s best for them.