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Four Huge Tabletop Kickstarters Launched This Week

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Several tabletop publishers launched their Kickstarters this week, raising over $4 million in less than a week. It was a big week for tabletop crowdfunding, as some big projects with cross-audience appeal launched this week. A trio of tabletop adaptations of video games launched this week, headlined by Steamforged’s Monster Hunter World Iceborne: The Board Game, which raised nearly $1 million in just 24 hours. Also launching this week is Scorpion Masque’s Dead Cells: The Rogue-Lite Board Game, which has raised over $500,000 and the Apex Legends board game by Glass Cannon Unplugged, which has raised over $425,000. The three games continue a trend of tabletop games tapping into lucrative markets, with big games (often featuring miniatures) that pull in fans from outside typical board game fanbases. 

The biggest tabletop Kickstarter to launch this week was a new Aeon Trespass Kickstarter by Into the Unknown. Aeon Trespass is a combat-focused tabletop campaign game in which players pilot mech-like Titans in a world inspired by Greek myth. The game features a mix of boss battles, base building, and a branching narrative story and has generated a healthy amount of buzz after backers of its initial Kickstarter received their products after a nearly 3-year wait. Into the Unknown’s second Kickstarter includes a second printing of the first Aeon Trespass: Odyssey game and a new Aeon: Odyssey: Twelve Sins of Herakles game with multiple expansions. The initial Twelve Sins of Herakles is priced at an “entry level” price of $128, which is expensive but is justified by the frankly ludicrous amounts of miniatures and game components involved. 

Due to the high amount of capital needed to produce board games, many tabletop publishers have turned to Kickstarter to help pre-fund games, gauge interest to more accurately size printings, and generate pre-release marketing buzz for their games. Even large IPs that would almost assuredly be successful on the market use Kickstarters, in part because publishers have discovered that their games sell more copies when a game has a crowdfunding project. The risk with tabletop Kickstarters come from the “hidden cost” of shipping, with many Kickstarters requiring a hefty shipping fee in addition to their pledges and cost overruns during production (which has especially been a factor during a period of rising inflation and production costs.) 

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