A recent update on Kickstarter now allows you to see how many new backers there are on a project. A new backer is someone who has never backed a project on Kickstarter before. Looking at this statistic a number of recent projects there was somewhat of an interesting trend. The majority of tabletop games projects don’t attract a large number of new backers.
Two of the most popular games currently on Kickstarter have a small portion of new backers, 5.2% of Flamecraft’s backers and 5.7% of Earthborne Rangers’ backers are new backers. This trend can be also found in expansions for games, Everdell: Newleaf, Mistwood and The Complete Collection’s new backers made up 7.8% of total backers and On Mars: Alien Invasion only attracted 77 new backers (1% of their total). The majority of backers are therefore people who are already visit Kickstarter somewhat regularly to find new board games. It is also especially understandable for expansions to have a lower share since most backers will probably be people who pledged into the previous campaign.
However there are a few games that don’t follow the same trend. The most popular game on Kickstarter right now is Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game 22% of it’s 49000 backers are new backers. What is different from Avatar Legends than most other tabletop games that attracts so many new backers? Avatar is a hugely popular animation series and because of that Magpie Games are able to attract a whole new audience over to Kickstarter. This can also be seen with many other games that are based on an IP. There has been a large number of projects based on video games recently with all of them attracting a lot of new backers, 6 Siege and The Witcher: Old World had around 17% new backers. Even expansions for video game board games attract lots of new backers, The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem’s share of new backers was an incredible 36%.
However, your game doesn’t need to have an existing IP from somewhere else to attract a large number of new backers. First Ascent, a game about rock climbing, was able to draw in a large proportion of new backers. While the game wasn’t based on a popular videogame or series, it was still based on a popular activity. The creator, Kate Otte, spent time promoting her game at different climbing centers. In the end of the 1208 backers on First Ascent, 279 were new backers which means it had a proportion of 23%, which is higher than what Avatar Legends has garnered. While it didn’t get near the number of total backers as Avatar Legends, there are many larger campaigns out there that didn’t get as many new backers as First Ascent did. For example, Time of Legends: Destinies had nearly 9000 backers but only 236 new backers.
Getting a large proportion of new backers can really help a campaign, as I said last week, hitting the ground running is really important and these new backers can be earned in the early parts of the campaign to help build momentum. It can also be easy to get lost in the mix with so many new projects daily and if you are directly targeting new backers they will be there specifically for your game and not looking at everything else that is available. To get new backers to your project you need to find what type of people does your project appeal to. Is it Avatar fans, rock climbers, whatever the audience is, find out what places you can market a game based on their interest.
What theme would get you really excited about a game?