Kickstarter Change Up Their Games Team, Is this A Sign of Changes Ahead?

01 September 2022
The crowdfunding goliath announces big changes.

Ah Kickstarter. That well known, well loved (well, sometimes) behemoth of crowdfunding, home to thousands of tabletop gaming projects every single year. Though by far the biggest, Kickstarter hasn't been without its flaws, offering both the most well known and recognisable chance for unknown projects to get off the ground, whilst simultaneously causing hubbub amongst creators and pledges for the likes of blockchain, promotion, available help and fees in general. 

Though a vast chunk of Kickstarter crowdfunding profits come from Tabletop Games in general, there's been discussion on social media over the last year or so regarding how well the market is known or appreciated. Most recently this was echoed in the last minute movement of ZineQuest. ZineQuest was previously held yearly in February, offering an opportunity for smaller indie TTRPG creators to showcase their new zines, with Kickstarter highlights and as part of a wider event, so less likely to be buried in a run of popular well known games. However, with less than two weeks warning, and a stream of unanswered queries regarding it before hand, Kickstarter announced it would instead move the event to August, to coincide with GenCon – potentially running the risk of burying the Zine's in other projects launching at the same time, which was part of its benefit. It's been confirmed to return to usual scheduling 2023. 

This also reflected in the decision to use BlockChain technology, which was vastly disputed by the industry, and led to (with other reasons) the likes of Possum Creek Games launching instead on IndieGoGo. With the rise of GameFound as an alternative, the feeling some creators have raised of neglect of their interests would need addressing. 

Likely hoping to do so, Kickstarter has announced a new Games Outreach Team. Though Jon Ritter-Roderick has been a Senior Outreach Lead since 2020, he is now to become the Director of Games, with a history of not only his own successful tabletop Kickstarters through Lay Waste Games, but also as an advisor on a number of projects, from Frosthaven to Trogdor!!

"Hi. It's me. The new Director of Games at @Kickstarter" he said on Twitter of the news. "Yes, it feels weird to have this job. Yes, I will make mistakes. But also, yes, I dearly care about this community and will do everything in my power to ensure Kickstarter is a safe and welcoming space."

Also joining the team is Nicole Amato, who does so as a new Games Outreach Lead. She began within the video game industry, before launching her first tabletop game RESISTOR_ on Kickstarter. Winning a Philly Geek Award, she's published four of her own board games, and been part of the tabletop industry for some time. 

It's unclear the impact this will have on Kickstarter moving forwards, but with a team experienced within the industry, we can hope the change will support tabletop game creators in the future.

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