11 January 2022
A response on the late movement of ZineQuest from February to August
ZineQuest has been an annual celebration of the indie RPG designer, a period in February of each year in which Kickstarter is flooded with Zines, and promoted as such by Kickstarter themselves. However, after a period of silence surrounding the event, it was only last week confirmed that Kickstarter intended to move the event from February this year, to August, a period which will intentionally coincide with GenCon. Though previously stated through a tweet, this has now been updated on the Kickstarter ZineQuest ste
The response to this has been mostly disappointed, with game designers through twitter referring to the loss of financial benefit as a result, and the overcrowded market for the wider industry surrounding the larger conventions.
We reached out to Kickstarter following the news and received the following statement in response:
"Our annual Zine Quest prompt encourages creators to bring their RPGs to life with maps, adventures, monsters, comics, articles, and more. In years past, we’ve held this two-week prompt in February, and in 2022 we’ll be trying something new by launching our fourth year of Zine Quest in August, a month that historically has been one our strongest for pledges to games projects. We also hope to garner even more visibility for Zinequest projects to fans and creators at GenCon that month. We know from experience and our own data that when large projects launch on Kickstarter, more backers come to the platform and back even more projects. With these changes, we hope to make 2022 Zine Quest’s biggest year yet.
We get that this is a change from previous years and some creators will still want to launch their RPG projects in February. And they absolutely should! We’ll still give these projects extra love next month. Tabletop games projects, including RPGs, perform incredibly well all year round, with a nearly 73% average success rate in 2021. And on average, Tabletop games and RPG projects received over half of their funding from backers who came to the project through Kickstarter channels, such as our project discovery pages, newsletters, email alerts, and social media."
Though Kickstarter has promised extra attention to Zines launched in the period where ZineQuest would have taken place, it's unclear how this will translate, and to what extent this will benefit. Similarly, whilst games have traditionally done well on Kickstarter – as a chosen format for many – the benefit to being a separate event was a lack of competition for space and wallet that larger projects often represent.
It was as a result of this that ZineMonth has been launched, which will collate Zines made through this time into a single site, allowing people to find them regardless of the platform used, bringing creators together in a single place.