The Top Kickstarter Publishers *2014 Edition*
Mark Mistretta
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There is no denying the effect that Kickstarter has had on the boardgame industry. It has become every self-publisher's dream, a way to fund projects that would have never seen the light of day before. It allows virtual unknowns a platform to show off a game, share it via social media, and potentially rake in the pledges. Because of its popularity, the speed at which games have been listed on Kickstarter over the past 4 years has often been at a dizzying pace. As a data-geek who likes to keep track of trends and analyze the data, it was enough to make my head spin.

So in light of that, I had the crazy idea to create a list of every single successful Kickstarter boardgame in an excel spreadsheet. In order to do this, every single entry in the Kickstarter tabletop category had to be vetted as I was not interested in listing role-playing games, boardgame accessories, or poker deck variations.

After countless hours of data entry, I have finally completed my spreadsheet of KS boardgame data. More than 1,250 game entries have been recorded from over 780 publishers. My next task was deciding on how I wanted to display the data in a geeklist.

I finally decided that it would be most interesting to categorize the games by publisher and then do some publisher statistics on such things as total number of backers, total funding, average time to deliver, average months late, etc.

For each game, I ordered them by date listed on KS and am showing the number of backers as well as their average BGG rating. If they have not been released yet, I am showing the estimated date of release in place of the BGG rating.

I started the list with the top 5 publishers (ranked by number of backers) and eventually added more to get to the top 13. My final plan is to update the list with new releases for each of the 13 through the end of this year. I have plans to make the entire dataset available in another format that is not so time-intensive as continuing this geeklist.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the data as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Updates
*10-10-2014* added Queen Games
*10-13-2014* added Gamelyn Games
*10-14-2014* added Cheapass Games
*10-22-2014* added Dan Shapiro "Robot Turtles"
*10-22-2014* added Dice Hate Me Games
*11-05-2014* added Eagle/Gryphon Games
*11-07-2014* added Saar Shai
*11-08-2014* added Mayday Games
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1. Board Game Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
61,468
$1,251,678
$20.36
18
3,415
$104,306
8.3 months
2.8 months
7.7% (1 of 13)


I accidentally overwrote the game data, still need to add it back in when I get the chance.
 
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2. Board Game Publisher: CMON Limited
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
54,412
$10,604,385
$194.89
12
4,534
$883,699
13.7 months
8.1 months
0% (0 of 7)

Cool Mini or Not are the juggernauts of Kickstarter. They don't just meet their pledge levels, they destroy them. The three Zombicide games alone have netted a cool $5.9 Million. The average pledge amount is in the stratosphere as a majority of backers aren't happy with just the base level of the game (which is already quite pricey), but go for the more expensive tiers.

Cool Mini or Not's on-time performance doesn't look too hot at first glance, but this is due to them shipping their product in waves. I am not exactly sure how this works (as I have never backed one of their games), but I did not consider the game delivered until the final wave shipped. Not to mention they every single one of their games has an ginormous amount of minis (which probably increases the production time).

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 7.45
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2012
Zombicide
Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster
Relic Knights: Darkspace Calamity
Guilds of Cadwallon

2013
Rivet Wars: Eastern Front
Zombicide Season 2: Prison Outbreak/
Zombicide: Toxic City Mall
Kaosball: The Fantasy Sport of Total Domination
Wrath of Kings

2014
Arcadia Quest
Dogs of War
XenoShyft: Onslaught
Zombicide Season 3: Rue Morgue/
Zombicide: Angry Neighbors
Backers
5,258
4,278
3,459
2,955


2,464

8,944
1,896
3,756


4,885
1,139
3,367

12,011

BGG Rating
7.56
6.41
7.92
6.65


7.69
7.91
8.08
7.34
Q4-2014


Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014

Q1-2015

 
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3. Board Game Publisher: Indie Boards & Cards
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
40,371
$1,210,483
$29.98
14
2,884
$86,463
4.3 months
0.8 months
45% (5 of 11)

Indie Boards & Cards got their start in 2009 with a little game called "The Resistance". Unlike most other publishers, they use it more like a Pre-order system. Reading the "Why Kickstarter?" section of Flash Point reveals that it wasn't their plan to use KS, but only did so because costs got out of control. In later Kickstarter games, they claim that they use it to be able to provide exclusive content and they just like it as a platform.

In addition, only 4 of their 14 Kickstarters are for original games. The rest are either expansions (Flash Point and Resistance), 2nd editions (Snowdonia, Triumvirate), new versions of existing games (Avalon and Coup:Reformation), or reprints (Coup and Haggis).

As a result, their on-time performance looks stellar. They have never been more than 2 months late on a game. But their risk is also dramatically lower than other companies due to the aforementioned reasons.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 7.26
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2010
Triumvirate 2nd Edition

2011
Flash Point: Fire Rescue

2012
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – 2nd Story
The Resistance: Avalon
Gauntlet of Fools

2013
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Extreme Danger
Coup Reprint
Snowdonia 2nd Edition/
Snowdonia: Jungfraubahn & Mount Washington
Haggis Reprint

2014
Coup: Reformation
Dragon Slayer
Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Honor & Duty
The Resistance: Hidden Agenda & Hostile Intent
Roar-a-Saurus
Backers
59


895


2,318
1,567
1,117


2,516
5,476

980
811


7,993
5,302
3,258
7,058
1,021

BGG Rating
6.83


7.43


7.71
7.94
6.11


7.90
7.29
7.52
7.70
7.13


7.81
6.21
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014

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4. Board Game Publisher: Game Salute
Mark Mistretta
United States
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
25,748
$1,298,993
$50.45
49
525
$26,510
8.4 months
2.9 months
33% (12 of 36)

Game Salute is by and far the leader when it comes to the number of games that have been successfully listed on Kickstarter with 49, 36 of which have been delivered as of October 2014. What is even more amazing is that they didn't even list their first title until June 2012!

Game Salute has been a boon for first time designers who need assistance with full-scale publishing on KS (the game must qualify based on submission guidelines of course). Game Salute also offers sales, fulfillment, warehousing, and logistics services.

As far as fulfillment and customer satisfaction, Game Salute may have been a victim of its own success as some of their games have had severe delays and complaints have been numerous. While their 33% on-time percentage is actually pretty good, the ones they have been late on, have been very very late. 18 games have been 4 months late or greater, with the worst offenders being Ruse and Formula E, at 10 and 11 months respectively. Furthermore, customers are still waiting for Storm Hollow, listed in 2012! and Alien Frontiers 4th Edition, listed in May 2013.

The degree of lateness may be attributed to listing too many games at once. The last half of 2013 alone, 25 games were successfully listed! As a comparison, to date in 2014, they have listed only 12 - a smart move as they try to fulfill the backlog of games promised. In fact, since Nov 2013, none of the games listed and delivered have been more than 2 months late.

Hopefully any bad press that Game Salute has received can be overcome as they serve a unique space in the game publishing business that no one else is doing right now.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.78
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2012
Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!
Impact City Roller Derby
Pixel Lincoln: The Deckbuilding Game
Penny Arcade: Paint The Line ECG – Red Tide
Serpent Stones
Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game
Nothing Personal
Pixel Lincoln: The Deckbuilding Game
• Blackwater Gulch: Rebels & Reinforcements

2013
Formula E
The Card Game of Oz
Alien Frontiers (4th Edition)
Epic Death!
The Princess Bride: Prepare to Die
Wok Star (Reprint)
Princes of the Dragon Throne
Keyflower: Key Celeste
Frontier Skies
KerFlip!
A Duel Betwixt Us
Chaos & Alchemy
Magnum Opus
Sangoku
King's Forge/King's Forge: Queen's Jubilee
Legends of the American Frontier
Monsters & Maidens
Vici
Top Promoter
Dreaming Spires
Keyflower: The Farmers
The Great Snowball Battle
SOS Titanic
Tattletale
Race! Formula 90
Clusterfight
Pixel Lincoln: Re-Election
Villains and Vigilantes Card Game

2014
Countdown: Special Ops
DuCo
Shadowrift: Archfiends
Bigfoot
Dungeon Scroll
Tiger Stripes
Area 1851
Seven Swords
Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill/
Let's Take a Hike (Reprints)
Nothing Personal: Power & Influence/
Nothing Personal: Associates
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice
Poseidon's Kingdom (2nd Edition)
Backers
1,186
248
814
259
76
887
1,289
968
434


396
271
2,265
613
397
1,481
237
822
226
22
1,602
1,066
283
170
1,686
205
469
156
115
641
736
373
279
177
17
262
243
166


114
132
618
378
413
101
301
51

39

624
899
541

BGG Rating
6.41
6.82
6.17
5.97
5.60
2015
7.39
5.81
n/a


6.26
7.34
7.54
6.60
3.30
7.12
7.01
7.51
6.88
6.72
6.44
7.07
7.42
Q4-2014
7.49/7.68
Q4-2014
5.28
7.60
7.08
7.85
8.08
7.71
6.90
5.81
8.21
8.01
7.10
2015


5.66
6.11
2015
Q4-2014
2015
2015
2015
7.72
5.99
6.08

2015
Q4-2014
2015

 
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5. Board Game Publisher: Mantic Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
20,356
$4,596,442
$225.80
7
2,908
$656,635
12.6 months
4.4 months
17% (1 of 6)

Mantic Games are like a UK version (based out of Nottingham) of Cool Mini or Not. Like Cool Mini or Not, they specialize in games with oodles and oodles of gorgeous looking miniatures which are in high demand. As a result, all of their games have funded in the 6 figures, with 2 of them reaching 7 figure territory. In fact, they have a higher pledge/backer than even Cool Mini or Not at $225.80 per backer.

Mantic also ships their games in waves, but their on-time performance has been a bit better than Cool Mini or Not's on average.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 7.47
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2012
Kings of War
DreadBall: The Futuristic Sports Game

2013
LOKA: A Game of Elemental Strategy
Deadzone
Mars Attacks: The Miniatures Game

2014
DreadBall Xtreme
Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest
Backers
1,568
2,539


745
4,306
2,753


2,482
5,963

BGG Rating
7.68
7.71


6.42
8.15
7.41


Q4-2014
2015

 
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6. Board Game Publisher: Queen Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
18,934
$1,538,553
$81.26
24
789
$63,304
4.6 months
1.3 months
17% (3 of 18)

Queen games is 3rd in total number of successful kickstarter boardgames (behind only Game Salute and Eagle/Gryphon games). Queen, of course, is a well known publisher outside of KS circles and has been sometimes criticized for using Kickstarter as a pre-order system for its games. Their on-time performance certainly bears out this fact as they have never been more than 4 months late on a campaign, and the only game that was that late was Escape, which was their first Kickstarter.

Some of Queen's most common uses for Kickstarter have been to publish reprints of older games (Speculation, Locomotive Werks, Thebes, Chicago Express, and Metro), help out other publishers (Spielworxx with Ruhrschifffahrt and Colonialism) or as a vehicle to release their big box series (Fresco, Kingdom Builder, Escape, and Alhambra).

Another item of note with Queen is that since they ship from EU, EU backers will have the game right away, while backers in the US will have to wait 6-8 weeks for delivery. Since I use the estimated delivery shown in the pledge amounts to determine if a game is on-time or late, a majority of Queen's titles are 1-2 months late to US backers because of the shipping time. If they reflected this in their estimated delivery times, their on-time performance would drastically improve to 78%.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.87
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2012
Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Edo
Urbanization
Locomotive Werks (Reprint)
Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890
Lost Legends

2013
Speculation (Reprint)
Colonialism
Amerigo
Dark Darker Darkest
Templar: The Secret Treasures

2014
Fresco: Big Box
Tortuga
Kingdom Builder: Big Box
Greed
Dragon Valley
Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Big Box
Thebes (Reprint)/Thebes: The Tomb Raiders
Chicago Express (Reprint)/
Chicago Express: Narrow Gauge & Erie Railroad Company/
Wabash Cannonball: Nickel Plate Expansion/
German Railways
Escape: Zombie City
Alhambra: Big Box Special Edition
Neptun
Orcs Orcs Orcs
Cubo/Metro (Reprint)

Backers
780
299
546
170
104
457


505
153
752
1,462
511


1,428
572
1,878
822
252
2,742
1,309



477
963
1,135
543
724
350

BGG Rating
7.22
7.20
6.44
6.83
6.12
6.62


6.84
5.72
7.53
6.91
6.43


7.93
5.91
7.95
7.18
6.86
6.61
7.22/7.10



Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014

 
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7. Board Game Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
15,609
$505,707
$32.40
4
3,902
$126,427
7.0 months
0.7 months
33% (1 of 3)

Michael Coe, the founder of Gamelyn Games, also founded another game company (Crash Games) which you will find further down the list. Gamelyn Games got its start in 2012 and debuted on KS in 2013. It wasn't until 2014 with the introduction of the "Tiny Epic" line, that Gamelyn really shot off into popularity. With only 4 KS games to its credit, it already ranks #7 overall in backers!

So how did they do it? Tiny Epic Kingdoms hit all of the right chords with gamers everywhere, latching on to the microgame craze while simultaneously stuffing as much gameplay into the box. It was also set at a truly epic price point - $16 for the base game and $24 for the deluxe edition. The Kickstarter was one of the most popular in the boardgame category of all time, garnering 59 updates and 11,661 comments. It steamrolled to 23 stretch goals. Not sure if this is a record, but if not, it must be in the top 5.

Tiny Epic Defenders, while not as popular as Kingdoms, was no slouch either as it clearing benefiting from the former's smashing success. If that wasn't enough, Gamelyn games plans to launch a 3rd game in the series in 2015: Tiny Epic Galaxies. That one just might push them up even further this list in next year's update.

As for on-time performance, Gamelyn games has been spot on with only 1 month delays for both Fantasy Frontiers and Tiny Epic Kingdoms (which is actually shipping this month). It will be interesting to see how the rating of TEK changes as more people get to play it.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 7.02
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2013
Dungeon Heroes/Dungeon Heroes: Expansion Pack
Fantasy Frontier

2014
Tiny Epic Kingdoms/
Tiny Epic Kingdoms: Deluxe Promo Pack
Tiny Epic Defenders/
Tiny Epic Defenders: Kickstarter Mini-Expansion
Backers
334
774



8,979

5,522

BGG Rating
6.80/7.04
6.94


7.29
n/a

Q1-2015

 
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8. Board Game Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
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Originally, I was going to list Eagle Games and Gryphon games as two separate entities. However, since they are both subsidiaries of FRED Distribution and are sister companies, I decided to combine their data into one listing. This moved them up to #8 in total backers, surpassing Cheapass Games, Dan Shapiro, and Dice Hate Me Games.

The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
15,526
$948,456
$62.17
35
444
$27,099
4.6 months
1.2 months
46.2% (12 of 26)

Eagle/Gryphon games are 2nd only behind Game Salute in total number of successful Kickstarters with 35. They were also one of the first to start using KS with 5 successful campaigns in 2011. Eagle Games, like Queen Games, has been an established boardgame publisher long before Kickstarter and use it in a similar fashion as Queen does.

Their on-time performance has been exemplary with a 46.2% on-time rate including 5 games that actually shipping BEFORE the estimated delivery date. However, in late 2013 and into this year, they have had much more difficulty in delivering on-time. The biggest culprit was the Defenders of the Realm: Minion Expansions. There were minis, so no big surprise there. When minis are involved, delays are sure to occur. However, both Cubist and Roll Through the Ages: Iron Age also experienced lengthy delays. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come as they still have 6 games in the pipeline to deliver.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.98
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2011
Montage (Reprint)
The Road to Canterbury
Mirror, Mirror
Zong Shi
Pizza Theory

2012
Caveman Curling (Reprint)
Fleet
Defenders of the Realm: Battlefields
Solitaire for Two
Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas
Sleuth/Venture/Monad
Cowtown
Fantastiqa
I'm the Boss!: The Card Game
Salmon Run
Railways of North America

2013
Wizard's Brew
Triassic Terror
Karesansui
Francis Drake
Railways Express
Defenders of the Realm: Minions Expansion – Orcs/
Defenders of the Realm: Minions Expansion – Undead/
Defenders of the Realm: Minions Expansion – Dragonkin/
Defenders of the Realm: Minions Expansion – Demons
Fleet: Arctic Bounty
Cubist
Dawn: Rise of the Occulites
Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age

2014
Warage Card Game
Nika
Fantastiqa Rucksack Edition/Pastiche
Baseball Highlights: 2045
Eggs and Empires
Mystery Rummy: Escape from Alcatraz
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization (2nd Edition)
Musée
Clockwork Wars
Backers
120
492
61
239
222


141
1,172
396
114
667
307
81
324
124
543
382


332
148
158
335
291
622



1,479
326
220
1,015


363
532
362
394
993
359
990
413
539



BGG Rating
7.29
6.97
6.10
6.70
6.36


6.53
7.13
6.48
6.93
6.36
6.85/6.52/6.42
4.94
7.21
6.20
6.78
7.82


6.01
7.11
6.73
7.57
5.11
8.17/
8.43/
8.00/
8.43
8.11
7.19
Q4-2014
7.08


6.88
7.39
7.21/6.93
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q1-2015
8.22
Q4-2014
Q3-2015


 
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9. Board Game Publisher: Cheapass Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
14,848
$603,206
$40.63
5
2,970
$120,641
5.8 months
0.8 months
50% (2 of 4)

Cheapass games have been in the game-making business since 1996, so while they are a small company, they are not your run of the mill KS start-up. Cheapass has a philosophy very benefiting of their name, components should be cheap as they mostly interchangeable anyways, and they can pass the savings on to the customers. Most of their early games were printed only in black and white.

Lately, Cheapass has been making nicer looking deluxe versions of some of their classic games, with their first two KS games matching that description. Get Lucky, their 3rd KS is a card game version of their popular boardgame Kill Doctor Lucky. Pairs, which is their biggest KS hit by far, is described as a pub-style card game, a game in the same space as minimalist casino card games. It sold extremely well on KS as it had non-gamer crossover appeal. Stuff and Nonsense, their latest KS, is arguably one of their nicest looking games ever and at $30 is near the top of their price range. Perhaps their name does not really apply to their games anymore...

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.23
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2012
Unexploded Cow Deluxe Edition

2013
Deadwood Studios USA Deluxe Edition
Get Lucky

2014
Pairs
Stuff and Nonsense
Backers
1,314


919
2,560


7,781
2,274

BGG Rating
6.06


5.88
6.28


6.69
Q1-2015

 
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10. Board Game Designer: Dan Shapiro
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
13,765
$631,230
$45.86
1
13,765
$631,230
3 months
0 months
100% (1 of 1)

Dan Shapiro's Robot Turtles was a KS Phenomenon that went on to smash the record for number of backers previously held by Dungeon Roll. With just 1 game to his credit, he already ranks #9 overall in total KS backers!

Also amazingly, he delivered the project on time (at least by month he did). Because his projected delivery date was in December, I guess he promised delivery by Christmas and wasn't able to completely fulfill that promise. He apologized profusely in an update to backers even though they would get their games no later than a week later. What a great guy!

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.91
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2013
Robot Turtles
Backers
13,765

BGG Rating
6.91

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Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
13,555
$661,281
$48.79
9
1,506
$73,476
7.8 months
3.0 months
17% (1 of 6)

Dice Hate Me Games debuted as a company in 2011 and has used Kickstarter exclusively as its vehicle to release its games. There is little criticism anyone could have for this company as they have cleared 700 backers on all 9 of their releases, published a game from the UNPUB founder: Compounded, and held a design contest for game designers that resulted in the "Big Games for Small Pockets" KS that included 6 games from 6 different designers.

The only criticism I can find is with their on-time performance. While excellent at first; Carnival shipped on-time, and the 3 subsequent games were only 2 months late; VivaJava Dice and Belle of the Ball were both 6 months late. Still, this criticism has to fall partially on Game Salute as they use them for fulfillment and shipping.

In addition, their games are in high demand after release, as evidenced by a high average BGG rating and a pent up demand for both Compounded and VivaJava which are both awaiting reprints.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.81
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2011
Carnival

2012
VivaJava: The Coffee Game
The Great Heartland Hauling Co.

2013
Compounded
VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game
Belle of the Ball
Brew Crafters

2014
Diner/Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game/
Pie Factory/Easy Breezy Travel Agency/
The Fittest/Isle of Trains
Compounded: Geiger Expansion
Backers
814


771
1,084


2,836
1,043
1,592
1,385




1,272
2,758

BGG Rating
5.88


7.12
7.04


7.06
7.22
6.53
Q4-2014




Q4-2014
Q1-2015

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12. Board Game Designer: Saar Shai
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
12,584
$641,662
$50.99
3
4,195
$213,887
4 months
1 month
0% (0 of 1)

From the "The Agents" campaign page:
"Saar is one of those quirky inventor types, who not only has outlandish ideas from his armchair but also gets off his butt and works really hard to make them a reality. From flexible screen interfaces, to ring device controllers, and from game-theory platforms to card games with a twist, Saar's mind comes up with weird and wonderful ideas all centered on making the 'user experience' as fun, rewarding and engaging as possible. With a background in intellectual property and advertising and a day job running a start-up, Saar is now turning his first love - gaming - into his full time passion."

The runaway success of his Kickstarter games can not be fully explained by the games themselves (while innovative and exciting that they are), but also his personality and work ethic. If the Agents card game was put into the hands of a large publisher, I doubt it would have sold half of what it made.

If there is a rock star of the Kickstarter boardgame/cardgame world is has to be this guy. King Down was yet another brilliant marketing idea (the prequel to Chess) and only some one as daring as Saar could even make such a claim and you actually believe him. Never had I opened up a Kickstarter page and wanted to back something so instantly after seeing it as I did with King Down.

Saar is here to stay and I have no doubt that his next campaign will garner just as much interest as his earlier ones.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.75
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2013
The Agents/
The Agents: Black Ops (Stretch Goal)/
The Agents: The 'Secret' Agents (Add-on Expansion)/
The Agents: Mission: Critical (Add-on Expansion)/
The Agents: The Partners (Add-on Expansion)/
The Agents: The 'Special' Agents (Add-on Expansion)/
The Agents: The 'Spoof' Agents (Add-on Expansion)

2014
The Agents (Mark II Edition)/
The Agents: MaVericks (Stretch Goal)/
The Agents: Events (Add-on Expansion)/
The Agents: Break the Rules (Add-on Expansion)/
The Agents: Bounties (Add-on Expansion)
King Down
Backers
6,791








3,494




2,299

BGG Rating
6.75
7.18
7.22
7.24
6.86
7.28
7.19


6.75
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q1-2015


 
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13. Board Game Publisher: Mayday Games
Mark Mistretta
United States
Lutz
Florida
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The Company Stats:
Total Backers:
Total Pledges:
Avg. Pledge/Backer:
Total Campaigns listed on KS:
Avg. Backers/Campaign:
Avg. Funding/Campaign:
Avg. Time from funded to delivered:
Avg. Time late:
% on-time:
12,340
$551,534
$44.69
18
686
$30,641
3.9 months
1.9 months
42.9% (6 of 14)

While Mayday Games is most well known for their boardgame specific sleeves, they have branched out into board and card games, and have had some pretty big hits on Kickstarter with the Get Bit! series of games as well as their dexterity games such as Tok Tok Woodman. One of their latest projects, Dead Man's Draw, a digital game turned card game, is also one of their most successful campaigns to date.

Mayday's on-time performance is marred by a few games in particular. The Bootleggers reprint was a bit of a fiasco, taking 13 months to deliver to their backers when it was estimated to take only 4. Likewise with Hold your Breath which took 10 months vs an estimated 4. Overall, they have delivered on-time an impressive 43% of the time, and have been within 2 months 79% of the time, so they in the upper quartile of publishers in that regard.

The Games:

Avg. BGG rating: 6.56
Most Popular:


Highest Rated (non-expansion w/ 30+ ratings):


2011
Eaten by Zombies!
Get Bit!/
Get Bit! Sharkspansion (Add-on)/
Get Bit! Additional Player Expansion (Add-on)
Click Clack Lumberjack (Tok Tok Woodman)
Lemonade Stand

2012
Terra Evolution
WeyKick
Eaten By Zombies!: In Cahoots
Bootleggers (Reprint)
Get Bit!/
Get Bit! Squid Die Expansion (Stretch Goal)/
Get Bit! Dolphin Die Expansion (Stretch Goal)

2013
Walk the Plank!
Click Clack Lumberjack (Re-release)
Hold Your Breath!

2014
Coconuts
Chopstick Dexterity MegaChallenge 3000 (Reprint)
Bling Bling Gemstone
Dead Man's Draw
Coconuts Duo
Meteor
Backers
1,058
422


149
191


136
108
566
350
1,135




1,926
561
963


631
270
595
1,926
475
878

BGG Rating
6.11
6.31
6.42
6.97
6.61
6.20


5.63
6.98
6.51
6.70
6.31
6.04
6.09


6.83
6.61
7.00


7.19
Q4-2014
6.91
Q4-2014
Q4-2014
Q4-2014

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