Tobold's Blog
Monday, November 15, 2021
Not much spillover

Skyrim was one of the best-selling video games in history, selling 30 million copies. Obviously the makers of the Skyrim board game had hoped that there would be a spillover, with fans of the video game wanting to buy the board game. But nearly two weeks after the crowdfunding campaign started, they only got 4,578 backers. That isn't bad for a board game crowdfunding campaign, getting the game already over $1 million; but I would guess that the company that runs the campaign had hoped for much more. The trailer got 20k views on the channel of the company, and 250k views on the IGN channel, but apparently people aren't biting.

My personal impression is that the crowdfunding campaign would have done much better if Modiphius had bothered to produce a physical prototype of the game, and sent that to the top 10 or so board game channels on YouTube. Even if these channels have fewer subscribers, I noticed that board games physically played on these channels tend to do rather well on the various crowdfunding platforms. I am currently playing the excellent board game Sleeping Gods, which sent out a lot of prototypes at the time of their Kickstarter, and ended up with 12k backers. With the Skyrim board game only being shown virtually, on Tabletop Simulator, it looks a lot less appealing to fans of board games. And it doesn't persuade the fans of the video game to make the switch to the table either.

Physical prototypes not only look a lot better than Tabletop Simulator or similar virtual versions; the prototype also makes the game appear to be "more real", and thus less of a risk to back. If you made it to the prototype production, your game looks like it is ready to produce, and not like a "good idea", which might or might not be realized. For the possible backer, seeing a prototype played on YouTube removes a lot of doubt one might be having about a crowdfunding campaign.

Of course the other possibility for a lack of backers is that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Adventure Game doesn't appear to be a "great" game, from what I can gather when seeing it played on Tabletop Simulator. I backed the base version because it looks okay and fun enough to try, but I doubt it will be as good as some of the other games I already own. Which is one reason I wasn't really interested in the $300 Deluxe version of the game. I'm hedging my bets on this one.


"Goal reached in 28 minutes and 44 seconds" and "funded 782% with twenty days to go" look like pretty good figures to me!

Of course most people who play Skyrim don't want a board game (and vice versa). Elder Scrolls: Legends the CCG is on maintenance, sadly.

I think they can be happy with the performance.
Pretty much every half decent Kickstarter campaign these days is “funded within minutes” and has several hundred percent funding. You manipulate the former by advertising the Kickstarter early, with a big countdown clock on your site or extra rewards for the first backers. You manipulate the latter by blatantly lying about how much money you actually need. Thus there have been many campaigns that were over 100% funded, and then cancelled by the owner due to lack of success.
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