Gone are the halcyon days of video game Kickstarters. The early 2010s saw huge campaigns for video games that then became less successful as delays, disappointments, and outright cancellations soured fans. In their stead, some of the biggest Kickstarter projects have been board games, like this year’s Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon.
Awaken Realms, the developer of Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon, raised over $6.25 million from roughly 42,000 backers during the campaign. That translates to the biggest Kickstarter of the year, and the thirteenth biggest Kickstarter ever. The adventure/survival co-op game is based on Arthurian Legends and supports up to 4 players. The developer is planning a digital version of the massive board game as well.
Tainted Grail is a cooperative experience with a massive 100,000 word narrative arc split into 15 chapters. Of course the game also has a lot of diverging paths, granting it a lot of replayability. Awaken Realms’ artists are producing over 1,000 pieces of original art for the game, alongside miniatures for play. The game’s massive funding success means new miniatures and new campaigns set in the world.
Awaken Realms plans to deliver the first wave of Tainted Grail products in August 2019. Alongside the board game are plans to have the PC game in early access that same month.
The team has used Kickstarter to fund 8 board games over the last few years, with games like Nemesis, and a This War of Mine board game being successful products.
Kickstarter has become a prime location for funding expensive, niche board games in recent years. Kingdom Death, a cooperative horror board game, garnered over $12 million in pledges on a $100,000 goal. That game is the fourth biggest Kickstarter ever. Other card games and project such as Exploding Kittens and The 7th Continent have each raised millions over even the most successful video game crowdfunding projects. Shenmue 3 is the biggest video game Kickstarter, and only just beats out Tainted Grail by less than $100,000.