Kickstarter has proved year after year the campaigns hosted on its platform can motivate consumers from all around the world. Board game publishers in particular have gotten better and better at fueling this particular hype machine. Today’s case in point is the campaign for Elden Ring: The Board Game, from Steamforged Games, which hasn’t even launched yet and is already closing in on big numbers.
The project was announced in September with little more than the title of the game and a render of a single miniature: Margit, the Fell Omen, one of Elden Ring’s very first boss monsters. With that, the British company has earned more than 19,000 followers on its Kickstarter campaign page. Today’s announcement of a launch date for the campaign — Nov. 22 — will likely push them over 20,000 in short order. For comparison, Steamforged’s highest earning campaign so far had just over 31,000 backers when it concluded.
One of the reasons that Steamforged has been able to activate so many thousands of backers is because of the deep connections with consumers from past projects. The company burst onto the scene in 2016 with a campaign for Dark Souls: The Board Game, which raised an astonishing $5.4 million. That sum placed it among the largest crowdfunding campaigns in platform history at that time. The company has since moved from strength to strength on Kickstarter, with a total of 14 successful campaigns raising more than $22 million.
Also notable is the fact that the majority of its projects have been for games based on video game licenses, among them Horizon Zero Dawn, Resident Evil, and Devil May Cry. But its products are far from perfect. Horizon Zero Dawn - The Board Game was published with several errors and omissions, leading to a hefty set of errata. While fun to play, Resident Evil 2 - The Board Game was printed far too dark to be clearly understood at the table. While early playtests for Dark Souls - The Board Game went well, some found the final product to fall a bit flat. Later, Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Game was so riddled with errors and contradictions that the entire first batch had to be reprinted.
But the company seems to be making adjustments to improve its products. Its Epic Encounters line of all-in-one boxed encounters for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons get high marks from Dungeon Masters. Most recently, I had the chance to tinker with Streamforge’s early prototype for Monster Hunter World - The Board Game. I found the prototype miniatures to be excellent, and the gameplay to be much improved over past releases. Here’s hoping that this new Elden Ring project, designed for 1-4 players, continues that trend.