Traditional game companies don’t have a corner on the game market like they used to years ago. Mattel, Hasbro, you know the big players with their Monopoly, Clue, Trouble, Candyland, etc. But board games is a much bigger business now and crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have completely changed the way that games come to market.
Like so many industries, games don’t have to rise to prominence through a major publisher and distributor because now the game developers can connect directly with their customer community and work with experienced printers and distributors around the world to get the final game in people’s hands.
A great example is the hit card game Cards Against Humanity. Originally a Kickstarter campaign, this party game that’s very adult in nature raised $15,500 after only seeking $4,000 from backers to finish developing and produce the actual game. No big corporations involved, just 758 people who were willing to pony up some cash against the optimistic hope that they would get something for their money.
But Hasbro is paying attention and today launched Hasbro Gaming Lab, a place where aspiring game designers can work with the company to raise money for games and, if they’re a hit, have Hasbro help with packaging, marketing and distribution. That’s big, really big, particularly for family friendly titles that are the mainstay of the corporation.
The actual crowdfunding will be through Indiegogo, and the rating system is pretty darn interesting:
Hasbro will judge each qualifying submission according to the following factors:
• 40%: Gameplay (are there well considered rules, balanced mechanics, limited (if any) digital involvement)
• 20%: Story/theme (abide by a narrative to give dimension to the concept
• 20%: Potential for Fun-ness (It should have the potential to bring people together, instigate laughter, or create good times)
• 20%: Viability (50 foot game boards sound awesome… but it’s unlikely they can be made into a game)
My kudos to Hasbro for embracing the crowdfunding world and opening up the company’s development to a greater community of inventors and game designers. It can only be a wonderful thing for those of us who love games, whether they’re solo, with our family or with a group of friends.