If you are asking how many backers do I need on Kickstarter to launch my board game?

Or what number of backers do I need? I will share some limited knowledge from helping with Kickstarter campaigns, detailed personal research, and being involved in failures too.

The catch-all on how many backers you need for a successful Kickstarter?

Is… it depends!

But I shall go into further detail in this post to help guide you.

The short and dirty answer to how many backers you need is – as many as you can get to launch your project. There is no hard and fast answer here that I would dare to say. As it largely depends on your spending to get the product off the ground.

how many backers do you need for kickstarter

Not doing the correct preparation before you launch your campaign can lead to disappointment.

“If I was to take aim, I would aim as high as could… and expect it to fall short.”

Launching with or without backers for your Kickstarter

Even with all the backers that you think may back your game on Kickstarter, they might not back you at all. There is no guarantee that your game will get the funding it requires and that you will launch a successful campaign.

Regardless of the numbers that you think you have, this is not a certainty that your campaign will succeed.

If I was to take aim, I would aim as high as could… and expect it to fall short. That could be regarded as a pessimistic outlook. But aiming higher and lowering your expectations may make you punch higher. And, get more backers.

Aim high anyway! label it as you will.

In order to know how many backers you need, consider this.

“You need to know the total cost of the whole project in order to work out how many backers you will need.”

In this post, I have actually taken to time to study some other successful Kickstarter campaigns. And there are some lessons to be learned from the big hitters.

As well as from the smaller companies.

Jump menu for backers’ questions :-

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How many backers do I need to kickstart my board game?

The number of backers that you need to create a successful campaign depends on your project size! For example, you need to consider the potential costs to make your board game, market it, and look at fulfillment too.

In addition to this, you will also need to look at either creating your Kickstarter page or hiring a page designer to create your page for you.

When asking yourself how many backers do you need for your Kickstarter project? What you are really asking is – how much money do I need to get this project off the ground? Backers = money to publish.

When considering the costs and budgets to launch a board game through Kickstarter, have you considered some of the following?

  • Looking into distribution companies?
  • Where will you make or manufacture your board game?
  • Have you factored in marketing?
  • Kickstarters fees etc?
  • Cost’s to make a board game prototype?

Why ask all this?

To see if your Kickstarter campaign launch is viable, you need to know how much it will cost you to make it. Without even a rough number in your mind, you are only guessing.

You need to know the total cost of the whole project in order to work out how many backers you will need. Here is an example of some figures.

Further to answering how many backers I need on Kickstarter to launch my board game. You should break the numbers down. And consider some variables too.

What number of backers do I need for a successful Kickstarter? ( hypothetical figures )

Now, I would like to put a disclaimer out there – I’m not an accountant or statistician. The numbers below are for demonstration purposes only!

Make sure to do your own budgets and figures. Don’t leave to guesswork or blind optimism.

Pricing Scenario for potential backer numbers for your board game

* The figures below are imaginary and for demonstration purposes only.

  • Price to make the game
  • Prototype
  • Hiring creatives
  • Playtest –
  • Pay Kickstarter fufilment
  • Paykickstarter fees etc

Let’s say… £10,000!

You want to sell each game for £40 ( basic reward ) on the Kicksarter.

In order to hit your goal, you’d theoretically need:-

10,000 / £40 = 250 Backers +

And please take note of the word theoretically need.

And please also take note of the word ‘theoretically’ need. These are educated guesses.

Translated, you would need in excess of 250 backers to hit the minimum target. That is quite a number to hit, even if imaginary.

You should also factor in those that say they will back your campaign, but… when it comes to the launch day, they don’t back your project.

That is important to keep in mind. You should shoot for well over the minimum number of backers.

How many backers do you need to launch your board game? - comic

What is the success rate on Kickstarter?

If you do run your Kickstarter properly, have a compelling product, and marketing, and have ready-to-pledge backers. You may be in for a chance of having a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Attached is a quote from the Kickstarter stats page –

“ While 10% of projects finished having never received a single pledge 79% of projects that raised more than 20% of their goal were successfully funded.“

– Kicstarter

Many of the projects that hit their target and exceed their goal will most likely all have put in extensive preparation before launching their campaigns. That includes having their crowd ready to pledge on launch day.

I’m sad to say I’ve witnessed firsthand Kickstarter campaigns that launch without the necessary preparation work. ie, not having any backers ready to pledge on the launch day.

In my experience, it ended with epic disappointment. Kickstarter doesn’t supply you with backers. It is a platform that enables you to run a crowdfunding campaign.

You may get a few pledges in the early days, but I would not leave it to Kickstarter to do all the heavy lifting. You need to promote your campaign and win backers.

Kickstarter can be a success – if you do the preparation. But as with anything – nothing is guaranteed. You want to give yourself the best odds of success.

Is Kickstarter still popular for board games?

When considering how many backers you need on Kickstarter to launch my board game, you want to know if you are doing the right thing. Is Kickstarter still popular?

For starters – yes Kickstarter is still a very popular platform. Do people still use Kickstarter for board games? Yes, although Kickstarter should not be seen as a pre-ordering service. Kickstarter isn’t for pre-ordering board games.

If you are a backer, you need to accept there is a degree of risk when you support a creator to make a game. You may not ever see a complete board game.

Is Kickstarter still a thing? And do board game fans pledge on it?

It certainly is. Kickstarter is still very much “a thing”. Often the case with board game projects, a developed prototype has been made and is ready to show. Then the creators are trying to raise funds for final touches, bulk manufacture, and logistics.

Some creators attend board game conventions too, to see how the game is received by the general public.

How many backers do I need? ( How many backers should you get )

The amount of backers you need for a Kickstarter project ( for your board game), depends on the size, scale, and scope of your project.

For example, when considering the number of backers you need for a project you need to come up with your own calculations. Only you will know what is required to succeed in launching your Kickstarter campaign.

In order to arrive at an early calculation, you should consider some ( and more ) of the following:-

These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when you’re considering the costs and how many backers you may need.

If you are wanting bit more of a rough guide on what it may cost you to create your game, or the price to make an RPG book. These links could be useful to you.

Rough guestimate on how many backers you may need for your campaign

Once you’ve come up with your calculation to get your game off the ground, You can then reverse engineer the total cost, divided by the number of backers required to successfully launch your campaign – without, hopefully getting into chronic debt.

To arrive at the number of backers you may need to successfully launch your campaign. Make sure to do your homework and answer your own question – what it will cost you to design and make your board game?

And then, look at how many backers you will need for your campaign.

Breakdown calculation on how many backers you may need to launch a board game on Kickstarter

There is no simple or straightforward answer unfortunately to how many backers you will need. But there is some light in this dark and murky tunnel.

If I was to come at this and work out my own calculation on how many backers are needed for a project – I would go about it this way.

Hypothetical calculation ( not a real calculation )

1 ) How many backers do I think I can feasibly attract?

I would set the number low if this is your first campaign. Be realistic if you are a small team or individual.

2 ) How much would it cost to create the game?

Hire artists, edit the board game, playtest the board game, find playtesters, manufacture a prototype, mass produce the whole game, and then ship it. Go over this again and again. And then add plenty of padding at the end.

3 ) Fees

What are the logistics fees, legal fees, and Kickstarter fees? You may also want to set aside money to cover unforeseen fees.

Now that you’ve considered some of the factors that will influence the cost.

These points mentioned above are just speaking in broad strokes when considering a budget. Hidden or unforeseen costs should be investigated further.

Imaginary example of how many backers you need – in numbers

Lets us pretend that I have 100 people ready and guaranteed to back my campaign. My project is going to cost £9000 to create plus 10% fees. Let us add a buffer of another 10% as a precaution and round this number up to £10,000.

10,000 pounds is not a small figure, and making games is not cheap.

£10,000 / 100 backers = each backer spending £100 pounds each for the product.

Knowing a little about board games, and being familiar with some past Kickstarter projects, could be advantageous in saving some more on the creative stages. I also have a background in retail and what people tend to spend on products and games ( averages ).

Asking your backers to spend £100 pounds is steep. Most games I see on Kickstarter tend to sit around the £50 mark or £30.

Let us stick with £50 for now for the sake of this scenario.

If somebody were to charge a £50 pledge per unit, you would need in excess of 200 backers to reach £10,000. If it was me, I would strive for 300 backers for your campaign.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Or better still, prepare for the absolute best and the worst may never come.

Can I launch a Kickstarter without any backers?

Yes! Theoretically, you can launch a Kickstarter campaign for your game without any backers, but this may be ill-advised.

Kickstarter or any crowdfunding platform does not supply you with backers. There is no guarantee that any backers will come to your campaign page. The less you leave to chance the better. A common trap for those that are new to creating Kickstarters is they assume Kickstarter will provide all the backers and more so, marketing. It is a common miss-step.

Kickstarter’s duty is not to provide you with backers. Kickstarter is only the platform in order to carry out this exchange. Your job is to rally backers.

But ‘should’ you launch without backers?

Kickstarter will do a ‘bit’ in the beginning but don’t leave it there with getting your backers. Get your backers ready before the big launch.

I have witnessed first-hand where people have put so much effort into creating a game prototype, and making a pretty page, but had zero backers ready to pledge on their launch day.

These painful Kickstarter failures are a topic for another day. It’s a shame to see this, but that can be the nature of running a crowdfunding campaign.

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms are best seen as a facilitator to help you launch your project. They are an intermediary between the backer and you.

There will be some lucky ones out there but probably have launched a Kickstarter campaign with zero backers and won the backing but this is very uncommon.

They’re called jammy ones in other words.

How many backers do you need to launch your board game?

How many backers do I need to send to my Kickstarter campaign? | Short Case studies

When considering the number of backers, or how many backers you need to launch your board game. I have made some interesting observations and case studies that may help you. When it comes to creating a Kickstarter, you want to get all the help and information that you can.

Reading these case studies does not guarantee anything… actually I’ll say it’s just a first in an epic mountain to climb to get a Kickstarter off the ground.

Here is my research when considering the number of backers you need to create a game.

Examples of successful board games launched on Kickstarter |

Steamforged – Darksouls

Dark Souls, the board game is one of the most successful campaigns to be launched on Kickstarter. What is interesting, is that this was a popular computer game before it was turned into a board game.

Many of the backers that pledged to this game were already likely fans of the game franchise before seeing this come true.

Here are some of the numbers from the Dark Souls board game Kickstarter.

Total Funds = £3,771,474

pledged of £50,000 goal
Amount of Backers = 31,178
Cheapest unit price = £75 ( 998 backers )

FaceBook Followers 47,000 +
Twitter = 20,000 + followers

At a glance, it is clear that Steamforged games have a large following on all their social media platforms. Not just Facebook and Twitter! Another thing that is worth keeping in mind is that Steamforged games may have a newsletter. It is hard to gauge how many readers they have in their newsletter mind!

Many companies when creating a Kickstarter campaign will often have a newsletter to send out on the launch day.

Steamforged Games tends to create board games from large already-popular pre-existing franchises, such as; Dark Souls Resident Evil, etc etc. They obtain a license and create the games. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t have 47,000 Facebook followers.

Throw Throw Burrito

Have you heard of Throw Throw Burrito? Throw Throw Burrito is a popular, wacky family game where you have to throw foam burritos at each other whilst playing cards – it’s great fun! You can read more about throw Throw Burrito here. It is a great game for a house share too!

Throw Throw Burrito is another one of those really popular games on Kickstarter.
Here is a bit of data about the project.

Total Funds Raised on Kickstarter = $2,559,458

Pledged of $10,000 goal
Amount of backers = 53,643
Cheapest Unit price = $20 – ( 5,575 ) pledged in this tier

Facebook Followers = 216,851
Twitter = 48,000 + followers

I would speculate that there were fewer Facebook and Twitter followers when they first launched Throw Throw Burrito.

It should also be noted that The Oatmeal – the illustrator behind the game, also has a large following. Also again speculate that they have a newsletter too.

Theoretically, this campaign only needed 500 or so backers to win. They exceeded this…

This too was launched in Kicksatrter -

Oathsworn : Hero’s and Dwarves

Not every Kickstarter campaign listed in this post is big and grand! This smaller, low-key project from Oathsworn miniatures is an example of a small business doing a great job and launching a successful campaign.

It should also be noted that I know the team behind Oathsworn. I have met them in person at various UK board game conventions.

It should also be noted that the campaign I have selected here, isn’t their largest and most successful … it was their very first.

If this is your first Kickstarter. Then pay attention.

This may also help to set more realistic expectations if you are a small business.

The product offering here is in fact a set of miniatures for fantasy Wargaming. Each of these models is handcrafted in green stuff, and then spin-cast in the UK.

(You can read more about their miniature range here in this post. Or you can read more about starting out in sculpting miniatures in this how-to make a conversion post. )

The stats from their Kickstarter campaign.

Total funds raised = £14,498

Pledged of £3,000 goal

Number of backers = 354

How many backers do you need to launch your board game? example miniatures

The London Pub Crawl

The London Pub Crawl is another game that was created via Kickstarter! It should be noted that this project didn’t have a massive budget to start with. Neither did it have a huge following prior to creating its Kickstarter campaign. The London Pub Crawl is very much from a start-up’s perspective.

About the game. The London Pub Crawl is a party game themed around London and inspired by some of its iconic pubs!

Here are some statistics and information with regards to how many backers The London Pub Crawl had pledged to its campaign.

How many backers do you need to launch your board game? - example game

Total Pledged = £9,188

Kickstarter Goal = £8,500 goal

119 backers pledged to this campaign.
Average unit spend = 50 backers, main pledge of £40

Facebook Followers = 549
Instagram = 1000 + followers

You can read more about The London Pub Crawl here.

‘Should’ you launch a Kickstarter with zero backers?

The general answer to should you launch a Kickstarter campaign with zero backers is – no. Generally speaking, it is best practice to have a certain number of backers ready to pledge on launch day.

Launching a Kickstarter campaign can be an exciting time. But don’t let this excitement cloud your judgment. Make sure to do the correct preparation.

What this question really means is this.

Should you launch a Kickstarter campaign, with 0 backers ready to pledge?

If you were to ask yourself slowly, you may come to the conclusion that this may not be the best course of action.

Launching a successful campaign is hard enough. Launching a Kickstarter without backers ready to pledge just stacks these challenging odds against you.

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How many backers do you need to launch your board game? What should I expect the first time launching?

When you launch a Kickstarter campaign, you want to put your best foot forward. When going to all the trouble of making your game, designing your Kickstarter page, video, etc – what is the point in wasting all the previous effort with cutting corners?

Give yourself and your campaign the best opportunity. Don’t leave rallying backers to launch day. Start this a month in advance.

If this is your first campaign without backers ready to pledge – BEFORE, you hit launch. I would set your exceptions to very low.

If you have already prepared some backers prior to launch day, work on some of your marketing. Then perhaps allow yourself room to expect a bit more.

Kickstarters are a lot of hard work.

Can I launch without backers for my Kickstarter?

There is nothing stopping you from launching a Kickstarter campaign without backers ready to pledge. Assuming Kickstarter validates your campaign and says – it’s good to go ( metaphorically), then you can launch when you’re ready.

Having no backers ready to pledge, does not stop you from launching a campaign. But it could stop you from having a successful campaign.

Some people have launched a Kickstarter campaign, failed on their first attempt, and tried again later once they rallied more backers. keep this in mind when considering how many backers you need to launch your board game.

How many backers do you need to launch your board game? ( on Kickstarter )

As a disclaimer, no amount of promised backer numbers, or time spent on your campaign will guarantee a funded campaign.


Also, there might be a lucky minority out there that launches a campaign and get backers as they go along. But, backers for most, don’t come flooding to your campaign just because you have launched it on Kickstarter. You need to encourage backers to your campaign from your own efforts.

As a summary answer to how many backers you need to launch your board game – depends on the number of costs involved to create your game.

For example, you will need to pay to make your game and distribute it. Once you have your top number. You can work backward from a backer to crowdfunding goal target.

Don’t leave getting your backer’s until launch day. Make sure you do the leg work before the big launch – as well as during.

The amount of backers you need depends on your overhead costs. Look at your calculations and assess what your target needs to be.

Other tips around how many backers do you need to launch your board game?

3rd Party Websites ( off-site )

Dragonbone games – How many backers do you need to launch your board game?