The Creative Download: Trends in Games

Reflecting on 2023 and anticipating 2024's Breakthroughs in Games

The Creative Download: Trends in Games

Games come to life on Kickstarter like nowhere else and as time goes on, it's been amazing to see the number of game-related projects that go live on the platform. The creativity of these projects continues to grow over time, and I must say, it's truly impressive. We love to see projects on Kickstarter that redefine what it means to play board games, video games, card games, RPGs, and everything in between. 

As we enter into 2024, we're super psyched to dive into the future of gameplay and support creators in every step of their journey. Below, we've put together the hottest Game trends of 2023  and are also giving you a peek at some of the 2024 trends we think we’ll see based on what we're seeing in the industry and on our platform.

2023 By The Numbers

The numbers show that the number of Games creators and Games campaigns on Kickstarter is growing. We've achieved our highest volume of Games campaigns ever and the category has maintained an impressive 65% success rate — a testament to the hard work and dedication of the creators and backers in this category. 

The Rise of IP-Based RPGs

There has been a significant surge in the popularity of IP-based role-playing games utilizing IPs like Marvel, DC, Adventure Time, and others. In 2023, we witnessed the release of two major RPGs. The first one, Avatar, was launched on Kickstarter in 2021 and managed to raise over $9.5M, becoming the highest-funded RPG of all time. The second RPG was Marvel Multiverse which was released towards the end of 2023. We also saw the Wizards of the Coast’s plans for Dungeons and Dragons get leaked. These big RPG moments surely inspired many creators to explore IP-based RPGs and to develop their own systems as well. 

See the Trend in Action: Shadowdark RPG || Defenders of the Wild || Horse Girl || Dice Throne x Marvel

Elevated Artistry

Board games and video games are getting more polished every year…and more visually stunning. Companies are finding amazing artists from outside the industry to bring fresh looks to the industry. We’re even seeing traditional art techniques being used in modern game development. For example, the game Botany, created by a couple with no prior experience in game development, managed to raise over $1 million through crowdfunding. All of the graphic design was done internally with minimal experience, yet yielded a gorgeous result! The game Master's Pupil is another great example. It was painted entirely by hand using traditional techniques and took 7 years to complete. 

See the Trend in Action: BOTANY: Flower Hunting in the Victorian Era || The Crooked Moon 

Category Blending

In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of books being written about video games. With publications like Boss Fight Books continuing to churn out gems, and more entries being added to the Profound Waste of Time series, readers are spoilt for choice. In addition to these, we’ve seen several books that delve into the history of video games, providing readers with an insightful look into the evolution of this industry. With so many excellent titles to choose from, it's not uncommon for avid gamers and book lovers alike to find themselves running out of shelf space as they attempt to keep up with the latest releases. (speaking from experience)

See the Trend in Action: Boss Fight Books: Season 6 - Here to Play by Gabe Durham || A Profound Waste of Time: Issue 4 by Caspian Whistler

A Look Into 2024:

From new categories to exciting rewards, there are some really interesting things happening in the world of games. So, if you're a fan of games, you're definitely going to want to keep an eye on these trends this year!

The Gaming Multiverse

With the increasing success of Games on Kickstarter and overall Games popularity worldwide each year, people in other industries are starting to take notice. In 2023, a Dungeons & Dragons movie was released, which will likely spark more interest from other entertainment sectors to give games more attention. This, in turn, will hopefully encourage more creators to bring their ideas to other mediums like film, music, and TV. 

Cozy Connections

One trend I want to continue to see are cozy board games - board games that aren't about winning and losing but about getting to know one another and having a wonderful time doing it. Ami Baio is amazing at this, and her Hurt Party is live now. I want more games like last year's Garbage and Glory by Wet Ink (a game where you are a Mask of Raccoons getting into shenanigans). Game creators just keep getting more creative, and I'm so excited to see what's going to launch this year.

Closing Thoughts

We're buzzing with anticipation for what's on the horizon. The landscape of gaming is evolving, blending categories, and crossing into new territories, promising a future where games not only entertain but also connect and inspire across mediums. Whether it's the next cozy board game that turns a game night into a night of laughter and bonding or an RPG that brings beloved IPs to life in new ways, the possibilities are limitless.

Here at Kickstarter, we're committed to supporting creators every step of the way, from the initial spark of an idea to the final push to bring their visions to life. We're excited to see the trends of 2023 unfold further and to discover the innovations that 2024 will bring. To our creators, backers, and the entire games community: thank you for making Kickstarter the most dynamic platform for games. 

With tens of thousands of creative projects launched on Kickstarter every year, this platform is a thermometer for the trends bubbling up across the creative community. Kickstarter's Creative Download is an editorial series where our category experts share the trends they saw from the previous year and give us a peek at what they think is on the horizon.