Frosthaven made a grandiose final spurt, which came unexpectedly on this scale. The successor to Gloomhaven seems to have convinced fans: over 80.000 backers have invested a total of around 13 million US dollars and not only financed the board game project, but also made Frosthaven the most successful crowdfunding board game to date. And not only that: The Cephalofair Games campaign is one of the three most successful campaigns on Kickstarter. What the author Isaac Childres says about this success, you can find out in the following article.


The final spurt was exciting: until shortly before the end of the campaign, Frosthaven fought a duel with the largest Kickstarter board game to date, Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5. Then, a few hours before the end of the funding period, it was clear: Frosthaven made it. The successor to Gloomhaven convinces with impressive numbers.

Frosthaven: Backers are investing around 13 million US dollars

A direct comparison shows how round the Frosthaven Campaign has run. The dungeon game Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 reached a previously unattainable milestone of a little over 2017 million US dollars in 12, but due to the price, far fewer backers were required. “Only” 19.200 fans gave KDM their blessing.

Frosthaven became a mass phenomenon. 83.193 backers pumped a total of 12.969.608 US dollars into the high-priced dungeon crawler and thereby raised the project to the podium of the biggest Kickstarter successes to date. The project by Isaac Childres and Cephalofair Games ranks third, with the Pebble Smartwatch (20 million) and the “Coolest Cooler” (13.3 million) only two everyday gadgets ahead of it. By the way: Frosthaven was able to activate more supporters than the two mentioned items. 

In Frosthaven there is not only fighting, but also puzzles. Isaac Childres presents the solutions on his Youube channel. Copyright: Isaac Childres

In Frosthaven there is not only fighting, but also puzzles. Isaac Childres presents the corresponding solutions on his YouTube channel. Copyright: Isaac Childres

The concept of Childres and Cephalofair Games worked: with a stand-alone as a successor to Gloomhaven you could appeal to all those board players who did not own the prequel - regardless of whether it was for cost reasons or because the game had been out of print for a long time is. Frosthaven was therefore probably also understood as a “chance” to be able to dedicate oneself to the basic concept of Gloomhaven without having to fall back on previous experience.

Gloomhaven was already a success: financial in nature, but above all playful. The mix of card-driven combat, campaign play, legacy elements and storytelling was well received. So good that Gloomhaven still has top positions in all-time rankings. Something similar is now expected from Frosthaven. Not least because the sequel is based on the playful framework of Gloomhaven. There are also new mechanics, such as a fresh loot system and the ability to expand the city of “Frosthaven” during the course of the campaign and thus access new equipment or characters. The game experience at Frosthaven unfolds over two seasons - each with its own challenges. Summer in Frosthaven is the standard for monster toughness, and when winter approaches it becomes uncomfortable on the gaming table.

Isaac Childres: "We did not expect this success"

It's one thing to report the success of a Kickstarter board game - and it's quite another to see it from the perspective of the project owner. So we just asked. It is a fact that Frosthaven was able to collect around 13 million US dollars.

Isaac Childres is the man behind board games like Gloomhaven, Forge War, Return to Dark Tower - and now Frosthaven. Copyright: Isaac Childres

Isaac Childres is the man behind board games like Gloomhaven, Forge War, Return to Dark Tower. Copyright: Isaac Childres

And even if the positive feedback from the fans was probably inevitable in view of the Gloomhaven history, such a success was not expected at Cephalofair Games: “We did not expect such a great success”, Isaac Childres confirmed when asked.

"It is obvious that we knew that the campaign would be successful, but not in these dimensions and especially not when the corona pandemic broke out." Isaac Childres reveals that Cephalofair Games had expected funding of between five and ten million US dollars. 

… Somehow it worked!
Isaac Childres, Cephalofair Games

Isaac Childres and his team first realized that you could beat a heavyweight like Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 when the campaign generated 5 million US dollars within the first day. “So we thought we might have a small chance,” says Childres. However, it was hard work. "We had to push the campaign every day to keep it going." Then came the final spurt and with it the last 48 hours, in which the makers gave everything again - in the end it worked, says the author. 

With this, Childres indicates what is underestimated, especially by those who are starting a campaign for the first time: you have to put enormous effort into being able to celebrate success. Even the best ideas are usually not a sure-fire success. 

Pledge manager open until the end of the year

The corona pandemic was a factor to keep track of. At Cephalofair Games, they “weren't sure how the pandemic would affect the project,” explains Childres. However, you certainly knew that many were going through a hard time, also financially. At Cephalofair Games, they wanted to be as accommodating as possible, explains Childres and thus also offer those the chance to bake Frosthaven for whom it is currently not financially possible.

"We encouraged fans to support the campaign for one US dollar if they weren't sure they could afford more at the moment." The Pledge Manager will now be available until the end of the year so that backers have plenty of time to pay for the board game.

I hope you enjoy Frosthaven! It will be an epic experience!
Isaac Childres to the German fans

Fans will then get everything they need to be able to play Frosthaven as a stand-alone. “Everything is in a box,” says Childres, who particularly emphasizes the settlement construction as a unique feature: “The greatest novelty at Frosthaven is the construction of one's own settlement. There was no such thing in Gloomhaven. You have to get out of the city, collect resources to expand the settlement - and then survive the winter. " You don't have to have played Gloolmhaven beforehand, confirms Isaac Childres. It's a completely new story.

Material battle: "Everything you need is in the box". Image: Cephalofair Games

Material battle: “Everything you need is in the box”. Image: Cephalofair Games

Cephalofair Games is now fully focusing on Frosthaven, so Childres did not want to reveal any further plans for the future. Meanwhile, a shallow Gloomhaven retail experience appears with Jaws of the Lion, slated for August. 

How valuable Kickstarter as a platform for the industry is, Isaac Childres emphasizes with one sentence: "Cephalofair Games would definitely not have existed without Kickstarter." As a student, she started designing games with little money in her pocket, Childres says. It wasn't until Kickstarter backers gave him the funds to keep going. The author raves about the crowdfunding community: "It's great and full of creative people who want to help you with what you need!"

For further information, please visit www.cephalofair.com.

Frosthaven: German version appears on Tierra del Fuego

Frosthaven is due to appear in March of next year, later in retail. As with Gloomhaven, the publisher Feuerland Spiele will take over the localization of the German version. 

Tierra del Fuego plansto set up a first promotion for pre-orderers in January 2021. The German version of Frosthaven should then appear in the summer of next year. The publisher has already confirmed this parallel to the start of the Kickstarter campaign for the dungeon crawler. 

In addition: Jaws of the Lion, the “Gloomhaven light” for beginners, is expected to be available in late summer 2020 and, according to the publisher, “will probably cost between 55 and 60 euros”. The title can also be used as an extension to Gloomhaven. There will be no separate pre-order campaign, according to Tierra del Fuego.  

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