Frosthaven made a great final spurt, which was unexpected 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, not only financing the board game project, but also making Frosthaven the most successful crowdfunding board game to date. And not only that: Cephalofair Games' campaign is one of the three most successful Kickstarter at all. You can find out what the author Isaac Childres says about this success in the following article.
Frosthaven: Backers are investing around 13 million US dollars
A direct comparison shows how round the Frosthaven Campaign ran. The dungeon game Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 hit a hitherto unattainable milestone of just over $2017 million in 12, but due to the price it required far fewer backers. "Only" 19.200 fans gave KDM their blessing.
Frosthaven became a real mass phenomenon. 83.193 backers pumped a total of 12.969.608 US dollars into the high-priced dungeon crawler and, quite incidentally, put the project on the podium of the biggest Kickstarter successes to date. The project by Isaac Childres and Cephalofair Games ranks third, ahead of only two everyday gadgets, the Pebble Smartwatch (20 million) and the “Coolest Cooler” (13.3 million). By the way: Frosthaven was able to activate more supporters than the two items mentioned.
The concept of Childres and Cephalofair Games worked: With a stand-alone successor to Gloomhaven, you could appeal to all those board gamers who didn't own the prequel - whether for cost reasons or because the game had been out of print for a long time is. Frosthaven was therefore probably also understood as an "opportunity" to be able to devote oneself to the basic concept of Gloomhaven without having to fall back on previous experience.
Gloomhaven was already a success: financially, but above all playfully. The mix of card-driven combat, campaign play, legacy elements and storytelling was well received. So good that Gloomhaven still holds top spots in all-time rankings. Something similar is now expected from Frosthaven. Not least because the sequel builds on the playful framework of Gloomhaven. There are also new mechanics, such as a fresh loot system and the opportunity to expand the city of "Frosthaven" over the course of the campaign and thus access new equipment or characters. Frosthaven's gameplay unfolds over two seasons, each with their own challenges. Summer in Frosthaven sets the standard for monster toughness, and then as winter approaches, things get uncomfortable on the gaming table.
Isaac Childres: "We didn't expect this success"
It's one thing about the success of one Kickstarterboard game - and a completely different thing to look at the success from the perspective of those responsible for the project. So we just asked. It is a fact that Frosthaven was able to raise around $13 million.
And even if the positive feedback from the fans was probably inevitable given the history of Gloomhaven, Cephalofair Games did not expect such a success: "We did not expect such a great success," confirms Isaac Childres when asked.
"It is obvious that we knew that the campaign would be successful, but not on this scale and especially not when the corona pandemic broke out." Cephalofair Games had expected a financing sum of between five and ten million US dollars, reveals Isaac Childres.
… Somehow it worked!
Isaac Childres, Cephalofair Games
The team around Isaac Childres first realized that a heavyweight like Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 could be beaten at all when the campaign was able to generate 5 million US dollars within the first day. "So we thought maybe we had a little chance," says Childres. However, it was hard work. "We had to push the campaign every day to keep it running." Then came the final sprint 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 in mind. At Cephalofair Games, "they weren't sure how the pandemic would affect the project," explains Childres. However, it was certainly known that many were going through a hard time, also financially. At Cephalofair Games, they wanted to be as accommodating as possible, explains Childres, and so also offer those the chance to bake Frosthaven for whom it is currently not financially possible.
"We encouraged fans to donate to the campaign for $XNUMX if they weren't sure they could afford more right now." The pledge manager will now be available through the end of the year to give backers 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 have everything they need to play Frosthaven stand-alone. "Everything is in one box," says Childres, who particularly emphasizes settlement building as a unique feature: "The biggest novelty in Frosthaven is building your own settlement. That didn't exist 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 whole new story.
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 Isaac Childres emphasizes with one sentence: "Cephalofair Games would definitely not have existed without Kickstarter." As a student, he started designing games with little money in his pocket, says Childres. Only Kickstarter backers gave him the funds to continue. The author raves about the crowdfunding community: "It's amazing 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 launch a first campaign for pre-orderers in January 2021. The German version of Frosthaven is scheduled to appear in the summer of next year. The publisher has already done this parallel to the start of the KickstarterDungeon Crawler campaign confirmed.
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, “probably cost between 55 and 60 euros”. The title can also be used as an extension to Gloomhaven. According to Tierra del Fuego, there will be no separate pre-order campaign.
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