As it happens, Kickstarter posted some statistics for 2014, and this graph caught my eye:
The winter dip is unmistakeable. I first noticed the trend in December, but it is graphically clear that January and February were even worse in 2014. Now, this graph goes across all successfully funded projects, not just games. So I thought I'd compile a similar graph from Kickstarter specifically for projects in the "Tabletop Games" category, through both 2013 and 2014 to look for seasonal trends.
My first observation is that 2014 month for month had more successfully funded tabletop game projects than did 2013. That's not altogether surprising; the overall Kickstarter trend has been positive for boardgames. What's more interesting is that the seasonal peaks and dips were largely consistent from one year to the next. December, January, and February were noticeable lows. May and November were the best two months in both years.
Comparing tabletop games to Kickstarter projects as a whole, the winter dip is entirely consistent with the first graph showing all Kickstarters in 2014. The surprising difference between the two populations appears in August, when Kickstarters as a whole peaked in 2014, but tabletop games fell off in both 2013 and 2014.
Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I decided to look at total funding month to month for 2013 and 2014, and the results were a bit more erratic.
Some of the seasonal patterns are still present, like the dips in the winter as well as in August and September. But there are some crazy variations in the data as well. Although 2014 had the highest peaks (including a ridiculously high funding total in April* - though not in May), there were quite a few months where the 2013 funding level was higher than 2014, even though the number of projects was consistently fewer.
So Kickstarter project planners might want to take these seasonal trends into account.
* I had a look at April 2014 to find out what drove the funding level to be so high relative to any other month for the last two years. Here are the top ten projects that funded that month:
|Dwarven Forge's Caverns||Dwarven Forge||$2,140,851|
|Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King||Soda Pop Miniatures||$1,151,889|
|MERCS: Recon||MERCS Miniatures||$816,274|
|Deluxe Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition||Richard Thomas||$672,899|
|Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture||Jamey Stegmaier||$450,333|
|Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom||GreaterThanGames||$327,403|
|Coup Reformation - Kickstarter Edition||Travis||$254,133|
|Marauder Task Force Gaming Figures||Marauder GR||$244,155|
|Darklands: First Edition II||Mierce Miniatures||£130,735|
These ten projects alone accounted for over $6.5M of the nearly $9.0M in Kickstarter funding for 116 tabletop games in April 2014.