Kickstarter announced Tuesday that it will hire board game designer and publisher John Ritter-Roderick as its new director of games. Ritter-Roderick has been with the company since 2020, serving as Senior Outreach Lead for Tabletop. he is best known to forceBeautifully appointed strategy game. He will be joined by Nicole Amato, who will replace him as the game outreach lead.
“Back in 2015 we ran our first game [on Kickstarter],’ Ritter-Roderick said in an interview. “I said, ‘What the hell, why not try this game and see what happens?’ And I made a lot of mistakes, gave advice to people, and then slowly over the years my advice got better. And then came the job opportunity at Kickstarter. It was a place where I would probably accept a full-time job, and I was like, this seems like the right fit. So it does.”
Ritter-Roderick said he sees his role as an ambassador at Kickstarter, and during our conversation he emphasized that his most important duty is to open and direct communication with the creators who bring their projects to life. hoping to bring in.
“My goal at Kickstarter is to spread the knowledge I have and if I don’t have the knowledge, to get people in touch with them,” he said. “My hope is to make sure people are as informed as humanly possible, and that will help them be as successful as possible.”
Left, John Ritter-Roderick. Okay, Nicole Amato. Image: Kickstarter
Ritter-Roderick enters a state of affairs during turbulent times for the crowdfunding giant. Kickstarter sparked controversy in 2021 when former CEO Aziz Hasan indicated that the company was moving towards blockchain technology. The company has slowed but not stopped that transition, leading to a number of high-profile departures from the platform — including Cephalophere Games, publisher of the hit board game. glomhaven, We asked Ritter-Roderick if he’d be interested in convincing tabletop makers that the controversial Web3 technology would be beneficial to them. he refuses.
“I don’t think it’s my role to explain anything to the industry [about blockchain],” he said. “I think I am here to be an advocate for the industry. That’s why I know that I and Kickstarter are dedicated to just making the platform better so that the creators [can] Bring their projects to life. Exactly how it’s going to happen, I don’t know, because it’s too far away. But I think the communication from Kickstarter needs to be clear and concise when this happens. ,
Before any transition to blockchain, Ritter-Roderick said it is more important that the Kickstarter platform is meeting the needs of creators. Its most important value addition, he said, is the audience only who is able to reach. Creators are free to engage with that audience as they see fit — even that means offering pre-orders on Kickstarter and handling fulfillment through another platform. The same strategy has been recently employed by Wyrmwood. Its modular gaming table earned nearly $9 million via Kickstarter in 2020. Its latest campaign does not offer any kind of trading. The company is instead using Kickstarter access to sell locations in the line to buy its next product, the Game Master Screen, which it will sell on Backerkit.
“People have to do what’s best for them,” Ritter-Roderick said. “There is definitely value in a bigger campaign on Kickstarter – the more exposure, the higher in the type, the more articles talking about it. […] Do you want that much exposure? A lot of people like Wirmwood are like, ‘No, we don’t need that. We don’t want it.’ Okay. […] It’s our tool, and they can use it however they want.”
Ritter-Roderick also noted that he is not paid on commission, and that the company’s bottom line is too low for him professionally. The same is true, he said, of Kickstarter more broadly, which, unlike other companies in the crowdfunding space, is a public benefit corporation. Doing the public good is set forth in the company’s founding principles.
“As a PBC, we can focus more on that life-to-life aspect and less about maximizing profits,” Ritter-Roderick said. “We are not publishers. […] Our charter is about bringing these projects to life. It is not about maximizing profits. So taking the knowledge that I had earlier, and then making sure that people still know that I am the same person. I’m still the creator who started on Kickstarter and am so grateful to be here for a number of reasons, and then I can pass it on to the next generation of creators to like. ,
Ritter-Roderick also said that he sees tabletop games, including board games and role-playing games, remain a core element of Kickstarter’s business. This category accounts for more than 30 per cent of the company’s annual revenue from crowdfunding.
“I think people write” [tabletop] Game a little early,” he said. “And I think one thing that I really look forward to over the next, like, three or five years people recognize that games are very much in the board game entertainment industry, as much as video games, movies, TV. And I think that [that with] With the upcoming release of the D&D movie, people are going to start seeing things unlike the transition from board games to movies.