Kickstarter made a major announcement this Tuesday, stating they will be elevating board game designer and publisher Jon Ritter Roderick to director of games. He is best known for his successful action-strategy game “Dragoon”. Nicole Amato will be taking over his previous position as games outreach lead, which he was serving since 2020.
Ritter-Roderick has said he sees his role at Kickstarter as an ambassador to the company and feels that communication with creators is the most important duty. He aims to be open and direct with creators, with the hopes that this style of communication will bring them confidence, which will hopefully lead to more projects coming to life.
Communication With Creators Will Be Key
Ritter-Roderick has openly shared his past experiences with Kickstarter as a game creator, and his visions for the future of the company, stressing the importance of sharing knowledge and his views on open, honest, and direct communication:
Back in 2015 we ran our first game on Kickstarter… And I made plenty of mistakes, advised people, and then slowly over the years my advice became better. And then a job opportunity happened at Kickstarter. It was the one place where I would probably accept a full-time job, and I was like, this seems like the right fit. So let’s do it. My goal at Kickstarter is to pass off the knowledge that I have and, if I don’t have the knowledge, get people in touch with those who do. My hope is to kind of make sure that people are as informed as humanly possible, and that will turn help them be as successful as possible.Jon Ritter Roderick director of games at Kickstarter
Ritter-Roderick’s ascension comes at a turbulent time. Kickstarter is still suffering from its major 2021 announcement when the company’s former CEO Aziz Hasan announced the company will make a transition to blockchain technology. This announcement resulted in major backlash, with some huge names departing from Kickstarter, perhaps most notably – Cephalophair Games, the publishers of the hit board game “Gloomhaven”. Due to the turmoil, Kickstarter has slowed down the transition, but will eventually make it sometime in the future.
When given the opportunity to address the matter and convince creators that blockchain is the future, Ritter-Roderick instead continued to stress the importance of honesty and direct communication with creators.
Kickstarter Will Be Going Back to Its Roots
To him, before any blockchain transitions, Kickstarter needs to meet the needs of creators. He thinks Kickstarter is about fulfilling projects and doing public good, rather than it being a corporation that maximizes profits.
“Our charter is about bringing [these] projects to life. It’s not about maximizing profits. So taking the knowledge that I’ve had prior, and then make sure that people still know that I’m that same person. I’m still that creator who started on Kickstarter and is insanely grateful to be here for a bunch of reasons, and then I can pass that off to like the next generation of creators.”, said Ritter-Roderick is a passionate address.
He has also stated that he sees tabletop games, including board games and role-playing games, as a core element of Kickstarter. They currently account for more than 30% of the company’s annual income from crowdfunding.