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Great rundown on why larger publishers continue to use crowdfunding

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24 May 2023 09:01 #339431 by Jackwraith
boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/147898/links-...g-turns-and-gaming-w

I hadn't considered some of the distribution complications and assumed that it was simply to mitigate risk (interest-free loans, etc.)... which, in a way, it is, but not quite the fully cynical perspective that I was taking.
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24 May 2023 09:12 #339432 by hotseatgames
I've never been involved in a crowdfunding campaign from the creator side, and Phantom Division will be on Gamefound instead of Kickstarter, for a couple of reasons, but a huge one is cost. I am very curious to see how it does, knowing that KS surely gets a lot more eyeballs than Gamefound does. It's also been impossible not to notice how prominently the upcoming Awaken Realms campaigns are featured over everything else. Not surprising.
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24 May 2023 09:42 #339433 by jason10mm
I never doubted the value of pre-orders and direct to consumer sales (especially when pre-paid), I've just wondered what value Kickstarter and their 10% off the top provide once you are up and running. I guess it manages the money, shipping addresses, and whatnot? Seems like smaller companies still use fullfillment centers so I'm not sure KS is anything but 10% marketing.

So for stuff like Tiny Epic, is there really anyone NOT already aware of them? Do enough folks just browse KS to see a splash banner and jump on a new to them game company? Or is it just the community features, the somewhat standardized stretch goal system, and the 30 day dopamine cycle that folks enjoy? Has KS enforced any real protections for consumers that drop money on a project from a company that ghosts them?

I've dipped my toe back into KS after years of avoiding it due to a few catastrophic burns. And seeing one of the alternatives, GMTs YEARS LONG (at times) P500 system (hang on, that Mr. President game I signed up for SIX YESRS AGO is finally gonna ship?) the value of a 30 day ad campaign and a 6-12 month fullfillment cycle makes some sense, I suppose.
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24 May 2023 10:00 #339434 by Jackwraith
I see posts on the regular on places like r/boardgames of people saying something like "I just got into Tiny Epic Galaxies! Are there any more like this that people recommend?" There's a TON of stuff out there. I see top 10 "of the year" lists all the time now that list games that I haven't heard of. The Spiel des Jahres nominees just got released. I hadn't heard of any of them. The Kennerspiel nominees? I had vaguely heard of one of them (Challengers.) The reason that people started using Kickstarter more frequently is because that's where the eyeballs are. It has morphed into a way for people to get games to people in the glutted market as noted in the linked piece at BGG, but it's been a way to make any sales at all for some companies for years now. We know a lot of this stuff because we're plugged in and have been for years but, again, see the SdJ examples or see Tom Vasel's top 10 list for 2022. I was familiar (i.e. more than just the name) with about a third of them, IIRC? I think the marketing angle presented by places like KS and Gamefound is absolutely essential to trying to make money on game publishing these days, unless you already have established distribution channels that have locked-down shelf space for you, like Ravensburger/Prospero Hall established with Target.
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24 May 2023 14:52 #339438 by fightcitymayor
I've never met W. Eric Martin, but his tone often veers into the obnoxious, as here when he white-knights on behalf of the poor, downtrodden game publishers of the world:

Just as companies have the freedom to use crowdfunding, individuals have the freedom to avoid companies using crowdfunding — but anyone complaining about company ∂ running a crowdfunding campaign is noise in the wind. It seems foolish to think that any of us know better than the publishers themselves when it comes to making decisions about what's best for their financial well-being...just as I would hope that others don't argue about me making decisions about what's best for my financial well-being.

...except it's a false argument. Few people assail Kickstarter because they "know better than the publishers themselves," they assail KS for attempting to shirk any/all responsibility for running a massive pre-order site while simultaneously swearing up-&-down that they are, in fact, NOT running a massive pre-order site. The actions by every publisher mentioned in the article confirms that companies are DESPERATE to use KS as a massive pre-order scheme. So why aren't we all telling the truth about it by now?

Although one could make the case that established publishers returning to KS like a cat to catnip creates an unsustainable boom-&-bust cycle that all but guarantees they can never leave that treadmill... but that's a different topic. ;-)

As he said, companies are free to cram all of the garbage they desire on KS, and I am free to ignore it all. But don't condescend to me by portraying peoples' misgivings about KS as somehow demanding to "run some publisher's business."

p.s.
I remember him mounting his high-horse years back when people became resistant to the idea of being forced into using apps in boardgames, basically deriding anyone harboring that opinion as a terrible luddite who needed multiple paragraphs of his ever-expansive wisdom to see the error of their catastrophically foolish ways.
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24 May 2023 14:56 #339439 by hotseatgames
I'm not defending any of his views, but I actually HAVE met him, and he's a stand-up guy.

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24 May 2023 15:42 #339440 by Jackwraith
What he's defending seems to be the problem that small publishers are having with both marketing and distribution, which is why he argues they're using KS; not just for the security that what are interest-free loans provides. Does he need to add the "people think they know better" line (i.e. stay in your lane)? No. But knowing what I know of small publishers in other media, like books, I think his argument is valid.

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24 May 2023 16:45 - 24 May 2023 16:49 #339442 by Sagrilarus
So in one thread we’re discussing a guy with big marketing power using it to make money off of publishers in a leveraged way, and in another we have people defending a company that’s doing the same with their big marketing power.
Last edit: 24 May 2023 16:49 by Sagrilarus.
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26 May 2023 15:49 #339466 by Bernie
I have some skin in the original mess. I am a pretty huge fan of Into the Unknown.

I am pretty frustrated with some of the coverage this has revived. Like Charlie I have imitated myself pretty throughly since in this instance of drama. The articles that have been posted by some of the bigger outlets miss some pretty big points. At least I think they are.

I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt that this was was all a huge misunderstanding in some parts. Some real bad email language on on Quackalope’s part. Ok. Sure. Maybe a little aggressive hard sell. But ok. I draw the line at the completely pathetic attempt at playthrough videos and lack of good faith effort to learn the rules to the game. He never even attempted to read the rule book.

That leads into the bad review of his pair. Then the, what Quackalope claims, is just an unfortunate quirk of delayed release video.

The whole thing is just really bad business behavior.


On the larger topic of YouTubers and paid previews vs reviews. I am strongly of the opinion you need to pick one for a channel. You can do a slew of things that are fine for pay. Preview, unbox, playthrough. The instant you do anything other than a paid how to play, not a playthrough with rules explanation you can’t go anywhere near doing a review. Also never a review from a company you took money from or are in contract negotiations with.

Some of this is just “simple” ethics.
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27 May 2023 19:11 #339470 by RobertB
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28 May 2023 10:04 #339477 by Virabhadra
Mister, we have proved our bona fides and we are all expecting a set of dice with tiny cowboy hats inside.

arbysshop.com/products/dice
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28 May 2023 10:56 #339480 by hotseatgames

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