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Cost to Produce a Board Game (Claustrophobia 1643)
The costs for 1 Claustrophobia box, based on 10k units production :
$5 for figurine molds
$2.5 for sculpture
$1.5 for illustrations
$20 for salaries (Monolith uses internal employees to work on the ks)
$26 for the print run (including $20 for the cardboard printing !)
$1 for transport by ship
$12 for TVA (it's an mondial average 15%)
$6 for royalties (8% of final price to the author)
$8 for ks (10%)
82$ production costs for a game that will be sold 79$.( it includes De Profundis content)
I guess the profit will come from the next print-run.
Still, I think the takeaway is that Kickstarter is, fire and foremost, a marketing tool, not an actual way to produce games.
Asmodee did a fine job on this before they were a huge company.
I somehow feel I can't take the info seriously.
If there are $20 employment costs per copy on a 10k print run, that amounts to $200,000. I don't know who works at Monolith or what they're getting paid but that seems way high for one Kickstarter, not even a year's work.
I can't comment on the rest of the quoted costs, but I can say that I once got a boxful of review copies which mistakenly had a wholesale receipt included. They were high production value games, and they were selling from the publisher at under $10 a copy. That was maybe five years ago, but there's no way I can accept manufacturing costs have increased 800% in that time.
This is absolutely not a call for cheaper games or a suggestion that publishers are ripping us off. Games don't make a lot of money, and everyone involved in the chain needs to make a good living. But to scale that up to suggest copies are selling at a loss and we should be grateful for the chance to buy one is a whole other thing entirely.
Seems Matt is right.
Apparently, the numbers were transcribed from an interview with Monolith's bigwig. My French is deplorable.
The transcriber did include some additional content:
"So it's not profitable... for the first print run. If the game is a success (the 10k boxes sold), they will be able to run a second kickstarter, and this time : the first 4 cost line disappear.
Mythic Battle : the second print run with $1,1M was way more profitable than the first one with $2,6M.
Once mold and scuplture are paid, figurines cost between $0.1 and $0.12 to produce. So with large print run, cardboard cost more than plastic. According to Frédéric, with only 25 tiles and twice more figurines, the game would be cheaper
Interesting, Monolith wants to pay 2x the author compared to the other big ks compagnies(4% seems to be the norm), to attract the best authors in the long run.
Erwan, an other owner of Monolith is fan of Claustrophobia and they know very well the author Croc, the author. But Claustro was planned by FFG. Since they are all friends with Marc Nunès, co-founder of Asmodee, they used their influence to retrieve the game.
First edition of Claustrophobia : 10k sold in 6 months, and 20k in this entire life"
Also, I got a message from Monolith over the weekend. Their high aspirations to deliver before Xmas have been thwarted. They received delivery updates and apparently, only a portion (40%) of the backers would receive their games before the holidays. So Monolith has delayed their Kickstarter one month until the beginning of November. These four weeks will supposedly ensure that every backer will receive their game at the same time - January.