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Lunar Base Board Game Review

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Tharos Board Game Review

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Hypothetical Question -- Could a Massive Boardgame Value Collapse Happen?

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05 Feb 2019 12:40 #291549 by cdennett
I'll echo that, for titles that don't have some scarcity or exclusivity, the secondary market is already collapsing. The huge glut of games has diluted the pool so much that sometimes it's hard to even give away a game, much less recoup dimes on dollars.

Does this mean a bubble is about to burst? No, I think we have a ways to go. The hobby is still growing, getting more and more money put into it. You can look at CMON and think that Kickstarter is going down, but you need to look no further than Awakened Realms to see the opposite. I do think you'll continue to see more consolidation of publishers looking for cost advantages as the market gets more and more crowded.
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05 Feb 2019 14:04 #291555 by Legomancer
We saw this more recently in the comics collapse of the mid-90s. This was an event in which material was being shoved out at a rate that outpaced the market, stores couldn't figure out what to genuinely stock, and the market was skewed by speculators looking to flip items quickly for much more than they paid, aided by an industry of "price guides" emitting hype to both fuel the speculation and the supply. "Wetworks #1" from Image Comics was listed in Wizard magazine as being worth double digits months before it even existed as a product to be sold.

Eventually the market collapsed and gutted everything. Companies folded, stores shuttered, stock was liquidated for pennies on the dollar. I haven't been into that kind of comics in years, but it destroyed the secondary market.

I am seeing a lot of this happening now, the same sorts of things. No-ship auctions are a gold mine for getting those SUPER HOTT TITLES for nickels. I have a copy of OMG OUT OF PRINT LQQK Blood Bowl Team Manager in an auction right now at a start price of $10 which hasn't gotten a single bid. (Some clown on Amazon wants $68.30 for it.)

As has been pointed out, you no longer need to wait a long time for something to plummet in price. The value collapse is already happening. It's just that there are still enough whales out there to fund shit on the front end to make the inevitable 60% discount not sting so bad.
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05 Feb 2019 14:22 #291557 by Jackwraith
Yep. I had personal experience with that comics implosion beyond the usual consumer state. Our studio got caught in it and we were the smallest of small fries. Even before Wetworks finally emerged, the Image stuff was doing a nose dive. I remember being at the Chicago ComicCon a week after Shadowhawk #1 and its five different covers was released. The $2 cover price comic was in the .25 bins. Eventually, the implosion forced Marvel and Valiant into bankruptcy, but the more important aspect on our end was that it forced Capital City into bankruptcy. They were the only major distribution competitor with Diamond. The latter then assumed unfettered control of the national market and began dictating terms to producers (i.e. you'll make X amount of profit for us or we won't carry you.) We couldn't meet those numbers and, thus, had no distribution and had to fold.
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05 Feb 2019 15:15 #291560 by cfmcdonald
There is such huge variance that it's hard to generalize. On the one hand there are plenty of games that were mediocre/poorly received/overprinted and are hard to give away. On the other hand there are highly demanded out-of-print items that go for many multiples of their original retail price (many Talisman 4th edition expansions, Advanced Squad Leader modules).

There really isn't a single market, each game is its own little sub-market.

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05 Feb 2019 15:26 #291562 by Jackwraith
Yeah, I'd agree that it's still very much a niche/collector's market. I would likely pay considerably more for a copy of SPI's Yeoman than most other inhabitants of this site because the nostalgia factor is worth it for me, for example. I'm still frustrated that I can't find just the damn Fox clan for Rising Sun because I don't want to pay $200 for a Daimyo box, but to others all the extra plastic (and the Fox clan) may be worth it. It doesn't mean that Rising Sun will or won't be considered a hallmark of anything but its own success.

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05 Feb 2019 17:15 #291570 by DukeofChutney
Agreed that the secondary market has collapsed for most product. I a game doesn't have hit/cult hit reputation and isn't in limited supply its value on ebay is 1/4 asking often.

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05 Feb 2019 17:20 #291572 by Michael Barnes
I’ve put new $50-$60 games that are barely out for two weeks on EBay for $20 with free shipping and they’ve not sold.

BGG is a little better for that, but not much. You still have like a two week window to get them sold.

But I could sell second hand copies of Scythe all day long.

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05 Feb 2019 19:26 #291584 by Erik Twice
There's no reason to.

I think gamers are a bit too keen on making comparisons with the 1984 American videogame console crash and the comic book speculative bubble of the 90s. There are not many similarities and no reason for concern.

The only thing that is happening is that games are becoming cheaper. Like videogames. Games are going to keep getting cheaper and cheaper because there's more and more of them and the market is more crowded. I mean, videogames are now free because hitting as many people as possible is the best bussiness model.

Consider that games in Germany are significantly cheaper than they are in the rest in the world. Prices can drop a lot.

The secondary market is so cheap because the people buying second hand are outnumbered by those buying every single "game of the moment" with no longevity or long-term appeal.
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06 Feb 2019 01:25 #291602 by Colorcrayons

Sagrilarus wrote: Interesting discussion to so far. Frankly, my question was more on the line of an en-masse "what the hell are we doing?" moment, where a significant enough portion of the consumer market just balks at the concept of purchase, in consideration of the large volume of games that are already available. The resulting drop isn't 30% or 50%, it's more like 90%. It's a landslide that happens on short notice, not a steady decline.


FOMO and burnout.

Will the industry keep promoting FOMO, so that they can eek out a sliver of another percentage?

For the most part, the industry agreed with the wisdom shouted by consumers that promotional items that affect gameplay are bad for everyone in the long run. So no longer pulling that helped quell any implosion.

But, there are other promotional kinks being used, such as limited supplies, etc. These bits of FOMO could feasibly cause a collapse if not careful. I think thats the one main danger the analog gaming industry faces is promoting FOMO so hard that a mass burnout occurs.

A good analogy is the video game industry and loot boxes. The industry isn't self regulating to keep kids safe from these predatory practices. In fact, Facebook had court documents unsealed very recently showing how the company was promoting "friendly fraud" (their words) to prey upon children and their parent's wallets.

Consumers get sick of it, and there seems to be a breaking point rapidly approaching for everyone prior to governments legislating the practice as gambling.
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06 Feb 2019 08:00 #291615 by n815e

If this is like other trendy things it is maybe 20%, and that means the liquidation of a lot of Kallax cubbies.


There seem to be an increasing number of collectors that don’t actually play.
At some point, they will lose interest, liquidate and move to something else to collect.
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06 Feb 2019 08:33 #291617 by Black Barney
No it can’t happen cuz there’s no centralized market that would register a massive sell off

The only danger would a new hobby emerges that completely replaces board games and does everything better. Say, a really cheap high tech table that can replicate any game for cheap and play it with more robust components.

So, no.
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06 Feb 2019 11:15 - 06 Feb 2019 11:22 #291647 by Jexik
Are board games really any different from most other goods? Like where you take your table or your car from the dealer and find out it's not worth much anymore and you'll have some trouble reselling it? Aside from the rare few that become collector's items, most things depreciate quickly, right?

I don't think the industry is on the verge of collapse. There are still plenty of people being introduced to games, people hoarding games, young people taking after their parents or aunts and uncles, etc.
Last edit: 06 Feb 2019 11:22 by Jexik.
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06 Feb 2019 12:50 #291668 by n815e
The industry did have something of a collapse in the past with many companies such as TSR, FASA, Avalon Hill folding.
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06 Feb 2019 12:55 #291671 by ThirstyMan
Yeah but that was 35 years ago.

Seems like a Golden Age right now so I see zero reasons for a collapse. I would not have said board gaming was at its height during the the collapse of AH etc

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06 Feb 2019 13:08 #291675 by Ken B.
There is danger for collapse because Asmodee has consolidated so much of the industry into one behemoth. Second hand value for anything but the absolute hottest games is trash. There is a glut of things on Kickstarter every day. People's shelves, if they're anything like mine, are stuffed and full. There's a lot of noise and too many entities desperate for you to hear their particular blend of it. "Check out my Kickstarter" is a ridicule-worthy meme now instead of a tantalizing appeal. FOMO isn't even working as it once did because no one has infinite cash to *not* miss out on at least something. And once you start missing a few things, and the world doesn't end, it becomes easier to miss a few more.
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