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× Talk about whatever you like related to games that doesn't fit anywhere else.

All Kolossal and Maple Games Kickstarters shut down

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25 Apr 2019 11:23 #296054 by ubarose
@Sag

You can hire people who specialize in Kickstarter bookkeeping and taxes.

You can hire an agency to be the "Front Man" to put together your slick campaign page, who will sub-contract out the videos, design your graphics, and handle your advertising, social media campaign and email campaign.

If you want to save some money and do it yourself, you can just hire a Kickstarter consultant.

These campaigns are carefully planed out a year in advance, starting with gathering social media followers, fans and mailing lists. There is a lot of upfront money involved for these type of campaigns. And it is all pretty damn professional.

As I said earlier, a publisher can pull together a Fantasy Flight sized organization on a project by project basis if they want to.

Despite the fact that all these startup publishers are competing with each other, behind the scenes there is actually a lot of cooperation, mentoring and support for each other. In fact I'm going to a mini-Unpub type thing next week - a weekend of designers and small publishers demoing, play testing and giving each other feedback on prototypes.
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25 Apr 2019 11:26 #296055 by Sagrilarus

Vysetron wrote: Sometimes neat things come out of that. Usually not. But sometimes.


And I'm fine with that. Ignore the junk, play the gold. I'm just curious about what is not getting attention, gold that remains on the shelf that would be discovered by an individual that has an eye for interesting things that don't sell well in a 30 second blurb. Kickstarter ain't what Z-Man was fifteen years back. It can't be, not its nature.

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25 Apr 2019 11:29 #296056 by cdennett
Regarding taxes, I do think you'll start to see more visibility into that in the near future, at least regarding sales tax. For instance, Petersen Games is now charging sales tax on all of their products based on what you are paying for them. I think this has more to do with the US finally deciding they need to end the era of "no sales tax on internet purchases" because no one is going to go and pay the use tax to their local state. You see it with Amazon proper (though probably because they have business hubs in every state), and I keep waiting for it to be site wide. I think it's pretty clear if you're exchanging money for a product, even if you call it "backing" or "investing," it's ultimately a purchase.

As far as Kickstarter vs. traditionally published games, I think people are romanticizing publisher games. Yeah, KS has produced loads more dreck then standard publishing in both quantity and percentage, but publishers also put out some really awful and forgettable games, even with all of their experience and editorial control. I guess you can make the argument only they suffer, not some poor saps that pre-ordered it via KS.

Kickstarter, at the very least, has shook up the industry, and I think that's a good thing. I'd rather have to wade through the sea of crap games to find the few gems, rather than being stuck choosing between Buffy Catan and Firefly Munchkin.
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25 Apr 2019 11:37 #296058 by Sagrilarus

ubarose wrote: @Sag

You can hire people who specialize in Kickstarter bookkeeping and taxes.

You can hire an agency to be the "Front Man" to put together your slick campaign page, who will sub-contract out the videos, design your graphics, and handle your advertising, social media campaign and email campaign.

If you want to save some money and do it yourself, you can just hire a Kickstarter consultant.

These campaigns are carefully planed out a year in advance, starting with gathering social media followers, fans and mailing lists. There is a lot of upfront money involved for these type of campaigns. And it is all pretty damn professional.

As I said earlier, a publisher can pull together a Fantasy Flight sized organization on a project by project basis if they want to.

Despite the fact that all these startup publishers are competing with each other, behind the scenes there is actually a lot of cooperation, mentoring and support for each other. In fact I'm going to a mini-Unpub type thing next week - a weekend of designers and small publishers demoing, play testing and giving each other feedback on prototypes.


I get what you're saying, they're matrixing the project. But you kept using the word "hire" up there, which means you still have up-front costs. They just aren't paying for printing the actual game.

What I am taking away from this (and I have about the worst seat in the house) is that "small" projects are likely to get overshadowed by the bigger PR productions. I'm not sure that's much different than 2005 when self-publishers did their own PR on a nascent BGG, competing with the likes of Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight.

Can you spitball how much it costs for tax management, video services, graphics, sales & marketing, etc. for a basic euro campaign on kickstarter?

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25 Apr 2019 11:47 #296060 by Shellhead

Sagrilarus wrote: By the way, not meaning to flood the thread, but does anyone know if there are tax implications to the whole "support" vs "purchase" part of this PR pitch from Kickstarter? I haven't been closely related to a campaign, and I'm curious what the local jurisdictions think of the $250,000 that just showed up in your bank account, money that presumably is not associated with a sale when no product has been delivered in return. Is the reason for the careful tailoring of language an effort to put that revenue into a different line of peoples' tax forms?

From Kickstarter -- "In general, in the US, funds raised on Kickstarter are considered income. In general, a creator can offset the income from their Kickstarter project with deductible expenses that are related to the project and accounted for in the same tax year."

So, bumping your annual income up by half a million dollars in a given year and not having significant expenses to bill against it makes things a little more interesting. That could mean a third of all revenue is lost if you can't pay up front for services associated with delivery in the next calendar year.


It's standard accounting practice to match revenues with related expenses, in terms of timing. So let's say that your Kickstarter is successfully funded to the tune of $50,000 in late 2019, but the actual production and shipping costs don't happen until 2020, when the games get made and shipped out to funders. You would book the revenue in 2019 as unearned revenue (debit Cash, credit Unearned Revenue). In 2020, you would book the production and shipping expenses as they happen (debit Cost of Goods sold, debit Shipping expense, credit Cash). And also in 2020, you would recognize the revenue from 2019 as finally earned (debit Unearned Revenue, credit Revenue). You would still need to report the initial marketing expenses in 2019 and show a loss to offset against any other income you might have (like your regular day job). Aside from the marketing expenses, you would be able to offset all that revenue with your production and shipping costs, despite the timing difference.
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25 Apr 2019 12:21 #296062 by Space Ghost

Sagrilarus wrote:

Vysetron wrote: Sometimes neat things come out of that. Usually not. But sometimes.


And I'm fine with that. Ignore the junk, play the gold. I'm just curious about what is not getting attention, gold that remains on the shelf that would be discovered by an individual that has an eye for interesting things that don't sell well in a 30 second blurb. Kickstarter ain't what Z-Man was fifteen years back. It can't be, not its nature.


That's impossible to even hazard a guess at, right? I think speculating that these popular titles would have been picked up is to conflated with confirmation bias to be worthwhile. And, with the existence of kickstarter, not much languishes on the shelf. But, it has to be a non-zero value, just due to the seemingly infinite capacity of kickstarter.

Perhaps someone knows of a game that languished in development until kickstarter came into being? that would at least give anecdotal evidence.

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25 Apr 2019 12:34 #296067 by Shellhead
By the mid-2000s, FFG was no longer accepting game submissions from game designers unless they had previously designed a published game. It's possible that other publishers had a similar policy at the time because there were so many aspiring game designers at that time.

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25 Apr 2019 12:48 #296071 by hotseatgames
I could look for myself, but did Kolossal's projects ever get turned back on?

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25 Apr 2019 13:05 #296077 by charlest

hotseatgames wrote: I could look for myself, but did Kolossal's projects ever get turned back on?


From what I've heard, Kickstarter has never reversed a suspension. I think they're still trying to work with Kickstarter to figure out how to avoid this in the future. They would need to run new campaigns for these games if they're allowed to.
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25 Apr 2019 13:19 #296082 by ubarose

Sagrilarus wrote:

ubarose wrote: @Sag

You can hire people who specialize in Kickstarter bookkeeping and taxes.

You can hire an agency to be the "Front Man" to put together your slick campaign page, who will sub-contract out the videos, design your graphics, and handle your advertising, social media campaign and email campaign.

If you want to save some money and do it yourself, you can just hire a Kickstarter consultant.

These campaigns are carefully planed out a year in advance, starting with gathering social media followers, fans and mailing lists. There is a lot of upfront money involved for these type of campaigns. And it is all pretty damn professional.

As I said earlier, a publisher can pull together a Fantasy Flight sized organization on a project by project basis if they want to.

Despite the fact that all these startup publishers are competing with each other, behind the scenes there is actually a lot of cooperation, mentoring and support for each other. In fact I'm going to a mini-Unpub type thing next week - a weekend of designers and small publishers demoing, play testing and giving each other feedback on prototypes.


I get what you're saying, they're matrixing the project. But you kept using the word "hire" up there, which means you still have up-front costs. They just aren't paying for printing the actual game.

What I am taking away from this (and I have about the worst seat in the house) is that "small" projects are likely to get overshadowed by the bigger PR productions. I'm not sure that's much different than 2005 when self-publishers did their own PR on a nascent BGG, competing with the likes of Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight.

Can you spitball how much it costs for tax management, video services, graphics, sales & marketing, etc. for a basic euro campaign on kickstarter?


Yes, there are upfront costs. But it means that small publishers can compete on a level with the likes of Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight. People keep bemoaning that there is no longer any editorial control, but I contend there is as much if not more editorial control happening with these start-up publishers using the Kickstarter model. Team members can focus on what they do best, so what gets produced is overall a higher quality product (how many conversations have we had here about the horrendous illustrations, box art and graphic design of Z-Man, Stronghold and Eagle Games - because they don't have art directors or a good eye). They aren't just throwing up half-assed game designs hoping they fly. The up front costs of a campaign are too high. And they aren't going to take the money and run, because they are trying to establish and sustain a publishing company.

There are still the one-shot self publishers trying to use Kickstarter. In fact much of Kickstarter are low rent campaigns. But designers with talent are hooking up with these small start-up publishers, rather than go it alone. There are even Designer Agents who scout out talent and connect them with suitable publishers for a percentage.

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