Monolith Reveal Plans to Use Kickstarter as Store Front to Sell Claustrophobia 1643

Monolith Reveal Plans to Use Kickstarter as Store Front to Sell Claustrophobia 1643

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Monolith Claustrophobia

Monolith, creators of Conan, Batman: Gotham City Chronicles and Mythic Battles board games, has announced controversial plans to use Kickstarter as a store front. They plan to produce 10,000 copies of Claustrophobia 1643, ship them to distribution centers, and then sell them via Kickstarter. Monolith says, "Many of our supporters will be able to play and manipulate the final product even before the campaign and all will be delivered within the six weeks that follow."

The reasons stated for this new production and delivery model include, cost savings by eliminating the middlemen (distributers and stores), the gimmickry of stretch goals, and the decreasing numbers of new backers entering the Kickstarter market.

You can read their complete statement on their Facebook page (link provided above). 

Monolith Reveal Plans to Use Kickstarter as Store Front to Sell Claustrophobia 1643 There Will Be Games
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Posted: 20 Jun 2018 13:36 by ubarose #275851
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This is my favorite quote from the article:

The stretch-goal system is only a marketing gimmick:

We know it all the better because we do it ourselves. Today stretch-goals are already included in the campaign financing plan and serve only as an adjustment variable. They are stretched or limited according to the sums collected, but they are never "gifts" offered to the backers. Whatever its outcome, you will have more or less the same value in stretch-goals at the end of the campaign. We might as well be done with these marketing gimmicks and instead present a straightforward offer, improved by the value of these stretch-goals, from the start



This was also interesting:

Attracting new pledgers:

Everyone will have noticed that, campaign after campaign, the rate of new pledgers is dropping, to the extent of being ridiculously low today (often under 10%). This is due to the proportionally increasing number of "regulars", but also because the pool of new backers ready to pay more than a year in advance for a game with hypothetical qualities is drying up (while at the same time the number of new projects is exploding). If we want to return to higher rates (in other words bring new blood onto KS), we must attract a less "adventurous" population onto the platform, those who are ready to accept drastically reduced delivery dates and very little risk (of delay, non-compliance ...).



Posted: 20 Jun 2018 13:51 by WadeMonnig #275852
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A whole lot of honesty in the post and the follow up replies.
My take is "Preorder our game through KS. Not kickstarting, just kick selling"
Posted: 20 Jun 2018 14:50 by ChristopherMD #275858
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I find this interesting for both the game itself and their use of KS. Its almost like they read this website or at least we aren't as far out from reality as some people think. I never picked up the original Claustrophobia because I'm usually swimming in unplayed 2-player games but the 1643 setting is my cup of tea right now so who knows. Regardless of how this turns out I applaud them for stepping up and financing the release themselves since they have the money.
Posted: 20 Jun 2018 15:18 by jpat #275862
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So do we praise the honest knave or no?
Posted: 20 Jun 2018 18:54 by DarthJoJo #275869
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Does this work? I mean, this Kickstarter as storefront model is a marketing gimmick. They admit as much when they say they’re trying to attract new pledgers, and if it’s successful, there will be imitators. Then it’s not special anymore and doesn’t stand out on an already overcrowded platform. At that point, if you have the name recognition, you may as well just sell them from your own site and save the Kickstarter fees.

Wonder how the Batman backers will take it when Claustrophobia is out a year before their game.
Posted: 20 Jun 2018 19:51 by WadeMonnig #275873
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What I would think kickstarter would be perfect for but I haven't seen much of is premium versions of successful game. Giant Azul would seem to be the perfect fit.
Posted: 20 Jun 2018 20:41 by Michael Barnes #275875
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I thought I had a bunch of stuff to say about this but then I realized that it actually has absolutely no impact on my life.
Posted: 20 Jun 2018 21:35 by ubarose #275877
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I’m guessing the value of Kickstarter promotion/advertisement makes is worthwhile to use it as a store front. I guess we’ll see if it succeeds.

I read an article awhile back on how a really well established performer used Kickstarter to promote his live performances. They would sell posters through Kickstarter at breakeven cost to get “backers” for their tour. Then their ticket sales would go up significantly.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 00:03 by SuperflyTNT #275882
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This is awesome.

Kickstarter has always been a bespoke, boutique store anyhow, but if it shifts to selling items that are already produced, and you can see what you can reasonably expect to get...total win.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 00:05 by SuperflyTNT #275883
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Michael Barnes wrote:
I thought I had a bunch of stuff to say about this but then I realized that it actually has absolutely no impact on my life.

“Dear clown, until you pick up a rifle and defend the Constitution, or call every Congressperson WITH A PLAN to solve the issue, your social media frothing amounts to a child screaming at the North Star that their wish didn’t come true.”

This is my new answer to all questions that involve politics, or really, about anyone frothing about anything.

Worth noting that I’m on a TSA watchlist for letters I wrote comparing them to brownshirts.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 00:07 by SuperflyTNT #275884
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ubarose wrote:
I’m guessing the value of Kickstarter promotion/advertisement makes is worthwhile to use it as a store front. I guess we’ll see if it succeeds.

I read an article awhile back on how a really well established performer used Kickstarter to promote his live performances. They would sell posters through Kickstarter at breakeven cost to get “backers” for their tour. Then their ticket sales would go up significantly.

I think that Kickstarter is a legitimately excellent marketing platform. It saves publishers tons of money because the “Kickstarter industry” has gone in balls deep on reporting about every new KS project under the sun. It’s multi tiered and both vertically and horizontally integrated into almost every relevant media outlet.

It would be dumb NOT to leverage that.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 06:02 by drewcula #275892
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Surprise surprise.
Drewcula jumps into the fray to report, "I like Monolith games!"

I enjoy Conan.
Consequently, I feel confident I will enjoy Batman.
I enjoy Mythic Battles.

Both Conan and Mythic Battles have pretty solid rules, and I thoroughly jam on the "universes" they occupy. A few bits of crossover is nice too.
Additionally, I REALLY appreciate the components. I genuinely had a fun time painting the core set of Mythic Battles. I have no doubt I'll have fun painting more Conan, and eventually, Batman.

Years ago? I read Michael Barnes Claustrophobia review on Nohighscores. I respect MB's opinion, and I bought the game. God damn (literally. figuratively). What a fun game. MY WIFE WILL PLAY CLAUSTROPHOBIA.

So Monolith wants to take a swing at Hell Dorado? I'll venture that the miniatures will be fan-fucking-tastic.

It's safe to say that I'll be looking to grab one of these 5K US copies.

As far as Monolith's "experiment?" IDK. Pros and cons I guess. But my initial reaction is, "fascinating perspective." I don't know if it's completely honest or transparent, but it feels that way.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 06:42 by Colorcrayons #275897
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My interest lies in what is going on with Helldorado.

Are they making a legit go of it? This will be the fourth attempt at getting it to stick.

Or are they just concentrating on Claustrophobia, and the expansion of territory into hell?
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 06:56 by Sagrilarus #275898
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ubarose wrote:
I’m guessing the value of Kickstarter promotion/advertisement makes is worthwhile to use it as a store front.

Kickstarter IS a storefront, always has been, and it's one that gets a lot of traffic.

This is simply an excellent idea. The company has contracted out their ordering and payment system for a 10% fee. It scales with sales which reduces negative risk. They've indicated that they are going to focus on the rest of the development and publishing details in-house. This is what companies do -- they "focus on their core competencies" and subcontract out the stuff they aren't good at or don't want to deal with. They can sell directly to customers without worrying about building and maintaining a web presence.

This is Kickstarter's role in the boardgaming industry maturing, becoming more of an institution than a platform for mavericks.


So now everyone not doing the KS thing is looking at one of two sides --

1. minimum pricing via the traditional channel in order to "support local games stores and increase the perceived value of the product"; or

2. direct to consumer sales, "passing the savings on to you."

Option 2 now has big visibility and a marketing platform to carry it. If this gets traction with other publishers you'll see game stores in a world of hurt. They're pissed at Kickstarter already, this just drives the screw that much deeper into the wood.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 07:24 by Shellhead #275903
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Sagrilarus wrote:
So now everyone not doing the KS thing is looking at one of two sides --

1. minimum pricing via the traditional channel in order to "support local games stores and increase the perceived value of the product"; or

2. direct to consumer sales, "passing the savings on to you."

Option 2 now has big visibility and a marketing platform to carry it. If this gets traction with other publishers you'll see game stores in a world of hurt. They're pissed at Kickstarter already, this just drives the screw that much deeper into the wood.

Option 2 is fine for the Box Collectors who keep buying games without playing them.

Option 1 is important for people who actually play games, because local game stores are often the only public venue for local gaming.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 07:37 by Sagrilarus #275905
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Shellhead wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:
So now everyone not doing the KS thing is looking at one of two sides --

1. minimum pricing via the traditional channel in order to "support local games stores and increase the perceived value of the product"; or

2. direct to consumer sales, "passing the savings on to you."

Option 2 now has big visibility and a marketing platform to carry it. If this gets traction with other publishers you'll see game stores in a world of hurt. They're pissed at Kickstarter already, this just drives the screw that much deeper into the wood.

Option 2 is fine for the Box Collectors who keep buying games without playing them.

Option 1 is important for people who actually play games, because local game stores are often the only public venue for local gaming.


As it stands those are both academic points, because any particular title will only be available through one of the two options.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 08:58 by fightcitymayor #275918
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Sagrilarus wrote:
ubarose wrote:
I’m guessing the value of Kickstarter promotion/advertisement makes is worthwhile to use it as a store front.

Kickstarter IS a storefront, always has been, and it's one that gets a lot of traffic.
Christ on a crutch, long ago I lost count of how much virtual internet feces was thrown at me over the years (at a certain bg site that shall not be named) for DARING to say that: Kickstarter IS a store! Holy ballz, you would have thought I was a flat-earther with the amount of opprobrium leveled at me for my transgressions against the TAKE MY MONEY gif. I so hate boardgamers.

But srsly, why has no one started an honest Kickstarter-for-boardgames site where no one lies about "oh this definitely isn't a store!" and no one lies about stretch goals ("another $10k and we include a box!") and no one lies about how they totally have no idea how many minis will be in the final KS package, and no one lies about their "project" being totally about "the backers." Howzabout an honest KS site without the transparent lying? Too much to ask?
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 09:32 by ChristopherMD #275923
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Meanwhile, Petersen Games is thinking about doing a KS where the only reward is a discount on their next KS. Because they've overextended themselves on KS's and need money now.

Posted: 21 Jun 2018 09:53 by Shellhead #275927
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Goddamit, Sandy Peterson masterminded one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time. How in the hell could PG be overextended when they are collecting the money for these games up front? Normal game publishers seem to find a way to make the games first and then sell them. Anybody who contributes to a Kicksucker just so they can get a discount on a later one is gambling at this point.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 09:55 by Shellhead #275928
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Sagrilarus wrote:
Shellhead wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:
So now everyone not doing the KS thing is looking at one of two sides --

1. minimum pricing via the traditional channel in order to "support local games stores and increase the perceived value of the product"; or

2. direct to consumer sales, "passing the savings on to you."

Option 2 now has big visibility and a marketing platform to carry it. If this gets traction with other publishers you'll see game stores in a world of hurt. They're pissed at Kickstarter already, this just drives the screw that much deeper into the wood.

Option 2 is fine for the Box Collectors who keep buying games without playing them.

Option 1 is important for people who actually play games, because local game stores are often the only public venue for local gaming.


As it stands those are both academic points, because any particular title will only be available through one of the two options.

Academic from the standpoint of the publisher. The distinction should be extremely important to customers, if they want to play the games they are buying.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 10:35 by drewcula #275932
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Oh my. Arthur Petersen's PR thought/solution/problem sounds horrifying.

IMO, Cthulhu Wars was lighting in a bottle. I got "lucky" to buy a small room worth of content during it's SECOND KS. A reprint with some token new bits. Because I have some mental baggage, I bought into their THIRD KS. Again, a reprint. And again, with some token new bits. It seems to be the law of diminishing returns.

CW is great, but I can't say any other title from Petersen games has really grabbed me.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 10:49 by fightcitymayor #275933
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drewcula wrote:
IMO, Cthulhu Wars was lighting in a bottle. I got "lucky" to buy a small room worth of content during it's SECOND KS. A reprint with some token new bits. Because I have some mental baggage, I bought into their THIRD KS. Again, a reprint. And again, with some token new bits. It seems to be the law of diminishing returns.
Yo dawg, I heard you like buying the same game three times via Kickstarter, so I started a Kickstarter to fund my next Kickstarter because I'm outta money from my last Kickstarter.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 10:50 by Not Sure #275934
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Shellhead wrote:
Goddamit, Sandy Peterson masterminded one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time. How in the hell could PG be overextended when they are collecting the money for these games up front? Normal game publishers seem to find a way to make the games first and then sell them. Anybody who contributes to a Kicksucker just so they can get a discount on a later one is gambling at this point.

Holy shit. They appear to have just invented the boardgame derivatives market. This will end poorly.

What a fucking joke.

"Our KS campaign only collected $500k, so now we have to make and sell the game at a loss..." Did someone not explain the notion of margin there?

KS is supposed to insulate the producers from this sort of shit, by giving you the money up front to produce the product. If you needed one meeeellion dollars to make it viable (suspend disbelief for a moment), that is what you set the target at.

At least they're making giant monster games and not economic simulations.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 11:20 by Gregarius #275936
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Interesting, but I can't really say I care all that much. A couple of questions, though:

1) Isn't this essentially what Queen Games has been doing for a couple of years?

2) Does Kickstarter have any say about how a company uses their site?

Realistically, I'm sure that as long as they get their 10% they don't care. But they do have a "market brand" of helping fund the little guys that the industry ignores. This doesn't really seem to fit in with that. On the other hand, when there was blowback against Zach Braff for funding his movie, all the antagonism went to him, not KS.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 12:13 by jpat #275945
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It'd seem like, at the least, Arthur's proposal would be stretching the limit because the only way to verify whether the project had ever been fulfilled would be when an entirely separate project had fulfilled.

The "goal" for Planet Apocalypse, which I've never heard of (not that that matters, but I backed CW OS2) was $100k, for what it's worth.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 14:14 by Colorcrayons #275956
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Gregarius wrote:
Interesting, but I can't really say I care all that much. A couple of questions, though:

1) Isn't this essentially what Queen Games has been doing for a couple of years?

2) Does Kickstarter have any say about how a company uses their site?

Realistically, I'm sure that as long as they get their 10% they don't care. But they do have a "market brand" of helping fund the little guys that the industry ignores. This doesn't really seem to fit in with that. On the other hand, when there was blowback against Zach Braff for funding his movie, all the antagonism went to him, not KS.

You would think KS cares about what the brand is, but I think it comes down to that cold hard 10%.

I'm sure they'll care at some point when the blowback reaches critical pressure, and KS can afford to snub their noses at those wishing to use their service as a preorder.
Posted: 21 Jun 2018 16:52 by Sagrilarus #275965
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Colorcrayons wrote:
Gregarius wrote:
Interesting, but I can't really say I care all that much. A couple of questions, though:

1) Isn't this essentially what Queen Games has been doing for a couple of years?

2) Does Kickstarter have any say about how a company uses their site?

Realistically, I'm sure that as long as they get their 10% they don't care. But they do have a "market brand" of helping fund the little guys that the industry ignores. This doesn't really seem to fit in with that. On the other hand, when there was blowback against Zach Braff for funding his movie, all the antagonism went to him, not KS.

You would think KS cares about what the brand is, but I think it comes down to that cold hard 10%.

I'm sure they'll care at some point when the blowback reaches critical pressure, and KS can afford to snub their noses at those wishing to use their service as a preorder.

You're assuming the owners didn't have a meeting where someone said "fuck the dreamers." This may be in their business plan now.