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Subject: Kickstarter Study rss

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Carsten Bohne
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zurn wrote:
I would think that the primary advantage of buying from an FLGS vs Kickstarter is that you know you will get the game, vs there being a small chance of getting nothing at all.

The report says 9% non-delivery overall. I'll bet it's lower for board games given that they're easier to produce than most things, barring epic licensing fails.


It appears to be difficult enough to price correctly, source components correctly, consider shipping correctly, not getting carried away with promises of lots of stretch goals...
The campaigns that are fairly sure to deliver are by those companies that won't need KS in the first place because they already are established businesses.

Of course The Gallerist would have been produced without Kickstarter. Perhaps it'd have different components and wasn't that overproduced, but a good game will find a publisher. That's what games publishers have always been there for. KS only opened a way for basement publishers to produce _their_ dream game without going through a publisher's development process first. And to be honest, quite a few games are worse for that.
 
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Rich Keiser
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Not all good games find publishers, because not all publishers can publish all games. Publishers have a finite throughput, so the assumption that just because established publishers publish, they will automatically publish any good game is a falsehood.

dasher47051 wrote:
zurn wrote:
I would think that the primary advantage of buying from an FLGS vs Kickstarter is that you know you will get the game, vs there being a small chance of getting nothing at all.

The report says 9% non-delivery overall. I'll bet it's lower for board games given that they're easier to produce than most things, barring epic licensing fails.


It appears to be difficult enough to price correctly, source components correctly, consider shipping correctly, not getting carried away with promises of lots of stretch goals...
The campaigns that are fairly sure to deliver are by those companies that won't need KS in the first place because they already are established businesses.

Of course The Gallerist would have been produced without Kickstarter. Perhaps it'd have different components and wasn't that overproduced, but a good game will find a publisher. That's what games publishers have always been there for. KS only opened a way for basement publishers to produce _their_ dream game without going through a publisher's development process first. And to be honest, quite a few games are worse for that.
 
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J.L. Robert
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For the start-up, Kickstarter is an opportunity to establish a presence in their market.

For the established business, it's a means to cut out middle-men and increase their profits for products that they could easily produce on their own by selling direct to end users at near-full retail instead of wholesale costs.

For the retailer, it is nothing but lose. Fewer potential customers, as they would have obtained them through Kickstarter, a phenomenom that is increasingly worse with larger, more successful KS campaigns (more units sold = fewer units in demand at the retail level).

For the consumer, it shifts the financial burden of risk from the publisher directly onto us, with both the publisher and the facilitator (Kickstarter) laughing all the way to the bank.

Pick your sides, everyone!
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A few things come to mind:

* This is 9% across all Kickstarter projects. The Games category has a little over 10% failure rate.

* The study doesn't differentiate between Kickstarter Projects because it's a sample response of 500,000 backers.

* The market DOES self-correct with only 19% of respondents saying they'd back another project from the owner of a failed project.

Ultimately, YOUR relative success as a backer has everything to do with YOU and not with the project.

I backed Up Front... I KNEW ahead of time that it was shady, but I was willing to put up $100 in case it did fly. I had PLENTY of time to back out.

I've backed 21 projects in the last 2 years and only had 1 fail to deliver (Up Front).

These were games I wanted, researched the project creator, and then made a determination knowing the potential risk involved. There are simply some people who will find that process objectionable for a variety of reasons and won't participate. No matter how loudly they beat their drums about the risk and danger of Kickstarter ... it's not going to make me (or others who have had similar success) stop backing projects.

The fact is, Kickstarter is here to stay because of what it offers to creators and backers. I like it as an alternate higher risk/reward marketplace. I couldn't care less if a game delivers on time if the extra time makes sure that it's right when it arrives at my doorstep.

The survey is really incomplete without looking at differentiating factors that contribute to success or failure. THAT kind of survey provides potential backers the opportunity to see what they're getting into based on a broad swath of prior projects.
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Confusion Under Fire
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eddy_sterckx wrote:


I know and given that 213 games of mine have moved on to a better place in the last 4 years this suggests that :


...it is better to of bought and sold than to of never bought at all.
 
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Steven
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rstites25 wrote:
blockhead wrote:
More fodder for the occasional "Kickstarter is a fraud / is not" discussions

https://www.kickstarter.com/fulfillment?ref=hero

No word on University Of Pennsylvania weighing in on what is a wargame...


Kickstarter is a means to raise capital for projects. Kickstarter/crowdfunding is no more a fraud than stocks/bonds/loans or any other more traditional means of raising capital is a "fraud." Are there projects on KS that are frauds? Sure, just as many other "investments" are frauds.


Please stop using reason. This is the Internet, for Pete's sake!
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Steven
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Quote:
When I walk into my FLGS and buy a game I have a 0% failure rate.


Setting aside the projects on KS which actually are using it to guarantee initial funding for the production of games which they might not otherwise be able to assemble (i.e., as the site was more or less originally envisioned), one advantage of backing a game project is a lower cost for, and earlier receipt of, a game than would be possible in most FLGS (not to mention the occasional KS-exclusive bits). For some — such as myself — that can be worth a non-zero risk of failure.

For example, I invested in the Up Front project, well aware of the possibility that I might never receive a mote of a game in return. But I weighed the risks and the money I was putting down, and decided that personally it was worth it. If the game was produced and I were to later buy it from a FLGS rather than pledging, I may have taken on a 0% risk, but I also would have certainly paid a lot more money.

Additionally, backing a project can be a [albeit nominal] vote of confidence for a game. I also backed The Gallerist. Not only did I get the game for 25% off the MSRP and weeks earlier than it was in store, but my pledge also voiced my excitement and interest in the game (and similar games) to both the publisher and the community at large even while the game was still in production. And it also gives me a sense of affiliation and ownership that I'm just not going to get when buying from FLGS. And often with KS, these are the more important aspects to me.

I see these latter aspects being akin to getting a membership to a museum or a subscription to the opera, for example. Sure, I can pay roughly the same amount by purchasing tickets as desired throughout the year (or in the case of some museums, such as the Cleveland Museum of Art or the Met, you by definition overpay with a membership, since admission is free/pay-as-you-wish), but the membership signals support for the cause and a desire to see the project succeed.

(And, of course, a similar sense of patronage can also be part of the reason one is willing to pay MSRP, plus tax, at a FLGS when one could easily get the same game from an online retailer at a 30% discount.)
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Judd Vance
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I can tell this is going down the same "Kickstarter sucks" endless loop, so since I'm drawn in like Captain Picard's ship in that Star Trek episode and I can't understand what Data's references to the number 3 mean, I'll add my 2 cents.

I don't mind it. The trick is to find a company you trust or ask yourself what you are willing to risk. I'm a big fan of Worthington. That is a couple of guys with normal jobs running a side business making product for a niche market as a hobby that will gain them neither fame nor fortune. They are one bad investment from going under and packing up shop and to me, that would be tragic. So I backed these games from them:

New York 1776
Trenton 1776
Holdfast: Korea
Wilderness Empires
Band of Brothers 3-pack
Civil War 3-pack

In addition, I backed:
MMP: Lincoln's War
Knight Works: Hands in the Sea
Stratomax: Airborne Commander

Most Worthington projects get about 200-230 backers per project. That tells you there is not a lot of room for error when trying to predict demand (if it were easy to predict, why didn't GMT predict Churchill's rabid popularity?) This fall, Worthington tried to release a zombie/meeple game and it was a complete bust. After about 3 days, you could tell there was almost no interest in the game and they killed the KS project. Had they published the game the traditional way, maybe they lose their shirts, and go out of business. So I am alright with them using it as a way to measure demand and prevent a bomb. Yeah, they give away 10% of the profits, but it assures them a profit.

I know if I wait, I could buy some $60 game from Coolstuff for $35, but I want to see the game and my personal tolerance says the $60 price point is acceptable. I'm pretty sure if not for Kickstarter, Lincoln's War would have never happened, as it lingered on P-500 for years. That's what I think of when I consider backing these projects. And before somebody wastes time bringing it up, yes the final product had development issues, but that is not Kickstarter's fault, nor do I blame MMP for putting it out on Kickstarter. I have seen underdeveloped games come out of the normal channels. If MMP put Shifting Sands reprint on Kickstarter, you know the game is fully developed, and that would be a safe bet for the user. Also, I know Hands in the Sea wasn't underdeveloped. I have the Vassal logs and back and forth e-mails to prove it.

As far as delivering on time, it has been hit and miss. Holdfast was on my doorstep 4 weeks after my credit card was hit. That was faster than the time between charge and delivery for the U.S. Civil War, so... winning.

Airborne Commander was in my mailbox exactly when they said.

Trenton 1776 was delayed 2 weeks only because I (yeah, I'm at fault) came up with a really cool stretch goal that they decided to implement.
It was in my mailbox 5 weeks after my CC was hit.

Band of Brothers, Civil War, Hands in the Sea all have about a 2 month delay. Printers don't give priority to a couple of hundred orders when a big customer comes a' calling. Such is life when one's favorite hobby is as niche as ours. Wilderness Empires was about 10 months overdue. I wasn't surprised because when a couple of guys want to do business with China, timelines go out the window. I work for a multi-billion company and we wait 9 weeks to get product from there. Live and Learn.

I know a 10 month or even a 2 month delay gets some folks worked up. If so, you are really in the wrong hobby. This is a niche market with folks putting out games because they love the hobby. If they wanted to get rich, this isn't the market to be in. I'm glad they provide the service.

If you are worried about getting burned, think about who you do business with. For me it was:

MMP: giant in the industry.
Worthington: they've been at this for 11 years. I can't imagine them taking the $15,000 they got from Holdfast: Korea and making a run for the border.
Knight Works: Don had ran successful Kickstarter campaigns. You could tell by his communication during the campaign that he's on top of the business end of things, checking with his suppliers on price and availability of each stretch goal, instead of making cool promises that would be popular.
Stratomax (Airborne Commander): They were my biggest concern. They did have successful KS campaigns and ultimately, I decided I would risk $32. Had it been $60, that was too steep for my risk tolerance, and ultimately, that's what it is all about: how much are willing to risk and do you trust who you are doing business with?

I did pass up on a KS campaign (not going to say the name) and I wrote the guy who ran it and told him I had concerns based on the following comments on his already published games and gave him links. He explained his side, but not well enough to make me feel comfortable to back the game, but he did appreciate that I shared my concerns rather than pass in silence, so he would know what issues to address in the future.

That's all I have to say about that. Now, if you don't mind, I'm trying to figure out why Data dealt me 3 Kings in this poker game.
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Samy
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airjudden wrote:
Now, if you don't mind, I'm trying to figure out why Data dealt me 3 Kings in this poker game.

Naw man, explosions are fun.
 
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airjudden wrote:

If you are worried about getting burned, think about who you do business with. For me it was:

MMP: giant in the industry.


Giant clearly not referring to their staff which is microscopic. Furthering your point about this being a niche industry!

airjudden wrote:
Worthington: they've been at this for 11 years. I can't imagine them taking the $15,000 they got from Holdfast: Korea and making a run for the border.


Again, this is a company where the e-mails you get are tangible proof of the love they have for what they're doing.
 
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Greg S
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Yes, I was burned by the thing known as Up Front KS Edition. But it still doesn't put me off of KS.

Back then I knew very little of the dynamics of KS, and now I think we are ALL older and wiser.

I look at it this way: Years ago I picked up a copy of Home Before the Leaves Fall: The Marne Campaign 1914. Once I got it home and unwrapped, it quickly became clear that it was not my cup of tea (I have since come to appreciate many things about the game, so if it is YOUR favorite don't take this as a criticism). Okay, I plunked down around $100 for it and wound up with something that I would never play, and that was either given away later or sold at a loss. In short, it was a case of not being a smart consumer.

It's the same with KS. Now, with all this water under the bridge since the UF debacle, I am a smarter consumer. I know my pain thresholds, and I know who can be trusted. I've had numerous excellent experiences with KS outside of the one dud of UF.

So, I look at it for what it is - a way to get a game produced that is at the disposal of game companies. Many, if not most, of the games I pledged for on KS would probably have been produced without using it, but we probably would have had to wait a bit longer for them or they wouldn't have had quite so much in them (those stretch goals do tend to bloat many games, for good or bad).

I'll continue to pledge on KS, and to buy in the more traditional way. But I now know so much more about the system. Live and learn.
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Judd Vance
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zurn wrote:
airjudden wrote:
Now, if you don't mind, I'm trying to figure out why Data dealt me 3 Kings in this poker game.

Naw man, explosions are fun.


Fun fact: the captain of the ship that collided with the Enterprise was captained by Kelsey Grammar, a.k.a. Frasier Crane from Cheers and his own successful sitcom.

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