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Subject: Why not have Kickstarter Exclusives? rss

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J M
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I for one like the freedom that crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter can offer those with the desire to see their ideas realized. While some mediocre stuff is created, other excellent products are brought to life.

Regarding board games, I am mystified to see why some people are upset at the idea of "Kickstarter Exclusives". I do somewhat understand being upset if you miss the opportunity to back a phenomenal game (I missed the Scythe kickstarter) and missing out on some extra items, but I don't understand why some would be so upset that they say they wouldn't purchase the game because of the fact exclusives were offered.

Why are some people so opposed to bonuses offered to those that outlay their money on Kickstarter (and help produce games that might not be produced)?
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Paul DeStefano
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Some people are completionists and need everything. It upsets them when they don't get it ALL.
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maf man
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because I believe its a bad business practice that has a negative effect on consumers in the small and large scale.
Your buying hype when buying a kickstarter project. To then say "hey you should pay more else you'll miss out on this extra good stuff" is asking the consumer to gamble more money. Your rewarding the risk takers not the consumers who want to look and see if its genuinely worth the money.
To get us to pay just so you dont miss out is an awful way for the market to go rather than getting us to pay for a proven game.

micro transactions have taken over video games and the gaming industry is worse for it. So I will do my part of not supporting these games and pray that I can find someone selling them after the fact. btw anyone got a copy of euphoria with the nice components?
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HenningK
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Kickstarter exclusives increase the artificial hype. You can either spend money on a game without being able to test it before, or you don't get everything there is, making you feel like a second-class customer.
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Rich Shipley
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atarilynx wrote:
Regarding board games, I am mystified to see why some people are upset at the idea of "Kickstarter Exclusives". I do somewhat understand being upset if you miss the opportunity to back a phenomenal game (I missed the Scythe kickstarter) and missing out on some extra items, but I don't understand why some would be so upset that they wouldn't purchase the game.


You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.

Personally, I think upgraded components and nice package deals are great things to offer KS backers. Deciding to not make certain gameplay elements available later seems like leaving money on the table. And someone doesn't have to be "upset" to make a decision based on their preferences.
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Cris Whetstone
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There's nothing wrong with KS exclusives. In fact, they can be a cool incentive if done right.

But people love to be indignant about things they won't get or won't pony up the money to own. It's just stuff after all. Alternate versions of stuff actually. People like to have stuff and complain about stuff so here we are.
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Sergio Perez
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When KS exclusives are cosmetic, like deluxe component upgrades, alternate art cards or alternate sculpt models and such, I don't necessarily mind missing out on them if the game itself is solid. Sure, they're nice, but how a game plays is what's most important to me. However, if a slew of KS exclusive content has a significant impact on how a game plays, I may pass on the release version of the game if I miss or don't back the KS. There are a handful of games I would not have purchased had I not been a KS backer (looking at you, CMoN), and there are some I didn't back that I won't purchase now because I missed out on so much gameplay affecting content (still looking at CMoN).
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Chris Stanton
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Some don't like spending money on a game that contains less than the same game bought the week before.
With so many possibilities for cosmetic KS exclusives, it seems silly to antagonise potential buyers by having gameplay exclusives.

Better components, full card art, alt art, foiled, playmat, t-shirts, even lower prices. All of these would be great KS exclusives, giving the backers something special but still allow someone to buy the full game later



Oh - and if anyone is looking for full KS versions, post-game I can recommend checking out The Game Steward
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J M
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rshipley wrote:


You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.

Personally, I think upgraded components and nice package deals are great things to offer KS backers. Deciding to not make certain gameplay elements available later seems like leaving money on the table. And someone doesn't have to be "upset" to make a decision based on their preferences.


I didn't mention anything about trying to change people's minds. You are making assumptions. Gamers are a particular bunch...I had a gamer friend get angry at me for months because I sold my Kickstarter copy of Above and Below! I just wanted to understand.

And yes, I think those creating Kickstarter campaigns need to somehow reward individuals for putting up money for a non-proven product. I am an investor, and I want to see a return on my investment. I want my money to be doing something.

That being said, I don't mind the bonus items being made available for purchase later on. Again, like Scythe did...I missed the kickstarter, but I could purchase items like the promo packs and coins later to add the extra value in the game, but for a cost.
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Julian Wasson
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There are three main reasons I'm aware of:

-People don't understand that there's no ethical consumption under late capitalism, and erroneously believe that their ideologically-motivated purchasing decisions will have a tangible effect on the behavior of the companies producing the things they buy. So they avoid backing or purchasing the game in a misguided attempt to change the behavior of these publishers.

-The KS exclusives add so much value that the purchase price is not worth it without it. I have passed on the retail version of a game because it was missing critical components that added enough variety or complexity to make the game worth it.

-Ill will generated by discrepancies between the retail version and the KS version can make you straight-up like a company less. After purchasing Xenoshyft and realizing that one of the coolest features was a KS exclusive that I will never be able to purchase (and would gladly have given them money for) CMON is in this camp for me. I treat everything they make with a heaping spoonful of suspicion because of this.

My personal issue with it is that it's stuff that I would gladly pay a little more for if it were available. Promo cards that offer in-jokes or small drops of variety are totally fair game. Those are primarily prestige items designed to be collectible, and are great fodder for exclusives.

But if you include basically a whole expansion and then refuse to sell it to me? Yeah, it's going to make me think less of you as a publisher, and that's going to influence what games I put my time and money into.
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Rich Shipley
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atarilynx wrote:
rshipley wrote:


You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.

Personally, I think upgraded components and nice package deals are great things to offer KS backers. Deciding to not make certain gameplay elements available later seems like leaving money on the table. And someone doesn't have to be "upset" to make a decision based on their preferences.


I didn't mention anything about trying to change people's minds. You are making assumptions. Gamers are a particular bunch...I had a gamer friend get angry at me for months because I sold my Kickstarter copy of Above and Below! I just wanted to understand.


Not assuming anything, just making my own point. The "you" was meant as general, not personal if that was the problem. Game producers make their decisions and potential customers make their own.

Quote:
And yes, I think those creating Kickstarter campaigns need to somehow reward individuals for putting up money for a non-proven product. I am an investor, and I want to see a return on my investment. I want my money to be doing something.


I don't think of it as an investment. To me, it is just another pre-order system. I expect to get a better price or more items for the same price in return for putting the money up-front, but something being exclusive does nothing for me.

Quote:
That being said, I don't mind the bonus items being made available for purchase later on. Again, like Scythe did...I missed the kickstarter, but I could purchase items like the promo packs and coins later to add the extra value in the game, but for a cost.


Then the items aren't exclusive. I doubt many people have a problem with that.
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Stuart Dunn
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What blows my mind is that people praise scalpers of KS exclusives for being smart and shrewd and turning a profit, but if a company changed their mind and made previous exclusives available to the masses (even if for a profit), these are the same people who would cry foul on the company for selling previous exclusives.

My solution for Kickstarter is lower price than MSRP and exclusives that are free to backers, but available a year later for a markup to people late to the game.
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Seamus O'Toole
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I might not back a game because of kickstarter exclusives, but it wouldn't be because I'm 'upset' at the designers / publishers for having exclusives.

There's a couple of reasons that they put me off a game.
Firstly I do most of my gaming in public locations, at meetups in pubs or at conventions. After a game, if it was fun, some of the other players occasionally inquire about the game so they can get their own copy (where did you get it, how much, etc). I find it awkward to then have to explain that half of the components aren't available anymore (on a brand new game that's barely hit the shelves).

Secondly there's the issue of balance.
Sometimes the KS exclusives are not properly balanced so the game actually plays better without them. Of course you can just remove them and play without them, but you have no way of knowing beforehand whether you should remove them. Maybe you misread them the first time and they aren't as bad as they seem? So you try them for your first couple of plays of the game to give it a chance. But it can be hard to get people to play a second game if their first experience is negative.
Of course, sometimes they are perfectly balanced with the rest of the game and just provide extra gameplay options, but then we're back to the first point again.

Thirdly, I find it to be an exploitative marketing tactic. It's preying on the customers fear of missing out on the whole game. I have in the past spent a silly amount of money on games, especially ccgs and wargames, but for the most part that was done gradually over time. Some kickstarters are asking me to drop a comparable amount of money in a single transaction or I will never be able to get the <whatever> again. If I played the game and really liked it, I may be willing to spend that on it. But I'm not going to before trying the game. So if there are a lot of add on exclusives, I would prefer not to get the game at all than to only get enough to whet my appetite for the rest, and know that I can never get the rest.

Of course, all of this is referring to gameplay effecting exclusives. If they're purely cosmetic it's normally ok.
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Matt Brown
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rshipley wrote:
You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.


I have yet to play a retail copy of a KS game which felt incomplete.
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Nicholas Palmer
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Small numbers of stuff added can basically add exponential more variety to a game.

Say a game has 5 characters and you play 4 each game. This means there is a total of 5 different combinations possible.

Now imagine the Kickstarter adds 2 characters.

Now there are 35 different combinations.

What if the game also has 2 head villains, giving you an option of choosing one or the other. That is 2 different combinations. Combined with the heroes, that is 10 different combinations in the setup.

But what if the kickstarter adds another villain. Now you have 3 options. Multiplied by the 35 combinations with the kickstarter characters, you now have 105 different combinations.

Basically your variety could be 10 combinations base game, 105 combinations KS, without much added.

And this is kind of how it goes.
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Nicholas Palmer
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matthean wrote:
rshipley wrote:
You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.


I have yet to play a retail copy of a KS game which felt incomplete.


I think Xenoshyft feels like it is missing something with the Heroes and Prototype items not in there.
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Touchfuzzy wrote:
I think Xenoshyft feels like it is missing something with the Heroes and Prototype items not in there.

Heroes break the game in a horribly untested sort of way and the prototype items don't surface enough in your deck (since you don't cycle often enough in this "hand-building" type of game). Don't feel like you are missing out
 
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Owen Edwards
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I kinda find it strange when people dismiss criticisms as "people love to complain!!!"; isn't that just different people loving to complain?

Fwiw, exclusive *content* is obviously problematic in terms of game functionality, and it sometimes ends up making retail versions disproportionately expensive without the bonus content.
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Julian Wasson
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Touchfuzzy wrote:
matthean wrote:
rshipley wrote:
You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.


I have yet to play a retail copy of a KS game which felt incomplete.


I think Xenoshyft feels like it is missing something with the Heroes and Prototype items not in there.


I wouldn't know I literally can't find a place to buy them.
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Rich Shipley
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matthean wrote:
rshipley wrote:
You aren't going to change what people decide to get upset about. But if there are people that won't buy a game later that they perceive as incomplete, then that should be factored into a company's plans.


I have yet to play a retail copy of a KS game which felt incomplete.


Me either, but if someone thinks a game is incomplete, then they might not even try it.
 
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Exclusives are acceptable ONLY if they are limited to bling that doesn't affect game play. Even then, it seems rather stupid to not offer them for sale later.
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Maxime Tremblay
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I'm a completionist person. If I buy a game, I want everything. I'm like that. Knowing that I can't get something because it's a kickstarter exclusive turn me off the game. Why? Because I can't get it in store or any legitimate way.

I'm ok with upgraded components, but let's say I'm missing a miniature, or some game changing card make me upset. I can't get it, I can't paint it, I can't play with it.
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Steven Davies
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The ptoblem is simply ine of perception. KS exclusives create this image of bsckers getting the true experience and retail customers getting the watered down version. Effectively people perceive KS exclusives as creating s 'cool kids club' and those who miss outperceive themselves as being thought of as less important or 2nd rate. Its easy to solve though, all exclusives are released as expansions available to everyone a few months later.
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Maxime Tremblay
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Steve Broadfoot wrote:
Its easy to solve though, all exclusives are released as expansions available to everyone a few months later.


I would be happy with that. Seriously, it's not having access to something that change a bit of gameplay that annoy me.
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Randall COBB
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I always get a kick out of the fact that we don't have the wailing and hand wringing about Essen or Gen Con promos, at least to anywhere near the same degree. I'm almost the opposite of the OP's question. NO KS exclusives? I may still back it, or I may avoid the hassle of the next 9-24 months and pick it up cheaper retail after the plethora of reviews are out and I know I am going to really like it. Why gamble on a purchase that will be the same a year from now in retail? whistle
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