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odinsgrandson

Trends with Kickstarter Exclusives

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14 hours ago, etherial said:

Also KS1 Sophie was metal.

Also, she's a nightmare to put together. Seriously, every time I think about trying to put her together I get heartburn :angry:

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1 hour ago, redambrosia said:

Also, she's a nightmare to put together. Seriously, every time I think about trying to put her together I get heartburn :angry:

And this is why mine is still unopened.

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Is that a Sophie that I don't own?   

(I wasn't in on Bones I, or even II, and only got into III after the fact)

 

My opinion on exclusives...   

In games the exclusives should only be minor advantage, or possibly a fancier, more detailed item, not a 'game winner' or big advantage.  Giving out 'game winners' or similar is just going to annoy players that come late to a new game.    

(I wouldn't be surprised to see tournaments where they ban 'exclusives' from the games entirely)   

Oathsworn's Burrows and Badgers Kickstarters usually have an exclusive, cast in Resin. The last was a mole Monk, I think. 

Not exactly a gamechanger... They're just a cool bonus and their way of saying 'we love you all'. 

 

Boutique minis...    

Here I really don't understand what the project creators are thinking. 

They spend hours upon hours to create a marvellous piece of work, then they decide to limit the number to whoever few in the KS decide to buy it. On some they probably barely cover the cost of resin, the mold and the work doing the casting.  

 

Greebo's Legacy Vault?

This is barely better. There's this tiny sliver of hope that one day they'll cast another few to sell, and that if you missed it the first time, you may be lucky... some time in the future... if you find them at a con or something. 

 

 

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@Gadgetman! you probably don't have the ks1 Sophie, unless you went out and got her in eBay or something. She's scantily clad (or not clad at all, depending on the version) and riding a motorcycle. 

 

She looks awesome, but the connections at her wrists, and the way the bike fits together, makes putting it together a major pain. Like, I have a really great idea for mine, but I'm probably never going to do it.

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5 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

My opinion on exclusives...   

In games the exclusives should only be minor advantage, or possibly a fancier, more detailed item, not a 'game winner' or big advantage.  Giving out 'game winners' or similar is just going to annoy players that come late to a new game...

 

You have some good points from a customer standpoint.  Exclusives that unbalance players aren't cool (I have a different attitude about them in board games than in tabletop wargames).  But even with board games or video games, I honestly don't like exclusives because it means I can't recommend them to my friends.

 

But Cthulhu Death May Die actually got me considering the economics of exclusives.  I'm starting to see some sense to them.

Right from the start of DMD, CMON were selling a 2 foot tall Cthulhu (R'lyeh Rising) as an exclusive option- and from  the look of it, they didn't expect to sell anywhere close to the numbers that they actually sold.

And I'm pretty sure that Cthulhu couldn't exist in a retail model.  Because 2 foot tall minis just don't sell all that well.  (Viszeralyn was limited to 200 castings- absurdly low, but still available for years).

 

Combine that record, the price tag and shelf space, and I think you've got a recipe for a major retail flop.  But on Kickstarter, they sold over four THOUSAND of them (and it is clear that they were expecting a few hundred).  There's no way that would have happened in a retail model- and it would have been even worse after a Kickstarter.

 

 

 

But what about other gaming exclusives?  Well, I think a lot of those might not work well at retail as well.

Retailers are trying to min-max their stock, and expansions never sell as well as the core game.  When a kickstarter gets crazy huge, they usually go crazy with adding extra expansions.  It makes sense to limit the retail version to a few items that will fit nicely on the shelf.  Especially with a new game, without a proven sales record- because no retailer is going to dedicate a wall to a brand new game (although big online stores are another matter).

 

I'm not sure that most retailers want all of those expansions- except when they're actually exclusive because they can mark the price up.  But the question remains as to whether the existence of unavailable exclusives hurts game store sales.

Edited by odinsgrandson
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Part of me thinks that if exclusives pull more people into the hobby, it is a good thing.

 

Another part of me wonders why anyone buys a CMON game at retail with how much comes via stretch goals.

 

Yet another part of me is baffled at the way people behave quite frequently.

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I tend to think that exclusives should be small perks, but not ones that effect gameplay (if it is a game), and shouldn't be main characters usually. I like stuff like swag and fun items as exclusives. 

 

The Harry Potter thing by Knight Models (not a KS, although they considered it) is an example of exclusives gone wrong. If I recall correctly, friggin' Neville Longbottom and Voldemort were exclusives. Put some funny beasties in as exclusives, not beloved or infamous characters. 

 

Scale 75 does well with exclusives; an extra free plinth, PDF guides, extra minis that are of existing molds. 

 

Stickers? Do it. T-shirt? Yeah! Knick-knacks? Sure. Mini of a thing that doesn't effect gameplay? Go for it. Something that is highly tied to the group, or changes gameplay? NOPE. 

 

I considered that HP game until they pulled a bunch of elfpoop with exclusives; it was expensive, and I wasn't going to do the huge cash sink. The basic bundle didn't include beloved characters, so I decided against it - no potential of getting them later. 

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What do I think of exclusives?

 

In general, I loathe 'em.  I understand them, but I severely dislike them.  But, then again, it depends on the type of exclusive.  I'm "pretty OK" with game components that are slightly different than other game components (i.e. Bernard the Demon-Slayer in a slightly more butt-kicking pose, glow in the dark plastic, etc. than the regular release).  Not an alteration of stats, mind you, just a different pose.  Wyrd does this with some of their models during (I think) GenCon, and you can get the models if you make a big order from their site at that time, too.  Just different models for things that already exist.

 

Now, if Bernard the Demon-Slayer isn't available to the general public, has stats not generally available in the rest of the game, etc. I'm pretty firmly against it.  I see it as creating unnecessary "class" divisions in the community.  There will always be "haves" and "have nots," why go out of your way to create more? That I tend to end up in the "have not" group may color my outlook.  Tournament rewards that alter game play are also in this category--I won't touch a game that hands out exclusive characters, dice (special dice with different odds), etc. as tournament rewards.

 

I backed (late) for Monolith's Batman, and I'm mostly "OK" with that type of exclusive (the whole game being a KS exclusive)--because it looks like Monolith will make returns to the property (eventually).  So folks who missed won't necessarily have to pay the second-hand extortion prices.  Now, there's no guarantee that Monolith will come back to it, but that's life, too.  Sometimes really cool stuff doesn't last and you can't always control that.  But if the game does well and they retain the rights, you can be pretty sure that Monolith will try again in a year or two.

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Whenever I contemplate buying a cmon game instores, I remember the Ks exclusives and go nope. This is further exuberated by cmon having a yearly KS of their major franchises (zombicide and arcadia). 

 

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Well, now there are CMON games that never went to Kickstarter (even ones with cool minis in them).

But what about non-exclusive stuff that doesn't make it to retail?
 

I get everything that people are saying if you view it in the context of a game where each player builds their own set to play against one another (CCG or Tabletop Miniatures game) but I feel like it is a different matter for a board game where everyone plays with the same set.  It isn't a question of balance between the haves and have nots.  At that point, the existence of more content somewhere else doesn't necessarily diminish the game on the shelves.

If it is a question of whether these things should exist as exclusives or general releases, I'd always prefer that they be releases.  But if the question is whether they should be exclusives or not exist at all, I have to choose the former.

*by the way, I absolutely recommend non-Kickstarter Zombicide (especially Black Plague).  It is a much better balanced and streamlined game in comparison to the KS version.

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For a board game where everyone plays with the same set, it really depends on the product, if the exclusive expansion is so good that it increase the overall quality of the game I believe that it still should be possible to releases it to the wider public. The problem then occurs where in some KS the companies promise the exclusives as always being exclusive or just KS exclusives. This means that if they release it to the general public they will become liars and if they don't they are hurting the experience of those that did not get the exclusive. 

An example of an okay exclusive and a bad exclusive (acording to me) can both be seen in the Rising Sun KS.
 The exclusive monsters are okay due to the variaty allready in the base game (and expansions) and the small impact they have on the overall play. The better components are also okay, due to them not changing the gameplay. 
The fox clan is a bad exclusive, it takes away possible strategies and gameplay oportunities from every game board that doesn't have it. Sure it is minor but it offers players one extra choice and a completly different play style than any other clan.

 

This changes if one of the exclusive monsters is so much more fun to play with than the non-exclusive monsters, the exclusive then becomes bad.

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Existing in a limited form is, in general, better than not existing at all.  Limited forms may eventually become less limited forms, after all.  I was a faithful GW devotee for a number of years, and you could quite reasonably make the argument that some of the army lists, scenarios, and even whole games available in White Dwarf were exclusives of some sort (the purchase of the WD being your KS pledge equivilency, or something similar).

 

In many cases these saw eventual release as full games or rules compendiums, but not all of them.  Would I argue that those things should not exist?  No.  Although I think we were a little more "free" regarding our concern for intellectual property rights back then.  :ik_oops:

 

I think what needs to happen is a refinement of delivery vectors.  Stores have a hard time keeping up with games now.  Shelf space and store budgets are pretty limited.  I think we're going to see more and more companies move to the model that Monolith seems to be developing: limited, but repeatable, Kickstarters to fund development and printing on a semi-regular basis.  We might get to a point where the base game is available in stores, but expansions are available online through the company, or through "routine" Kickstarters.  It's not ideal, but might work.

 

As long as there are reasonable odds of future runs, I'm pretty good with it.  And it may be that companies need to adjust their outlook on how to go about things.  Instead of just "shelving" expansions after the KS runs out, run another Kickstarter (or other pre-order system) in a year to see if you can generate enough interest to have another batch printed.  Kickstarter exclusive items can remain Kickstarter exclusive through various campaigns (unless the company states that something is valid through this specific campaign only).

 

I guess I just don't see a reason for there to be an intentional shutting off of a potential revenue stream when the demand has been observed.  But stores and companies will have to adapt to the new Kickstarter landscape (just as they have done over the last few years when shops that offered food and playing space started off as rare, but have become pretty common).

 

Yes, this will hurt retailers somewhat.  However, as I think about it, this might simply be another time to revisit our expectations.  FFG's Star Wars: Imperial Assault, for example, has a basic set with a couple dozen miniatures and loads of counters.  Each expansion has a bunch of miniatures and more counters.  All those counters represent optional miniature purchases with the game still being perfectly playable without them.  It may be necessary for newer games to move to a similar format with some of the game components being "optional" in order to reduce the cost of the game as well as shrink the store footprint necessary (lessening the risk for the store to carry the product).  Sets of enhanced components could then be available for order or semi-routinely Kickstarted.

 

So, uh, yeah...still not real fond of "exclusives".  I would rather try for some sort of work-around.

 

And, if I've missed the point again, I apologize.  I feel like I "got it" this time, and that usually means I've done nothing of the sort.

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On 9/15/2018 at 1:19 AM, strawhat said:

 

I think what needs to happen is a refinement of delivery vectors.  Stores have a hard time keeping up with games now.  Shelf space and store budgets are pretty limited.  I think we're going to see more and more companies move to the model that Monolith seems to be developing: limited, but repeatable, Kickstarters to fund development and printing on a semi-regular basis.  We might get to a point where the base game is available in stores, but expansions are available online through the company, or through "routine" Kickstarters.  It's not ideal, but might work.

 

 

I would very much like to see that. Extras could be thrown into a kickstarter for free, but still be available to order directly from the company or another ordering source later. It does seem that some games have so many KS exclusives, or even non-exclusive add ons, that retail distribution becomes an obstacle. If game companies put the base games and expansions in shops and threw the bonus KS items that weren't suitable for distribution for sale online, it might be a nice middle ground. Some companies sell leftover KS exclusives at conventions already. 

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I think it's also important to realise that a lot of the stuff that's exclusive isn't the sort of thing that can just be produced in relatively small numbers, in house or by a local or at the very least national contractor (like a metal or resin mini), they're things that have to be produce in quite large minimum orders in big factories in other countries that are also servicing a whole number of other businesses, so you need to get hold of a production slot well in advance, guess right on the number of items you want, trust your supplier not to bump you for other more profitable/regular work etc

 

a good example is Monolith with their upcoming Claustrophobia 1664 campaign where they'd planned well in advance to actually get the order in, get production underway (at their own cost) and only then run the KS letting them deliver before Christmas this year. Now it's postponed till Feb as the manufacturer has just told them they can't fit the production run of the size they need (10,000) games in to the slot , and don't have another one until the new year despite this being arranged well in advance

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