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Arcadia Quest» Forums » General

Subject: Too Many Kickstarter Exclusives? rss

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Eric B
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No, it's the perfect amount!
1. Yes, it's too many!
Yes
2. No, it's the perfect amount!
No
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Poll created by deathleech
I am sure this has been brought up before, but I think it warrants another discussion. Does Arcadia Quest have too many KS exclusives?

I took the character roster phildinius created and added the rest of the Arcadia Quest: Inferno heroes to it:



As you can see from the grayed out ones, over half of the available characters in Arcadia Quest are KS exclusives. Of the 104 heroes, 58 are exclusive (sorry if I missed any or labeled them wrong, just getting into AQ). This doesn't include any from Masmorra which further skews the numbers. This means those exclusives are unavailable to most people unless they pay ridiculous prices for them on the second hand market. Some minis are going for over $50 a piece and the KS AQ version can run you several hundred dollars.

While I am all for Kickstarter exclusives to help people get excited for the game and give them a bonus for funding it, doesn't this hurt companies like CMON in the long run? I know several people have mentioned not even wanting to get into AQ because they would feel like they are missing a huge chunk of the game if they bought it now. I feel the same way and it's really turned me off. I know you can print most of the exclusive cards yourself, but having no official minis or cards available for them is a real downer.

Furthermore Cool Mini or Not already has as decent investment into these exclusives. They have invested the time to make the sculpts, create the characters flavor text and abilities, test them all out in game play, etc. Why then wouldn't they capitalize on them and make them available at retail? I mean they could still offer them as free with the Kickstarter (which are amazing deals with all the exclusives you get), but then offer them later as add-ons. If they are hell bent on offering exclusives, why not things that aren't used in the game like art books, posters, and things like that? Heck, leave the stuff like the dice bags and special dice too, they don't affect actual game play.

If I pledged early and got a small discount on the game, dozens of free exclusive minis, and then an elusive art book, dice bag, and set of dice all earlier then it would be available at retail I would be more than happy. They could even offer a FEW (read one or two) exclusive minis and I would even be fine with that. What gets me is that they have a huge portion of the heroes as exclusives thereby excluding people from part of the game if they want to get into it later. That really sucks for late-comers and surely is costing CMON tons is lost sales (not just for the exclusive minis, but people who are turned off and don't buy the game all together).
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Eric, I get that we all tend to think we know best how to do this or that. Realistically, we don't. We don't know how to run a boardgame company that relies on Kickstarter money in order to keep people employed.

CMON has built a very successful business using Kickstarter. By that, I mean running multi-million dollar boardgame projects. And this is possible by offering Kickstarter exclusives.

By sticking to their strict code of KS exclusives, they run campaigns where those on the fence will back out of concern that they will miss these exclusives. Or backers who will purchase multiple pledges to resell for higher prices on eBay.

CMON is slowly transitioning some of their sales to retail (meaning games going straight there, no KS). But for now, CMON needs big KS numbers, and by providing a get it now or never atmosphere, they will get those numbers.

Jorune
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Brad Ficek
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It is quite an odd feeling for sure. I bought the game with the 12 heroes painted as well so that makes me even less motivated to go and get more heroes.

In general I'm all for more potential variety in games, so in theory I'm glad there are a ton of options if I end up wanting to expand, but it is a bit odd just how much content I'd have to buy one hero at a time.
 
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Jack Swan
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I think without the exclusives CMON would raise significantly less money during the KS, which would make producing a game more of a gamble, and would probably mean NO ONE gets the exclusives. If everything were available later on, why invest as a gamer?
This is a pre-order system, nothing less.
And pre-orders often come with extra goodies or a better price tag, even on non-material items like holidays.
As long as the extra stuff does not get in the way of gaming quality I am not against this system.
So my vote: NO, it is not too much, nor a bad thing. It's marketing done right.
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Joe Crane
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Cmon is exploding in a good way, making money hand over fist. And the biggest thing people on this site need to realize is that most people who play boardgames don't read this site, they don't come to see whether or not the game has KS exclusives or not and if they do, they don't care. I mean hell, I can't imagine they could even sell all those minis at retail, takes up to much shelf space and at 10 bucks a pop. But Bloodrage has exclusives and it sells like hotcakes.
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Trueflight Silverwing
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Exclusives are a dumb idea to begin with. A lot of companies are starting to realize this and offering things that are not game components, but more of upgrades (plastic tokens instead of cardboard, deluxe storage inserts, alternate artwork on cards). Those sorts of things are great as the backers are still getting something that is unique to show they supported the games from the start, but they do not alienate gamers who may discover games later on and miss out on some of the content. while not great, I know many players who skipped on getting into AQ as a whole because of the Nameless Campaign being an exclusive, not even considering all of the figures that were as well. $500+ to get a guildmaster Box isn't really an option for most people and if they weren't there from the start, a lot of people won't get into a game that they can't eventually collect without having to break the bank.

I love the game, but it annoys me the amount of exclusives that they have. In the least, if they really feel the need to have figures as exclusives, they should go the route that many other developers have and make them a temporary exclusive. KS backers get theirs with the game, but eventually they come around for retail a year or so later on. They already spent the money to make the molds, so it costs them nothing to do it that way, and they end up making more off selling the stuff officially later on instead of letting the price scalpers cash in.

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Eric B
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Jorune wrote:
Eric, I get that we all tend to think we know best how to do this or that. Realistically, we don't. We don't know how to run a boardgame company that relies on Kickstarter money in order to keep people employed.


Oh, I will be the first to admit I haven't the slightest idea on how to run a successful board game company. That's why I posted this thread. I was wondering what other people's opinion on the matter are. Maybe they know something I am missing. That and I wanted to express my own opinion laugh


Jorune wrote:
CMON has built a very successful business using Kickstarter. By that, I mean running multi-million dollar boardgame projects. And this is possible by offering Kickstarter exclusives.


That is true, but there are other board game companies who don't use Kickstarter at all. Just to be clear though, I'm not saying they should stop using KS, just that they could maybe rely on exclusives less? They seem to boost sales in the beginning, but hurt it later on and leave a lot of lost sales on the table (both for the core game and add-ons).


Unplugged wrote:
I think without the exclusives CMON would raise significantly less money during the KS, which would make producing a game more of a gamble, and would probably mean NO ONE gets the exclusives. If everything were available later on, why invest as a gamer?
This is a pre-order system, nothing less.
And pre-orders often come with extra goodies or a better price tag, even on non-material items like holidays.
As long as the extra stuff does not get in the way of gaming quality I am not against this system.
So my vote: NO, it is not too much, nor a bad thing. It's marketing done right.


Obviously funding through Kickstarter has a ton of benefits. CMON gets the money up front to help produce everything. They can gauge the interest in a product and even know exactly how much of everything everyone wants. Like I said, I am not saying they should ditch KS all together. I just think they could do with less exclusives.

Why not offer other exclusives that don't have as big of impact on the game? Instead of half the heroes being KS exclusives, why not just offer some special guild dice, guild tokens, plastic coins and hearts, an exclusive art book, an exclusive poster, and if that weren't enough 2-5 exclusive heroes? Heck, they could even have characters sculpts of existing characters in different poses instead. That's still a lot more than you would get at retail without making the retail version feel like it's missing so much. Completionists are still going to want to back early so they won't miss out on anything, but late comers won't feel like they are missing a third of a game either.
 
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Mark Blasco

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Well, here's the thing. The exclusives for Arcadia Quest (and most other CMON games) DON'T have a huge impact on the game. There are variations of heroes with differences in power, but this doesn't change the game. I have some CMON games with the full kickstarter package of extras, and I have some straight from retail without any extra stuff (including Arcadia Quest). None of the games I got at retail feel like they aren't complete.

CMON knows exactly what they are doing with their exclusives. Hell, I wouldn't have pledged for one or two of the games I'm getting if it wasn't for all of the extra stuff.

Everyone has a different opinion, some people are going to love the exclusive stuff and some people are going to hate it. I have yet to see anything exclusive from CMON which actually significantly changes the game. Some are fun, some are neat, but nothing is really that much different.
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Mike
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You gotta look at it this way too, CMoN can't put all those extras in the base box because the game cost would scare off any retail buyers. Yeah I know, sell them as extra booster boxes but these are collector kinds of draw ins. I won't believe for a minute that they are exclusive until I see pictures of the molds destroyed. Otherwise they will always be available but just in that collector niche of Convention attendee bonuses.

It's nice as a person who can't get to these Cons to be able to finally get some bonus cool stuff for "participating" even if I have to pay and wait a year to get it. Even still, there's stuff at Cons that I'll never be able to get unless I seek them out on eBay for wallet gouging prices.

And on top of all that, getting all those extras made the pay msrp+ and wait worth it.
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Geoff ...
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I'm sick of all these armchair boardgame producers who think they can do better than CMoN. Their last KS raised 3.5M, those idiots!

You cannot make available to retail a shit-tin of add-ons (such as 100 unique Arcadia Quest heroes) because that's far too many SKUs for retailers to bother with. CMoN would be stuck managing inventory for hundreds of SKUs that suck up storage, as well as the nightmare of ensuring stock availability for such a large range. Oh, and they'd also compete with each other for sales, not actually increasing the total revenue.

The fact that they only need to make a set production run based on backer pledges + a few extras for cons/whatever is precisely why we are able to get so many unique little tidbits. It also allows them a few risks on somew really "out there" designs / abilities / look-alikes etc., something you'd not risk for retail.
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Eddi F
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If there would have been fewer KS exclusives in the first AQ campaign, AQ:I wouldn't gain them this amount of backers.
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Geoff wrote:
I'm sick of all these armchair boardgame producers who think they can do better than CMoN. Their last KS raised 3.5M, those idiots!

You cannot make available to retail a shit-tin of add-ons (such as 100 unique Arcadia Quest heroes) because that's far too many SKUs for retailers to bother with. CMoN would be stuck managing inventory for hundreds of SKUs that suck up storage, as well as the nightmare of ensuring stock availability for such a large range. Oh, and they'd also compete with each other for sales, not actually increasing the total revenue.

The fact that they only need to make a set production run based on backer pledges + a few extras for cons/whatever is precisely why we are able to get so many unique little tidbits. It also allows them a few risks on somew really "out there" designs / abilities / look-alikes etc., something you'd not risk for retail.


Most of this would be solved by selling these heroes in packs of 4/8/x heroes.

But I understand that they actually make them exclusive to lure in more people to the KS campaign, people who pledge for the fear of never getting those ever again. Or completionists. And, yes, it works.
 
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Tyson W.
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Kickstarter strikes me as being odd. A bunch of consumers take on the financial risk themselves and then often get nothing extra in return. They are basically giving a publisher an interest free loan for sometimes a year or longer. This makes zero sense if I can simply buy this game myself a year later for the same price, at about the same delivery date, and for zero risk.

Exclusives are a fantastic way to promote the Kickstarter and also to give something back to those people that are putting their money at risk.

I own the vanilla Arcadia Quest which I spent about $90 on a year ago. Never once have I felt cheated. I have played the game many times with my family and we have all had a blast.
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Brandon Alderman
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From a business stand point exclusives are an awesome idea because if you offer one exclusive for each add on items then you'll have people who are completionists purchasing items they would either wait until retail or not purchase at all for fear of missing an exclusive.

So... I say genius for taking control of the market.
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Rick S
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After getting burned on a few kickstarters, if it doesn't have exclusives I won't back it.

Lots of exclusives and history of keeping them exclusive.

Yeah, I pretty much ONLY back cmon games now.
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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LOL, I'm sorry, but Geoff is 100% right.

CMON is a hugely exploding company - why on earth would anyone say they are doing something wrong when they are clearly doing things right?

The only thing they clearly have an issue with is doing too many simultaneous kickstarters as they have to keep pushing back productions. But I'm sure next time around, they'll spread them around.





Here's what people here are missing:

1)KS sales are better than retail sales. Yes, they come with the exclusives thus you earn less per sale but you don't cut the retail in either. You more importantly get the money up front. You don't need the hassle of retail of storage sales and additional sales and marketing.

As long know your numbers (which by now surely CMON does) than you know not to lose more money than you're getting.

Your backers are likely to be returning customers. You get full access to their contacts where as if a game is being bought at an FLGS store, good luck spamming him with future ads.

2)For the consumer, KS sales are the worst. You expect me to buy into a game sight unseen where it could be a complete garbage (or a even a scam) paying in some cases more than retail, surely paying for shipping which will be more than retail with... what sort of benefit exactly?

You need to be damned sure that you're going to make it worth it for me if you want me to invest in this game instead of just waiting for a year till its out in retail, at which point I get to just buy it after seeing reviews, previews or even playing with a demo copy in a local store and know if its good for me for the same amount of money or even lower.

So the only way to get me on board is to make sure I'm getting something now that I can't get otherwise. In other words, exclusives.

3) The only presumably argument that people have against exclusives is that they can't get them later and if they can't get the "full" game, they won't buy into it.

But... Out of all the people that would potentially buy the game:

Plenty will buy the KS (as proven by past track records)

Some will buy them in the secondary market

Some will proxy them somehow

Some won't care

And some will just skip the game.

Call it a "hunch" but I believe all of the above surpass the latter by miles and surely with all the benefits of the KS - CMON is still doing the right thing business wise.









As for it being "unfair" to the people who missed it... Umm... Well, that would be like saying that it's unfair that some people sleep in front of a store to be the first in to get a Black Friday deal or stand in line a week in advance to get the best seats for a premiere.

These people made more effort and took a bigger risk. Of course they deserve a bigger reward.
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Mike Morales
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I've noticed this thread comes up allot of times so I'll add my 2 cents.

I just got into Arcadia Quest about 3 months ago. I started with the base game my kids and I loved it and quickly purchased Beyond the Grave and late pledged for Masmorra and Inferno. I then started the hunt for the Guildmaster exclusives only because I am one of those completionists that must have it all. At no time do I feel cheated that the game does not come with these exclusives. The only reason to have the exclusive models is if you are a collector.

As far as rules go you can simply print out the exclusive hero card cut the half of the card with the rules and take an existing non hero card in a protective sleeve and slide the rules over the non-exclusive rules and your done.

I spent 250 so far getting the original Arcadia Quest exclusive hero's and I'm only missing Sonya,Elysia and the four faceless from nameless. I've also ordered double copies of Inferno and Masmorra which will more than likely pay for these exclusives if I sell them on ebay. Would I have ordered double copies if they did not offer exclusives....why would I?

I will tell you one thing..if you had access to purchase every single hero I doubt you would ever get to play them all. My kids and I have a house ruled when we draft hero's we can have up to 6 per guild and we are allowed to swap them in between scenario's. we are going to have to up that number to about 9 or 10 once Masmorra and Inferno come out and even with that number I doubt I will get to play every single hero anytime soon.


 
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John
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I sold my kickstarter exclusive box from the 1st campaign a few months ago. It was unopened as I had not needed it for my enjoyment of the game at all.
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Eric B
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TeakNUT wrote:
Kickstarter strikes me as being odd. A bunch of consumers take on the financial risk themselves and then often get nothing extra in return. They are basically giving a publisher an interest free loan for sometimes a year or longer. This makes zero sense if I can simply buy this game myself a year later for the same price, at about the same delivery date, and for zero risk.

Exclusives are a fantastic way to promote the Kickstarter and also to give something back to those people that are putting their money at risk.


That may be the case with some publishers, but I am talking more specifically about CMON here. Some of you guys make it sound like the exclusives are the only thing you are getting as a bonus for backing a CMON Kickstarter. That simply isn't the case. Lets look at one of their more recent Kickstarter campaigns, Massive Darkness as an example.

A $120 pledge (or early bird pledge of $110) gets you the base game AND loads of extras. Not even taking into account the exclusives, you are looking at about $150 worth of freebies when you pledge on top of $120 for the core game. You get the base game ($120), three boxed sets ($30-35 each), a tiles pack ($15), a plastic chests and pillars set($10), and a load of extra minis usually only found in the base game (they list them as being worth $50, more realistically 24 minis would be around $38). Again, that is NOT including the exclusives. So with all of that you are looking at roughly a $280 value. That's $280 worth of stuff for a $120 pledge. You can't buy everything that cheap even if it went on sale for half off.

THAT is one huge bonus to pledging. The other is you should (theoretically), be getting the game a few months before it is released to retail. So with all this considered, are the 21 exclusive mini figures really needed that much to further help sell the game? If CMON does need to include more to sweeten the deal, why not just give everyone an add-on of their choice? Why not put all the exclusives into 3 or 4 boxed sets and include them free with a pledge, but release them later for $30-40 each? This way you are still getting an amazing deal when you pledge, but it doesn't exclude people later on either.
 
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Davi Rosa
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GrandMasterFox wrote:

As for it being "unfair" to the people who missed it... Umm... Well, that would be like saying that it's unfair that some people sleep in front of a store to be the first in to get a Black Friday deal or stand in line a week in advance to get the best seats for a premiere.

These people made more effort and took a bigger risk. Of course they deserve a bigger reward.


For your comparison, the only thing that applies is the early bird pledges, that are few and for the first ones. Otherwise, it makes little sense.

For the effort itself, I agree. That is why you pay upfront, without really seeing the game, and have to wait for a long time, and, as a reward, get a bunch of "free" stuff, from the retail-price point of view. Being Free IS the reward. Whay does it have to be exclusive? Again, to force people to push the button. But I don't think that has to be. Make it so that these "exclusives" will be sold a year later only. A lot of people are still willing to pledge to get free and/or early stuff. The only different aspect is that the company itself will be making money later selling this "exclusives" instead of people on ebay, but the consumer will be paying less.

I see both points of view, just trying to the defend the underdog here.
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Rick S
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deathleech wrote:

That may be the case with some publishers, but I am talking more specifically about CMON here. Some of you guys make it sound like the exclusives are the only thing you are getting as a bonus for backing a CMON Kickstarter. That simply isn't the case. Lets look at one of their more recent Kickstarter campaigns, Massive Darkness as an example.


I didn't back massive darkness because the campaign had a high entry dollar amount and was filled with non exclusive stretch goals. I may pick it up when the pledge manager comes out. Zombicide Black Plague was the same. I didn't buy it either. Too many non exclusive stretch goals.

How many kickstarters have you backed?
 
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GrandMasterFox wrote:
CMON is a hugely exploding company - why on earth would anyone say they are doing something wrong when they are clearly doing things right?


Maybe they would do even better without all the exclusives? Maybe they are selling stuff so well because it's high quality, has great production values, and the games are really fun and interesting? Or maybe it's just all the exclusives


Quote:
Here's what people here are missing:

1)KS sales are better than retail sales.

2)For the consumer, KS sales are the worst.

3) The only presumably argument that people have against exclusives is that they can't get them later and if they can't get the "full" game, they won't buy into it.


I keep seeing people defend Kickstarter. Let me make something clear, I don't think anyone said companies should stop using KS. The issue is with the exclusives they offer, not KS itself.

I'm all for KS campaigns offering incentives. As you point out, they need to. Otherwise how are they going to get people to tie up money up to a year or more in advance for a game they have never played and might not be any good? I just know personally speaking, the deals they offer are more than enough to sway me into pledging. There is no need for exclusives too. It's overkill.

Why would I NOT pledge to KS and get the base game plus hundreds of dollars in freebies? At best I might find the game on sale for half off several months after it's released, but that's a big maybe and even then it's not going to be as good of a deal as most of the KS campaigns.

People for the exclusives keep trying to bring up how KS is a good platform to do business from and how companies need incentives to get people to pledge. The thing is, no one said they should drop KS. As for the incentives to get you to pledge, what are all the freebies if not incentive enough? Offering something for the same price but including 3x as much with it isn't enough?

 
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Paul Chamberland
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deathleech wrote:
TeakNUT wrote:
Kickstarter strikes me as being odd. A bunch of consumers take on the financial risk themselves and then often get nothing extra in return. They are basically giving a publisher an interest free loan for sometimes a year or longer. This makes zero sense if I can simply buy this game myself a year later for the same price, at about the same delivery date, and for zero risk.

Exclusives are a fantastic way to promote the Kickstarter and also to give something back to those people that are putting their money at risk.


That may be the case with some publishers, but I am talking more specifically about CMON here. Some of you guys make it sound like the exclusives are the only thing you are getting as a bonus for backing a CMON Kickstarter. That simply isn't the case. Lets look at one of their more recent Kickstarter campaigns, Massive Darkness as an example.

A $120 pledge (or early bird pledge of $110) gets you the base game AND loads of extras. Not even taking into account the exclusives, you are looking at about $150 worth of freebies when you pledge on top of $120 for the core game. You get the base game ($120), three boxed sets ($30-35 each), a tiles pack ($15), a plastic chests and pillars set($10), and a load of extra minis usually only found in the base game (they list them as being worth $50, more realistically 24 minis would be around $38). Again, that is NOT including the exclusives. So with all of that you are looking at roughly a $280 value. That's $280 worth of stuff for a $120 pledge. You can't buy everything that cheap even if it went on sale for half off.

You are looking at the end result of a $3.5 million project that was fueled by the exclusive miniatures. A project that, when it started, people were complaining about the lack of value in pledging.

If you remove the exclusives it doesn't pull in anywhere near the same dollar amount. The end result would be much less value for the pledge and possibly being a better risk/reward deal to buy it later when it hits retail.

Edit: What KS projects without exclusives have given backers a better than 50% discount off MSRP? Exclude those that are IP driven like Dark Souls.
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Eric B
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bigblock75 wrote:
I didn't back massive darkness because the campaign had a high entry dollar amount and was filled with non exclusive stretch goals. I may pick it up when the pledge manager comes out. Zombicide Black Plague was the same. I didn't buy it either. Too many non exclusive stretch goals.


Wait, what? Of the 51 stretch goals, 23 were exclusives. That's nearly half. Most of those exclusives are minifigures too. Exactly how many exclusives do you need to sell you?


Mandor wrote:
You are looking at the end result of a $3.5 million project that was fueled by the exclusive miniatures. A project that, when it started, people were complaining about the lack of value in pledging.

If you remove the exclusives it doesn't pull in anywhere near the same dollar amount. The end result would be much less value for the pledge and possibly being a better risk/reward deal to buy it later when it hits retail.


It's hard to say what would have happened without the exclusives. They obviously help a lot in the beginning, but what about after something is funded? What about retail sales? I imagine at that stage in a game's life cycle they cost CMON sales and we don't really see that. Think of all the potential add-on sales lost, and furthermore people who don't even bother getting into the game because they can't get everything. Also keep in mind creating exclusives isn't free. They have to pay people to sculpt the new models, designers to come up with text and rules for them, the new molds, etc. I imagine this stuff is fairly expensive for something that only sees a limited release.

What would have happened if instead of exclusives every 60k-120k pledged, they would have offered a free add-on to pledgers instead? Say every 500k pledged you get an additional add-on. So the first 500k reached gets you the Troglodytes, 1 million gets you the Warrior Priests vs Cyclops, 1.5 million gets you the Sorceress vs Lord Tusk, etc. They could throw the exclusives into 3 or 4 different boxed sets and make them all stretch goals this way and available later at retail. If they needed to sweeten the deal, they could add in exclusives like an art book or class specific dice.

You could argue people wouldn't bother pledging if they know they can pick all the sets up later at retail. That might be the case, but do you really think most people would pass up getting $300+ worth of stuff for $120? Obviously you would need to start the campaign with the core set and a free add-on to entice people in the first place, but once the ball got rolling I think people would jump all over it. Heck, they could even offer doubles for all the monsters in the core game, that way you have plenty and it's still kind of exclusive in that the only other way to get them all is to buy a whole nother $120 core game.
 
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Rick S
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deathleech wrote:
bigblock75 wrote:
I didn't back massive darkness because the campaign had a high entry dollar amount and was filled with non exclusive stretch goals. I may pick it up when the pledge manager comes out. Zombicide Black Plague was the same. I didn't buy it either. Too many non exclusive stretch goals.


Wait, what? Of the 51 stretch goals, 23 were exclusives. That's nearly half. Most of those exclusives are minifigures too. Exactly how many exclusives do you need to sell you?


I saw living construct, iron golem, nightmare thing, low troll, overseer, and hellsbane.
The rest of it doesn't do much for me.
Without the models I listed, I would wait for retail, if I bought it at all.

We're talking about cmon games, they are fantastic but the more you add to them, the less they hit the table.

So they could have gotten my money with less exclusives that appealed to me more.
 
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