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Subject: More pointless grumbling about promos rss

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Simon Lundström
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Sphere wrote:
People are always starting threads here begging for more stuff for their favorite games. Nobody tells them that's a bad thing.

I keep telling them it's a bad thing

No, but seriously, I've been turned off several games (Small World, Arkham Horror to mention two) due to the too-vast amount of expansions. Colour me silly, but that's the way it is. Knowing that expansions are constantly streaming out and that there will be more and more and more annoys the completionist in me and makes me feel I have an incomplete game, all the while I don't have time to play the game enough to actually enjoying the expansions. This causes me to actively avoid games which smell like "there will be a lot of expansions" as it stresses me.
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Simon Lundström
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chaddyboy_2000 wrote:
people are buying promos in droves, showing us and game publishers that promos are a good thing that is making the majority of our fans happy.

I beg to infer here that something selling isn't really equivalent with that it makes the majority happy. Just look at drugs

(Just stirring the pot…)

No but seriously, that it's selling in droves is good for you, but I think it's a mistake to think that a customer with a game+promo is happier than a customer with only the game and no promo exists. I believe there are many cases of where customers with game+promo are equally happy compared to having only the game and no promo exists. However, having game and no promo when the promo exists is probably less happy than with promo, so with the prospect of having a promo, it's bought not to increase happiness, but to make up for the decrease the promo's existance created.

Of course, this is not always true, but the above is actually a very firm principle in marketing: to create a "need" where there originally is none.
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Curt Carpenter
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Simon gets it.
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Steve Bauer
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Rokkr wrote:
scifiantihero wrote:
I want a tea service set with tempest artwork on them.

Those are available at the BGG store for $5 including shipping.


For a limited time, offer not available in all areas, some restrictions apply.
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Steve Bauer
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I think we need to step back and figure out why you would ever want an expansion or a promo.

I think you should always try the base game as is with no expansions. This is the way the designer intended the game to first be experienced. If after you have played it that way a few times you think this game is great but needs more something then you will love the expansion. There are a few cases where an expansion really is needed to fix a base game but mostly it is just adding more stuff.

I think at least part of the bitterness towards promos as they are being done as they are almost always sold to people who are just buying the base game and have no idea if they will like the base game well enough to need an expansion. Also I suspect people play with them from the start and thus can not appreciate them as something extra.

I say the more expansions the better, I just don't need to buy them except for the games I like the best.
 
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TheRakeman wrote:
Where is the line drawn between promo and expansion, or is a promo just a very small expansion?

Great question!

I think Promo's are available *with* the game, mini-expansions are available after.

Also, Promo's should be *free* (you usually have to pay full price for the game, but technically free).

I think that most BGG items are mini-expansions.

Tom
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Boards & Bits
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sbauer9 wrote:
I think we need to step back and figure out why you would ever want an expansion or a promo.

I think you should always try the base game as is with no expansions. This is the way the designer intended the game to first be experienced. If after you have played it that way a few times you think this game is great but needs more something then you will love the expansion. There are a few cases where an expansion really is needed to fix a base game but mostly it is just adding more stuff.

I think at least part of the bitterness towards promos as they are being done as they are almost always sold to people who are just buying the base game and have no idea if they will like the base game well enough to need an expansion. Also I suspect people play with them from the start and thus can not appreciate them as something extra.

I say the more expansions the better, I just don't need to buy them except for the games I like the best.

First, the promo is usually free (see above post), so it's not something you need to buy.

Second, part of the dislike of promos is that most of them are not available after they are sold out, so if you ever want it, you probably have to get it for free now or pay (a lot) for it later.

Third, if you end up not liking the game, having the promo will allow you to sell it easier and/or for more money.

Tom
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Steve Bauer
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BoardsAndBits wrote:

First, the promo is usually free (see above post), so it's not something you need to buy.


I own several dozen mini-expansions marketed as promos. I have gotten them for going to conventions, for pre-ordering the base game, for buying a different game, for watching a movie and some I just bought on BGG or in a store. None of these meet my definition of free, maybe I am doing it wrong.

Edit: I have also bought a few on ebay.

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Paul Cornelissen
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Rainstar wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
"Inappropriate"? Why? Because they're too expensive?

No, because promos are intended, by definition, to promote other products. If they end up costing more (relative to amount of content) than the product they are supposed to be promoting, that is obviously ridiculous.

If you think its ridiculous, then don't participate.

Rainstar wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
Maybe you mean 'too expensive for YOU' which is an entirely different problem with no answer that's not gonna let you down.

A personal attack? Classy. Try using logic instead of bullying next time.

He is using logic, and he's alluding to a much larger point. You're just getting stuck on his snarky tone.

Rainstar wrote:
Furthermore, the typical laissez-faire argument that the market will determine prices so we should all shut up just does not apply here. I know the folks at BGG are good people--this website is evidence of their dedication to the hobby, and their funding drives reinforce the importance of this website. But community feedback like this article is vital for them to respond to their customer needs quickly and appropriately. Sales numbers for promos is a very limited kind of data to make decisions on--it doesn't tell you the motivations or wishes of your customers, or give you an idea of what kind of changes might improve things.

In short, telling grumblers to shut up doesn't solve things for any appreciable length of time. On the other hand, having a discussion in order to find some common ground or a mutually agreeable solution might help.

I don't think you really understand laissez-faire economics. Laissez-faire works every time its allowed to work, because it relies on a hand-shake agreement between uncoerced individuals operating within a minimum set of laws and rights. The system seems to be working just fine from my perspective.

Also, who said anything about the necessity to "respond to their customer needs quickly and appropriately" or "find some common ground or a mutually agreeable solution?" BGG forums are for providing feedback only, and the value of that feedback often varies to a great degree. It sounds to me like you're demanding some sort of change or compromise simply because you disagree.

T Worthington wrote:
Chad Jensen wrote:
curtc wrote:
...when we bought a game at a normal retailer, it was the whole game.

The game that comes in the box is 100% complete. These six promos are entirely superfluous, like adding chocolate sprinkles to a bowl of ice cream -- enjoy them or not, as you see fit: they don't change the integrity of the original item one bit.

The great thing about BGG forums is that you could be giving ice cream away for free, and people would still find a way to complain about it.

That's what I'm talking about! "I wanted chocolate, not vanilla!" "There's not enough ice cream for everyone!" "I want ice cream tomorrow, too!"
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Paul Cornelissen
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abdiel wrote:
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In the end, I personally don't understand the negative reactions.

Did you even read the original post?

I used to play collectable games. It was virtually impossible to get every card/figure. Even to get every piece for your favorite faction was very difficult. Heck just rounding out a set for a tournament competition was an expensive proposition.

Collectable games were based on an atmosphere of exclusivity, of haves and have nots. I abandoned collectable games for boardgames because they weren't dominated by an atmosphere of exclusivity. They were egalitarian and inclusive. I could go to the store, buy a complete game that a group of people could play. If I wanted the expansion I could do the same thing.

But the board game industry has increasingly been exploiting an air of exclusiveness with the increasing number of promos provided to a select few. I commend BGG for using its store to counter that, for making exclusive items available to every one. I've previously made use of the BGG store to get promos. I wish they were able to carry even more promos (Hint: Taj Mahal white palaces, Carson City: The Indian, and the Cyclades promos).

But to me this announcement of the Dominant Species card game promo is BGG promoting an atmosphere of exclusiveness, something I had hoped I had left behind with collectable games. So like Curt, I have a negative emotional response to this announcement. It sours my interest in a game I was on the fence about.

I got wrapped up in a certain CCG years ago, and I recently walked away from it feeling like I was suckered. But, its a free world, and I have no one to blame but myself. Many of us have been through the same thing, one way or another. Everyone is free to choose, but you can't avoid the consequences of bad decisions.

But, wow, look at the subtext of this post. I thought this thread was about promos and marketing, not class warfare and "evil" capitalism. When you finally discover that free lunch in Utopia, let me know.
 
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Chris Heffernan
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I generally dislike promos because there are so many promos now for everything that promos no longer seem very special.
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Stefan Lopuszanski
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christopher_the_fehn wrote:
I generally dislike promos because there are so many promos now for everything that promos no longer seem very special.


Get the promo signed by the designer, then it is "very special."

People who are complaining about these things are foolish and obviously have OCD tendencies about "having everything." Get rid of that mentality and learn to love variety and the spice of life. You'll never have it all, so why bother?

This is an OPTIONAL promotional thing. I could understand people complaining if it was used in competitive play and you couldn't practice without having it and thus were at a disadvantage. But since these games are about having fun with your group of friends and not some giant competitive meta-game environment (such as MtG is with rares), there is nothing to complain about.

Would you prefer the alternative of never having any promos or expansions or new editions with revised things? Do you still watch all your old movies on VHS since you refuse to get the updated DVD / Blu-Ray? If not, then your argument is invalid.
 
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Zimeon wrote:
No but seriously, that it's selling in droves is good for you, but I think it's a mistake to think that a customer with a game+promo is happier than a customer with only the game and no promo exists. I believe there are many cases of where customers with game+promo are equally happy compared to having only the game and no promo exists. However, having game and no promo when the promo exists is probably less happy than with promo, so with the prospect of having a promo, it's bought not to increase happiness, but to make up for the decrease the promo's existance created.


Y'know, I never quite understood advertising. If you create an advertisement, how do you actually know it *works*? Sure, with promos, you know how many promos you sold (and you can know how many viewers saw your million-dollar Superbowl ad), but how do you know that a promo actually led to sale of product? And how could you know if a promo led to a *non-sale* of product? Or if it was the promo that sold the product, or if was a review or designer's notes or something else that made the product known?

I think looking at promos as expansions is an interesting way of looking at it. Indeed, I know of at least one promo set that *is* a mini-expansion and buying them through BGG's marketplace *IS* much easier than hunting them down through retailers.

Still, even FFG knew when to quit (or seems to be quitting!) with the Akrham Horror expansions -- even though some of us still want a Dreamlands one! laugh
 
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Chris Heffernan
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Stexe wrote:
christopher_the_fehn wrote:
I generally dislike promos because there are so many promos now for everything that promos no longer seem very special.


Get the promo signed by the designer, then it is "very special."


Yes, my point exactly. That is a promo. "Promos" that are just extra bits sold separately from the main game are not very special. Especially now that most games seem to have them. My thinking is promos are not things that should be sold anyway, but rather given away at cons and pre-release tournaments or what have you.

 
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sbauer9 wrote:
I think you should always try the base game as is with no expansions. This is the way the designer intended the game to first be experienced.


Actually, this isn't always true. And, from various "things publishers change" threads, I'm starting to wonder if its ever true! (:

IIRC, The OP's Dominant Species designer had the six promo cards in his original design. For various reasons, it was cut out.

Two typical reasons publishers cut stuff out are:

* Cost-effectiveness. The additional stuff adds a higher cost to the base game set, making the base game more difficult to sell.

* Ruleset. The additional stuff makes the rules more complicated than the publisher thinks the base game should be.

(And then there's how publishers will *change the theme* of a boardgame, but that's another discussion!)

The Doom boardgame originally had a second expansion set, but it was cancelled because of sales of the first expansion. Is the gaming community better off not to having this additional material? Well... I guess I'd like it to be *my* choice whether or not I buy additional material for a game, rather than it not being available at all. Certainly this choice should be applied to promos which, at least with the BGG marketplace around, are essentially mini-expansions.
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Promos don't particularly bother me. I long ago lost the completionist urge, and don't fret if I can't pick up every promo for every game.

However, I do find the whole trend of limited editions, exclusives, and so on to be a bit worrying, and promos are starting to figure into this. A number of other hobbies have been completely gutted by such things, and it might be worth keeping an eye on in this one.
 
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Guy Riessen
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All these extras...promos and in some cases expansions, are generally garbage. There's a reason why there are editors in the world--they're there to cull the good stuff that artists create and leave the chaff. It's true in movies, it's true in books, and yes, it's true in games. Every now and then cuts made for budget reasons might be unnecessary, but usually content is removed because it makes for a tighter more focused experience. Nine times out of 10, the experience is not improved by the extras, and 2 or 3 times out of 10, it significantly degrades it. Just sush that completionist whispering in your ear and move on to a *new* game instead of adding useless components to an existing one.
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Steve Bauer
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Sprydle wrote:
It's true in movies, it's true in books, and yes, it's true in games.


Yes because movie and book sequels are so uncommon.

Expansions have editors also. My average expansion rating is 0.39 higher than my average game rating.
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Robert Forrest
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curtc wrote:
Simon gets it.


By 'it' I hope you mean help for his compulsive/obsessive traits that make him stop enjoying games that he likes just because there are things out there he does own.

Seems like the problem is internal to me.
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Chris Dieckmann
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7 pages of this? I was tired of reading after 1 page.
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ErikPeter Walker
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Way to be rude, everyone.
 
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Paul Cornelissen
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Voxen wrote:
Way to be rude, everyone.

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J Fitzpatrick
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I don't much mind promos... I'm OK with occasionally, say, going to the BGG store and buying $30 worth of random $5 promos for games I have.

What really irritates me is when there are limited availability promos. It's super annoying to get a game, like it, and then find out that there is some novel promo piece of it that looks really fun... but that only existed for like a month 5 years ago and in a limited release of 200 units. That's annoying.
 
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Steve Bauer
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jfitzpatrick wrote:
I don't much mind promos... I'm OK with occasionally, say, going to the BGG store and buying $30 worth of random $5 promos for games I have.

What really irritates me is when there are limited availability promos. It's super annoying to get a game, like it, and then find out that there is some novel promo piece of it that looks really fun... but that only existed for like a month 5 years ago and in a limited release of 200 units. That's annoying.


I agree it is annoying to want something you can't have. Would your rather the promo was not published, how does that benefit you?
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ErikPeter Walker
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I can see where you're coming from, but I pretty much follow what appears to be the general consensus; promos are usually just a little perk, and fortunately in most cases (thanks to the BGG store) aren't too hard to pick up if you are a completionist.

My worst promo experience was Necromancer Island. It only came free with a Small World purchase, and I already had all of the expansions at the time. I ended up buying an additional copy of one to get it, only to find out it's broken to the point of unplayability. Whoops!

I feel like promotional items in videogames are more terror-prone. I love the Mass Effect series, but there's just a ton of stuff I don't have access to in Mass Effect 2 (and would happily pay a few bucks for) since I didn't pre-order. Or because I didn't buy a Dr. Pepper in early 2010. Basically there's even more hoops to jump through just to get the promos, and I admit it, I like to have everything. I don't want to have to pre-order at a specific store, just to miss out on whatever bonus a different store offers.

Eventually there's just so much you can do, and you have to be happy knowing you'll never have every perk or promo, and that there's nothing wrong with that.
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