Minion Games are selling their games as PnP, via the Wargame Vault, but they are not a PnP company or a Print On Demand (POD) one. They are a traditional publisher that has their whole catalogue available for a small price to anyone who wants to make the game instead of buying the retail edition.
For me this a very brave movement. There are always publishers worried about even releasing game rules online, and the only close case to this that came to mind is Cheapass Games that have some old free games out of print on the website for free.
Minion Games are so into PnP that they embraced a new way of promoting the games on Kickstarter, which is offering the same game as PnP before even the game is out. You can see more games like that in Kickstarters with PnP versions available (& other crowdfunding). They did it in the past with The Manhattan Project, but they are doing it right now with a game that has a close feeling to Eclipse and are not afraid of marking the play time as 180 minutes. I am talking about Hegemonic, a game that has a preview that makes me wish I have the money to support it fully, but that you can get for $10 for the PnP version.
I've reachedJames Mathe(RPGShop)United States
PnP Blog - Aren't you afraid of getting less support for the full game on the Hegemony KS campaign, due to the availability of the game on PnP ?
James Mathe - No we aren't. No one really wants to build a board game unless they enjoy it as a hobby. Then there are people who can't afford the full price especially if it's overseas and includes shipping and VAT taxes. So, the people who buy the PnP wouldn't buy the full game anyway so they ADD to the overall total, not the reverse.
PnP - How did you come to the decision of releasing your games as paid PnP on http://www.wargamevault.com? Do you see that more as a way of making more profit or as marketing tool?
JM - First off, I'm a part owner in WarGameVault.com so it's an obvious place for me to sell at if I choose to do so. The reason I choose to do so is multi-fold:
- It helps us make sure all our ducks are in a row for the print version
- It helps promote the game
- It makes some money
- It is a great good-will gift to provide Kickstarter supporters
- It reaches an audience of PnP crafters without devaluing our product
PnP - Did you get any backlash from distributors/FLGS/Retailers Online because you sell pnp version of the games online?
JM - No. Again, few PnP copies ever sell to matter much to anyone and they are a hobby more than anything that retailers really can't provide anyway. The retailers are more upset with selling on Kickstarter to begin with.
At the moment of the writing, 31 backers have pledged the $10 level on the Kickstarter campaign. It will be interesting to check out the final numbers when the campaign ends.
Do you know any other company that embraces PnP like this? Is the PnP backing level a good a idea on a KS campaign? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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