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Subject: In general board game prices are going up.. why? rss

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Donald M.
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I did an inventory of games I bought last year and most have had price increases. I know Asmodee changed their policy, but why are other games going up in price?

Just curious.
 
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Ted Soper
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Component quality, gamers demand more chrome, games are getting bigger in general.

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Matt Highfill
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Oiler1 wrote:
I did an inventory of games I bought last year and most have had price increases. I know Asmodee changed their policy, but why are other games going up in price?

Just curious.


Inflation...
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Eddie B
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Matt62702 wrote:
Oiler1 wrote:
I did an inventory of games I bought last year and most have had price increases. I know Asmodee changed their policy, but why are other games going up in price?

Just curious.


Inflation...


1.7% inflation over 1 year is probably not what the OP meant.
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Jeffery Hudson
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Well, in general the price of everything has been going up. So...if their components, labor, shipping, etc. cost more...then games will cost more.

Reaper mini's years ago was the last mini hold out still selling pewter mini's for $3-4 even though everyone else had doubled or tripled prices. They finally had to raise their own prices due to the cost of lead and pewter increasing...which is one of the reasons they have expanded to the plastic line...it helps keep costs down for customers. They apologized profusely for it, but they couldn't keep absorbing the price increases themselves.

Same thing with the board game landscape in general right now...

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Michael F
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Unforgiven88 wrote:
Component quality



I feel that this is actually leveling off now. We're starting to see very rushed and sloppy production in a lot of new games. I just purchased Mansions of Madness 2nd ed, and the minis are terrible. Most card games I buy nowadays have very flimsy card stock.

Frankly, I think the main reason board games are going up in price is because the demand is higher than the supply. Companies are rushing to release the big name titles, even if they could have spent more time on thicker cards or whatever, and people are still eating them up very quickly. It's not like they're inexpensive to make either.
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
Unforgiven88 wrote:
Component quality



I feel that this is actually leveling off now. We're starting to see very rushed and sloppy production in a lot of new games. I just purchased Mansions of Madness 2nd ed, and the minis are terrible. Most card games I buy nowadays have very flimsy card stock.

Frankly, I think the main reason board games are going up in price is because the demand is higher than the supply. Companies are rushing to release the big name titles, even if they could have spent more time on thicker cards or whatever, and people are still eating them up very quickly. It's not like they're inexpensive to make either.


The production is going down with SOME games. Mansions of Madness being one of them, but since the fucking game has a gigantic price tag it certainly stands out. Love those low quality miniatures with no modeled features! I can't wait to play the formless blob who I think is pointing! I like him much more than the formless running blob character!
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'Arctica' Gary
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Quote:
In general board game prices are going up.. why?


Because we are still buying the games.
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Donald M.
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Yea classic demand outstripping supply. In cases when they restock, I also notice price increases though.
 
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Hedyn Brand
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I've bought several game products with missing parts this year. They certainly aren't spending more on QA! It's mostly inflation, or because they can.

Some products don't get yearly adjustments. Video games went up 20% a bit before the release of the current generation of consoles. That combined with the drop in my local currency's value made the change more like 66% up.
 
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Jason Ronnfeldt
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Given how Asmodee have and continue to corner the market, it's no real surprise that with the reduction in competition, prices are going up. Basic economics. If the Z-man games deal goes through it's going to become very difficult to buy a decent board game that isn't ultimately made/developed by Asmodee and their subsidiaries.
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reaching out from the in-between spaces...
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I think it's shipping. I know in 2015, early 2016 there was a sharp increase in shipping costs that a lot of publishers (especially KS creators), noted for consumer information.

And when you look at a game and shipping:

From Factory to port,
Port to port,
Port to distributor,
Distributor to retail,
Retail to you,

It all adds up.

Jorune
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The Game Steward
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Oiler1 wrote:
I did an inventory of games I bought last year and most have had price increases. I know Asmodee changed their policy, but why are other games going up in price?

Just curious.


I'd actually say that the issue isn't that prices are going up that much - it's that the prices of the kinds of games that the OP is buying are going up.

The board and card game industry has grown so large that it's impossible to paint a broad brush about what is happening with all games. There are too many categories of games that don't fit what the OP is talking about. Small games that cost $8-$12 USD are becoming more popular than ever (e.g. Hanabi and Love Letter). Social deduction and mass market crossover games are generally staying at the $15-$29 level (e.g. One Night Werewolf, Codenames, Munchkin).

And then on the other end of the spectrum, we have the "gamer's games" with lots of minis and/or chrome and 20+ page rulebooks which have $100+ MSRP. These games are going up in price for a variety of reasons, and the acquisitions by ANA only tell the story with respect to games published under the ANA umbrella. There are a lot of other games with high price tags, such as Empires: Age of Discovery (MSRP $129.99), Cthulhu Wars (MSRP $199), and Massive Darkness (MSRP $120), none of which are published by ANA. The production quality is often going up (ANA games notwithstanding), the chrome is going up, and the sheer quantity of components is going up. And the demand for such games is going up as well. So it shouldn't be a surprise that this category of game is becoming more expensive.

We'll see the prices hit a peak and start to retreat a bit only when there are several high profile flops of games with a $120+ MSRP. So far, just about every one has been a commercial success. That just fuels the incentive for publishers to make more high price games.

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William Chew
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burrie wrote:
Matt62702 wrote:
Oiler1 wrote:
I did an inventory of games I bought last year and most have had price increases. I know Asmodee changed their policy, but why are other games going up in price?

Just curious.


Inflation...


1.7% inflation over 1 year is probably not what the OP meant.


A lot of games haven't had price increases ever or in many years. Last time FFG raised prices was in 2008 for instance. The same $60 box has been $60 for 5 years across most publishers. Its not surprising after a long period of time without price increases that games go up in price more than inflation for a single year.
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Jeff Rietveld
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burrie wrote:
Matt62702 wrote:
Oiler1 wrote:
I did an inventory of games I bought last year and most have had price increases. I know Asmodee changed their policy, but why are other games going up in price?

Just curious.


Inflation...


1.7% inflation over 1 year is probably not what the OP meant.

Publishers won't increase the prices by 1.7% every year, bur rather 10% every half dozen years.
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Rob
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Asmodee is still acquiring. Hold on to your hats. I can't believe I just spent $80 for Mansions of Madness 2nd Ed.
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Jason
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Too much variety. Period. With so many games coming out, each individual title isn't being produced in as great of quantities. The games that are created in high quantities can still sell their games at market price and just have extra margin. Look at Catan. They could easily sell that game for $25 but don't because so many other games with similar pieces sell at $50.
 
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themadgamer wrote:
Look at Catan. They could easily sell that game for $25

That's actually close to the price for the translated edition here without VAT. The English edition is 30-40% more expensive. So the closer it's manufactured the cheaper it gets too, even in the greedy board game world.
 
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Jeff Rietveld
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gnurf wrote:
themadgamer wrote:
Look at Catan. They could easily sell that game for $25

That's actually close to the price for the translated edition here without VAT. The English edition is 30-40% more expensive. So the closer it's manufactured the cheaper it gets too, even in the greedy board game world.

Except much of English Catan is manufactured about 5 miles from me...
It sells here for $49 MSRP because people pay it.

 
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JRietveld wrote:
Except much of English Catan is manufactured about 5 miles from me...
It sells here for $49 MSRP because people pay it.

Capitalism! Love it or leave it!
 
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Jeff Rietveld
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gnurf wrote:
JRietveld wrote:
Except much of English Catan is manufactured about 5 miles from me...
It sells here for $49 MSRP because people pay it.

Capitalism! Love it or leave it!

There are a lot of factors to make it so, and capitalism has about as much of an effect here as it does in most other nations.
1) Board game manufacturing the US has not yet hit a point of saturation that prices have dropped like much of Europe and Asia.
2) The workers in the particular plant that producers the Catan cardboard for English editions are paid well.
3) Etc.
 
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Steve Perry
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I don't understand the concern here.

A game, manufactured, has to be a quarter cost of the end retail. This is standard retail logic.

So that means a $50 has to equal $12.50 per unit (with a bit of wiggle room either way) and an 80 would equal 20 per unit.

With shipping from overseas (because let's be honest, find a decent price on components outside of Asia) this means with the weight, pieces, boards, you're going to live at a price of 50-80 bucks.

The bigger issue here is how much do you play it?

A movie can cost (for round numbers) 10 bucks for two hours putting a $5/hr analysis of your enjoyment time.

By that ratio a game would only have to be played for 10-16 hours to meet that.

A $60 can be anywhere from 15 hours - 1000s, so let's meet it in the middle and for ease say that it can average out to $1/hr of entertainment.

So, that means each 50 dollar game needs 50 hours, 80 dollars need 80.

That's the math of it. Sometimes you get more for your buck (matinee prices for movies, Skyrim/Fallout for games) but in reality, this is a pretty decent price for HOURs of entertainment.

Now, I'd love to see more sales, and opportunities for discounts after a game has been out a few years... but realistically... that's part of the process of developing a big enough user base and a functional delivery system.
 
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Tom McThorn
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Are you talking the retail (MSRP) price or what the sellers are putting the prices at? The prices even online may be going up due to increased costs by the seller because without any profit you can't run a business.
 
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The Game Steward
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C0splay wrote:
I don't understand the concern here.

A game, manufactured, has to be a quarter cost of the end retail. This is standard retail logic.

So that means a $50 has to equal $12.50 per unit (with a bit of wiggle room either way) and an 80 would equal 20 per unit.

With shipping from overseas (because let's be honest, find a decent price on components outside of Asia) this means with the weight, pieces, boards, you're going to live at a price of 50-80 bucks.

The bigger issue here is how much do you play it?

A movie can cost (for round numbers) 10 bucks for two hours putting a $5/hr analysis of your enjoyment time.

By that ratio a game would only have to be played for 10-16 hours to meet that.

A $60 can be anywhere from 15 hours - 1000s, so let's meet it in the middle and for ease say that it can average out to $1/hr of entertainment.

So, that means each 50 dollar game needs 50 hours, 80 dollars need 80.

That's the math of it. Sometimes you get more for your buck (matinee prices for movies, Skyrim/Fallout for games) but in reality, this is a pretty decent price for HOURs of entertainment.

Now, I'd love to see more sales, and opportunities for discounts after a game has been out a few years... but realistically... that's part of the process of developing a big enough user base and a functional delivery system.


My understanding is that for the board game industry in particular, the ratio is that manufacturing costs are typically 20% of the MSRP, not 25%. I'm not sure why that is, but I've seen that rule of thumb repeated on several different occasions from game publishers and others in the industry.

Nevertheless, I agree with your overall analysis. Games are rather inexpensive for the amount of time spent playing them. Your analysis doesn't state it explicitly, but given that multiple people play a game (usually), each game session that last 2 hours could actually equate to 2-16 hours of entertainment based on the number of players. That's pretty efficient use of money for entertainment.

That is unlike a movie, where every viewer must pay for their own ticket.

Of course, multiple players don't generally share the cost of a game directly. But for those in a regular gaming group, they often share costs overall by taking turns buying games and not always buying the same game that others have already purchased (notable exceptions like Magic: The Gathering notwithstanding).

 
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Jeff Rietveld
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GreenLaborMike wrote:
Games are rather inexpensive for the amount of time spent playing them.

When a customer walks in with a $5 coffee in hand, and points out to his wife that $40 is WAY too much for a boardgame, I have to chuckle.
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