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Subject: Retail pledge level on Glorantha Kickstarter rss

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Peter Bowie
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At http://thegodswar.info there is now a pledge level for retailers; the second pledge level.

Quoted from the page "Your copies of Glorantha: The Gods War and expansions will be sent before the game is available through regular distribution. This includes products that will never be available through distribution.

Retail verification is required and will occur after the close of the Kickstarter campaign.

Shipping Costs will be handled through our pledge manager after the Kickstarter ends.

Questions about Retail Pledges? Contact support@petersengames.com".
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Fran Marchante
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I don't know why this hasn't been issued in any update yet. I think many retailers don't know this is available, and if they knew there would be more pledges.
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Steve Hammatt
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This is great news, we need more retailers on board.
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Steve Stanton
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Yes, great news. Let's spread the word!!!
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Kaganishu Khan
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Very nice, I am trying to get a shop I know in the area to chip in on the retailers pledge. Unfortunately, most of them consider kickstarters bad business.
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Michael P.
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Am i the only one that dislikes seeing retail pledges in Kickstarters? I feel like it's unfair for someone to get a better deal, after all we're all taking the same risk by putting our money up a year before we get anything.

It was makes me want to reach out to my olgs and just ask them to pre-order it for me instead of backing it. This will likely to save me at least 10-20% (which works out to about 50-100$). If Petersen Games can afford to offer the game at that price point during the Kickstarter they should offer it equally to everyone or not at all. Why not allow group buys at the same rate?
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Darren Semmen
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At least at the Hero level and above the rewards include PDF's and a translucent figure of Orlanth that aren't part of the Retailer pledge.
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Thanasis Patsios
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beefarm wrote:
Why not allow group buys at the same rate?


I'm also puzzled by this. Discounted rate, free (or heavily discounted) shipping over a certain threshold for group buys, these are things that could've benefited the campaign.

Oh well, I guess they did their math and have their reasons for not going there.
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The Game Steward
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NasosP wrote:
beefarm wrote:
Why not allow group buys at the same rate?


I'm also puzzled by this. Discounted rate, free (or heavily discounted) shipping over a certain threshold for group buys, these are things that could've benefited the campaign.

Oh well, I guess they did their math and have their reasons for not going there.


I can't speak for Petersen Games, and as an online retailer, I wouldn't really have a problem with it. But as a general matter, I can say with certainty that publishers have to walk a fine line when it comes to Kickstarter and offering discounts to individual backers (even as a group buy) under any circumstances that is equal to what retailers pay for the game.

Without trying to overgeneralize, many retailers have a negative view of Kickstarter, so it's already hard enough to attract retailers to back Kickstarter campaigns. And for a new and upcoming publishers, cultivating relationships with retailers is a crucial part of their growth strategy.

For better or worse, Kickstarter backers represent a very small fraction of game buyers. 99% of potential buyers will buy their games from retailers (either B&M or online). So publishers have to be very careful about doing anything that makes it less likely that retailers will buy a publisher's game when it enters into distribution.

Is offering a discount for group pledges enough to cause some retailers to say "pass"? I'm not sure many publishers want to be the one to find out the answer to that question.
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Neil Edmonds
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GreenLaborMike hit the nail on the head. Kickstarters cannibalize retail sales from the most hardcore customers - the ones most likely to buy a base game plus expansions (which don't have a 1-to-1 purchase rate to begin with.) My own local retailers have complained about this phenomenon with Kickstarter.

Another issue for retailers is having to buy games at the Kickstarter price (frequently with no discounts) just to have stock on hand. It's undesirable for retailers when customers show up looking for a game "they heard about online" and having to turn those customers away because only Kickstarter backers currently have the game and it won't be available for a few more months. Those customers often don't come back to buy the game from that specific retailer. If the Kickstarter game is a hit, the retailer has created demand for more product; but if the Kickstarter game is a dog, then the retailer's stuck with overpriced inventory they'll have to move at a loss eventually (plus less working capital for something that might have sold better.)

It's never an easy decision for a retailer to back or not back Kickstarter.
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Thanasis Patsios
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GreenLaborMike wrote:
NasosP wrote:
beefarm wrote:
Why not allow group buys at the same rate?


I'm also puzzled by this. Discounted rate, free (or heavily discounted) shipping over a certain threshold for group buys, these are things that could've benefited the campaign.

Oh well, I guess they did their math and have their reasons for not going there.


I can't speak for Petersen Games, and as an online retailer, I wouldn't really have a problem with it. But as a general matter, I can say with certainty that publishers have to walk a fine line when it comes to Kickstarter and offering discounts to individual backers (even as a group buy) under any circumstances that is equal to what retailers pay for the game.

Without trying to overgeneralize, many retailers have a negative view of Kickstarter, so it's already hard enough to attract retailers to back Kickstarter campaigns. And for a new and upcoming publishers, cultivating relationships with retailers is a crucial part of their growth strategy.

For better or worse, Kickstarter backers represent a very small fraction of game buyers. 99% of potential buyers will buy their games from retailers (either B&M or online). So publishers have to be very careful about doing anything that makes it less likely that retailers will buy a publisher's game when it enters into distribution.

Is offering a discount for group pledges enough to cause some retailers to say "pass"? I'm not sure many publishers want to be the one to find out the answer to that question.


I probably wasn't clear on what I tried to convey. I'm not in disagreement with you. Retailers and Kickstarter isn't a recipe for success, although several publishers have made it work for both. So everything you write more or less stands.

What I was referring to (beefarm aw well, I think) is the lack of "discounts" for backers' group-buys, an option in many other campaigns, whether it's for high-cost items/shipping or not. It doesn't have to be an equally big discount (retailers get 50% and free shipping after a point), but it could very well be something in the middle.

Again, I'm not blaming them, it's probably their business decision to not go there. At the same time though they give me the impression that they were aiming for a campaign in the million region and obviously they're not getting it.
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Peter Bowie
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Retail price is standard. Game companies make less profit on retail sales (because the retailers have to get profit too to make their investment worthwhile; they're not playing/owning the game like us), but also grow their brand by doing so, by getting the game to people who don't use Kickstarter. It's not about the amount of units sold (although, that can help with production costs).

Discounted group buys is a different thing. It isn't companies taking a hit on profit margins to get the game out cheaper, it's literally "it costs less to ship all of this in one go".

But Glorantha's huge. It doesn't cost less to ship it the more you buy. Eventually, it just starts costing more.
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Thanasis Patsios
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C3Gaming wrote:
Discounted group buys is a different thing. It isn't companies taking a hit on profit margins to get the game out cheaper, it's literally "it costs less to ship all of this in one go".

But Glorantha's huge. It doesn't cost less to ship it the more you buy. Eventually, it just starts costing more.


While I understand the reasoning, that's not true. There are a lot of companies that are taking a hit on profit margins, in order to facilitate and (in the process) gain group buys.

Artipia is doing it right now with Fields of Green (almost 20% discount for 10+ copies). Stonemaier gave group buy discounts with their realistic resources boxes. CMON, whose pledge rewards end up being multiple big boxes are shipping to Greece (an expensive destination to ship in Europe) using FEDEX (an expensive courier) and when 3 people "bundle up" they end up paying 1.5 times the cost of shipping a single reward. Roxley offered free shipping for group buys of 10 boxes for Santorini. The list is endless.

For publishers, whether they'll heavily discount the cost or the shipping is irrelevant. It's part of their margins of profit. PG decided not to do it for group buys and I believe it's hurting the campaign, since

a) They're trying to sell an expensive product
b) Shipping for international hurts like hell!

Again, I'm not complaining. All I'm saying is that should they have come up with small solutions like these, I'm sure the amount of money pledged would've been a lot higher, hence a lot more SGs would've been unlocked and a lot more value would've been added to the package, attracting in result a lot more backers.
 
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Niko
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NasosP wrote:
For publishers, whether they'll heavily discount the cost or the shipping is irrelevant. It's part of their margins of profit. PG decided not to do it for group buys [...]
Yes, because they are already doing it for everybody, especially customers in Europe!
Not sure if the original shipping costs can be found somewhere, but PG dropped the shipping costs to Europe by almost 50% by paying the VAT out of their own pocket. Everybody elses shipping got dropped a little but too.

Basically, instead of making no money on the shipping as they set out to do they have now promised to take a loss on shipping.
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Peter Bowie
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NasosP wrote:
Roxley offered free shipping for group buys of 10 boxes for Santorini.


As far I remember (I did a group buy on Santorini), that fell into standard shipping rate discounts. Up to a certain point, shipping does get cheaper. But Santorini is a tiny box that probably doesn't exceed 1g. Gods War is 4kg by itself (and does offer cheaper combined shipping, the Gods War + Empires is 8kg, but is only $7-$10 more expensive than the shipping for the core game alone.)

For the rest, this is a result of subsidized shipping (while not a lot of Kickstarters advertise it, the Anachrony Kickstarter at least makes explicit mention of it). This is when the expensive-ass EU VAT is spread across the other pledges (effectively meaning people in the US are paying a portion of your VAT). Think of it almost like, instead of charging the US cheap shipping and the EU expensive shipping, everyone gets to pay an average shipping (which is coupled into the game's price, in some cases).

Which is fine, but a lot less doable when your game's way more expensive (with higher VAT), yet gets the same amount of backers. (The aforementioned Anachrony had 4500 backers, while Cthulhu Wars has a similar amount, but also 2-8x times the price, depending on pledge levels).

The shipping prices have actually already been heavily subsidized. Expensive shipping is just a necessity when your make big, heavy (and awesome) games. (Which have already been heavily discounted already, literally Petersen Games taking a hit on profit because of shipping costs.)

NasosP wrote:
b) Shipping for international hurts like hell!


Not really. I'm EU too. Hurting like hell is expecting to pay $80 to import Innovation Deluxe when the game costs $80. I wanted to import Millennium Blades when it came out to get the Promo Packs, but the shipping cost more than the game. (Thankfully, they did the second Kickstarter, yay... which had way better, but still fairly pricey shipping).
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Thanasis Patsios
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Peter, all that is true (although you dodged the CMON example, which also ends up as a heavy product and quite expensive to ship ). It doesn't matter that Santorini was a 1kgr box. The point of the example is that by offering the group-buy and hence the discount, they attracted many internationals that wouldn't have otherwise pledged.

I'm not saying they're senseless, to the contrary. The $180 in shipping was just absurd, no European would have pledged on that rate. So yes, they did help out with VAT. Maybe they decided to go with manufacturing value, instead of retail, maybe they took the whole hit. I don't know and it doesn't matter. What does matter is that it doesn't go as planned. For every you and me there are probably 20 other EU fans of Sandy's asymmetrical designs that won't justify the cost+shipping. That's a given, PG has admitted to it.

Their business, their choice. It's refreshing to see a publisher holding his ground. If they think it suits them, I'm all for it. All I'm saying is, IF they want a million dollar campaign, similar to CW, they need to attract more international backers, hit more SGs and end up with a more attractive package during the process.

I won't highjack the thread anymore, initially I was simply adding my voice to what beefarm was saying. I wish the campaign ends up exactly as the PG team envisioned it.
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Peter Bowie
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NasosP wrote:
Peter, all that is true (although you dodged the CMON example, which also ends up as a heavy product and quite expensive to ship ).


Ahem, I did quite blatantly state that the majority of big KS companies - CMON included - subsidize shipping. Which they can do, because CMON get tons of pledges. If every backer pays for a portion of Greece's VAT, it doesn't increase the cost of the game substantially, but Greece shipping gets to be cheaper.

More niche games, such as EGG's Vital Lacerta line, have expensive EU shipping, because they don't have the level of backers required to standardize shipping.

NasosP wrote:
It doesn't matter that Santorini was a 1kgr box. The point of the example is that by offering the group-buy and hence the discount, they attracted many internationals that wouldn't have otherwise pledged.


Ah, I see your point. I'd point this again to Glorantha being pretty niche. I don't think a lot of people would be into a group buy (and shipping to multiple people over the UK would cost a lot anyway). Although at least estimated shipping rates for multiple purchases would be nice.

NasosP wrote:
I'm not saying they're senseless, to the contrary. The $180 in shipping was just absurd, no European would have pledged on that rate.


I did, and several others did. The Onslaught Two KS had similar rates, and had a ton of EU backers. It is absurd. Compared to America, board game prices in the EU are absurd. £90/106 Euro for Feast of Odin, ugh.

NasosP wrote:
So yes, they did help out with VAT. Maybe they decided to go with manufacturing value, instead of retail, maybe they took the whole hit.


Declaring manufacturing value is against EU law, so no, they haven't done that.
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C3Gaming wrote:
NasosP wrote:
Peter, all that is true (although you dodged the CMON example, which also ends up as a heavy product and quite expensive to ship ).


Ahem, I did quite blatantly state that the majority of big KS companies - CMON included - subsidize shipping. Which they can do, because CMON get tons of pledges. If every backer pays for a portion of Greece's VAT, it doesn't increase the cost of the game substantially, but Greece shipping gets to be cheaper.


How do you know that? In fact, how do you even know PG doesn't subsidize? You're just an enthusiast (I guess) that takes them up on their word in good faith (as do I). But how do you know CMON or anyone does that? CMON latest project has US backers pay $10-$15 for shipping, backers from Oceania $13-$25, from Africa $70, Germany $10, Romania $55 and Greece $70. I don't see any subsidizing. Yet they will offer via their pledge manager the option to pay less shipping when ordering multiples. And it will definitely be a really heavy game.

C3Gaming wrote:
NasosP wrote:
It doesn't matter that Santorini was a 1kgr box. The point of the example is that by offering the group-buy and hence the discount, they attracted many internationals that wouldn't have otherwise pledged.


Ah, I see your point. I'd point this again to Glorantha being pretty niche. I don't think a lot of people would be into a group buy (and shipping to multiple people over the UK would cost a lot anyway). Although at least estimated shipping rates for multiple purchases would be nice.


True, it would be nice.

C3Gaming wrote:
NasosP wrote:
I'm not saying they're senseless, to the contrary. The $180 in shipping was just absurd, no European would have pledged on that rate.


I did, and several others did. The Onslaught Two KS had similar rates, and had a ton of EU backers. It is absurd. Compared to America, board game prices in the EU are absurd. £90/106 Euro for Feast of Odin, ugh.


I'm sorry, but that's not true. Onslaught 2 had European backers of Mysteries of the Worm pay $180 in shipping for a 35Kgr package! I doubt the Hero pledge will be half this weight. As for the majority of Europeans, they mostly backed at either the European Pnakotic Manuscripts or tMFO at advertised shipping rates of $43-$60.
 
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Peter Bowie
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NasosP wrote:
How do you know that?


Apologies first off if I'm coming off harsh - I've seen a lot of EU complainers in my time, so I'm a bit grouchy when it comes to the topic.

Massive Darkness, right? VAT would be $24 for the base game alone (20% of $120). It could be eating into their profits on EU pledges, or they could have just charged more for the product overall to keep the same profit margin on everything. It's the same difference. They sell a lot of units, they can take a bite in their profits.

Stonemaier Games (of the legendary Kickstarter mogul diaries) and the aforementioned Mindclash Games (Trickerion/Anachrony) are pretty open about subsidizing shipping. It's not a bad thing, it's just not something that's cost effective for everything Kickstarter.

Like with companies that make niche games, like Level 99 Games, Eagle-Gryphon Games or even Petersen Games.

NasosP wrote:
I'm sorry, but that's not true. Onslaught 2 had European backers of Mysteries of the Worm pay $180 in shipping for a 35Kgr package! I doubt the Hero pledge will be half this weight. As for the majority of Europeans, they mostly backed at either the European Pnakotic Manuscripts or tMFO at advertised shipping rates of $43-$60.


I stand corrected. Still, the $180 shipping didn't seem off to me. $90 VAT (on the $450 pledge), shipping and handling by ferry from China, shipping and handling from the EU hub...
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C3Gaming wrote:
Apologies first off if I'm coming off harsh - I've seen a lot of EU complainers in my time, so I'm a bit grouchy when it comes to the topic.


Well, I tell you, you're a lot better spoken than a lot of the other "enthousiasts" at the comments section of the KS

C3Gaming wrote:
I stand corrected. Still, the $180 shipping didn't seem off to me. $90 VAT (on the $450 pledge), shipping and handling by ferry from China, shipping and handling from the EU hub...


I'm in at the Hero level as well. But you know what? We're a small minority. My guess is you also have everything Cthulhu Wars, hence you couldn't even think about missing on Gods War. But that's the thing: there's a very small group of gamers that have actually played CW. To everybody else this amount of money is a very big commitment, even before thinking about shipping. On top of that, the campaign hasn't generated interesting SGs. It's mostly stuff that add to the existing packages, but you get the impression that these were conceived in these packages in the first place. I don't believe that Empires was meant to be sold at $135 with 3 factions. In the same way, Monsters feel incomplete to me without the Giant, Androge(n)us and Leviathan.

You need to give these "green" backers something. Even though I've pledged, I managed to put together a group pledge with a local retailer. And you know what? I've got 5 other people (non-CW gamers) that will put in their money through the retailer. The decisive factor was they won't have to pay shipping on top of an already expensive game, for which they know nothing about. PG should've worked more on that, even for normal backers. It's a wasted opportunity.

I'm anxiously waiting PG's announcement on the restructuring of the SGs. They really need to work on this now, before the 48hours email goes through, so that people that come at that point see a high-value package that will justify the high cost.
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Peter Bowie
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NasosP wrote:
Well, I tell you, you're a lot better spoken than a lot of the other "enthousiasts" at the comments section of the KS


Though, I am one of those enthusiasts! I do try to consider both view points and back up my opinions with facts.

Quote:
I'm in at the Hero level as well. But you know what? We're a small minority. My guess is you also have everything Cthulhu Wars, hence you couldn't even think about missing on Gods War.


Too true. In fact, I only got Onslaught Two because I'd bought the core game discounted and then it turned out to be the favourite game ever (despite me mostly being a heavy euro gamer).

Quote:
On top of that, the campaign hasn't generated interesting SGs... Giant, Androge(n)us and Leviathan.


I know what you mean, unlocking the Moon Empire was more like a sigh of relief than jumping for joy. Although I think most of it is about the structure of the SGs and revealing the whole list beforehand. Much less of a bummer if all the sets are unlocked sequentially and we don't even know about the cool stuff that hasn't been unlocked (because if you don't know Leviathan exists, it becomes more "I wish there was more in the Monsters box" rather than "the Monsters box is incomplete!").

While I'm not a massive CMON fan, they've got a solid system for stretch goals.

Quote:
I'm anxiously waiting PG's announcement on the restructuring of the SGs. They really need to work on this now, before the 48hours email goes through, so that people that come at that point see a high-value package that will justify the high cost.


Well, they're supposed to be announcing something (hopefully today). So we'll see what happens.
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