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Mechs vs. Minions» Forums » General

Subject: Loss Leader rss

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Colin Nordstrom
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Posted earlier to the Man vs Meeple video review of M&M:

You guys eluded to the price point, but this can't be overstated. This game, from a component standpoint, is revolutionary. I'm not sure, but this seems to be a Riot Games loss leader venture. The game may be great, but this is setting the bar artificially high in the industry. I'm really conflicted on the long term impact of this game and the impact on the industry as a whole. I would really like to hear from someone like Jamey Stonemaier or owners of other companies, like CMON, who are pushing to have deluxe components, but not in retail editions. I was listening to the Miami Dice group, and Sam states, "See industry, look here at M&M, it can be done!" It can be? Really? I'm calling BS. It can't be done, or it would have been done already. Riot Games was able to produce this game because they have the resources to take a hit on this. M&M is a pure marketing ploy to draw people into their video game product. Love to hear some feedback and whether I'm way off base here.

Big Time Edit: Tencent, one of China's largest tech companies, owns majority stake in Riot Games. This game is definitely not a loss leader with that dynamic in the mix.
 
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Riley Doyle
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I don't think it's a loss leader for them.
I think they make enough money because they cut out distributors and retailers.
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James Mathias
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Riot Games is cutting out middle men. Which means they can charge less for the game, and still make the same profit off it's sale. They are not losing money on this game. It did not cost anywhere near $75 per unit to produce.
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Jack Fleming
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jmathias wrote:
Riot Games is cutting out middle men. Which means they can charge less for the game, and still make the same profit off it's sale. They are not losing money on this game. It did not cost anywhere near $75 per unit to produce.


Either way, jmathias's point still stands. I don't think any other board game company has the ability to pull off what Rito is attempting here. They have massive resources in both their financial backing and the reach the merch store has. Even the Asmodee companies wouldn't be able to drive enough customers to their company store to justify only selling through their store. I think it's awesome that Riot is doing this, but I bet the other companies in the industry are trying to figure out how to deal with how this release will impact customer perception of board game value.
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Colin Nordstrom
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So it costs, what, $50-60 to produce? There are boardgame companies that have taken out the middle man, printed up a bunch of cardboard and still sold for $50.

Then everyone says it's Riot Games' massive consumer base. Their consumer base is 25 year old video gamers who would never consider wasting their time playing a board game.

Still not convinced this isn't a clever marketing ploy.
 
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trevor

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evidence wrote:
So it costs, what, $50-60 to produce? There are boardgame companies that have taken out the middle man, printed up a bunch of cardboard and still sold for $50.

Then everyone says it's Riot Games' massive consumer base. Their consumer base is 25 year old video gamers who would never consider wasting their time playing a board game.

Still not convinced this isn't a clever marketing ploy.


If it is a marketing ploy, it's not a clever one, there are better ways to advertize than targetting a niche board gamer market.
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James Mathias
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evidence wrote:
So it costs, what, $50-60 to produce? There are boardgame companies that have taken out the middle man, printed up a bunch of cardboard and still sold for $50.

Then everyone says it's Riot Games' massive consumer base. Their consumer base is 25 year old video gamers who would never consider wasting their time playing a board game.

Still not convinced this isn't a clever marketing ploy.


Costs to produce this game are a lot lower than you'd guess, especially at the volume they've printed.

Not every video gamer loathes board gaming. I know this, as I am one, as are all three of my sons.

Not sure how this is a marketing ploy in any way. According to you their current market couldn't care any less about board games. And board gamers who aren't already playing LoL aren't likely to start playing it based on this game.

No, I believe it when they say this is a love letter to board gamers.
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Colin Nordstrom
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Could this game signal a change in the industry? I hope so. If this expands the board game universe into the video gamer world, then this is a totally positive thing. I'm all about getting humans away from a screen and interacting socially.
 
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WD Yoga
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jmathias wrote:


No, I believe it when they say this is a love letter to board gamers.


This is the kind of love letter that I adore and I am anxious to send my reply (my money lol) back to them!
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Colin Nordstrom
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I heard there are 30,000 preorders? How does this compare to Ticket to Ride or the best selling board games of all time?
 
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trevor

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evidence wrote:
Could this game signal a change in the industry? I hope so. If this expands the board game universe into the video gamer world, then this is a totally positive thing. I'm all about getting humans away from a screen and interacting socially.


Well I kinda agree with jmathias, I'm not sure where this divide between video gamers and board gamers is.

Sure there are advantages/disadvantages to each, but they are not mutually exclusive. I'm still both a board/video gamer. Games are games.
 
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Kapu Kapu
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Since the massdrop debacle we know that scythe is sold to distributors for probably less than 49USD. This already includes the margin for the publisher.
So if riot cuts out the distributor they can put 26USD more content in the box and still make a good profit.
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Riley Doyle
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evidence wrote:
I heard there are 30,000 preorders? How does this compare to Ticket to Ride or the best selling board games of all time?


30000 is their initial print run
 
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James Mathias
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evidence wrote:
I heard there are 30,000 preorders? How does this compare to Ticket to Ride or the best selling board games of all time?


30,000 is a large print run.

TTR has sold in excess of a million copies, but not in a single print run.
 
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Magic Pink
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RileyD wrote:
evidence wrote:
I heard there are 30,000 preorders? How does this compare to Ticket to Ride or the best selling board games of all time?


30000 is their initial print run


Where are people getting this figure from? The only place I've heard it mentioned is in reddit forums.
 
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Jeff M
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evidence wrote:
I heard there are 30,000 preorders? How does this compare to Ticket to Ride or the best selling board games of all time?


They are not taking orders yet.
 
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Riley Doyle
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http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/featured/mechs-vs-minions#

And the 30,000 print run came from the polygon article I think
 
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Neilan Naicker
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I think there are a couple of different factors at work here.

There's no denying that, in the board game community, $75 is phenomenal value for the contents of this box. That said, when Riot posted the first official video this morning, the comments were littered with (presumably) League of Legends players saying that $75 was an insane price for a board game (haha, who still plays board games in 2016, right?)

Their target demographic (namely, the millions of people who play League of Legends) is a vastly different audience to the average board gamer. For one thing, (and I don't have any facts to back this up), I suspect it skews MUCH younger. $75 is a lot to pay for a new video game, never mind for those who have devoted a lot of time to a free video game.

Riot knows this, and have to price their board game accordingly to appeal to people with a much lower income, without compromising on the quality of their brand.

Secondly, let's be honest, from a purely manufacturing point of view (discounting opportunity or RnD cost) they could charge less and still make a profit on a game with this distribution size. It's a very different consideration when it comes to Kickstarters and indie projects.

My gut feel is that this isn't purely a cynical move to increase their playerbase. I mean, it's League of Legends. The boardgame community is going to do nothing to their numbers. They're a studio with more talent/capital than output, so this feels like a passion project to strengthen their brand.

Big publishers like FFG could follow suit, but it wouldn't make business sense. The board game community ultimately sets the price of what they're willing to pay, and while products like Mechs vs Minions definitely shake that up a bit, I don't think it's going to ultimately amount to grand sweeping changes.
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Teik Chooi Oh
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Reading comments in LoL forums, quite a few fans already seem keen to get the board game. So considering they have 100 million fans, 0.1% interested would still mean 30,000 print run is way too small...
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Colin Nordstrom
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Passion project for the internal people of the company; marketing ploy to diversify their brand. Could be a little bit of both, but I'm still unsure what Riot has to gain from putting this game out there. This game is not being targeted at the boardgame community. Yes boardgamers play video games but come on, most don't. Do videogamers play board games? Yes, some do, but a lot lower percentage than the former group. Diehard young video gamers (those in the 16-25 demographic) would never be caught playing a board game.

Seems like, excluding some future expansion material, this will be Riot's one foray into the boardgame world. If that's a love letter, then so be it. If it turns out to be a great game, then kudos to the company and the designers.
 
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Colin Nordstrom
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One thing that also hasn't been stated here is that Tencent, one of China's largest tech companies, has majority stake in Riot Games. Think that might make a difference in how much printing would cost?
 
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Colin Nordstrom
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Whoops, that is kind of a major detail. Riot is probably producing MvM for $20/unit at a 30,000 print run. You guys are right, but not because of what was said above. I knew there was something more than selling direct to consumers. Goes to show, if you want to make a killing in business forge the best partnerships.
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Jason Speicher
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polygon article made it seem like they used Panda for this.
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WD Yoga
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According to this official account, 15K copies will be available in October and another 15K in December.

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Tomáš Sládek
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evidence wrote:
Diehard young video gamers (those in the 16-25 demographic) would never be caught playing a board


I don't get this sentiment. Granted, I'm just shy of that range now, but I played boardgames alongside videogames since I was 14 or so and someone showed me Bang! and Carcassonne. To me they're ideal complements. And I know a lot of people of my age who would think the same, and no-one who would flat out despise board games while lovign video games. Maybe the teenagers of today are different, but why would they be? Both types of games have not changed much since the 00s...
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