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Subject: Does kickstarter success always lead to retail? rss

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I ask this because I was undecided about a few kickstarters and decided to wait and see. I have a limited budget and prefer to see gameplay and reviews of final versions. My own thoughts are once a KS have been fulfilled all the prep work has been done for a retail release but is it possible after running an extremely successful campaign a publisher feels they have used up the demand necessary for another print run?
 
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Samuel Hinz
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no it doesn't. if it's an established brand it probably will. if its not an established brand. it may or may not. typically good games will see the light of day. so save your cash and buy good stuff
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Joe Kundlak
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I don't think so, it would rather be "some Kickstarters lead to retail", but those are a vast minority IMO.
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Matt Stokes
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The thing with Kickstarter is that the products usually fill a small niche. The majority of people that would actually buy it, how ever small that number is, already bought it in the Kickstarter. So your potential customers outside of Kickstarter don't really exist. Unless the game has an appeal larger than those that brought it to life, it will never go farther than "Funded".
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Alexandre P.
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"Success" is relative: a campaign can be funded while it's a money loss for the creator.
La Boite de Jeu had a 8 k€ goal for 10' to Kill while the effective cost 30 k€ according to the designer/publisher, for example.

And, as said above, some games have success on KS because they are weird/funny/weirdly funny and the people behind them seems likeable but I don't think they would grab the eye of the consumers on FLGS and websites.
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Milki Kaplanski
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A successful Kickstarter does not always lead to a retail release afterwards, sadly. Like the others already said a) often those that back the game on Kickstarter are already the vast majority of potential customers and b) it depends on the size of the company behind it - if it's a big company it's likely they have the resources to produce more if there's enough interest, but if it's a few individuals having to handle all of the production process along with the creative work, it's very unlikely they are able to self-publish more copies (unless doing another Kickstarter for a re-print, which has happened before). But if no big publisher licenses the game, chances to ever see it again are slim.

Another thing to factor in is, even if it gets a retail release, if it only gets one in the US, shipping costs and custom taxes can make it awfully expensive anyway. Kickstarters usually give you much cheaper shipping options to Europe. (and the games are usually priced a littler lower than the retail price - unless you wait a year or two for the price to drop - tho that could backfire as well, as it could sell out and become super rare and expensive again ;>)

And then there is Kickstarter exclusive stretch goals and all that shiny stuff.

My general rule for board game Kickstarters is this:

If it's something rather niche, that *really* interests me and it has lots of KS exclusive content - I back the game.

If it's something that appeals to a broader audience and the Kickstarter is super successful, I usually wait for a retail release unless there are super awesome stretch goals that haven't been met or they offer super awesome KS exclusive game add-ons.

Another thing that I find noteworthy: When you back a game on Kickstarter, you can give direct feedback to the devs, in quite a few cases there's access to a print & play version way before the final print release and I've seen quite a few games changing up a few things, evolving into something even better after Kickstarter backers gave their feedback.

Some Kickstarters even offer a low level pledge with access to the print & play version, so just backing at that level to try the game out and see for yourself if you like it and want the boxed version can be an option as well. :)
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Chris
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comments I heard from Stephen Bouncouoreucoeuuo and Ignacy Notevengonnatry were that a succesfully Indie Kickstarter usually guarentee's it can never be picked up for a later conventional production / distribution run due to the vague knots and ties that the game is now covered in from the small initial print run. I can't remember the exact detail, but the gist is really that if a KS works, you'll have to keep doing your own publishing or the game will die.
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Greg
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No. I've raised a little over £80,000 on Kickstarter and only one of the four games I did it with is available in shops (and it wasn't the one that made the most money!)

There are lots of factors that key into it. I'd imagine that for a lot of small creators the main one is that they see 90% of the funds from KS and 40% of the funds for a retail sale - if their manufacturing costs are say 60% of a reasonable price then it makes sense to have it on KS but not at retail.

A lot of distributors and retailers are wary of products that have been through Kickstarter, unless they were smash hits with no exclusives. Some won't talk to you about a game that's been on Kickstarter at all.

That being said you can probably get a copy second hand. Almost every project has at least one backer who finds the game isn't what they expected and will look to get rid of it.

If the project funds of course. If everyone waits to grab one after it's funded then it won't exist at all.

Personally I back rarely, but try to offer a lot of support and word spreading when I do - generally in a spirit of "I think there's merit to this existing in the world", which is a couple of tiers above a mere "I'd like to buy and play this game"
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Pauly Paul
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Sadly no. If the game is very successful then there really should be no excuse however some creators don't think passed the Kickstarter.

If you're familiar with Kickstarter there are some indicators that can help you speculate but unless it's a large publisher like Queen or CMON, it's still guessing.

I'd start by looking to see if they have had passed Kickstarters and then look to see if any of those games ended up at retail. If they are a first time creator, odds are it could end up just being available during the campaign (although not always, Stockpile was a perfect example of a successful Kickstarter that went on to retail and then used that success to pay for a second printing of the game).
 
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