$20.00
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
32 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Mechs vs. Minions» Forums » General

Subject: Next time they should just do a pre order rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Robert Austin
United States
Albany
Oregon
flag msg tools
They should do a pre-order and take everyone's orders in a, well orderly fashion, then they would also have a better idea of how many to produce for the various waves.

But then again I guess time-outs and constant refreshing does build anticipation...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Jackson
Australia
Tasmania
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
And when would they open the pre-order? How would they not still have people hammering the website trying to get into the first shipment for pre-orders?

I don't think there is an easy solution. Too much hype, but they need to build hype to ensure sales.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Austin
United States
Albany
Oregon
flag msg tools
If they would have opened the pre-order before they began their media blitz they would have seen people trickle in as they saw the various reviews and such. Instead they have everyone seeing the reviews then sitting in anticipation and slam them as soon as the site opens. Meh too late now and they will live and learn I suppose.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Cantrell
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Hype was actually never the goal. Pre-orders would have had two possible outcomes... One, we wait until after we've provided context around the game before we opened pre-orders and people still have a strikingly similar experience. Or two, we put up pre-orders at announce and people feel rushed to place their order without having time to decide if the game is really for them.

No one is happy about how today went. We dropped the ball pretty hard. We'll learn from it and keep going. Another way to look at it, is most pre-orders (and kickstarters) take months to come out. I'd be surprised if the people trying to get the game today won't receive it for months. Even if you throw your hands up in frustration and come back in a week, we will still be selling copies and it will still most likely get there before a kickstarter would have arrived.

We tried something unconventional by selling direct to keep player costs around $75 instead of $200. We definitely have kinks to sort through with the initial demand, but I still think we ultimately made the right call by selling direct.

We just have to get better at it.
41 
 Thumb up
0.35
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Langford
United Kingdom
Burntwood
Staffordshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Riot Kades wrote:
Hype was actually never the goal. Pre-orders would have had two possible outcomes... One, we wait until after we've provided context around the game before we opened pre-orders and people still have a strikingly similar experience. Or two, we put up pre-orders at announce and people feel rushed to place their order without having time to decide if the game is really for them.

No one is happy about how today went. We dropped the ball pretty hard. We'll learn from it and keep going. Another way to look at it, is most pre-orders (and kickstarters) take months to come out. I'd be surprised if the people trying to get the game today won't receive it for months. Even if you throw your hands up in frustration and come back in a week, we will still be selling copies and it will still most likely get there before a kickstarter would have arrived.

We tried something unconventional by selling direct to keep player costs around $75 instead of $200. We definitely have kinks to sort through with the initial demand, but I still think we ultimately made the right call by selling direct.

We just have to get better at it.


Don't worry Chris, the reviews are brilliant, you've smashed production and price and post costs (even for us in the U.K. where GBP:USD is dire!).

The bar has been set high.

In a couple of months when we're all playing at Xmas, this will be a long forgotten memory!!

At least it shows you have another market!!

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
I'm not at all complaining (I ordered mine at 6 p.m. in less than 5 minutes) but I would ask why not offer a game for sale first, then release information about it without any media blackouts until a certain day? People would just discover it like they discover any product.

I'd GUESS in this scenario orders would trickle in at first. As people found out about it and it became popular they could then order then and there without waiting for some arbitrary date. Sure you'd get some bigger waves of orders but I don't think you'd have server limitations causing an issue because it's just a game minus media hype.

I just don't get the whole date and time thing that you have to wait for to order. That creates all the hype in the world whether intended or not. Now you have this whole scarcity of a commodity going on (real or imagined) and it brings out the worst in people (or calls attention to technical limitations). This makes me think of Black Friday in any retail establishment.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liam
Scotland
flag msg tools
admin
I am BGG's official honey trap
mbmbmbmbmb
Moved from News to General.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Cantrell
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
GilbertMark wrote:
I'm not at all complaining (I ordered mine at 6 p.m. in less than 5 minutes) but I would ask why not offer a game for sale first, then release information about it without any media blackouts until a certain day? People would just discover it like they discover any product.

I'd GUESS in this scenario orders would trickle in at first. As people found out about it and it became popular they could then order then and there without waiting for some arbitrary date. Sure you'd get some bigger waves of orders but I don't think you'd have server limitations causing an issue because it's just a game minus media hype.

I just don't get the whole date and time thing that you have to wait for to order. That creates all the hype in the world whether intended or not. Now you have this whole scarcity of a commodity going on (real or imagined) and it brings out the worst in people (or calls attention to technical limitations). This makes me think of Black Friday in any retail establishment.


I hear you. I guess I felt that requesting a media blackout until after launch is a pretty insidious tactic. Man, nothing tanks my faith in a game more than not allowing reviewers to do their thing until after you're making sales. That's a HUGE red flag for me.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
Riot Kades wrote:
GilbertMark wrote:
I'm not at all complaining (I ordered mine at 6 p.m. in less than 5 minutes) but I would ask why not offer a game for sale first, then release information about it without any media blackouts until a certain day? People would just discover it like they discover any product.

I'd GUESS in this scenario orders would trickle in at first. As people found out about it and it became popular they could then order then and there without waiting for some arbitrary date. Sure you'd get some bigger waves of orders but I don't think you'd have server limitations causing an issue because it's just a game minus media hype.

I just don't get the whole date and time thing that you have to wait for to order. That creates all the hype in the world whether intended or not. Now you have this whole scarcity of a commodity going on (real or imagined) and it brings out the worst in people (or calls attention to technical limitations). This makes me think of Black Friday in any retail establishment.


I hear you. I guess I felt that requesting a media blackout until after launch is a pretty insidious tactic. Man, nothing tanks my faith in a game more than not allowing reviewers to do their thing until after you're making sales. That's a HUGE red flag for me.


Yeah, that makes sense, but why not announce the game and then just ask for preorders and print based on demand?

You'd think Riot would have learned about being more transparent. Pretty sure you've heard this before, if not from me then from many others. But looking back at all the mess ups over things like Magma Chamber and Project Shiny and Ao Shin. They were all announced and then had radio silence on updates.

I know you don't want to set expectations too high and let people down, thus why Riot doesn't really announce things any more until they are ready, but don't you think a pre-order system and then printing the games would have been a better experience? Once you knew 100% that the game was ready and going to be made?

Heck, I don't even think the problem (this coming from someone who has been following Riot Games since the early, early beta) with Riot over the years has been making promises and failing to deliver them. But the fact that there was no update and the things were quietly shelved without explaining why.

Yes, it is a bit off topic and rambly, but I definitely think it all relates to a fundamental change that happened with Riot years ago and still hasn't been properly fixed. It is okay to build up anticipation and have troubles along the way... as long as you're clear why there have been troubles!

So why exactly did you guys decide to do it this way instead of taking pre-orders and then making them based on that?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kurt B
United States
Kansas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Stexe wrote:
So why exactly did you guys decide to do it this way instead of taking pre-orders and then making them based on that?


Asked and answered. Read the post five up from yours.

Personally I'd rather spend a few hours hitting F5 and getting my game next week than instant order it and have to wait months to get it.

They goofed the launch, they owned it, apologized and said they'd fix it. How about we just let it go and be happy they made this thing for us?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
kbieb wrote:
Stexe wrote:
So why exactly did you guys decide to do it this way instead of taking pre-orders and then making them based on that?


Asked and answered. Read the post five up from yours.

Personally I'd rather spend a few hours hitting F5 and getting my game next week than instant order it and have to wait months to get it.

They goofed the launch, they owned it, apologized and said they'd fix it. How about we just let it go and be happy they made this thing for us?


Except if they did pre-orders months ago you would have the game in the same time frame. The rational that "Or two, we put up pre-orders at announce and people feel rushed to place their order without having time to decide if the game is really for them." doesn't make much sense to me. If pre-orders were a month long and after reviews wouldn't people not have to rush and would still have time to decide if it was for them?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dean L
United Kingdom
Coventry
West Midlands
flag msg tools
If the pre orders came after reviews we'd have had the same chaos as we did this week when they opened.

And they can only print so many in a given time- both of the first two batches were booked in before any hype started, so we can assume that 15k now, 15k Dec was the quickest they could do them. Else they would have printed 30k straight off.

So that leaves the alternative of taking pre orders then just waiting until they can print the required number, before sending them out. So we would all get our games in December or March (and someone would have to pay the storage costs).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
Deano2099 wrote:
If the pre orders came after reviews we'd have had the same chaos as we did this week when they opened.

And they can only print so many in a given time- both of the first two batches were booked in before any hype started, so we can assume that 15k now, 15k Dec was the quickest they could do them. Else they would have printed 30k straight off.

So that leaves the alternative of taking pre orders then just waiting until they can print the required number, before sending them out. So we would all get our games in December or March (and someone would have to pay the storage costs).


Why would there have been just as much chaos? It wouldn't have mattered when you pre-ordered and people wouldn't be rushing to get an order in and thus overloading the system.

And you assuming they couldn't have announced the game months ago and been set to print for now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Frazer
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Stexe wrote:
Deano2099 wrote:
If the pre orders came after reviews we'd have had the same chaos as we did this week when they opened.

And they can only print so many in a given time- both of the first two batches were booked in before any hype started, so we can assume that 15k now, 15k Dec was the quickest they could do them. Else they would have printed 30k straight off.

So that leaves the alternative of taking pre orders then just waiting until they can print the required number, before sending them out. So we would all get our games in December or March (and someone would have to pay the storage costs).


Why would there have been just as much chaos? It wouldn't have mattered when you pre-ordered and people wouldn't be rushing to get an order in and thus overloading the system.

And you assuming they couldn't have announced the game months ago and been set to print for now.


I think you're focusing on the wrong problem. They designed a launch that would have been a very pleasing experience for the customers had the system not broken down.

If the store had been able to handle the crush of people, the process would have been: I order a game, in a week or so I get the game. Instead, because of the problems the process was: I fart around on BGG for an afternoon while I hit refresh a bunch times until I'm able to order a game, in a week or so I get the game.

Pre-orders and kickstarters are not an ideal purchasing solution and they're an objectively worse experience than "Here's my money, ship it now" I preorder boardgames because of the limitations inherent in the hobby, not because it's the best way to obtain a game. It caused me to pre-order SeaFall before any reviews were out, because I know that if it turns out the early reviews are good, I won't be able to get it before the second printing.

Riot is to be commended for most of their choices involved in the marketing of this game (in my opinion)

The place where they fell down (and they've owned this one repeatedly here in the comments) is that the store couldn't handle the traffic.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dean L
United Kingdom
Coventry
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Stexe wrote:
Deano2099 wrote:
If the pre orders came after reviews we'd have had the same chaos as we did this week when they opened.

And they can only print so many in a given time- both of the first two batches were booked in before any hype started, so we can assume that 15k now, 15k Dec was the quickest they could do them. Else they would have printed 30k straight off.

So that leaves the alternative of taking pre orders then just waiting until they can print the required number, before sending them out. So we would all get our games in December or March (and someone would have to pay the storage costs).


Why would there have been just as much chaos? It wouldn't have mattered when you pre-ordered and people wouldn't be rushing to get an order in and thus overloading the system.

And you assuming they couldn't have announced the game months ago and been set to print for now.


Because there is always going to be a limited amount of copies available in a limited timeframe because infinite production is not available. What if they do a pre order and say "we will print as many as we get orders and they get 100k orders"? It'd take around a year to get enough slots with a single printer to get that many done in one go(it's not the time for printing, it's that big runs need to be booked in advance). Or they do them in batches and sit on them until they're all done. Or they go, actually we've got 20k, so we may as well send these out to the first 20k buyers to save paying storage... At which point you have the exact situation we had this week.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
sfrazer wrote:
Stexe wrote:
Deano2099 wrote:
If the pre orders came after reviews we'd have had the same chaos as we did this week when they opened.

And they can only print so many in a given time- both of the first two batches were booked in before any hype started, so we can assume that 15k now, 15k Dec was the quickest they could do them. Else they would have printed 30k straight off.

So that leaves the alternative of taking pre orders then just waiting until they can print the required number, before sending them out. So we would all get our games in December or March (and someone would have to pay the storage costs).


Why would there have been just as much chaos? It wouldn't have mattered when you pre-ordered and people wouldn't be rushing to get an order in and thus overloading the system.

And you assuming they couldn't have announced the game months ago and been set to print for now.


I think you're focusing on the wrong problem. They designed a launch that would have been a very pleasing experience for the customers had the system not broken down.

If the store had been able to handle the crush of people, the process would have been: I order a game, in a week or so I get the game. Instead, because of the problems the process was: I fart around on BGG for an afternoon while I hit refresh a bunch times until I'm able to order a game, in a week or so I get the game.

Pre-orders and kickstarters are not an ideal purchasing solution and they're an objectively worse experience than "Here's my money, ship it now" I preorder boardgames because of the limitations inherent in the hobby, not because it's the best way to obtain a game. It caused me to pre-order SeaFall before any reviews were out, because I know that if it turns out the early reviews are good, I won't be able to get it before the second printing.

Riot is to be commended for most of their choices involved in the marketing of this game (in my opinion)

The place where they fell down (and they've owned this one repeatedly here in the comments) is that the store couldn't handle the traffic.


I disagree though. Even if the experience hadn't broken down it might not have been the best experience. There is always the potential that they completely sell out of the game, which is a horrible experience for anyone who didn't get to purchase it.

Although since it seems they still haven't sold out of wave 2 I guess the overall point is a bit moot.

I still don't like the radio silence about the game and then the "and you can buy it soon" hype. That is what FFG does and I dislike it when they do that too. It makes marketing sense, but from a customer perspective it rattles me. Riot is about being player focused first, which makes this method not the best in my eyes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Stexe wrote:
I disagree though. Even if the experience hadn't broken down it might not have been the best experience. There is always the potential that they completely sell out of the game, which is a horrible experience for anyone who didn't get to purchase it.


That's completely unavoidable if they are only printing 15k per run. If there are 16k people who want it RIGHT NOW then some of them must be disappointed. That's a mathematical theorem.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Cantrell
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Stexe wrote:

I disagree though. Even if the experience hadn't broken down it might not have been the best experience. There is always the potential that they completely sell out of the game, which is a horrible experience for anyone who didn't get to purchase it.


I'm trying to understand your point, because I suspect there is something pretty valuable for me to learn from this conversation. If I'm following you correctly, you're saying that we could have sold out and that would have been a terrible experience for players. (I agree.) And if we had done pre-orders, we could have accurately anticipated demand and avoided the chance of that happening. Am I understanding your point, correctly?

The thing is, we've setup a 'preorder' to do that right now. If we sell out of our large initial order, we default back to the situation you're describing where people are putting their names on a list, we're making their units, and then in 5-6 months, we're shipping those units out. Our backup plan takes as long as your initial plan, right? Or am I missing something? Wouldn't it be better to provide a better experience for many and then default back to pre-orders as a last alternative?

Stexe wrote:

I still don't like the radio silence about the game and then the "and you can buy it soon" hype. That is what FFG does and I dislike it when they do that too. It makes marketing sense, but from a customer perspective it rattles me. Riot is about being player focused first, which makes this method not the best in my eyes.


Yeah, I don't think you're the only one that's felt that way, either. It was unsettling on 9/19 to have a bombardment of reviews pop up on your YouTube feed, if I'm hearing you right?

For whatever it's worth, I still think the tactic that makes the most 'marketing sense' is to actually do the opposite of what we did and what you're describing by announcing the game early and slowly teasing out the anticipation. Slow-rolling hints about the components. Spending months to a year building up anticipation to a frenzied state. That's how you'd traditionally sell this product, you focus on the production value and price point and you don't let the conversation drift to the gameplay or whatever... But our goal was to provide context around the game from as many trusted sources as we could, then put the game on sale without stringing people along for months. That context and timeline felt the most player-focused to me - though I freely admit I may have gotten it wrong. I can't tell you how many kickstarters I've been giddy to back only to have lost interest by the time it finally got to me. If I could convince Riot to put forward a large initial investment to make a game we weren't even sure there'd be a market for... But by absorbing that risk, we were providing a better experience for you guys, then I wanted to do it.

Look, there's no doubt that waiting for hours to buy a game is an absurd waste of your time. But I think the solve for that - if we ever decide to do this again - is to build up our tech infrastructure to meet the load. We have the talent to make that happen, it's just been prioritized behind the opportunity cost of other features, and by the time we started to fully understand the demand, we only had weeks instead of the months that this solution would take.

But let's not confuse our marketing approach with our server instability. They feel like two separate issues to me.

Just my perspective; not trying to sound defensive or anything. Just thought you might be interested in the context behind my decisions. We obviously didn't get everything right, and I'm looking to level myself up, here.
13 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
Riot Kades wrote:
Stexe wrote:

I disagree though. Even if the experience hadn't broken down it might not have been the best experience. There is always the potential that they completely sell out of the game, which is a horrible experience for anyone who didn't get to purchase it.


I'm trying to understand your point, because I suspect there is something pretty valuable for me to learn from this conversation. If I'm following you correctly, you're saying that we could have sold out and that would have been a terrible experience for players. (I agree.) And if we had done pre-orders, we could have accurately anticipated demand and avoided the chance of that happening. Am I understanding your point, correctly?

The thing is, we've setup a 'preorder' to do that right now. If we sell out of our large initial order, we default back to the situation you're describing where people are putting their names on a list, we're making their units, and then in 5-6 months, we're shipping those units out. Our backup plan takes as long as your initial plan, right? Or am I missing something? Wouldn't it be better to provide a better experience for many and then default back to pre-orders as a last alternative?


If it takes 5 to 6 months to produce then I could see your rational. I was assuming 2 to 3 months. I guess it makes some sense then. Although releasing information ahead of time could have given you more opportunity to evaluate actual demand and correctly predict what would happen.

Riot Kades wrote:

Stexe wrote:

I still don't like the radio silence about the game and then the "and you can buy it soon" hype. That is what FFG does and I dislike it when they do that too. It makes marketing sense, but from a customer perspective it rattles me. Riot is about being player focused first, which makes this method not the best in my eyes.


Yeah, I don't think you're the only one that's felt that way, either. It was unsettling on 9/19 to have a bombardment of reviews pop up on your YouTube feed, if I'm hearing you right?

For whatever it's worth, I still think the tactic that makes the most 'marketing sense' is to actually do the opposite of what we did and what you're describing by announcing the game early and slowly teasing out the anticipation. Slow-rolling hints about the components. Spending months to a year building up anticipation to a frenzied state. That's how you'd traditionally sell this product, you focus on the production value and price point and you don't let the conversation drift to the gameplay or whatever... But our goal was to provide context around the game from as many trusted sources as we could, then put the game on sale without stringing people along for months. That context and timeline felt the most player-focused to me - though I freely admit I may have gotten it wrong. I can't tell you how many kickstarters I've been giddy to back only to have lost interest by the time it finally got to me. If I could convince Riot to put forward a large initial investment to make a game we weren't even sure there'd be a market for... But by absorbing that risk, we were providing a better experience for you guys, then I wanted to do it.

Look, there's no doubt that waiting for hours to buy a game is an absurd waste of your time. But I think the solve for that - if we ever decide to do this again - is to build up our tech infrastructure to meet the load. We have the talent to make that happen, it's just been prioritized behind the opportunity cost of other features, and by the time we started to fully understand the demand, we only had weeks instead of the months that this solution would take.

But let's not confuse our marketing approach with our server instability. They feel like two separate issues to me.

Just my perspective; not trying to sound defensive or anything. Just thought you might be interested in the context behind my decisions. We obviously didn't get everything right, and I'm looking to level myself up, here.


Teasing it and playing it up like you're saying *might* have possibly been a stronger marketing thing, but I'm not 100% sure. Fantasy Fligh Games (FFG) doesn't usually tease or release info until near shipping date and they do extremely well. Some companies build up hype over the course of many months, and others do it all at once towards the end. You see success in both situations. I personally like a longer build up so I can have time to evaluate the product, hear from others, and make a better sound decision.

The tons of reviews coming out at once and so much information to digest on the forums and website and so on all together felt overwhelming from a consumer perspective. There was little time to actually digest and comprehend it outside of "will be huge demand and must order ASAP in an attempt to get a product that could sell out even if I have to spend hours and hours in the ordering process."

I do appreciate understanding the context behind your decisions. It makes things easier to comprehend and is something I'm glad to see Riot Games doing more of in the dev diaries and so on.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Palmer
United States
Athens
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I work for a video game company (not anything as big as Riot... but we have our market, and I am actually one of the marketing people for the company, which I don't believe Kades is).

Review embargoes are, in my opinion, good because of one thing: The reviewers don't have to rush to be "the first out". Which means they get to spend time with the product.

If we send out 20 copies, and they can review whenever, the first review up will be the guy who spent the least amount of time making his review. This is bad for business, and bad for the players. The first review they see is probably going to be the shoddiest and least in depth.

If we send out 20 copies, and they can't review until 2 weeks from now. No one feels rushed. They all get to play the game for a week, and still have an entire week to make the review itself.

Review embargoes, as long as they don't last until after the game is out (that is scummy practice, and shows a complete lack of faith in your game), work really well.

They also result in what we saw, bunch of people all releasing the review at the same time.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
Touchfuzzy wrote:
I work for a video game company (not anything as big as Riot... but we have our market, and I am actually one of the marketing people for the company, which I don't believe Kades is).

Review embargoes are, in my opinion, good because of one thing: The reviewers don't have to rush to be "the first out". Which means they get to spend time with the product.

If we send out 20 copies, and they can review whenever, the first review up will be the guy who spent the least amount of time making his review. This is bad for business, and bad for the players. The first review they see is probably going to be the shoddiest and least in depth.

If we send out 20 copies, and they can't review until 2 weeks from now. No one feels rushed. They all get to play the game for a week, and still have an entire week to make the review itself.

Review embargoes, as long as they don't last until after the game is out (that is scummy practice, and shows a complete lack of faith in your game), work really well.

They also result in what we saw, bunch of people all releasing the review at the same time.


Except the board game industry is very different from the video game industry. Comparing to the two identically is a bit misleading. I'm a Marketing grad myself and I've studied both industries. The board game industry reviewers, outside of Tom Vasel, don't do it as a full time job. Even Rahdo doesn't -- he is retired and does it for fun and a little extra. It isn't his career. So there wouldn't really be people rushing to get reviews out in the same manner as the tons of video game reviewers who do it for views to earn profit.

The flood of reviews and information all at once was overwhelming to the point where as a consumer I felt like I was missing out if I didn't get a copy of the game. Had it been a slow trickle of information that was easily digestible then I would have had time to think about it, evaluate, and determine if it was for me. Luckily someone in my group waited 2.5 hours and got a copy, which took the pressure off of me directly.

It is a very similar tactic that FFG does. But if you compare it to many other companies it isn't the same and works fine for them.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nicholas Palmer
United States
Athens
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Except there was several weeks of time between the reviews and the order time. Plenty of time to digest the information at your leisure.

You are acting as though the reviews all came out, and then immediately you had to make a decision to buy. There was over THREE WEEKS of time between the review drop and initial sales.

And there is no doubt in my mind that reviewers in the board game industry rush to get reviews out first on the hottest games.Does this mean they do a crap job? Not necessarily. But I would always prefer that reviewers have time to properly explore a game before they feel they need to get a review out.

And from a marketing perspective, there is no way this launch could be seen as a failure, other than perhaps the tech problems with the site. They probably sold more in one day than any hobby board game has ever sold in a day.

And what you say as not player oriented, I see as the opposite. From the time I heard about the game, to the time it will probably be in my hands: probably a little over a month. Compare that to these hyped up kickstarters that I'm waiting on for a year or more.

Which one do you think I prefer to have? Hear about a game for a year that I can't play? Or be told a cool game is coming and have it within a month?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Cantrell
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Stexe wrote:
But if you compare it to many other companies it isn't the same and works fine for them.


I think this might be our delta, and I'm not really sure how to chat about the reality of the situation while still sounding humble. I guess I'll try and I REALLY hope this comes across as I intend. But Riot can't easily 'soft launch' a new product; especially a game. We just can't. Or at the very least, I haven't been smart enough to figure out how to do it. It's going to be news whether we intend it to or not.

It's like if Apple tried to quietly hint they were making iGoggles for VR or something. Speculation would hit frenzy levels very fast even if they were quiet and nonchalant about it. There are some scale problems that you deal with when you have a large enough consumer or player base. I suspect this is why Apple just holds a press conference to provide full context on their new product, and then a few days later, their stuff goes on sale. At this stage of the game, keeping the announce-to-delivery cycle as short as possible really helps them avoid rampant speculation and unnecessary consumer pain. They don't need to build up a buzz.

I'm not saying that Riot is the next Apple or anything like that, but I do think there are problems we have to deal with as a company that maybe aren't as shared throughout the rest of the boardgame industry. I don't think that's innately good or bad, but wondering why we aren't able to quietly announce a game like others in the industry also seems like a slightly unfair comparison. Again, I'm working hard to have a candid, thoughtful conversation with you about your concerns, and whether I'm right or not, I know I don't want to come across as pompous or tone deaf. I hope I didn't just do that.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Stexe wrote:
So there wouldn't really be people rushing to get reviews out in the same manner as the tons of video game reviewers who do it for views to earn profit.


When a boardgame comes out for the Cult of the New, I regularly see half-page written reviews which tell me very little about the game. These reviews get an inordinate number of thumbs *only* because they're the first one out and BGG'ers want to know *something* about the game. Frankly, I find them cheerleading, amateurish, and uninformative, at least compared to later reviews which, oddly enough, have more time to play and understand the game. An embargo is awkward, but, at lesat, I'm seeing video reviews that actually tell me about the game, as opposed to the OMG FIRST reviews I've seen. Now that we have video reviewers who have made a brand name for themselves, maybe it's possible to ask these reviewers to release their reviews not all at once. But I think that risks offending, even if mildly, some of these reviewers, and I wouldn't want to risk that.

As for trickling information, how about Every. Single. CMON KS??? Absolutely no information about the game, other than picture teaser after picture teaser after picture teaser. You know, because we buy the game for the art, and not the game. And, of course, when KickStarter switched to Stripe from Amazon payments, some backers didn't have a response for HOURS as whatever servers were being unresponsive.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Lopuszanski
United States
North Wales
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
So hear me roar! RAWR!
badge
Her Serenity, The Lady of Pain.
mbmbmbmbmb
Riot Kades wrote:
Stexe wrote:
But if you compare it to many other companies it isn't the same and works fine for them.


I think this might be our delta, and I'm not really sure how to chat about the reality of the situation while still sounding humble. I guess I'll try and I REALLY hope this comes across as I intend. But Riot can't easily 'soft launch' a new product; especially a game. We just can't. Or at the very least, I haven't been smart enough to figure out how to do it. It's going to be news whether we intend it to or not.

It's like if Apple tried to quietly hint they were making iGoggles for VR or something. Speculation would hit frenzy levels very fast even if they were quiet and nonchalant about it. There are some scale problems that you deal with when you have a large enough consumer or player base. I suspect this is why Apple just holds a press conference to provide full context on their new product, and then a few days later, their stuff goes on sale. At this stage of the game, keeping the announce-to-delivery cycle as short as possible really helps them avoid rampant speculation and unnecessary consumer pain. They don't need to build up a buzz.

I'm not saying that Riot is the next Apple or anything like that, but I do think there are problems we have to deal with as a company that maybe aren't as shared throughout the rest of the boardgame industry. I don't think that's innately good or bad, but wondering why we aren't able to quietly announce a game like others in the industry also seems like a slightly unfair comparison. Again, I'm working hard to have a candid, thoughtful conversation with you about your concerns, and whether I'm right or not, I know I don't want to come across as pompous or tone deaf. I hope I didn't just do that.


News is fine, but I do think you could soft launch it somewhat. Just felt overwhelming from my perspective. Even if it didn't to others.

I don't think it was bad overall, I'm just trying to give feedback on alternative methods that work in the board game industry.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.