Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

SteamRollers» Forums » General

Subject: Why the "1 Year Exclusive*?" rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Stephen Jacobsen
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
who longs for oolong
badge
You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just an armchair observation/opinion here, but why the 1 year restricted/limited distribution?

It seems to me that with games, you need to "strike while the iron's hot," and try to get your game into as many hands a quickly as you can to try to create buzz and potentially/hopefully lead to long-term success.

If you limit the distribution to those that happened to hear of it in a semi-random window of a couple of weeks for an entire year, then the chance of the game having a quick dive into obscurity seems much higher (the exact same fate of nearly all but a couple thousand games that have ever been published.).


Just my
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler DeLisle
United States
Richardson
TX
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Seems an odd choice, but also I guess a clever way of hyping people up to pay MSRP for a Kickstarter without using things like exclusive promo's and such. The game has formed somewhat of a cult following despite not having broad distribution. Maybe they're banking on the exclusivity keeping the game in people's minds as a difficult to acquire game before it hits a bigger distribution rather than being a flash in a pan amongst thousands of game releases.

Not sure if it will pay off, but it's an interesting strategy, if that is what they were going for.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler DeLisle
United States
Richardson
TX
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looking at the wording on the Kickstarter again, it seems potentially devious. They say it's exclusive for one year, from the end of the Kickstarter. Well the Kickstarter isn't set to deliver until May of next year, if it's on time. Could very well be exclusive for only a few months. Also says they "may" have plans to have it available through their own Amazon shop afterwards, not really exclusive then, just limited availability through game stores and online retailers.

Could just be a clever ploy to slap "Exclusive" on their header without actually including anything exclusive. In general it seems a way to make more money by cutting out the middle man. Will sell less copies but more profit per copy?

All just guessing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Jacobsen
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
who longs for oolong
badge
You are excrement. You can change yourself into gold.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TyDeL wrote:
Looking at the wording on the Kickstarter again, it seems potentially devious. They say it's exclusive for one year, from the end of the Kickstarter. Well the Kickstarter isn't set to deliver until May of next year, if it's on time. Could very well be exclusive for only a few months. Also says they "may" have plans to have it available through their own Amazon shop afterwards, not really exclusive then, just limited availability through game stores and online retailers.

Could just be a clever ploy to slap "Exclusive" on their header without actually including anything exclusive. In general it seems a way to make more money by cutting out the middle man. Will sell less copies but more profit per copy?

All just guessing.


Wow, I didn't even notice that detail. It seems even more silly. Projects are frequently months late, and if it's 4-5+ months late "exclusive" literally means nothing. This makes me think it's simply a marketing gimmick.

I get cutting out the middle-man. There are several companies that seem to be doing ok with only direct distribution. Sometimes it works, more often it doesn't [speculation based on general observation]. I guess a lot depends upon quality of product and marketing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
Hinckley
Leics
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TyDeL wrote:
Looking at the wording on the Kickstarter again, it seems potentially devious.
I am no fan of Kickstarter shenanigans for hyping a product to encourage backers to part with more cash than they need to long before they need to, however I cannot see that there is anything devious here (unlike many other KSs). The mere fact that the wording exists and is clear in its meaning shows that it is not at all devious. Deviousness implies deliberate obfuscation or false representation (something several KSs and publishers are all too capable of) but there is no evidence of that here. In fact I applaud the publishers for their clear explanation and for producing only ONE version of the game for KS and retail channels.

The only reason I haven't backed the KS is the cost of shipping from France to the UK is 50% of the cost of the game. It will be a LOT cheaper when it hits retail channels in the UK. France is by far not the cheapest country for shipping and is a poor choice in that regard.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eric hanuise
Belgium
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi everyone.

These are all valid and important questions, so I'll be happy to shed some light on this aspect of the SteamRollers campaign:-)

First the exclusive will start running when the game is available (expected may 2018), not on sept 21 when the campaign ends. Maybe I should have made this more clear in the description, sorry for the confusion.

Then to explain the whys and hows of this limited exclusivity, I first need to refer you to an important piece of contextual info: the latest Flatlined Games stakeholders report that I published this summer:
https://www.flatlinedgames.com/flatlined_games_stakeholders_...

(Specifically the section 'new business model')

Quote:
New business model

A new business model is required for me to stay in operation in this changing market. Manufacturing games, placing them at a distributor warehouse and relying on them to do sales and solicitations requires a sizeable amount of cash on hand to start with, and is a very risky proposition. It also requires marketing and promotion efforts at a scale well beyond my reach. With the current quantity of new releases each week, no distributor can effectively promote each of my games to their retailer clients. Even them must make choices to face this flood of releases. But then what with the games that are not picked for the spotlight? Is the publisher expected to just write them off and have them destroyed? This is of course unsustainable, and more like playing the lottery than actually managing a business.



Distributors will of course be happy to carry titles that are in demand by their clients, so it’s now my job as publisher to make sure this demand exists and to build up a game’s reputation before it reached distribution ─ if it ever does.

The explosive growth of the market and of Kickstarter and online sales offers new sales channels. I view them as complementary to the ‘main’ distributor-retailer sale channel more than concurrent, and I will start to aggressively make use of these newer channels.



So my new model would be fund through Kickstarter, sell to gamers and interested retailers, sell direct and through some online channels, and then if the game reaches a high enough threshold move it through ‘classic’ distribution.

It means offering incentives to the players and stores that support us for launching new products. I have some ideas about this and I look forward to experimenting the opportunities that the new channels such as Kickstarter or direct sales offer.

I also have some ideas to support retailers in the process with models that are compatible with the way a FLGS is run: paying hundreds of euros up to a year in advance of receiving the product doesn’t work for a shop, so alternative models are required.

I will also aggressively pursue licensing with foreign partners, as a local publisher is better suited than I ever would be to release and promote localized versions of my games in their country.


Flatlined Games is a one-man store, and I currently have no distribution in US. Actually I have distribution and France and Belgium and that's it.
There's more and more games coming on the market, and stores and distributors are cherry picking the titles they will carry. It's perfectly OK and in line with their business model, but where does that leave me if I'm not one of the happy few ?
So once SteamRollers is printed, I'll sell to the very few US stores that have chosen to support the campaign, and through limited channels : directly from my website (shipping will be an issue), through Funagain US, through the retailers that supported us, and if I can figure out how to set up a flatlined games storefront with Amazon US I'll gladly do it but I don't expect to sell thousands of games that way. Rather dozens, this seems more realistic.

So I'm trying to be as upfront as can be about this. If you think this is too widespread and not exclusive enough, this is perfectly understandable - never back a project you're not fully confortable with!

Regarding UK (and Europe) The situation will be quite similar, so don't expect to find SteamRollers at your local retailer if they didn't support us during the campaign.

When I released Argo, I was given the cold shoulder by retailers and distributors, with 'We have seen no requests for this game previous to its release so we'll pass' a very common feedback. This got me thinking and prompted me to experiment other ways to sell games.
My hope is that the game will continue to get good reviews, build a following, and when I approach distributors one year from release, they will have heard about the game and be open to it.
It's a gamble, time will tell.

12 
 Thumb up
5.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
Hinckley
Leics
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ehanuise wrote:
Hi everyone.
...


What a wonderfully informative and open post!

Thank you so much, and have some more applause from me for your approach to these matters - very refreshing. I wish you much success.

I just wish you weren't shipping from France
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eric hanuise
Belgium
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you :-)
Actually shipping from France is much cheaper than shipping from Belgium so it makes sense.
All copies produced will be headed for fulfillment to France and US, and shipping US-UK would be more expensive.
I'm very sorry about this sad situation, shipping is a b**** and no-one wants to pay for it, but someone must.
I cover part of the shipping, but not the whole.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
Hinckley
Leics
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ehanuise wrote:
Thank you :-)
Actually shipping from France is much cheaper than shipping from Belgium so it makes sense.
Oh, that is true: BE and NL have such high shipping costs for what are mercantile countries; Germany - of course - has comparatively lower costs.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eric hanuise
Belgium
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
By the way, this is the end of our campaign :-) Last few hours, ending this Thursday at 7PM (GMT+1).
So far the retailer response has been positive, and there has been no major outcry about the exclusive limited period.
Time will tell if this was a good idea :-)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/steamrol...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really like the game, and the PnP works well - but the shipping is what is killing it for me too. It is not as bad in the US as for other countries, but it is increasing the cost of the game by almost a third. I guess I am going to have to wait and see if I can snag one from a US retailer once they become available.

I hope the exclusivity works out for you and keeps you afloat - it is a great game and I think a lot of people would enjoy it if you could get it out mainstream!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eric hanuise
Belgium
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you.
It's indeed a gamble, but the market moves fast so we indies must adapt to it or fail :-)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tyler DeLisle
United States
Richardson
TX
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the great reply Eric! Sorry if I came off as accusing at all. It's a new business model so the explanation is welcome. I was a bit on the fence for most of the campaign because the price is a bit high for what it is with the Euro conversion and shipping added on. In the end though, happy to support such a small operation bringing great games to the market. Best of luck!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eric hanuise
Belgium
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You're welcome, thank you for your support!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Jones
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ehanuise wrote:
You're welcome, thank you for your support!


Eric, can you comment on why I am seeing preorders for this game on Miniature Market and other websites with a June delivery date? At less money than I paid for the Kickstarter version? (and yes, I realize that Stronghold is publishing this "version")

I would not have any issue with this usually, but you made a promise for one year of exclusivity during the Kickstarter campaign - and I am sure many people backed due to thinking there would be no other option to buy the game. Is the Stronghold edition that's being advertised the same game? Are there any upgrades to components or differences in the game at all?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.