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Subject: "Deluxe" is new "Normal" rss

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Marcin Kaganek
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On KS campaign page for new TMG release, there is an interesting note :

Quote:
...However, we have seen the Board Game industry change from an era when satisfactory components and presentation were commonplace into a time where Deluxe games are now becoming the new “normal”. We see this and recognize it, and that is why for this release we offering only a fantastically upgraded Deluxe version...
What is a reason for such "industry change" ?

Is it publisher's ambition and better factory capabilities, or is it simple economics, where new releases are only profitable with higher margins from deluxe editions ?

Anyone ? ;-)
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Steve
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Yes.

Also, people want the "new hotness", not the "new drab".
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Pete
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It's hard to differentiate your game by making it actually a lot better than what came before it. But it's not hard to differentiate your game by making it a lot better looking than what came before it.

So if you want to sell (particularly on Kickstarter) you make your mediocre game look like a million bucks and sell that.

Pete (sums up the phenomenon)
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There is clearly a market for these, so it appears to be a norm. However, there is too broad a market both within BGG and outside for it to be “the” norm. I have regretted each of my few deluxe versions of games, and will never buy one again. I don’t care what game it is, and how much I like the gameplay. I personally don’t want heft or extravagances.

I think it is a lot of what you mention plus a natural synergy with Kickstarter, which I am also done with.
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Ladson
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Yeah, you know the hobby has peaked when Love Letter has a deluxe version:

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C B
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$100 for what should be a $25 game? No thanks. I'm sure the game which prompted this thread will fund, but I hope it doesn't come near any records. The industry needs to start trending back towards affordable.

But, to answer your question...
Unfortunately for those of us with limited budgets, there are enough people willing to throw their $$ at the new shiny that we're seeing productions like this one.
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No One
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cactusse wrote:
What is a reason for such "industry change" ?

Is it publisher's ambition and better factory capabilities, or is it simple economics, where new releases are only profitable with higher margins from deluxe editions ?

Anyone ? ;-)
This is a hobby for disposable income, and disposable income means companies try to maximize the ways for it to be spent on them.

~V
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Yannis Guerra
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Well, to support the other side, I really like my deluxe version of Love Letter, and I would have never been able to get the game to the table with my wife and daughters with the old version.

Same with Everdell. My daughters love the resources and were impressed by the Evertree, enough for playing and liking a game that I though it was going to be above their usual level of complexity in games.

I've had several older games that they have just looked and passed over, just because of how they look.

So I think generalizing (just like with almost everything in life) that the deluxe versions are not "worth it" will lead to excluding some people from the hobby.

That said, not having the option for a "regular" version that is more affordable is not good for the consumers (although i'm fairly sure that it is better for the companies, which probably indicates why this is happening at all).
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Moray Johnson
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You can stand out much better from the competition with visual bling than by having excellent gameplay and mechanics. One look may get someone hooked.
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Eric Matthews
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I don't get this criticism that keeps popping up that implies that the existence of deluxe games is somehow bad for the hobby. Deluxe should be the new normal. It is a trend that has been going on for decades- look at hobby games from the eighties and you will see beige art, terrible graphic design, block text rulebooks, cards you had to tear from perforated sheets and thin, barely cardboard chits for pieces.

It's a good thing that there is a deluxe version of Love Letter (to go along with the dozen or so other, cheaper versions that you can still get cheap!). This is an indication that Love Letter is very popular not not some omen of the mythological peak of the hobby game industry.

Modern Board gaming has always been a luxury hobby for adults- at a minimum we need to have enough leisure time to throw at board games. A lot of adults can't even afford that.
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plezercruz wrote:
It's hard to differentiate your game by making it actually a lot better than what came before it. But it's not hard to differentiate your game by making it a lot better looking than what came before it.
This.
I'm all for the industry raising the bar a little bit on what's expected (it's not because the game is long, deep & complex that it can't have nice artwork & components ; and at the other end of the spectrum, small filler games definitely also benefit from good artwork) compared to 10 years ago.
However, there's quite a few games that I would call over-produced - in the sense that the gameplay is not worth the price-tag (even though the components may well be).

Given the influx of new gamers and the number of games released, I expect the current trend to continue (even though I don't understand how so many "seemingly mediocre at best" games continue to fund on kickstarter). On the other hand: I've backed a few kickstarters in the past that I would not give a second glance today.
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maf man
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looks determining value is nothing new
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Pete
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plezercruz wrote:
It's hard to differentiate your game by making it actually a lot better than what came before it. But it's not hard to differentiate your game by making it a lot better looking than what came before it.

So if you want to sell (particularly on Kickstarter) you make your mediocre game look like a million bucks and sell that.

Pete (sums up the phenomenon)
Yep

The same reason why all we get at the theater are reboots and sequels...

People have forgotten what quality looks like.

Instead we are just given more of the same with a slightly shinier outer shell.
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C Bazler
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In an oversaturated market with thousands of new games coming out every year, I'm enjoying having more easy ways to tell myself "I don't need that." $100 for one game? I don't need that. Deluxe components for a game I probably won't play that often? I don't need that.

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Carl Van Ostrand

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I do feel like there's a growing demand and expectation for it. It's a lot of extra work and effort to "deluxify" a game, so it wouldn't happen unless really good-looking deluxified games sold more.

If I market/release a game on KS with really awesome gameplay and even some totally unique mechanisms / aspects - chances are, far less people will care. If it's not gorgeous, it might even create skepticism - even if the gameplay is tight and unique.

It has to look incredible or it gets buried. That said, this isn't true for all players, so I know I am generalizing.

At this point, even my prototypes have to have minis and metal coins, or my chances of getting testers drops off.
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Sean Carduner
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I'm more or less OK with deluxe packaging, but it generally lowers my expectations for the quality of game play. Which, in turn, makes me less likely to purchase without trying the game first. Which, I'd guess, is the exact opposite reaction to what the publisher is trying to accomplish with the deluxe packaging.

I'd also guess I'm a bit strange that way, given that deluxe packaging appears to be enticing more buyers overall, not scaring them away.
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mortego
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"FOMO"? No thanks!
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Steve
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ampoliros wrote:
$100 for what should be a $25 game? No thanks. I'm sure the game which prompted this thread will fund, but I hope it doesn't come near any records. The industry needs to start trending back towards affordable.

But, to answer your question...
Unfortunately for those of us with limited budgets, there are enough people willing to throw their $$ at the new shiny that we're seeing productions like this one.
The only silver lining for me (aside from being able to quite easily say "Not gonna happen" when looking at new games) is that the secondhand market is thriving and has great deals on barely-played games.
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SilentMix
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I'd honestly rather pay more for better components. I'd rather have 1 game I love be blinged out as opposed to being able to buy a few more games for the same amount of $$. It feels better, looks better, and helps me get more into the game world if I have screen printed 3D wooden pieces or nice miniatures rather than flat cardboard tokens or generic plastic colored pawns.

So yeah, people like me totally buy into the deluxe thing.
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Pete
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
"FOMO"? No thanks!
I don't have FOMO, but I do have FOPTM.

Pete (ain't going for $100 games)
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Olli Juhala
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cactusse wrote:
On KS campaign page for new TMG release, there is an interesting note :

Quote:
...However, we have seen the Board Game industry change from an era when satisfactory components and presentation were commonplace into a time where Deluxe games are now becoming the new “normal”. We see this and recognize it, and that is why for this release we offering only a fantastically upgraded Deluxe version...
What is a reason for such "industry change" ?

Is it publisher's ambition and better factory capabilities, or is it simple economics, where new releases are only profitable with higher margins from deluxe editions ?

Anyone ? ;-)
Nah, they are just bullshitting. Deluxe as term has always been marketing bull. It's a good bull, because it has a core of truth, but what they are saying is "WEll, turns out the audience we are fighting over has about sixty bajillion other overproduced pieces of new hotness to catch their attention, so our model has run it's course. We'll let that be, focus on producing just one version because it's more cost effective, but sell it to you as an idea of a permanent upgrade of quality. Rather than just permanently trying to sell the more expensive version because our competition if forcing our hand."
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Peter S.
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If you have enough demand for businesses to succeed solely on providing better bits for other people's games, you have a motivation to try to internalize those bling dollars by selling those better bits as a part of your game.
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Roland Hemisphere
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In this case, supply and demand explains it all. Kickstarter customers demand deluxe content, stretch goals, and are willing to pay for it. The publishers, having their orders placed and cash in hand have no incentive to make a game cheap when there is no “visible” demand for it, so they supply the deluxe version.
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AJ Cooper
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"Deluxe" stuff is usually a no for me.

And .. how exactly did they "deluxe" Love Letter, of all things? There are hardly any components at all! I smell a major ripoff.
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Steve
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Talmanes wrote:
"Deluxe" stuff is usually a no for me.

And .. how exactly did they "deluxe" Love Letter, of all things? There are hardly any components at all! I smell a major ripoff.
It now comes with the prequel game: Infatuation Letter, and a handwritten designer's note signed by Danielle Steel.
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