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Gods & Minions: Pricing & Distribution Scheme


As the core set of Gods & Minions (our card based game of fantasy warfare) is slowly taking shape, we where able to estimate the sets/expansion sizes and their prices. So, in our todays blog entry we deal with pricing and distribution scheme. If you plan to get a copy of Gods & Minions, reading this article is highly recommended.

Please keep in mind that we try to make the pricing as fair as possible. But we are depending on the Gamecrafter for the initial print run of the game, so this increases the price while we have to cut the amount of cards (in addition we are also forced to cut the amount of cards due to art prices and our limited budget).

We are a group of indie game designers, who self-fund and self-publish the project of their dreams. We are neither a big company, nor a development studio. Do not compare us to the big companies out there - we do our very best - but we are not able to offer hand crafted card and art for clearance sale!

-Tobias (aka Fhizban) for the Gods & Minions project


Well for one thing...

I read the complete entry and for one, it sounds like you have a good strategy for producing the various game sets. The only concern that I had, was for the "Reinforcement Sets" which have 18 cards and cost $5.99. Is that feasible? Seems rather cheap for 18 cards. In other boosters you get HALF as much something like 9 cards.

In Quest AC, we were retailing sets for about $5.00 for 10 cards. Compared to $6.00 for 18, that seems rather inexpensive. Are you margins okay? TGC is not known for the *best* of margins once you pay for packaging and add the shipping costs. My guess is that the price would be $5.99 + Shipping??? Correct?

But I guess you can't overcharge since you will *retailing* the game yourself (Self-Publishing).

Let me see what the cost breakdown would be:

1. Consumer pays 100% = $5.99
2. Retailer pays 50% = $2.99
3. Distributor pays 40% = $2.40
4. Cost to make 20% = $1.40

So in the *traditional* scheme of publishing via a publisher, the cost to produce your 18 card sets would need to cost ONLY $1.40... And you would make $1.00 profit from each one. Sounds reasonable. The only thing to be concerned with is the production costs ($1.40 each set).

Sounds like a good plan. And you are producing one-off sets using TGC (so no initial investment). However be aware that sales on TGC are not great. A good game could sell around 100 units. But if you have your own website and link to the TGC you might get some sales that way.

Having self-published my first game, I would not repeat the experience. I'd rather have print runs of 1,000 to 2,000 (for initial runs) that get distributed to 20 distributors locally and internationally which in turn gets resold to Brick & Mortar shops. I'm not a SALES person... I design, do graphic design work and give suggestions on how I want the artwork to look... but sales is not me. I tried it with Quest AC, I found it very discouraging.

The other problem is if you WANT your game to be sold in Brick & Mortar shops, you need to follow the right channel. And that is via a Publisher. They already have the contacts and have published many games. The KNOW the right people and those people know them... Personally I'll let them do the marketing and sales of my next game.

Thanks for your detailed

Thanks for your detailed answer, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart (as always). Not many people reply to my posts nowadays, maybe some of them are afraid. maybe some kind of "invisible wall" sets us apart. Again: I really appreciate your feedback!

Well, all the stated prices are calculated using the Gamecrafters (TGC) cost estimator. And we checked and double checked all of them. Its perfectly okay for us - but we are also aware, that we won't earn a fortune by selling one "booster" package. Of course we are talking about Cost + (i repeat PLUS) shipping here.

What is the main reason we set the cost so low? 2 points:

A. Booster packs of traditional CCGs are really cheap over here in germany (europe at whole). And products like ours get compared to traditional CCGs all the time. So we just did not want to be that more expensive than the regular products. Of course this means for us to abandon a higher margin. For the cost of being competitive when its about the price.

B. By using TGC we are more expensive. But, we aim for other production methods in the future. As we do not want to alienate our audience right from the beginning - we set the final price at TGC as low as possible. To keep it as close to the final price (via another printing company) as possible. We are aiming long-term here, and not for a short bargain.

In fact, I for myself think that 5,99 for a "booster" is quite expensive. It is still too expensive to be honest. But we cannot change that. So we are adding TGC unique cards to that boosters as well. To give the players something they want to buy at TGC, because it will contain cards they won't be able to acquire anywhere else.

Later on, we can focus on other production and distribution methods. Right now its not about the money at all. Its about convincing our target audience and acquiring a solid player base. And serve them. And make them happy. The time to think about modest earnings comes later.

Right now its only about "giving" - and we try to give as much as we can. Let's think about he "take" later, and hope that our budget survives this crash course!

-Tobias (for the Gods & Minions project)

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blog | by Dr. Radut