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I don't know how they do it?!?!

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questccg
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How does one go about retailing a game for $15.00?!

Let's for the minute assume that it is $15.00 CAD (Canadian dollars). And that is the MSRP for the game.

Retail discount (50%) = $7.50 CAD.
Distributor discount (70%) = $4.50 CAD.

Now it costs to manufacture and ship this from overseas... From $4.50 I ask this: "How does the publisher make any money?"

It's $4.50 CAD already! If MSRP was 5x cost to manufacture, then that means the game should be made for $3.00 CAD.

How can the publisher survive on $1.50 CAD of actual earnings? What does the Game Designer earn? What about the cost to produce artwork for the game... Where does that factor into the $1.50 CAD left over?!?!

I ask this because I am crunching numbers for $6.00 CAD... The MSRP (5x) should be equal to $30.00 CAD. That's all good.

Retailers (50%) = $15.00 CAD
Distributor (70%) = $9.00 CAD
Manufacturer = $6.00 CAD

And that leaves the Publisher only $3.00 CAD?!?!

Again how does that pay for artwork or the Game Designer, etc.?!?! And leave room to pay for operations (on the publisher's side of things)...

I am doing the number crunching - but I don't see how any of it works... To me it seems like the Retailer and Distributor and consuming most of the earnings and the Publisher (and yourself - the Game Designer) get pennies on the dollar.

Maybe my math is incorrect - If so, please do not hesitate to point it out!

Cheers.

questccg
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Another concern

With economies of scale, it is possible to have the game made for $6.00 CAD.

But what this requires is an investment of $12,000 CAD!

Sure it's $6.00 CAD provided that 2,000 Game Sets get made.

That scares the living crap out of me. I've self-published a game before and with all the first time mistakes, making another investment of +$10,000 is well very hard to do.

I know it takes money to make money... but the margins seem so wrong, I don't even feel like thinking about taking $10,000+ CAD and letting it ride, just on a gamble that the game may sell.

Perhaps I have lost confidence due to what everyone is saying...

IDK I would pay $30.00 CAD for one (1) Game Set. Or $30.00 USD for the American side of operations. Like I said, I can't figure out how to make a game for $15.00, not even for $30.00.

The math simply isn't working out - anymore...

Masacroso
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Very interesting question. I

Very interesting question. I dont have answers but I want to compare with videogames: imagine you want to do a indie game and publish in steam.

Two guys can perfectly make a good game (indeed there are very good games created by ONE person, by example Stardew Valley).

In these cases I can see that this is rentable because you can port your game to different operating systems, mobiles and so on... and there a re a lot of very good and simple games that sold very good.

So I can understand this industry but the classical industry of physical games is a very different thing.

Where you can get a good answer to your question is asking in sites as kickstarter or similar.

Soulfinger
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questccg wrote:How does one

questccg wrote:
How does one go about retailing a game for $15.00?!

A game or your game? You are saying $30 elsewhere in the post.

questccg wrote:
"How does the publisher make any money?" . . . How can the publisher survive on $1.50 CAD of actual earnings?

Volume. Efficiency. This may help:
http://www.polygon.com/2015/2/25/8102751/exploding-kittens-kickstarter-rich

questccg wrote:
What does the Game Designer earn?

As little as 3% of each $1.50.
https://inspirationtopublication.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/step-30-board-...

questccg wrote:
What about the cost to produce artwork for the game... Where does that factor into the $1.50 CAD left over?!?!

That is factored into your Costs of Production. If you produce multiple products and recycle some artwork then you reduce the CoP on future releases. Hopefully, you've been paying the pittance that most startups pay for freelance artwork, and then larger firms have salaried staffers. I've seen at least one $20 RPG book that was half recycled art from the company's archive and half public domain, and you can get some pretty decent stuff on Fiverr with commercial rights for $50 and under.

questccg wrote:
I am doing the number crunching - but I don't see how any of it works... To me it seems like the Retailer and Distributor and consuming most of the earnings and the Publisher (and yourself - the Game Designer) get pennies on the dollar.

The profits are proportionately spread across the field. There just isn't much money involved. Yes, the designer literally gets pennies on the dollar. I don't think there is a single reliable source that remotely suggests otherwise. But I think all of this has been covered ad nauseam in previous forum posts.

n1x012
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Yeah, I've been aware of it

Yeah, I've been aware of it since I began my game. Good thing I enjoy doing it!

Soulfinger
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questccg wrote:That scares

questccg wrote:
That scares the living crap out of me. I've self-published a game before and with all the first time mistakes, making another investment of +$10,000 is well very hard to do.

I know it takes money to make money... but the margins seem so wrong, I don't even feel like thinking about taking $10,000+ CAD and letting it ride, just on a gamble that the game may sell.

Perhaps I have lost confidence due to what everyone is saying...

IDK I would pay $30.00 CAD for one (1) Game Set. Or $30.00 USD for the American side of operations. Like I said, I can't figure out how to make a game for $15.00, not even for $30.00.

The math simply isn't working out - anymore...

That is kind of the point of kicking your tires -- not to make you lose confidence, but so that you'll get over yourself enough to go back and review the fundamentals. I am happy to see that you are reviewing the margins and determining what risks you are realistically prepared to tackle, because frankly, I've been worried that you are hemorrhaging money on your game and that your unrefined business plan was going to leave you a lot out of pocket with nothing to show for it except disenfranchisement. When you say "another investment of +$10,000," I tense up, imagining a garage full of dusty Quest CCG boxes, because if you had the distribution channels nailed down and everything sorted from that enterprise then we wouldn't be here right now.

More than anything, you need to decide whether you are a game designer or a publisher. As a designer, get this thing off your hands. Sell it, and then you are done with it. My principal concern here is that you may have over-invested in your product. I've lined up and collaborated with artists before, but the publisher was always the one who reimbursed them. Depending on what you paid, it is possible that a publisher won't be able to cover your costs, leaving you out of pocket with a 5% royalty check on future sales. Hopefully, you negotiated some great terms on all of the work you had done, which is normally the domain of the publisher. However, I get the impression from your posts that the Game Crafter sales haven't offset your investment.

If you are a game publisher, and actually enjoy the ulcer that entails, then it is time to set the designer hat aside and consider the game pro-bono work. You need to work on scaling back your funding goal with realistic solutions to get your cost of production down to a manageable level. You need to figure out your distribution system, your target market, all sorts of factors. Keep in mind, when someone does a search for your game, these forum posts show up, and so they need to start reflecting forward progress, increasing confidence, and an adaptive approach. They can't all be "WHHHHHHYYYYYYYY!?!?!?!" There have been some good suggestions so far here, and I think you generate enough responses to get useful feedback to this end if you are really looking for it. If you were in the U.S., I would direct you to an organization like SCORE, but I don't know what the Canadian equivalent is.

Keep in mind that the great thing about Kickstarter is that the backers take the gamble, not you. That's why it exists, so that designers don't bankrupt themselves investing in a product with no market. Added to that, even accounting for KS fees and so forth, it is a direct sale that is rarely discounted as much as you'd give a retailer. You probably won't make much money even then, but if you want to build the foundation for a business, or even a reputation as an individual, then this is a place to start. It seems to me like you already have one foot in this pool, but you've been hesitant to take the plunge.

Really though, what is your ultimate goal with this game? And you only get to pick one.

Soulfinger
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Masacroso wrote:So I can

Masacroso wrote:
So I can understand this industry but the classical industry of physical games is a very different thing.

The big difference is money. Even "successful" game designers are lucky to make what a gaming designer or visual artist with a couple years of experience makes. Most published tabletop designers have a day job. In terms of self-publishing, digital content has its hurdles, but you aren't dealing with bulk orders of physical goods from China. It's not even like the old days when Indie videogame designers had to secure ziploc bags and photocopies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akalabeth:_World_of_Doom

ElKobold
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Another thing to mention is

Another thing to mention is that publishers are dealing with larger print runs compared to what you can afford in self-publishing. That changes manufacturer's quote considerably. Between 1K print run and 3K print run there can be 50% price difference.

questccg
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Truth!

ElKobold wrote:
...Between 1K print run and 3K print run there can be 50% price difference.

Yes you are correct. That's what I have been finding on my manufacturing quotes.

I am also looking at two (2) Decks (for two players) in one box. With a slightly larger box there is room for this... And would probably make more people happy (as per the other designer feedback). The cost to make the game might also be more expensive - IDK ... I am awaiting a quote.

What I don't want to do is spend $10k-$15k on a production of 2,000 game sets because that's the only way I can meet distributor discount (of 70%). I've invested enough in the game. I have reached out to another Publisher and have already gotten questions from them about the game.

As my investment in the game has reached it's LIMIT; I'm looking for someone to handle the manufacturing, publication, and sales side of things. I have no ambition to become a publisher of multiple games. I'm a Game Designer and my interest is designing MORE Expansions for the "core" game...

ElKobold
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questccg wrote:As my

questccg wrote:
As my investment in the game has reached it's LIMIT; I'm looking for someone to handle the manufacturing, publication, and sales side of things. I have no ambition to become a publisher of multiple games. I'm a Game Designer and my interest is designing MORE Expansions for the "core" game...

Smart choice.

questccg
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ElKobold wrote:Smart

ElKobold wrote:
Smart choice.

And I believe that I can manufacture a game with two (2) decks... This is very possible to do with only a slightly bigger box. On "The Game Crafter" it might be more difficult since box sizes are limited. Custom made game from China could be a couple inches bigger and have enough room.

I've been "listening". I get what people suggest: "Make a 2 player game set." It could be a little more expensive - but overall cheaper in the greater scheme of things.

But cost-wise for myself to do this - is "impossible". Even if I had my own "Account Manager" who would call on retail stores... And we could do the warehousing and distribution ourselves... The capabilities to sell 2,000 units in Quebec could be possible. But would require a big amount of up-front capital that I just don't have.

And secondly I want to be in the Game Design business not the Game Making business.

So I'll keep you all posted on my progress...

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