Skip to Content

More Competitive PRICING

8 replies [Last post]
questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

Okay, so now I am a bit *peeved* about the pricing of my Prototype copy of "Tradewars - Homeworld". See the following link for more info:

At first I thought paying $100.00 for four (4) prototypes was pricey (From The Game Crafter). But now I am *upset* when I look that "Dominion" has 500 cards, that's right 500 cards and is selling for $25.00 USD! That's the RETAIL price $25.00!

My game has 74 cards and it's costing me $18.03. If I 4x that, my game would have 296 cards... STILL LESS than Dominion's 500 cards!

I have been dealing with two (2) companies that deal with China and let me tell you the pricing is NOT GREAT. The nice thing is that they will do CUSTOM orders and sort/wrap things nicely. But price-wise my current quote for 500 games is about $15.00 everything included (Game mat and rulebook). However I need to add/factor in delivery charges which are about $10.00 additionally making the COST back to my $25.00 price point. I don't know if there any additional DUTIES that will need to be paid when shipping from China...

This is RIDICULOUS. How can a game with 500 cards be SO MUCH CHEAPER!

I think as Indie Game Designers we are getting ripped off! How many other designer feel like this???

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
That sounds like you're

That sounds like you're missing three things-

1: Dominion has economy of scale... an order of magnitude higher than 4 prototype copies.

2: Dominion's MSRP is $45; $25 is a deep discount rate with a thin margin.

3: Gamecrafter is also essentially handling fulfillment for you... amongst a lot of other things.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Very good points...

I was not complaining so much about The Game Crafter's service... But that the price of manufacturing is rather high (even with companies dealing with China). I don't want to risk dealing directly with China because I have no control over what they produce (in the end). At least with a US company dealing with China there is some proofing that needs to get done before the order is placed...

1: I understand volume discounts... But we are comparing 500 cards to 74 cards. :P

2: That's a more realistic MSRP ($45). I was looking at BGG prices in the US... At least I can compete with a $45 MSRP... That's more reasonable! Thanks for that info.

3: The Game Crafter does a good deal with the way their site is setup. But they cannot offer the same service as a custom manufacturer does in providing you with a product done your way. Panda GM requires a minimum of 1,500 games when you order... This is too rich for my blood. So I have been talking with a couple of game manufacturers that offer 500 minimum game orders.

The Game Crafter allows you to buy ONE copy at a time... So this is GREAT for prototyping. But to be honest, I still feel the pricing is a little bit high at TGC.

Joined: 07/12/2012

Cards are typically printed on sheets - like 9 to a sheet or something at least. Printing out 500 cards vs. 74 cards - it's obviously going to cost 7x as much simply because there's that much more material.

HOWEVER, printing cards is more than just ink and paper - there's all of the proofing involved, cutting, and associated labor. That's where the large amount of the cost comes in and why the economies of scale can seriously start driving down the price.

As far as GameCrafter and prototyping - that's the price you pay imo. Making one-off's is expensive. That's what GC does (they do have bulk ordering also) and that's why it costs so much.

Joined: 06/07/2012
Another reason is the

Another reason is the changing business environment, production costs in China are rising rapidly.

When you also take into account shipping, custom duties, language difficulties and variable quality (unless you have someone on the ground or focussed on keeping things in check) China is rapidly loosing its golden shine.

Companies are gradually shifting production back to their home countries. Fortunately, some domestic producers still remain, despite the loss of production income in recent years as companies chased cheaper prices.

I think the overall cost of games is going to steadily rise over the next few years. Domestic manufacturers are being hit by increased costs, although wages are falling slightly, but without the cheap production of China the only way for prices is up.

There are some avenues to offset this a little for the big players, but not for small volume publishers, unfortunately.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
One thing for sure

I wonder what the figures look like for the table-top game industry. Like what is the total amount of revenue and then cut out the BIG players (like Hasbro) and see what the revenues are for the "indie game market".

Obviously if prices are going to climb, it will be natural to pass that on to the consumer. The thing is, the table-top game industry is NOT the video game industry. I think that industry will keep it's momentum. But my curiosity is in knowing what the "indie game market" looks like today and what it might look like in a few years.

I'm pretty sure *lewpuls* would have some insight into the industry. He seems very abreast of things of that matter...!

One thing for certain is that PUBLISHERS are paying less for games made in China than an individual "indie game designer". It's not only a question of volume - but a question of RELATIONSHIP. A publisher has many games they will produce, and that total volume is also what affects the prices a publisher gets quoted. Even if they order like 500 units of a game, they probably make like 10,000+ games at that manufacturer (to sell to distributors or even retail via a web presence).

Joined: 11/06/2013
Self-publishing is simply

Self-publishing is simply more expensive than a large production run because they have to account for the work involved in printing one game and never making it again. It's a lot like self-published books that tend to be more expensive for the same reason.

On top of that, thegamecrafter sources several materials from the US instead of China, which no doubt adds to the price.

Do you know how many Dominion games were printed? I wouldn't surprised if it received a print run of about 2000-3000 games which would lead to a lower wholesale price. Also, if some of the cards are the same, you can further down the cost by having less different sheets.

Joined: 10/09/2013
Cards Per Dollar (CPD)

If you look at the CPD of both games, Dominion gets a horrible 10 CPD (Horrible compared to playing cards that is). You *prototype* gets around 4 CPD. This is a prototype though from a company not known for low prices. Lets say you do a production run of 500ish. Lets say this brings the price down to $12-14 a pack. This brings your CPD to 5 1/4 - 6. Then if you didn't self publish through TGC and found a cheaper option, I bet the price would come down even further.

mindspike's picture
Joined: 09/06/2011
A formula for Return on Investment

The board game industry is very similar to other retail markets in the sales margins. An easy way to understand it is the commonly applied “Rule of 5”, and it begins with the MSRP – the price the consumer pays.

The consumer pays 100% MSRP.
The retailer pays 50% MSRP.
The distributor pays 40% MSRP.
Manufacturing costs 20% MSRP.
Publisher net revenue = 20% MSRP.

In the case of Dominion with a $45 MSRP, I would expect the publisher sees about a $9 net revenue per unit sold. This should not be confused with profit, which still must account for fixed costs, royalties, etc.

The Game Crafter could be thought of as handling manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Since the product actually goes from manufacture to retail right away, the distribution step effectively does not exist. The potential cost savings is then eaten by the higher cost of being unable to realize economy of scale in production.

For Dominion to see a similar return if it were published through The Game Crafter, it would retail for $63, and would only be sold through the one website. Bottom line? Economies of scale mean *a lot*.

An important consideration is to determine where your break-even line is located and how much you want to invest. For a game with about 100 cards plus dice and tokens, you can source on TGC for about $20 per unit. You can expect a cost per unit of $5 with a US mass manufacturer. If you expect to sell 300 units, it is worth the money to invest in a print run of 1000 units – you would realize a greater return on investment. The big difference is that TGC doesn't require any up front purchasing, warehousing, or fulfillment, all things that you would have to do when ordering from a manufacturer.

Viewed as a Return on Investment at small sales quantities, TGC just can't be beat. But it's simply not suitable for a game that expects to enter general distribution in any meaningful way.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut