Skip to Content

To sell or to fund, that is my question...

8 replies [Last post]
bukwus
bukwus's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2009

Hi
This may be a common topic on this forum, so feel free to give me links to previous discussions.

I have a card game in the play test phase and have begun research into funding, publication, submission, etc. The question I really need to answer first is do I want to sell my game to a company or publish it myself.

If I go the Kickstarter route, aren't I locking myself into the position of publisher? If I do and my game takes off, is that a good time to try and sell it to an established company or is it too late at that point? Have any of you had a successful Kickstarter campaign and are now publishing, selling and distributing your own game?

Many thank

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Just my plan...

Although I do not yet have experience with RUNNING a Kickstarter, I am aware of what is required by one (since I did setup one before choosing not to go live).

Anyways, the route I am trying to follow looks something like this:

1-Get an artist to do some artwork for the Kickstarter (pay an advance for artwork)
2-Start a Kickstarter with a few pieces of artwork (to attrack potential contributors)
3-If funded successfully, produce all the remaining artwork and complete the game
4-Manufacture enough games to cover the contributors (so each person gets the game)

Okay now here is probably the interesting part for YOU:

5-Approach a publisher with the completed game and see if they are interested in producing NEW editions

So basically my plan is to try to complete ONE (1) game on my own (with all the artwork and packaging, etc.) and then see if a publisher sufficiently likes the game, in order to produce more games... So my real goal is to simply self-publish the game for Kickstarter contributors. If I have games left over, I will sell them online (because games are bought in runs: 500, 1000, 2000, etc.)

I would want to complete three (3) other editions of the game... Enough interest for a publisher. However for my first endeavor, I would probably want to self-publish it, so I have control on the creative effort and final look of the game. Then when I approach a publisher, I will have experience in producing and selling the game and they can decide if this type of game interests them (since they too will have a FINISHED product to look at).

This is just my plan, not sure if anyone else has chosen to go this route or not. The good thing is that the publisher may decide to RE-PUBLISH the First Edition of the game also (and brand that as their own product). They could then market and sell it as well...

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
I almost forgot...

I was also told to sign an agreement with the publisher such that "If they want to re-brand the First Edition and sell it... I could get the rights to the game back, once they decide to no longer publish the game..."

bukwus
bukwus's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2009
Sounds solid

Do you have a game journal on this site? I'd love to keep track of how you're doing.

So different publishers can own rights to different editions of the same game, is that right? You would self publish ed. 1 and either sell the rights for ed. 2 to another publisher or sell ed. 1 with the option of regaining the rights if they decide to stop publishing it. Just trying to get how all this works strait in my head.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
One publisher, multiple games

The consensus should be to find ONE (1) publisher who is interested in publishing the THREE (3) Editions of the game. They may also decide to re-sell the FIRST edition of the game also (since the majority of those sales will be people from a Kickstarter). Therefore the market will not be saturated with people owning the game but rather players similar to the Kickstarter contributors, eg. looking for a new game to play.

This way you are sorta promising the publisher multiple streams of revenues for the different editions. It's not like they publish a game and then what happens next?! There is a plan (or goal) to actually produce and sell various editions of the game.

It's kinda like saying: "Do you want to sell apples?" or "Do you want to sell fruit?" In the second case, there is more variety and opportunity.

Martin-r-m
Martin-r-m's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2012
Timemanagement

Hi,

considering to selfpublish is also a matter of time. I have pulbished mathtornado on the gamecrafter and even though it has trivial artwork it took me 2-3 weeks until I was finished with the new layout. This means I work in my normal job and do games in only for hobby.
A crowdfunding project takes much more time as that. You have to create a crowd, you have to do all calculation and learn about shipping, production and packaging. You want to sell your game so thats a lot of work too.
I will try to crowdfund my next project but I must admit that I like the buisnesspart and that I already have a small buisness. So it is easier and I dont "waste" time with something I dont want to do.
If you start with this, I expect you have to pause with game design. All time will be consumed by this project.

verspielte grüße

martin

bukwus
bukwus's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2009
Good points

Looking at what is involved in a crowd sourcing initiative, I learned quick that my design time would have to pause while the funding campaign and aftermath occurred. I definitely don't want to sacrifice designing for running a business, but it would seem that pulling off a successful funding and publishing campaign would be a great way to get noticed by the game powers that be. I definitely want to give it a try if, for nothing else, but to learn from mistakes and gain a greater understanding of the industry.

TwentyPercent
Offline
Joined: 12/25/2012
RE: Time management

This is a good thread. I have a related question:

1. It seems to be the consensus that if you have a live Kickstarter project, it's about a full-time job to manage it and/or continue game design/readying production. Is this the case?

If so, how can this be possible for someone who has a full-time non-game-design related job? Do they hire a Kickstarter manager? Also, if the Kickstarter project is funded, isn't it a full-time job to put the job in production and finish the game (ie rules, artwork, stretch goal designs, etc)?

Just trying to think about the logistics.

Thanks,
Twenty Percent

Stralor
Offline
Joined: 08/13/2013
RE: Full Time Job

I have seen a couple of projects use a media coordinator or the like to manager the KS. But most board games devs are smaller teams (or individuals) who run the whole thing. Some people don't have the time to run a KS, because, from what I've seen, it is an insane amount of time to devote.

If those logistics don't make sense for you and you don't have a burning desire to self-publish, try shopping your game around publishers and at conventions. I know TMG (they made Belfort) has a great blog on the process they went through.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut