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Where does the money go???

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R1773R's picture
Joined: 03/18/2010

Hey there everyone :)

I would like to know a bit more about the "board-games industry model".
Where does the money go? How much is the production? How much do they store owners pay for the games? How much does go into marketing? How much do the designers keep? How much does go to the publisher?

Let's say I buy a game for 50 Euros... I would like to know as exact as possible who keeps how much of the sum? I have similar information for PC games, but there's just no charts or info available when it comes to board-games.

If anyone out there has access to this kind of info, please share so we know what we can expect before investing our grandmas savings ^^
Thx, Rich

seo's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Very rough numbers: For the

Very rough numbers:

For the 50 euros of the store price, the store keeps about half and pays 25 to the distributor.

The distributor keeps about half of that and pays 12.5 to the publisher.

The publisher has spent about half of that (probably more, if the print run is below 5000) to the printer, artist and game designer.

For a 50 euro game, an artist will probably charge 2000-4000, depending on the game and the artist.

The game designer will usually get 5% of wholesale, so in this case about 0.625 euros per copy sold. sometimes they will get some advance money, sometimes they will only start getting payed once the publisher covers the printer and art costs. Sometimes the % might be higher, either because the publisher is more generous or because the game designer is already published.

These are all rough approximations and may vary a lot depending on the printer, artist, designer, publisher, distributor and FLGS.

R1773R's picture
Joined: 03/18/2010

Thank you very much seo =)

This is sooo much like PC-games, at least the part with the seller, they always need 50% to cover the "SALE OUT" costs... The PC games just have it much more complex once it get to publisher and developer relationship.

But still, for a self-published developer, this seems pretty promissing I'd say :)

Thanks again Mister!

Clayton Grey
Joined: 10/16/2008
Yes, it sounds good thinking

Yes, it sounds good thinking about making profit... until you consider the financial risks of the amount of money it cost to get it made in the first place! That's the real kicker.

Video games are nice because you can make them with sweat equity. Sadly professional quality board games don't work that way. :\

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
You'll need a 5 to 6 times

You'll need a 5 to 6 times mark up from your cost of production if you are going to sell through distributers. Direct sales can work with much less.

A distributer will buy the games from you at 40% of SRP and resell them to the game sellers at 50%.

In other words if your games costs $5 to make you need to sell it for $30 SRP since the distributer will only pay you $12. Your gross profit then is $12-5 = $7. If you print 5,000 thats 35,000 which will have to pay wadges, warehousing, shipping, etc.. etc.. etc.. etc.. etc..

Notice all the etc.. There are quite a few.

Joined: 07/28/2008
A retailer buying any kind of

A retailer buying any kind of volume from their distributors will get between 45-50% discount off the suggested SRP.

The distributor usually gets between 58-61% or so off the SRP from the manufacturer.

That leaves the manufacturer's piece of the pie at about 40%. From which 20-40% of that is spent on production. 10% or so on shipping (to the distributor, as I count shipping to you from the printer as a part of production costs). That leaves somewhere from 50% to 70% of the manufacturers take for development costs (design, layout, artwork, editing, playtesting), warehousing and order fulfillment, marketing and lastly the theoretical profit. To arrive at a profit at the end of all of that, the rest as to be set up to be fairly cost efficient, as the hobby game market isn't so large that there is enough cash running through the operation to have an allowance for inefficiencies or big mistakes.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group -
Guild of Blades Publishing Group -
1483 Online -

rpghost's picture
Joined: 03/03/2009
All said and done with small

All said and done with small print runs (2000 or so) and using a consolidator to help get us in 12 distributors, we take home about 30% of the MSRP in the end. This means your cost to produce a game needs to be 1/5th or less of your MSRP. These days, that MSRP has to be $50 or less from a new publisher.


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