Jamie Noble Frier
Kickstarters, Pandemics and New Publishers
Kickstarter still reigns supreme as the go to crowdfunding platform for board game publishers, but this article really covers crowdfunding across the board.
When the pandemic kicked in, I made a choice to watch from the sidelines for a while. I have other games almost ready for a crowdfunding push, but with the uncertainty of the pandemic, Brexit (whichever side you stand on) and everything associated, I held fire.
Other publishers have not been so lucky as to have other businesses that can support them, and some new publishers have worked so hard, they can’t wait another year to allow things to cool down.
I can hear the outcry too, if all publishers postponed the excitement they give to the community by all cancelling or holding their planned games until things settle.
So, many didn’t. They carried on giving the games industry what it wants, more quality games and exciting adventures to join in on.
You need to hear this...
Whether you’re a publisher yourself, (that includes you even if this is your first game, that you’ve been working on as a side gig, you’re a publisher too…), things have changed. It’s likely temporary, but it’s something we’re having to live through.
Prices for fundamental elements of production have increased. Raw materials have increased because of demand, due to the inaccessibility of them, and logistics and transport have increased prices too.
It’s a lose-lose for publishers. There’s only so much planning you can do. Ask any of the major companies in the world if they expected the pandemic. They’ll all say no.
Publishers are now stuck with a choice, delay the games they’ve received payment for via Kickstarter or other crowdfunding platforms. Or pay through the nose for unplanned prices of transport and components.
If you’re a publisher, you need to not be hard on yourselves. If you didn’t conduct business as normal, you’d likely go out of business. You’d fall into irrelevance in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
As a gamer, excited for your new game, and quite rightly disappointed about the issues that are present right now, please, please show patience.
If you love a publisher, but are asking them to pay unreasonable prices to get games out to you because of a situation out of their control, you’re asking them to risk their future as a company. You’re risking your chance at the awesome expansion or follow up games from them, because, if they go bust, they’ll never make them for you.
Many of these publishers, even the ones that seem quite large, are often small teams. Stress is amplified, and that’s never good for anyone.
I know it’s easier said than done. We’re all gamers, even those of us who work in the industry. We all get excited about new titles and impatient when we want to play them. But, right now, reach out to your favourite publishers and tell them you’ve got their back.
A great take on the situation
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