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TOPIC: Is The Time Of The Publisher Over?

Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 09:46 #258243

www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/231943/item/5768915#item5768915

I’m looking at all kinds of wish lists and “most anticipated” lists, and the vast majority of enthusiastically anticipated games are Kickstarter-funded.

Will we see publishers moving toward KS funding?
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 10:11 #258247

I think awareness of Kickstarter games will never come close to matching awareness that can be generated by a publisher like FFG. People can write their own books and sell them on Amazon, but how many of them have you ever heard of?
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 10:13 #258248

Same thing with music. Of course if you're content selling a few hundred copies then that's fine. You'll never take over the world that way. Maybe that's fine for them. I did it with my CD and I'm perfectly content with what I made and sold.
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MWChapel wrote: Euro's are trying to bring gaming to the level of competitive sports. Competition based on skill outweighs the basic theme driven escapism. Sport over entertainment.

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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 10:37 #258252

That’s a great analogy - If you sell 500 copies of two albums and then you start seeing an expanding fan base, isn’t that Kickstarting your career?

BUT...the fact that most highly anticipated games are KS now...doesn’t that kind of shoot holes in the argument that KS isn’t a viable way to sell games, and even perhaps the direct replacement of “standard publishing”?

Look at CMON. They were a small company making a small range of products and then they exploded into a behemoth. What I’m asking is if it’s not the future to see FFG et al using Kickstarter to make bigger games with higher parts counts because the market is clearly going that direction?
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 11:18 #258257

From my perspective, ANA keeps kicking out the jams. Probably helps that most Kickstarter shovelware is hard for me to carry in the first place, but the entire nature of kickstarter is that its games are "anticipated." Whether or not they meet expectations (or demand) is another matter. For every person posting there on BGG, there's two people elsewhere saying... "wait a second, there's a Catan, Game of Thrones? Here's my money."
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 11:20 #258258

SuperflyTNT wrote:
BUT...the fact that most highly anticipated games are KS now...doesn’t that kind of shoot holes in the argument that KS isn’t a viable way to sell games, and even perhaps the direct replacement of “standard publishing”?
Ah, but these are not anticipated games that just happen to be sold on Kickstarter. They are anticipated because they are on Kickstarter!

I think that the importance of Kickstarter in this regard is not publishing, but marketing. It's like a direct link to an audience that has buying games as a main hobby and that are willing to pour hundreds of dollars for a game they haven't played or seen. All the people on BGG that were on the cult of the new are now on the cult of kickstarter and they buy more games than they ever did.

So I actually expect Kickstarter to become less relevant as the pool of people playing boardgames grows.
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 11:33 #258259

Erik Twice wrote:
Ah, but these are not anticipated games that just happen to be sold on Kickstarter. They are anticipated because they are on Kickstarter!

I don't quite agree with this. If FFG, Z-Man, Matagot, Plaid Hat, or whoever announced 7th Continent, it would have a great deal of buzz.
Kickstarter is slowly becoming synonymous with huge and over the top in the board game realm. These games generate buzz because of their enormity. They're full of possibility and they often offer an experience you can't get from a traditional publisher.
7th Continent and Conan both tried to go the standard retail route and it didn't work. 7C (Serious Poulp) said distributors wanted them to strip it down and make the continent smaller. Conan had trouble with their margins from Asmodee and claim they actually lost money selling the base game, hence why Batman is going KS only.
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 12:21 #258265

Games on Kickstarter are highly anticipated because people need to wait so long for the game to get published, if ever.
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 13:19 #258270

hotseatgames wrote:
I think awareness of Kickstarter games will never come close to matching awareness that can be generated by a publisher like FFG. People can write their own books and sell them on Amazon, but how many of them have you ever heard of?

The Martian
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Last Edit: 27 Nov 2017 13:20 by cranberries.
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 15:18 #258278

cranberries wrote:
hotseatgames wrote:
I think awareness of Kickstarter games will never come close to matching awareness that can be generated by a publisher like FFG. People can write their own books and sell them on Amazon, but how many of them have you ever heard of?

The Martian

www.forbes.com/sites/suwcharmananderson/...-reach/#54e129932e1a
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 16:30 #258287

I don't believe that the time of the publisher is over. I'm still very much interested in what FFG/Asmodee, GF9, Flying Frog Productions, CMON, Portal, and many others do outside of Kickstarter. These companies are doing refined, clean and frankly amazing games each and every year. Some really great stuff has come out from traditional publishers in the last 2-3 years.

The main selling point of Kickstarter is what Charlie mentioned. When a game doesn't go through a traditional publisher it can be something completely outside the box and unique. You tend to see stuff that is more unrefined and raw, but still ripe with potential. I've been playing quite a bit of Dungeon Degenerates lately and it's a design that would have NEVER come from a traditional publisher. But that is what drew me to it in the first place. The big problem with Kickstarter is that there is a shitload of noise. You need to be able to filter through that in order to find the really good stuff. Even then you're bound to get burned every now and then.

When you look at the BGG Top Twenty Games only two entries were birthed from Kickstarter (Gloomhaven and Scythe). It seems people still really value designs that come from traditional publishers. I think Kickstarter games generate a large amount of hype because it's built into the platform. Creators tie stretch goals to social media and people get wrapped up in promoting a game they're REALLY interested in. There are people that essentially become free PR machines for games they're backing because they want to see the end product to be as tricked out as possible. So they grab their bullhorns and start marketing and promoting on behalf of the Kickstarter campaign. Again, it's noise.

Some really incredible stuff comes out of Kickstarter, but most of the games I buy are still from the reliable traditional publishers.
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 16:32 #258289

How is Dungeon Degenerates? Worth getting?
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 16:54 #258290

Kickstarter can be a viable way to sell games, but it's not a sure thing. Sometimes a Kickstarter doesn't get funded, or sometimes it does get funded but doesn't turn a profit due to production problems.

Kickstarter can be a viable way to buy games, but it's not a sure thing. Sometimes a Kickstarter doesn't get funded. Sometimes a game gets stuck in production hell. Often times, the final product is average or worse because of a lack of initial creativity or an shortage of playtesting. Prices may be padded, and production may be excessive to try to justify a padded price.

My favorite way to buy a Kickstarter game is to let other people fund the Kickstarter and wait for a long time. If the game is actually good, there will sometimes be an aftermarket, such that I can read reviews first and then buy the game at the FLGS or on Amazon. That way I avoid nearly all the pitfalls of Kickstarting game, except that sometimes I might not be able to obtain a game at a reasonable price after it becomes available.
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 17:25 #258292

I should have been clearer: IS THE TIME OF TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING (build a game, then sell it) OVER (and being replaced by Kickstarter preorders with upgrade packages)?
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Is The Time Of The Publisher Over? 27 Nov 2017 17:39 #258293

SuperflyTNT wrote:
I should have been clearer: IS THE TIME OF TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING (build a game, then sell it) OVER (and being replaced by Kickstarter preorders with upgrade packages)?

Not yet. Possibly moving in that direction, but not yet.

FFG for one has had some pretty major releases recently (and forthcoming) using the traditional model:
- Twilight Imperium 4
- GOT Catan
- new Civ
- Fallout
- Legacy of Dragonolt
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