3 Crowdfunding Videos About Exclusives, Timing, and Trust

16 July 2018 | 9 Comments

Last spring, the Dice Tower invited me to contribute a short segment about Kickstarter to their “Crowd Surfing” series of videos. So every week for the last 54 weeks, I’ve created a 3-minute video that focuses on a specific facet of tabletop game crowdfunding. Why 54? That’s approximately the number of different categories in my chronological list.

On Saturday I reached the end of that list and sent the final video over to the Dice Tower, so I thought today would be a good day to share some more of these videos on my channel. These are videos 25, 26, and 27, so we’re now exactly halfway through the series. I’ll continue to post a few more every 4 weeks or so.

You can find the previous videos on our website or mixed in with my game design videos on YouTube. The corresponding written entries are in the description of each video (click through to YouTube to see them).

What do you agree or disagree with in these videos? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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9 Comments on “3 Crowdfunding Videos About Exclusives, Timing, and Trust

  1. Thank you for posting so many (ok, a huge amount) of useful and enlightening things that we probably couldn’t find all in the same place, if at all.
    I’ve learned so much already and I feel I’ve just barely dipped my toe into the deep waters of crowdfunding.

    This article really caught my eye, since I’ve been debating on whether or not to add a small exclusive to my soon-to-launch Kickstarter or not. (not a game :( ).
    Should it just be an add-on, or a stretch goal I give free to every backer?
    Even relatively inexpensive items add-up quickly and affect your bottom line.

    I think many if not most of the times that a creator offers the item as exclusive to Kickstarter, is not entirely due to incentive, but economics.
    In a one-person show, or even a small company, many choose crowd-funding to source funds towards a project that they can’t launch entirely with their own money.

    This being said, we work with what is feasible, and after researching the costs of adding even one item (and any additional shipping costs even if it’s added to the existing package), can be quite daunting and take a big bite out of potential profits, no matter how you plan for every penny.

    Since adding an item usually means it’s being manufactured by another company, the creator has to order a minimum, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. (Even if it’s something you can potentially make yourself, like a print, you need the appropriate printer, inks and paper, packing materials, etc)

    If the product, be it a tabletop game or otherwise, gets out there in the real world to be sold, it’s now on it’s own, meaning the creator will order more of their item but it’s on speculation.
    So adding an additional item to manufacture that the creator has to pay for, while the minimum order will most likely not be the same as the minimum order for the main item, can be financially too risky.

    1. Pat: It’s exactly due to that point that I’d recommend using the term “limited,” not “exclusive.” Limited conveys the economics you mention, while “exclusive” says, “We’re not going to make more of this *even if lots of people want it.*”

  2. As a frequent Kickstarter backer I wouldn’t have a problem with exclusives becoming promos or items on sale later for a higher price. I will say that I have also passed on a game that I missed on Kickstarter because I couldn’t get all of the cool things that came with the Kicksterter. I have also backed sequels of games on Kickstarter when they give me a chance to get the “exclusives” I missed the first time (this just happened with Vikings Gone Wild). I am flexible though because I have also bought games that I missed the Kickstarter because I really loved the theme. It always hurts a little to miss the exclusives but theme (and sometimes mechanics) can win out.

  3. After watching that second video, I hope choosing the same launch day as another card game doesn’t hurt either of us. All of the comments I read on the “Why So Many Tuesday Launches?” post seemed to say that two large games sharing launch dates would be problematic, but some suggested it could even be beneficial for two small games to launch simultaneously.

  4. Your comments regarding people being less inclined to buy a game at retail knowing there are kickstarter exclusives they’ll never be able to get their hands on rings true to me.

    Case in point – I was at a buddy’s a few weeks ago playing Rising Sun. He went all in with the kickstarter, and there were a TON of really awesome monsters, including a Godzilla spinoff.

    Now, me, being the insufferable Godzilla fan that I am, was ready to march to the local game shop the very next morning and pick myself up a copy. Then I did a little research and found out that the Godzilla-monster, as well as several other of my favorite monsters, were KS exclusives.

    Then and there, I decided to give the game a pass, figuring, I can just head over to my buddy’s house and play his full-flavored copy of Rising Sun with him. I’ve got plenty of other games to enjoy in the mean time.

      1. I agree with this, and I’ve also seen where folks will pass on a game even if the add on’s are available in retail but at twice the price of the kickstarter. Sometimes just knowing there was a deal that you missed is enough to say I won’t pay more than someone else. One could say “you could have backed it when you had the chance”, and this is true. However, loosing a fan at retail shouldn’t be overlooked.

      2. I share the same experience with Rising Sun. The retail version is around $100. Knowing that I missed out on cool miniatures has also discouraged me from purchasing the game.
        Long term marketability is definitely impacted for high end marketable products.

        But can’t you also make an argument, for first time creators to use KS exclusives as a way to Encourage backers to become a sponsor? Are smaller games less than $30 suffering the same impact? Doesn’t knowing they can be part of the something tied to the campaign specifically, by gaining an exclusive item, create a sense of urgency and desire to participate?


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