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Boris_the_Dwarf

An FYI for FFG

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On the other hand, the way I can or not afford something is my problem, and only affects me.

 

This is incorrect, actually. We're not talking about a solo card game or a one-person RPG video game.Your determination of what you can afford dictates to others within your local community how many, if any at all, players they can expect to be able to find. When there are no other players, they have made the decision about whether you will get into this game (or any game for that matter) for you,

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That said, it's poor business design in the current economic climate to crank out games at the price point they are demanding.

Your lack of basic understanding of how prices are set is astounding. You really seem to think that FFG is attempting to gouge people with Armada.

 

and to set their price point so high is holding them back from growing a larger customer base.

Yeah that's why FFG has such issues meeting demand for X-Wing stuff, because the price point is so high.

 

I guess I was wrong above, you do honestly believe that FFG is gouging people...

Common sense dictates that a company will set the price at a point that will mean max sales, at X% of profit. X will vary depending on the product they're selling, starter sets are going to have a much lower profit margin, because they'll make up the difference in selling expansions.

You honestly believe you know better what the price point should be, rather then a massively successful company like FFG, one who, unlike you actually knows the cost of producing the starter set in the first place.

 

It's actually kind of insulting comparing the quality of X-wing miniatures to Attack Wing miniatures at the same cost.

Yeah, that if nothing else has kept me from even considering STAW.

 

I'm not really sure what you are trying to convince me of here. You are just restating arguments I already made.

Wasn't really, just using your post as a spring board for mine. I agree with you and your points.

 

You keep using that word "gouge." I do not think it means what you think it means.

 

To point out that high-priced games that create a barrier between low-income customers and their profit potential is not to say they are price gouging.

 

Despite Sithborg's claims to the contrary, there were ways to make this game without sacrificing quality and still make it cheaper.

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I'm assuming none of us were in the rooms and discussing it with the FFG's designers. We don't even know the full size of the miniatures yet. And there is a significant amount of engineering that went into the design of those bases and templates. They may talk a little bit about some of the decisions that led to the price at the In Flight Report.

 

But, I look at the Heroes and Monsters expansions for Descent. $35 for 13 unpainted miniatures, 9 of them being of 3 different sculpts, and some card board and paper bits?

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Hello Boris

 

Let me try to explain, from a marketers viewpoint, what I think might explain the price-point.  Quick background - I worked in a new products marketing group for a big pharmaceutical company. Health care products are very different from entertainment products, but the basic marketing practise remain the same.

 

To begin, when bringing a new product to market, the marketer looks for the target demograph. The demograph is mapped, price-point is assigned, and a sales projection is made. Sales projection usually defines budget These are basic Marketing 101 principles. (This is why it will be very difficult for FFG to change the price - they already have factored the sales into the 2015 annual numbers....)

 

Now, I can't remember if there was a number given for total sold X-Wing games.  By total sold, we refer ONLY to what FFG sells, either directly to the consumer or through a distributor.  For some reason, the number 12,000+ keeps coming up in my head  for the initial run - I don't know where I read that, but it is in keeping with what Games Design Workshop's game runs from the late 90's would suggest: in their case, 10,000 was their usual number.

 

Assume for analysis' sake that 12,000 is a reliable number. After material and manufacturing costs, distribution costs, advertising and administrative costs, and licensing fees, FFG can expect between 20% and 30% return as profit from the core game. That's averaged to about $120,000.  Obviously, FFG needs to sell many expansion packs - this is where their bread and butter is made, as buyers will purchase multiple packs.  Let's assume, as others here have said, that the expansions are making the majority of FFG X-Wing profits.

 

How does this affect ARMADA?  From what I can deduce, FFG decided to aim for a narrower market.  You made an observation along the lines of would it not be better to sell 200,000 sets at $50, which I think was a logical question.  However, there might not be a mappable target market that large - it's much more likely that the market is estimated as 12,000 and under.  If I were to play it safe (as FFG seems to do) I would define the Armada target demograph as "Male, post-college, technical employed and older" (unlike the X-Wing demograph, which is more "Male, post secondary/high school, part-time employed and older"), in which case, the ARMADA target market might be more like 5,000.

 

The number 5000 might seem absurdly small, but sound business sense is to minimise risk. If the first run sells out, FFG can always make more. 5,000 ARMADA core sets sold will net appox $120,000 (about $25 profit per set, assuming %25 profit). Actual number will tend higher as FFG sells directly to consumer. Still, the number matches (approximately) that of the initial X-Wing run.

 

This is very much speculation on my part - one of the great gaming industry constants is never quite knowing the size of the market, because the gaming industry is individually small and fragmented. Even a "big" game company like GW is easliy swat-able by Amazon (q.v. "Space Marine") and this small nature makes reliable external data either hard to get, or very expensive, or both.

 

Also effecting the target demograph is the unavoidable conclusion that ARMADA will be competing against X-Wing.  This is why I think the 5000 is not an unreasonable number. Whether 4 out of 10 X-Wing players carries over to ARMADA remains to be seen.

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On the other hand, the way I can or not afford something is my problem, and only affects me.

 

This is incorrect, actually. We're not talking about a solo card game or a one-person RPG video game.Your determination of what you can afford dictates to others within your local community how many, if any at all, players they can expect to be able to find. When there are no other players, they have made the decision about whether you will get into this game (or any game for that matter) for you,

Not entirely true. The starter set is a two-player experience. As long as you have it, you will be able to play it.

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On the other hand, the way I can or not afford something is my problem, and only affects me.

 

This is incorrect, actually. We're not talking about a solo card game or a one-person RPG video game.Your determination of what you can afford dictates to others within your local community how many, if any at all, players they can expect to be able to find. When there are no other players, they have made the decision about whether you will get into this game (or any game for that matter) for you,

 

Not entirely true. The starter set is a two-player experience. As long as you have it, you will be able to play it.

 

I get what you mean, Boris, and it fits the standard scenario when it comes to this kind of expansion-driven game.

 

The thing is I don't approach this game the standard (or expected) way.

Like Keroko said, what I plan is to buy it and play it as a self contained standalone game. Maybe I'll buy some expansions too, but it would not be a collectible game experience, just a game experience.

 

In fact, this is exactly what I did with Decipher's Star Wars CCG back in the day. My wife and I bought starters, quite a few boosters, and had a blast for months.

 

I did discuss buying the game with my wife though (I do need at least another player!), but it did only affect me / her / us.

Maybe I'm just playing with words here ;)

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When I wanted to get into xwing it was a hard sell, my gaming buddies were both strapped for cash and I had resisted playing other games just due to not wanting piles of unpainted models to add to previous piles. So I just bought a bunch of xwing, enough for imps vs rebs and slowly expanded it. Guess what I am trying to say is if you really want to play, buy it and see if you can get people to play with you with your stuff. Its hard to get a massive force buying everything but buy whats cool and go with it. Its supposed to be fun..

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Luckily, with Vassal, you don't need people in your area to play.

 

As for the topic, I don't know. Paying a few hundred bucks to build a sizeable collection seems like a lot in a vacuum. But then I see the people who come to my shop for Friday Night Magic, where people are throwing $15+/$30+ (Depending on how many events they stay for) every week just to maybe get some prizes, not to mention what they paid to make the deck in the first place. Or the WarmaHordes people who spend $25 for a single Warjack (That game's squads cost more than X-Wing, even though they have around the same number of models). Or the guys I join for Open Board Game Night, who are buying new ~$60 board games to play practically every other week. Or the D&D guys who have a library full of $50 MSRP books to play.

 

I won't mention the Warhammer people, since that seems to stirr up the bee's nest in this thread.

 

Then I consider the fact that this Armada starter at $99.95 (which has been changed on the site to $79.99, or so I've read) is about one quarter the cost I pay for gas each month on commutes, and I'm not driving a giant SUV or truck like most of the people I see out on the road.

 

As well movies, especially those darned 3D movies, which have mile-long lines every weekend at the mall. Lots of people hit the movies every weekend, and it costs more than an X-Wing starter every time they do it!

 

I'm just not seeing these other 'cheap' -- Er, that word doesn't even seem appropriate, if X-Wing small ships were cheaper by any significant amount, they'd be cheaper than a meal! -- games, nor am I really seeing many other 'cheap' hobbies. Everything has a cost nowadays, if you want to be consuming a product or service that must be produced or provided, you just have to pick your poison. Will it be movies? HBO? X-Wing? D&D? Rock climbing? Martial Arts? Road trips?

 

Yes, some people are well off enough to just check off every box on the list. But it does not follow that by playing X-Wing, you must be well off. I saw those comments about 'rich 1%er games', and this is not one of them. In fact, none of the games I mentioned are.

Edited by Rithrin

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You keep using that word "gouge." I do not think it means what you think it means.

No, you used the term not me. I was using it in response to you.

But there are a lot of other ways to do that than just by gouging the product straight out.

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When I wanted to get into xwing it was a hard sell, my gaming buddies were both strapped for cash and I had resisted playing other games just due to not wanting piles of unpainted models to add to previous piles. So I just bought a bunch of xwing, enough for imps vs rebs and slowly expanded it. Guess what I am trying to say is if you really want to play, buy it and see if you can get people to play with you with your stuff. Its hard to get a massive force buying everything but buy whats cool and go with it. Its supposed to be fun..

 

There is a maxim amongst Salesmen : "If they want it badly enough, they will buy it."

 

It's the job of marketing to make them want it.

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I find arguing about the price of a luxury item amusing. "That Bentley is too expensive! They should make them cheaper...etc".

 

Games are luxury items. Just on a much, much smaller scale than cars.

 

If you're in a situation where you legitimately cannot afford the starter - as in you won't eat, pay rent, etc - I would argue that you have far more pressing concerns than what a game costs. Even if it was $50, you probably shouldn't be buying it if you were in that situation.

 

For what it comes with it's a very fair price, especially considering the amount of fun you can get just out of one base set.

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Stop voting for democrats and maybe you can get a decent job.

This is probably only funny to me because I know Boris_The_Dwarf personally, but this is really hilarious. I doubt he's ever voted for a democrat in his life!

Anyway, I also just disagree with him. This game is likely going to appeal to hardcore miniatures gamers, who play Warhammer, Warmachine, Dropzone Commander, etc. That means that a $100 starter is actually spot on. With that in mind, I doubt too many people will not buy it at $100 but would by it at another price (like $70). I think that going for the most common entry price point for these kinds of miniatures games ($100) will maximize their profits, which is of course their primary goal.

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This game is supposed to be more niche anyway. It is NOT supposed to be the next X-Wing. X-Wing will continue to be the easy to get into but endless depth game.

 

A fleet action game is by nature going to have a more expensive core set. It's a fleet game. A fleet being a large assortment of ships.

 

Though I do wonder if it would have been better to have had separate Imperial and Rebel core sets.

 

The solution might be to split the price with a friend and split the fleets.

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Though I do wonder if it would have been better to have had separate Imperial and Rebel core sets.

That seems to go against FFG's design philosophy. Every core set they produce is everything you need to play the game with how ever many players the game is designed for.

All their LCG's all their board games, ect... They all come with enough for at least 2 players.

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The solution might be to split the price with a friend and split the fleets.

 

That's a pretty good idea, for the cash-strapped. All kinds of fun to be had, for half price. Then if you both like the game, you go buy another core and split that too, in reverse.

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On the other hand, the way I can or not afford something is my problem, and only affects me.

 

This is incorrect, actually. We're not talking about a solo card game or a one-person RPG video game.Your determination of what you can afford dictates to others within your local community how many, if any at all, players they can expect to be able to find. When there are no other players, they have made the decision about whether you will get into this game (or any game for that matter) for you,

 

Not entirely true. The starter set is a two-player experience. As long as you have it, you will be able to play it.

 

 

You still require a second player.

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On the other hand, the way I can or not afford something is my problem, and only affects me.

 

This is incorrect, actually. We're not talking about a solo card game or a one-person RPG video game.Your determination of what you can afford dictates to others within your local community how many, if any at all, players they can expect to be able to find. When there are no other players, they have made the decision about whether you will get into this game (or any game for that matter) for you,

 

Not entirely true. The starter set is a two-player experience. As long as you have it, you will be able to play it.

 

 

You still require a second player.

 

 

Which, given that you own the starter set and the other player doesn't need to pay a cent to play, will not be much harder to find than an X-wing player.

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Stop voting for democrats and maybe you can get a decent job.

 

I never once said this was about me or my personal financial circumstances, but I do enjoy that inference.

 

For the record, I stopped voting 6 years ago after getting an inside look at the political process. Choice is an illusion on election day.

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For the record, I stopped voting 6 years ago after getting an inside look at the political process. Choice is an illusion on election day.

 

 

I couldn't agree more.  Most of the major "differences" between the parties are for show.   Allows the ruling elite to keep control of everything by keeping people divided.

 

I have been both parties in my 48 years, and now I am convinced politicians are for themselves 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

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Compared to, say, Games Workshop, FFG's stuff is downright cheap. Quit whining.

I was about to make the same point FFG's games are already dirt cheap compared to many other companies products (especially GW...)

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