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Plainsman

Asmodee, or big brother weilding a stick over online sales!

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Like.. what the hell did y'all do before 30% discounts for no reason were a thing?  Pay full price or just cry a lot?

 

Why do you deserve Imp Aces for $10?

 

It's like fast fashion all over again.  Next it'll be kids in Bangladesh getting fingers cut off in the x-wing stamp so we can have disposable $5 minis.

 

Give your heads a shake.

 

Oh, the neverending shame of the internet today.  Everyone wants to jump in and press the easy-mode entitlement button any time someone they disagree with complains on the internet.  Learn to compose some independent thoughts and put together an actual case in favor of your argument.

 

I don't deserve Imperial Aces for bargain prices.  Never said I did.  But if the market has successfully supported providing us ships with discount pricing, why should the price of the end product suddenly go up when the cost to manufacture and distribute (presumably) remains unchanged?  

 

I think also, that what you might call "bargain prices" in your other post, I call "the real price".  If FFG sells to Coolstuff and makes a profit, and Coolstuff sells it to me for profit - then that is the price the market can successfully support - the real price as far as I am concerned.  There is a model that provides the ships to me, at lower prices, with companies making a profit.  MSRP and whatever model Asmodee is fixing up is just creating a fictitious value.  And if you can't compete in with that logistics/scale - sorry, you can't compete and you'd better find something people are willing to pay for.

 

As for the Chinese children assembling these toys, well Asmodee hasn't said they would do anything for them with all this extra money, have they?   But if they did plan to increase wages or improve working conditions, well that would represent an actual increase in the cost to manufacture and distribute the product, and you wouldn't hear me complaining.  The real actual cost of the product would have changed.  They didn't just decide a $5 product should cost $8, it actually costs $8.  They are entitled to just raise prices if they wish, of course, just as I am entitled to not like it if I wish.

 

I don't understand how people do not feel insulted when a company takes the exact same product, artificially makes it cost more to the consumer, and then tells them "Look at this great thing we did!".

This!

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Like.. what the hell did y'all do before 30% discounts for no reason were a thing?  Pay full price or just cry a lot?

 

Why do you deserve Imp Aces for $10?

 

It's like fast fashion all over again.  Next it'll be kids in Bangladesh getting fingers cut off in the x-wing stamp so we can have disposable $5 minis.

 

Give your heads a shake.

 

Oh, the neverending shame of the internet today.  Everyone wants to jump in and press the easy-mode entitlement button any time someone they disagree with complains on the internet.  Learn to compose some independent thoughts and put together an actual case in favor of your argument.

 

I don't deserve Imperial Aces for bargain prices.  Never said I did.  But if the market has successfully supported providing us ships with discount pricing, why should the price of the end product suddenly go up when the cost to manufacture and distribute (presumably) remains unchanged?  

 

I think also, that what you might call "bargain prices" in your other post, I call "the real price".  If FFG sells to Coolstuff and makes a profit, and Coolstuff sells it to me for profit - then that is the price the market can successfully support - the real price as far as I am concerned.  There is a model that provides the ships to me, at lower prices, with companies making a profit.  MSRP and whatever model Asmodee is fixing up is just creating a fictitious value.  And if you can't compete in with that logistics/scale - sorry, you can't compete and you'd better find something people are willing to pay for.

 

As for the Chinese children assembling these toys, well Asmodee hasn't said they would do anything for them with all this extra money, have they?   But if they did plan to increase wages or improve working conditions, well that would represent an actual increase in the cost to manufacture and distribute the product, and you wouldn't hear me complaining.  The real actual cost of the product would have changed.  They didn't just decide a $5 product should cost $8, it actually costs $8.  They are entitled to just raise prices if they wish, of course, just as I am entitled to not like it if I wish.

 

I don't understand how people do not feel insulted when a company takes the exact same product, artificially makes it cost more to the consumer, and then tells them "Look at this great thing we did!".

This!

Not this, it sort of fails basic logic in several places. There's no such thing as a 'real price' outside of whatever the manufacturer states the price is. It also comes back to 'I've been taking advantage of a seemingly parasitic business practice, how dare they rectify that and cost me my space bucks!'

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I kind of skimmed over most of the thread so I apologize if this has been mentioned already. 

 

If brick and mortar stores are unable to compete because their distributors are essentially selling product directly to consumers online, that's a problem that Asmodee needs to step in to fix.

 

If larger stores with online outlets are speculatively ordering large amounts of product to maximize their discount rate with the plan to just blow out excess stock online at or near cost that they can't sell at MSRP that is something that Asmodee needs to step in and fix, especially if that behavior starves the distribution channel for product and keeps smaller retailers from being able to maintain stock.

 

I love buying ships at 30-50% off of MSRP and will be bummed to see it go. It will probably cut into my purchases. However, I don't think that this move is necessarily being driven by overt corporate greed as much as it is just a manufacturer trying to stabilize and manage their distribution channels.    

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Like.. what the hell did y'all do before 30% discounts for no reason were a thing?  Pay full price or just cry a lot?

 

Why do you deserve Imp Aces for $10?

 

It's like fast fashion all over again.  Next it'll be kids in Bangladesh getting fingers cut off in the x-wing stamp so we can have disposable $5 minis.

 

Give your heads a shake.

 

Oh, the neverending shame of the internet today.  Everyone wants to jump in and press the easy-mode entitlement button any time someone they disagree with complains on the internet.  Learn to compose some independent thoughts and put together an actual case in favor of your argument.

 

I don't deserve Imperial Aces for bargain prices.  Never said I did.  But if the market has successfully supported providing us ships with discount pricing, why should the price of the end product suddenly go up when the cost to manufacture and distribute (presumably) remains unchanged?  

 

I think also, that what you might call "bargain prices" in your other post, I call "the real price".  If FFG sells to Coolstuff and makes a profit, and Coolstuff sells it to me for profit - then that is the price the market can successfully support - the real price as far as I am concerned.  There is a model that provides the ships to me, at lower prices, with companies making a profit.  MSRP and whatever model Asmodee is fixing up is just creating a fictitious value.  And if you can't compete in with that logistics/scale - sorry, you can't compete and you'd better find something people are willing to pay for.

 

As for the Chinese children assembling these toys, well Asmodee hasn't said they would do anything for them with all this extra money, have they?   But if they did plan to increase wages or improve working conditions, well that would represent an actual increase in the cost to manufacture and distribute the product, and you wouldn't hear me complaining.  The real actual cost of the product would have changed.  They didn't just decide a $5 product should cost $8, it actually costs $8.  They are entitled to just raise prices if they wish, of course, just as I am entitled to not like it if I wish.

 

I don't understand how people do not feel insulted when a company takes the exact same product, artificially makes it cost more to the consumer, and then tells them "Look at this great thing we did!".

 

 

I find it hilarious that you expect all the physical game stores to be able to sell at the same margins and at the required same volume as the big online dealers. 

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All indicators point to this is what's really going on. Note: points 4 and 5 are speculation but consistent with what we know. Point 8 is in the future. The rest are confirmed.

 

  1. French investment firm sits down and tries to figure out how to make more money if they purchase multiple game companies.
  2. Asmodee and FFG are purchased by said French investment firm.
  3. Raise the price to the distributors / local game stores without directly changing the MSRP. There is already supposedly confirmation that the margins to the distribution channel are being reduced by 3% - 5%.
  4. Significantly raise the price being charged to the online sellers like CoolStuffInc and Miniature Market. (This could easily be 20% or more, which is instant profit to FFG.) These companies will still be able to leverage their efficiencies to sell the product at a lower price point than the local game stores. End-user customers that want to buy the product at the best value will still buy online. This has not yet been confirmed, but is the next logical step in a greedy money-grab by FFG/Asmodee. FFG/Asmodee could opt to completely cut out the middle man for these high volume retailers.
  5. Put in place a requirement that anyone selling the game through the in-person retail channel CANNOT sell the product online. This is required to prevent companies like CSI/MM from circumventing FFG's higher online distribution channel pricing by simply buying in bulk through the in-person retail channel.
  6. Release a Press Release statement that they are restricting online sales and reducing customer choice because FFG/Asmodee are The Good Guys. Just trust us, FFG and gamers will be better off in the long run if your Local Game Store has to pay more gamers support their Local Game Store.
  7. When the inevitable questions come in, release another "clarifying" Press Release that presents FFG/Asmodee as The Good Guys without actually answering any of the questions.
  8. Execute the plan after April 1 and make more money at the expense of the LGS and consumers who purchase online. Christian Petersen who is now CEO of FFG/Asmodee will probably get a great bonus while the employees in his company continue to get paid well below market rates. 

 

It's obviously a cash grab. The low lying fruit is to get into the action on the high-volume online discount pricing. This is not mutually exclusive with them believing that forcing people into LGS will sell more product.

Edited by MajorJuggler

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However, I don't think that this move is necessarily being driven by overt corporate greed as much as it is just a manufacturer trying to stabilize and manage their distribution channels.

Because a manufacturer will totally do that for other reasons than because it brings greater revenue in the long run.

The guys running x-wing may (and likely do) care about x-wing and the community, but go high enough up the corporate ladder and it's all about the money.

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I assume much of this has to do with Walmart.  Asmodee has been working their way onto the retail space normally monopolized by... well, Monopoly, but Hasbro in particular.  I'd wager Walmart doesn't look too kindly on stocking a product devalued by a third or more and having that competition be the norm is a pretty major barrier to the Days of Wonder line and even things like X-Wing getting shelf space there and in similar major retailers like Target and the like.  Hasbro/Wizards actually has something similar in place with Magic and some of their other games; I assume for similar reasons.

 

That said, the assumption that this is looking to remove online discounts to get more money from higher prices misunderstands the way distribution channels work.  FFG sells to distribution networks that in turn sell to stores that sell the product to you.  Some stores use the internet to drive enough sales to act as a distributor directly, effectively cutting an exchange and the cost of that exchange.  FFG ends up getting the same cut regardless of what the end user pays for it, because they're selling it at the distribution level price (though they may be offering discounts at different purchase tiers or under specific arrangements).

 

What's true is that there's a "passing savings onto you" element that we all enjoy.  The unfortunate shortsighted bit of this is that its only true until the market adjusts.  MSRP is the maximum that FFG believes a local store can sell the product for assuming a standard markup after purchasing from the distributor who is expected to sell it at a standard markup over what they paid for it from FFG.  If the local store goes away and the primary sales venue is online, FFG will likely up their cut to up it at the distribution/online store level to be the new suggested price.  Moreover, it stops making sense for them to sell it at a distribution level at all, as if the online market is that good, they might as well cut out everything and sell direct, pocketing 100% of the sale.

 

In truth though, there's value behind marketing products on a shelf.  That's why they're not sold in plain brown cardboard after all.  The kid who walks into a store, sees that cool mini T-70 from the movie and a system to play it, buys it and becomes part of a larger community of gamers is what keeps the industry running and keeps the industry from devolving into a small niche of only the most hardcore of gamers buying a small range of products.

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Or this could be genuine concern about the industry. I know Wizkids is implementing a new program that really hurts the mass sellers of Heroclix (literally cutting the amount of they get week of release by 90%, though they get the rest later). 

 

While it likely isn't good, I do think it is still too early to be writing them off as despotic overlords. 

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All indicators point to this is what's really going on. Note: points 4 and 5 are speculation but consistent with what we know. The rest are confirmed.

 

  1. French investment firm sits down and tries to figure out how to make more money if they purchase multiple game companies.
  2. Asmodee and FFG are purchased by said French investment firm.
  3. Raise the price to the distributors / local game stores without directly changing the MSRP. There is already supposedly confirmation that the margins to the distribution channel are being reduced by 3% - 5%.
  4. Significantly raise the price being charged to the online sellers like CoolStuffInc and Miniature Market. (This could easily be 20% or more, which is instant profit to FFG.) These companies will still be able to leverage their efficiencies to sell the product at a lower price point than the local game stores. End-user customers that want to buy the product at the best value will still buy online. This has not yet been confirmed, but is the next logical step in a greedy money-grab by FFG/Asmodee.
  5. Put in place a requirement that anyone purchasing the game through the in-person retail channel CANNOT sell the product online. This is required to prevent companies like CSI/MM from circumventing FFG's higher online distribution channel pricing by simply buying in bulk through the in-person retail channel.
  6. Release a Press Release statement that they are restricting online sales and reducing customer choice because FFG/Asmodee are The Good Guys. Just trust us, FFG and gamers will be better off in the long run if your Local Game Store has to pay more gamers support their Local Game Store.
  7. When the inevitable questions come in, release another "clarifying" Press Release that presents FFG/Asmodee as The Good Guys without actually answering any of the questions.
  8. Execute the plan after April 1 and make more money at the expense of the LGS and consumers who purchase online. Christian Petersen who is now CEO of FFG/Asmodee will probably get a great bonus while the employees in his company continue to get paid well below market rates. 

 

It's obviously a cash grab. The low lying fruit is to get into the action on the high-volume online discount pricing. This is not mutually exclusive with them believing that forcing people into LGS will sell more product.

Absolutely.  This isnt about helping the FLGS out of kindness.  Its about realizing that Star Wars is a cash cow and now is the perfect time to start getting the cow fat.  (terrible analogy..)

 

Expect retail prices to go up a little, online prices to go up a lot bringing them closer to par with each other.  Essentially they want your money, no matter where you get your toys from.  

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Like.. what the hell did y'all do before 30% discounts for no reason were a thing?  Pay full price or just cry a lot?

 

Why do you deserve Imp Aces for $10?

 

It's like fast fashion all over again.  Next it'll be kids in Bangladesh getting fingers cut off in the x-wing stamp so we can have disposable $5 minis.

 

Give your heads a shake.

 

Oh, the neverending shame of the internet today.  Everyone wants to jump in and press the easy-mode entitlement button any time someone they disagree with complains on the internet.  Learn to compose some independent thoughts and put together an actual case in favor of your argument.

 

I don't deserve Imperial Aces for bargain prices.  Never said I did.  But if the market has successfully supported providing us ships with discount pricing, why should the price of the end product suddenly go up when the cost to manufacture and distribute (presumably) remains unchanged?  

 

I think also, that what you might call "bargain prices" in your other post, I call "the real price".  If FFG sells to Coolstuff and makes a profit, and Coolstuff sells it to me for profit - then that is the price the market can successfully support - the real price as far as I am concerned.  There is a model that provides the ships to me, at lower prices, with companies making a profit.  MSRP and whatever model Asmodee is fixing up is just creating a fictitious value.  And if you can't compete in with that logistics/scale - sorry, you can't compete and you'd better find something people are willing to pay for.

 

As for the Chinese children assembling these toys, well Asmodee hasn't said they would do anything for them with all this extra money, have they?   But if they did plan to increase wages or improve working conditions, well that would represent an actual increase in the cost to manufacture and distribute the product, and you wouldn't hear me complaining.  The real actual cost of the product would have changed.  They didn't just decide a $5 product should cost $8, it actually costs $8.  They are entitled to just raise prices if they wish, of course, just as I am entitled to not like it if I wish.

 

I don't understand how people do not feel insulted when a company takes the exact same product, artificially makes it cost more to the consumer, and then tells them "Look at this great thing we did!".

 

I find it hilarious that you expect all the physical game stores to be able to sell at the same margins and at the required same volume as the big online dealers.

I don't. I expect that if they can't find a successful business model outside of selling the same stuff at higher prices, they will fail.

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That said, the assumption that this is looking to remove online discounts to get more money from higher prices misunderstands the way distribution channels work.  FFG sells to distribution networks that in turn sell to stores that sell the product to you.  Some stores use the internet to drive enough sales to act as a distributor directly, effectively cutting an exchange and the cost of that exchange.  FFG ends up getting the same cut regardless of what the end user pays for it, because they're selling it at the distribution level price (though they may be offering discounts at different purchase tiers or under specific arrangements).

 

That is indeed how it has worked in the past -- actually I think MM/CSI may even get volume discounts.

 

 

But there is absolutely no reason why FFG/Asmodee will continue that business model. They are being very explicit about cutting out online sales except for certain exceptions. This would allow MM/CSI to still sell online, but FFG could completely cut out the middle man distributor, selling directly from their warehouse to MM/CSI, while simultaneously raising the price to MM/CSI.

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I'm no economist, but if prices rise all around at the retail end of the distribution chain (which is to say that customers are charged more on average), isn't it reasonable to say that sales will fall? So even if FFG can get a higher per-unit price, they'll overall lose money by moving fewer units?

I'd be interested to learn how Mayfair games has done in terms of overall profitability since they enforced a maximum of 20% online discounts on their games. Perhaps that's a window into how FFG will fare as a result of this move.

I also noticed that Amazon, B&N, etc. are exempted from this. So does FFG want a world of Amazon Online and Local Stores, with the Onilne Specialty store squeezed out? It seems unreasonable to worry that you won't be able to get your ships online at all, but it does seem reasonable to worry that your choice as a consumer is going down.

Before I moved, my FLGS was Team Covenant. You may be interested to know that they do, in fact, have a subscription model that allows certain privileges to those who play in-person (such as free tournament entry, reductions on snacks, priority pre-orders and a few more). I'm wondering if they'll fit in the nebulous "significant contribution" niche which will allow them to keep selling online. There's no way they could keep open without the online sales even though they're probably the most successful store in the US in terms of promoting FFG games being played in person on a regular basis. And if THEY can't survive, I'm not sure who could...without selling Magic.

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I find it hilarious that you expect all the physical game stores to be able to sell at the same margins and at the required same volume as the big online dealers.

I don't. I expect that if they can't find a successful business model outside of selling the same stuff at higher prices, they will fail.

 

 

And from the ashes new businesses will emerge that actually serve the customer better.

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My LGS owner asked everybody for their preferred order numbers for Wave 8, telling us that stock is being allocated by FFG and not everybody will necessarily get the numbers they want. (Lots of our local group typically asks for two of everything.)

Is this new?

Is it a sign of the future? Or just a temporary issue with Wave 8 production volume?

Or am I just ignorant of the standard ups and downs of the distribution biz?

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However, I don't think that this move is necessarily being driven by overt corporate greed as much as it is just a manufacturer trying to stabilize and manage their distribution channels.

Because a manufacturer will totally do that for other reasons than because it brings greater revenue in the long run.

 

 

Increasing revenue in the long run should be the goal of most business decisions and isn't about greed. An environment where your distributors are competing against retailers may mean better profit in the short run but it creates a toxic ecosystem that can hurt future growth.

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My LGS owner asked everybody for their preferred order numbers for Wave 8, telling us that stock is being allocated by FFG and not everybody will necessarily get the numbers they want. (Lots of our local group typically asks for two of everything.)

Is this new?

Is it a sign of the future? Or just a temporary issue with Wave 8 production volume?

Or am I just ignorant of the standard ups and downs of the distribution biz?

Sounds like he's worried about ordering too much. (since everyone buys online)  He's using the old "limited time offer!" trick.  Order now before its too late!

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Before I moved, my FLGS was Team Covenant. You may be interested to know that they do, in fact, have a subscription model that allows certain privileges to those who play in-person (such as free tournament entry, reductions on snacks, priority pre-orders and a few more). I'm wondering if they'll fit in the nebulous "significant contribution" niche which will allow them to keep selling online. There's no way they could keep open without the online sales even though they're probably the most successful store in the US in terms of promoting FFG games being played in person on a regular basis. And if THEY can't survive, I'm not sure who could...without selling Magic.

 

Team Covenant may (pure speculation here) have unique standing with FFG because they are essentially free marketing for FFG. Team Covenant are really really really consistent at kissing up to FFG, to the extent that I have wondered if they are actually a subsidiary of FFG. (Probably not, but they give the impression that they are actually a combination retail front / marketing branch for FFG.)  Their online shopping catalog is almost exclusively FFG games. They come across as the ultimate FFG fan boys. According to them, everything FFG does is amazing. If you want an unbiased and balanced review of FFG's services and products, then Team Covenant is about the last place you want to look.

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Like.. what the hell did y'all do before 30% discounts for no reason were a thing?  Pay full price or just cry a lot?

 

Why do you deserve Imp Aces for $10?

 

It's like fast fashion all over again.  Next it'll be kids in Bangladesh getting fingers cut off in the x-wing stamp so we can have disposable $5 minis.

 

Give your heads a shake.

 

Oh, the neverending shame of the internet today.  Everyone wants to jump in and press the easy-mode entitlement button any time someone they disagree with complains on the internet.  Learn to compose some independent thoughts and put together an actual case in favor of your argument.

 

I don't deserve Imperial Aces for bargain prices.  Never said I did.  But if the market has successfully supported providing us ships with discount pricing, why should the price of the end product suddenly go up when the cost to manufacture and distribute (presumably) remains unchanged?  

 

I think also, that what you might call "bargain prices" in your other post, I call "the real price".  If FFG sells to Coolstuff and makes a profit, and Coolstuff sells it to me for profit - then that is the price the market can successfully support - the real price as far as I am concerned.  There is a model that provides the ships to me, at lower prices, with companies making a profit.  MSRP and whatever model Asmodee is fixing up is just creating a fictitious value.  And if you can't compete in with that logistics/scale - sorry, you can't compete and you'd better find something people are willing to pay for.

 

As for the Chinese children assembling these toys, well Asmodee hasn't said they would do anything for them with all this extra money, have they?   But if they did plan to increase wages or improve working conditions, well that would represent an actual increase in the cost to manufacture and distribute the product, and you wouldn't hear me complaining.  The real actual cost of the product would have changed.  They didn't just decide a $5 product should cost $8, it actually costs $8.  They are entitled to just raise prices if they wish, of course, just as I am entitled to not like it if I wish.

 

I don't understand how people do not feel insulted when a company takes the exact same product, artificially makes it cost more to the consumer, and then tells them "Look at this great thing we did!".

This!

Not this, it sort of fails basic logic in several places. There's no such thing as a 'real price' outside of whatever the manufacturer states the price is. It also comes back to 'I've been taking advantage of a seemingly parasitic business practice, how dare they rectify that and cost me my space bucks!'

So your only point that is "fails basic logic in several places" is because I used the term "real price"?

Of course it isn't a true term. It was used as shorthand, for something I think most people understood - there is a price that is supportable by those involved in the transaction where each seller in the chain makes an acceptable profit. Note that this doesn't mean that every possible seller (such as LGS) must make a profit, just that some (most efficient, biggest, etc) can. This is a price that is supportable by the parties involved without causing any of them to go out of business. It is a sets the floor for a price which the market can provide the product. Anything lower is unsustainable, anything higher should either come with additional benefit (better/faster service, ancillary benefits such as gaming space, etc.). It isn't either of those things in this case, it is arbitrary policy to artificially drive up prices and secure additional profit.

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So much hyperbole in this thread. You can still buy online, so can we stop with all the doomsaying about how FFG is trying to tell you what you're allowed to do or claiming that this is some kind of personal attack? 

 

It could be clearer, sure. But so far it looks like they're trying to prevent online retailers from being able to sell at crazy low costs on a somewhat regular basis. As someone who works an entry level job, you can afford to pay what I've been paying at my local store. Hell, I've been buying X-Wing, Armada, computer parts, paint supplies, videogames, and bullets all year without any serious financial hiccups or missed payments on things like bills or rent. All despite the fact that I'm bad at math and worse at keeping track of my money. If someone as financially incompetent as I am can handle these prices then so can you. 

 

No, you probably won't see Imperial Veterans selling for $10 or Epic ships going for $40 anymore. But you won't be forced to quit the game due to a lack of nearby game stores, either. You'll just have to pay what I've been paying. Well, adjusted for region and all. Like I said before, I've been paying LGS prices this entire time and the only time I've gone broke since starting this game was because I impulse bought a rifle after forgetting I owed like $300 on my credit card. Even then I found money for the Outrider and Decimator

 

You aren't being deprived of access to X-Wing. You aren't being discriminated against. You're used to getting crazy deals from a business model that runs very low costs and now that you're probably not getting "barely profiting" prices it just feels like you're being screwed.

You, and Asmodee, have a misunderstanding of how free markets work. If the demand is at lower prices, what do you think will happen if you increase prices and supply remains the same? Yup, demand will fall. This is a hard lesson other companies had to learn, eg Games Workshop and Mayfair.

You can act noble all you want for stupidly over-paying for the same product but that's sadly not how businesses survive. Consumers LOVE saving money, or at least appearing to save money (JCPenny). If one store charges more but offers nothing in return, they'll have a hard time staying in business, regardless what they sell.

In the end, this is just another widget sold by retailers, and we as conaumers will vote with our wallet, intentionally or not.

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All indicators point to this is what's really going on. Note: points 4 and 5 are speculation but consistent with what we know. Point 8 is in the future. The rest are confirmed.

 

  • French investment firm sits down and tries to figure out how to make more money if they purchase multiple game companies.
  • Asmodee and FFG are purchased by said French investment firm.
  • Raise the price to the distributors / local game stores without directly changing the MSRP. There is already supposedly confirmation that the margins to the distribution channel are being reduced by 3% - 5%.
  • Significantly raise the price being charged to the online sellers like CoolStuffInc and Miniature Market. (This could easily be 20% or more, which is instant profit to FFG.) These companies will still be able to leverage their efficiencies to sell the product at a lower price point than the local game stores. End-user customers that want to buy the product at the best value will still buy online. This has not yet been confirmed, but is the next logical step in a greedy money-grab by FFG/Asmodee. FFG/Asmodee could opt to completely cut out the middle man for these high volume retailers.
  • Put in place a requirement that anyone purchasing the game through the in-person retail channel CANNOT sell the product online. This is required to prevent companies like CSI/MM from circumventing FFG's higher online distribution channel pricing by simply buying in bulk through the in-person retail channel.
  • Release a Press Release statement that they are restricting online sales and reducing customer choice because FFG/Asmodee are The Good Guys. Just trust us, FFG and gamers will be better off in the long run if your Local Game Store has to pay more gamers support their Local Game Store.
  • When the inevitable questions come in, release another "clarifying" Press Release that presents FFG/Asmodee as The Good Guys without actually answering any of the questions.
  • Execute the plan after April 1 and make more money at the expense of the LGS and consumers who purchase online. Christian Petersen who is now CEO of FFG/Asmodee will probably get a great bonus while the employees in his company continue to get paid well below market rates. 
 

It's obviously a cash grab. The low lying fruit is to get into the action on the high-volume online discount pricing. This is not mutually exclusive with them believing that forcing people into LGS will sell more product.

You are usually very good at drawing logical conclusions but you seem to have veered off into evil corporate conspiracy land somewhere along the way. Why is a 'cash grab' a remotely logical move for what seems like it must be a booming market? The new star wars movie came out to record numbers so the company selling 3 distinct star wars games probably isn't hurting for sales. Why risk customer good will and sales volume when you're safely making money hand over fist? Sure you could say 'mmm yes corporate greed' but it's just as easy to say 'reducing parasitic selling practices so the market is healthier overall' or as mentioned earlier 'responding to pressure from big chain retailers to stop little online distributors from harshly undercutting them'.

I really have to wonder if people would be complaining so vehemently or at all about these decisions if ffg was making moves that looked to result in reduced prices across the board. My suspicion is no.

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Before I moved, my FLGS was Team Covenant. You may be interested to know that they do, in fact, have a subscription model that allows certain privileges to those who play in-person (such as free tournament entry, reductions on snacks, priority pre-orders and a few more). I'm wondering if they'll fit in the nebulous "significant contribution" niche which will allow them to keep selling online. There's no way they could keep open without the online sales even though they're probably the most successful store in the US in terms of promoting FFG games being played in person on a regular basis. And if THEY can't survive, I'm not sure who could...without selling Magic.

 

Team Covenant may (pure speculation here) have unique standing with FFG because they are essentially free marketing for FFG. Team Covenant are really really really consistent at kissing up to FFG, to the extent that I have wondered if they are actually a subsidiary of FFG. (Probably not, but they give the impression that they are actually a combination retail front / marketing branch for FFG.)  Their online shopping catalog is almost exclusively FFG games. They come across as the ultimate FFG fan boys. According to them, everything FFG does is amazing. If you want an unbiased and balanced review of FFG's services and products, then Team Covenant is about the last place you want to look.

 

That's a fair assessment. I suppose one view is that among the fixed-expansion type of games they like to offer, FFG has the best ones? They also offer Doomtown, Ashes, a few other minis games, etc. I'm not trying to be a TC apologist but rather to make the point that if the new move hurts TC FFG really has cut off their nose to spite their face.

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People are losing objectivity in this discussion because they have a relationship/emotional investment in their LGS.  That adds value for some people, and those people are clearly willing to pay a premium for it.  But from a business standpoint, what MM, CSI, others do to cut costs and provide a better price can hardly be considered parasitic, dirty, whatever negative adjective you want to insert.  They have a different business model that they are successfully executing.  

 

Arguing that we must pay more just because we have to support our LGS is the ridiculous argument in this thread.  Every LGS can go out of business and I guarantee, FFG will still find a way to get ships to market.

 

As for saying that the LGS are needed to foster community, I find that specious as well.  It is the LGS's responsibility to justify their existence, not the player bases' responsibility to prop them up because a tiny fraction of players like to use the tables there.

Edited by Bank3Left

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It isn't either of those things in this case, it is arbitrary policy to artificially drive up prices and secure additional profit.

Any price is arbitrary policy to secure additional profit. You say the real price is when people make acceptable profit but is that 10%? 1%? 150%? It's all arbitrary and a balancing act to maximise profit. Why does csi/whomever sell for 30% off instead of 29%? Arbitrary reasons which maximize profit. There's nothing noble or non arbitrary about the whole thing. Everyone is looking to maximize profit but somehow the manufacturer doing so is evil and greedy. If the change (hypothetically) dropped msrp by 10% across the board would you complain? You should since you're clearly arguing for no 'artificial' price manipulation but would you actually care?

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People are losing objectivity in this discussion because they have a relationship/emotional investment in their LGS.  That adds value for some people, and those people are clearly willing to pay a premium for it.  But from a business standpoint, what MM, CSI, others do to cut costs and provide a better price can hardly be considered parasitic, dirty, whatever negative adjective you want to insert.  They have a different business model that they are successfully executing.  

 

Arguing that we must pay more just because we have to support our LGS is the ridiculous argument in this thread.  Every LGS can go out of business and I guarantee, FFG will still find a way to get ships to market.

 

As for saying that the LGS are needed to foster community, I find that specious as well.  It is the LGS's responsibility to justify their existence, not the player bases' responsibility to prop them up because a tiny fraction of players like to use the tables there.

If I work at ffg's printer and steal ships to sell for $5 each is that a bad thing or is it just a successful business model that I'm running efficiently?

The above is clearly hyperbole and I'm not trying to imply csi/whomever is doing that but it is hyperbole to ask a question of where one draws a line of business practices being perfectly okay if they work.

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