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Plainsman

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

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People are loosing 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.

Just to add a thought to your point - Hobby Game stores have been around for decades, and yet why has the hobby gaming market exploded only in the last 10-15 years? Because, frankly, online communities/videos/resources are much better at building the market than LGSes have ever been. The effect LGS have on creating market as a whole is a minuscule fraction of what the internet does.

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People are loosing 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.

Just to add a thought to your point - Hobby Game stores have been around for decades, and yet why has the hobby gaming market exploded only in the last 10-15 years? Because, frankly, online communities/videos/resources are much better at building the market than LGSes have ever been. The effect LGS have on creating market as a whole is a minuscule fraction of what the internet does.

I'm willing to speculate that this statement would hold true for almost any luxury market. Honestly maybe for any market at all. Turns out instant communication with strangers is a huge deal.

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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.

 

I don't know what pricing variations FFG/ANA has with various distributors, but clearly they have a legal arrangement.  If MM/CSI is buying goods from them at a set price, and selling to consumers and another, and somehow they make enough profit to keep the lights on, that is not a negative thing.  I don't have a line to draw. I'm a consumer looking for a value proposition.  I find it more valuable to me (frankly, the only person I care about on this topic) to purchase my ships at the lowest cost someone is willing to sell it to me to, because I don't go to LGS to play. I find no practical value in the LGS.  Your opinion may vary, but trying to make out the online retailer as some sort of bad guy is just absurd.  

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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.

 

 

Well, we do have some things confirmed already.

  • There will be a price increase to the retail channel without changing the MSRP. This is by definition a cash grab. Customers that purchase product from stores that sell at MSRP will be unaffected, but the stores will make less money. (In my case, I'm not aware of a single store within a hundred miles that sells for less than MSRP.)

And there are other things that were already well known that provide some cultural background:

  • FFG employees get paid much lower than market rates, so there is already historical precedence for Christian Petersen operating the business trying to maximize profit even before he sold the company.
  • FFG is now run, directly or indirectly, by a French investment company. The CEO's pay/bonus will almost certainly be tied to the company's equivalent stock performance. (VPs in my company get paid the same way -- the division is not publicly listed but their compensation package is based on what the division's equivalent stock price would be.) There are certain obvious implications here.

 

The only speculation is in how exactly FFG will treat the online distribution channel. Given that they are squeezing the in-store retail distribution channel to maximize profit, it is almost certain that they will do something to squeeze the remaining online retailers at least as much, if not more, to maximize profit. This would have the side effect of forcing the online sellers to raise their prices which is consistent with their stated goal of making the LGS more competitive.

 

Mind you, I buy almost everything online (I have been playing the game since launch and didn't even set foot in a store until around when wave 6 hit), so I am certainly hoping that the MM's 36% discount off of MSRP remains, but I don't expect it will. I will adjust my purchases accordingly.

Edited by MajorJuggler

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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.

 

 

Well, we do have some things confirmed already.

  • There will be a price increase to the retail channel without changing the MSRP. This is by definition a cash grab. Customers that purchase product from stores that sell at MSRP will be unaffected, but the stores will make less money. (In my case, I'm not aware of a single store within a hundred miles that sells for less than MSRP.)

And there are other things that were already well known that provide some cultural background:

  • FFG employees get paid much lower than market rates, so there is already historical precedence for Christian Petersen operating the business trying to maximize profit even before he sold the company.
  • FFG is now run, directly or indirectly, by a French investment company. The CEO's pay/bonus will almost certainly be tied to the company's equivalent stock performance. (VPs in my company get paid the same way -- the division is not publicly listed but their compensation package is based on what the division's equivalent stock price would be.) There are certain obvious implications here.

 

The only speculation is in how exactly FFG will treat the online distribution channel. Given that they are squeezing the in-store retail distribution channel to maximize profit, it is almost certain that they will do something to squeeze the remaining online retailers at least as much, if not more, to maximize profit. This would have the side effect of forcing the online sellers to raise their prices which is consistent with their stated goal of making the LGS more competitive.

 

Mind you, I buy almost everything online (I have been playing the game since launch and didn't even set foot in a store until around when wave 6 hit), so I am certainly hoping that the MM's 36% discount off of MSRP remains, but I don't expect it will. I will adjust my purchases accordingly.

 

I think others have said it, but it just looks like they're trying to force the LGS to bypass their distributors and buy straight from FFG in order to preserve their margins.  The online retailers would see the same wholesale price, unless they get volume discounts. The online guys will have to raise their prices to maintain margin which reduces the gap between online and brick and mortar.

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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?

There is no set number of course, though typically a free market would drive business to whomever could provide the lowest price through sacrificing profit and/or increasing efficiency or scale. So the market itself would drive the price to as low as suppliers were able to bear.

This is a little different case in that we have a sole supplier, and so the evaluation from them is how much can they raise the price before the customers lost outweighs the gains made from increased price. At some point, it will flip into a negative gain. Where that flip is depends on the product - the Mona Lisa needs only one buyer, so you can keep raising the price until only one buyer remains.

Asmodee is trying to reach their point where trading customer loss for increased price gets them to absolute maximum profit. I say not even that they should not be allowed to do so. But we, as consumers, should see it as such and under no circumstance should any of us be convinced to LIKE IT or defend it! By defending them, justifying their actions, and even declaring their actions as "good", you effectively raise the final price for everyone, simply by helping their customer retention with your rationale. This is why they give us the PR "look how great we are!" clarifications and press releases. They want to convince you that they are doing "good" and not doing what they really are - attempting to dig deeper into your pockets. If they just said "We're raising prices because we want more money", they'd lose a lot more customers than if they put on a facade. What I am saying is not that they can't, or shouldn't, be doing this but instead that we the consumers need to see through the charade and realize that this is what they are doing. See through the shell game and sure as hell don't defend it.

At the end of the day, this strategy pushes Asmodee to a point where they have less customers, but who pay more by enough to make them more profit. This isn't good for anyone here. X-Wing will be a smaller community if you are still able to be involved, and it will cost you more. Or, you will be out because it is too expensive. And all the while you sang their praises for saving your LGS!

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At the end of the day, this strategy pushes Asmodee to a point where they have less customers, but who pay more by enough to make them more profit. This isn't good for anyone here. X-Wing will be a smaller community if you are still able to be involved, and it will cost you more. Or, you will be out because it is too expensive. And all the while you sang their praises for saving your LGS!

But why is this a bad thing for people who only buy from lgs anyway? Seemingly the only people who see price hikes are people who don't go to lgs and just buy online. Many of those same people have clearly stated they don't care if every lgs goes out of business so why would people who frequent lgs and would never run into those online only purchasers care if the portion of the xwing community who doesn't care about them or interact with them meaningfully vanishes?

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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.

Well said!

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Guest Andy1909

Taking note of the fact that this is applying to the US. If FFG/Asmodee want to help the UK gamer, the people they should be having words with are Amazon UK.

 

Just picked up the following from FLGS today, will put price i paid and current Amazon price next to it. If you don't know any better and think Amazon has got to be the cheapest option then someone new could be paying well over the odds.

 

So

 

X wing T70.......£11....Amazon £17.49

TIE FO.....£11......Amazon £17.49

Leia (imp assault) ......£7.50.....Amazon £10.70 3rd party supplier

Solo's command (lcg) ......£11....Amazon £13.81 From 3rd party supplier

Conquest Decree of ruin (lcg) £11.......Amazon £13.81 From 3rd party supplier

 

this is a common thing for Amazon UK. Just ran a quick check on other FFG stuff and there are only about 2 things (leaving out postage) that I could buy cheaper from Amazon than the local FLGS. The local FLGS also runs online ordering to bolster their business and they don't rip you with postage either.  

 

Not going to get started on a certain bricks and mortar store that bumped prices through the roof when the ships are in short supply. One was charging £30 or so for X and B wings when they were hard to get. Luckily this was not one of the 3 FLGS we have here.

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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.

 

I'm not acting noble. I'm basically saying "suck it up, I have no sympathy." For starters, after exchange rates are applied and shipping rates happen I'm usually paying the same to order online as I would to go to my LGS and buy there, except now I have to wait for it to arrive. So, no I actually haven't been paying a lot more since I'm willing to pay the usual price instead of waiting for sales. Patience isn't one of my strengths. I'm aware that people like saving money, I simply don't care when those people aren't me. Thirdly, the owner of my LGS has stated on multiple occasions that he considers buying our stuff at his store to be our "table fee" and has contemplated charging known online buyers to use his tables. Fourth, many of the new players in town only know the game even exists because they saw our Saturday group playing in the back and asked about it. Others have bought the game largely because they could see how much we were enjoying it. Local stores can serve a marketing purpose because they want the game to be popular as much as FFG does. 

 

It's also worth noting that I consider the owner of my LGS a friend, so I have a degree of loyalty that is completely absent when dealing other businesses. If I were to move to another city I would compare the cost of buying locally against buying online...and probably end up buying locally for reasons I mentioned above. Hate waiting for things to arrive in the mail. 

 

I think I could have worded my original post better, though. The message I want to send is simple. 

1) Stop ranting about how you can't buy X-Wing online. They explicitly said that you'll still be able to. You just won't see as many of those big sales that various sites used to do and it seems likely that the cost will go up in general. That is not the same as forcing you to drive to a city X distance away to buy the game, though the cost per miniature might be very close. 

 

2) Stop treating this like a personal attack ("it's like they're saying we're scum for buying online" -Vulf; Tokyogriz accused them of "declaring war on the fans" in another thread, this topic compares them to Big Brother despite that not making any sense). FFG, Asmodee, whoever made this decision isn't doing this out of some kind of malice aimed at you. At worst they don't care how it will impact you compared to how it will effect me.

 

So, yeah. I'm not sure why you think I'm even trying to talk about how free market economics work. Was it the bit about how people can still afford it? I was saying that specifically to make it clear that yes, they can still afford it. Maybe not as much, maybe not as easily, but seriously if I can build the collection I have with the wage I make then so can most everyone on this site. I'm not saying they have to be happy about it, I'm just not allowed to swear at the people that are acting like this just immediately became as expensive as Warhammer is*. 

 

EDIT: I live in Canada so I should mention that unless people are mistaken this doesn't really do anything to me anyway? A number of people have specifically said "in the United States" when talking about this whole thing. Also Andy1909 inspired me to check Amazon.ca and while some things were even or slightly cheaper a lot of stuff was more expensive. Biggest savings would be the Falcon at almost $10 cheaper (Amazon Prime only, otherwise I'd have to pay shipping which would probably be around $10). The T-70 and TIE/FO were actually more expensive, costing $5.33 more than I paid for each of mine at the local place. 

 

*Yes, I know GW did something like this at some point. The difference is that this is at worst the third time FFG has done anything that could be considered an intentional **** move against their customers (the first two being putting awesome upgrades in Epic ships, which I thought was perfectly above board but some would disagree). Games Workshop has an established history of pulling a truly impressive array of tricks to make customers spend more on their game. This one parallel is not grounds for all the Warhammer refugees to have flashbacks. If we see a couple more shifts I'll consider joining the pani but it's way too early to start that now.

Edited by Hockeyzombie

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At the end of the day, this strategy pushes Asmodee to a point where they have less customers, but who pay more by enough to make them more profit. This isn't good for anyone here. X-Wing will be a smaller community if you are still able to be involved, and it will cost you more. Or, you will be out because it is too expensive. And all the while you sang their praises for saving your LGS!

But why is this a bad thing for people who only buy from lgs anyway? Seemingly the only people who see price hikes are people who don't go to lgs and just buy online. Many of those same people have clearly stated they don't care if every lgs goes out of business so why would people who frequent lgs and would never run into those online only purchasers care if the portion of the xwing community who doesn't care about them or interact with them meaningfully vanishes?

You need to probably think a little harder about this. You bought all your ships at the LGS. You need opponents though. Does everyone you ever play buy all their ships at the LGS? That guy across from at any tournament - did he? What if prices went up and some of then decided it wasn't worth it to play anymore? No effect on you?

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Methinks this topic in general is spitting into the wind. There are two clear camps both of which have very legitimate reasons for existing: 1) online only purchasers who are upset because their deals seems to be doomed to be not as good at best or nonexistent at worst and 2) lgs only purchasers who will at worst feel no effect and at best gain either a larger circle as players leave the online only group due to no longer getting a large enough price break or will get deals of their own as lgs may make better gains purchasing directly from ffasmodee.

The lgs crowd will have no sympathy for something that is at worst neutral to them and online crowd won't understand why this is not a big deal all around since they have an at best neutral outcome.

While this is unlikely to resolve the back and forth it seems like nobody has summarized this yet so here it is.

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At the end of the day, this strategy pushes Asmodee to a point where they have less customers, but who pay more by enough to make them more profit. This isn't good for anyone here. X-Wing will be a smaller community if you are still able to be involved, and it will cost you more. Or, you will be out because it is too expensive. And all the while you sang their praises for saving your LGS!

But why is this a bad thing for people who only buy from lgs anyway? Seemingly the only people who see price hikes are people who don't go to lgs and just buy online. Many of those same people have clearly stated they don't care if every lgs goes out of business so why would people who frequent lgs and would never run into those online only purchasers care if the portion of the xwing community who doesn't care about them or interact with them meaningfully vanishes?

You need to probably think a little harder about this. You bought all your ships at the LGS. You need opponents though. Does everyone you ever play buy all their ships at the LGS? That guy across from at any tournament - did he? What if prices went up and some of then decided it wasn't worth it to play anymore? No effect on you?

If someone frequents an lgs I feel it's safe to assume they also purchase from said lgs. If they don't then they're sort of just mooching which feels sticky.

As for random people from a tournament unless tournament attendance plummets (spoiler it won't) then Billy from Texas means nothing more to me than Susan from France.

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Methinks this topic in general is spitting into the wind. There are two clear camps both of which have very legitimate reasons for existing: 1) online only purchasers who are upset because their deals seems to be doomed to be not as good at best or nonexistent at worst and 2) lgs only purchasers who will at worst feel no effect and at best gain either a larger circle as players leave the online only group due to no longer getting a large enough price break or will get deals of their own as lgs may make better gains purchasing directly from ffasmodee.

The lgs crowd will have no sympathy for something that is at worst neutral to them and online crowd won't understand why this is not a big deal all around since they have an at best neutral outcome.

While this is unlikely to resolve the back and forth it seems like nobody has summarized this yet so here it is.

I purchase from both.

And I still fail to see how you think this can have any positive effect for you. Raising prices shrinks the customer base. Customers who may come and play at your store. Less customers, smaller community, less opponents.

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At the end of the day, this strategy pushes Asmodee to a point where they have less customers, but who pay more by enough to make them more profit. This isn't good for anyone here. X-Wing will be a smaller community if you are still able to be involved, and it will cost you more. Or, you will be out because it is too expensive. And all the while you sang their praises for saving your LGS!

But why is this a bad thing for people who only buy from lgs anyway? Seemingly the only people who see price hikes are people who don't go to lgs and just buy online. Many of those same people have clearly stated they don't care if every lgs goes out of business so why would people who frequent lgs and would never run into those online only purchasers care if the portion of the xwing community who doesn't care about them or interact with them meaningfully vanishes?

You need to probably think a little harder about this. You bought all your ships at the LGS. You need opponents though. Does everyone you ever play buy all their ships at the LGS? That guy across from at any tournament - did he? What if prices went up and some of then decided it wasn't worth it to play anymore? No effect on you?

If someone frequents an lgs I feel it's safe to assume they also purchase from said lgs. If they don't then they're sort of just mooching which feels sticky.

As for random people from a tournament unless tournament attendance plummets (spoiler it won't) then Billy from Texas means nothing more to me than Susan from France.

Just because it feels sticky doesn't mean you haven't played against them and derived some benefit from it. Or do ask and refuse to play with anyone who doesn't buy only from an LGS?

Besides, I'd bet that the majority of players buy some from each, in varying amounts.

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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. 

 

It kind of seems like you don't buy online, I've never seen prices that good outside of used deals on ebay. Beware of Hyperbole lest you become the monster, or something like that.

 

 

Here is the skinny. I recently purchased rpg books for Force and Destiny.

 

My first purchase was the FaD beginner game, I had a $5 off coupon for being a frequent customer at a local game shop, so it softened the blow.

My group liked it.

 

So my options were as follows:

 

1. Purchase the rulebook from the lgs for $64, and the adventure book for $32

2. Just keep playing the games we have for free without spending anything. (DnD, Shadowrun, Super Dungeon Explore, Battletech)

3. Purchase them online for $45 and $20

4. Download them from a pirating site even though downloading data is illegal because people can own a series of 1s and 0s (lol)

 

I never rule out #4, but I didn't think the value was there for number 1. Me, personally, I looked at what was being offered for that price and I judged it wasn't worth that relatively minor investment for the materials.

 

But at #3, at THAT price point, I felt there was a reasonable amount of value. And because it was a good value, I also purchased an additional source book for another 20. So 3 products were sold. And then I threw a TIE Punisher in to the cart because it was on sale and I wanted another Extra Munitions card and TIE Mk2 mods. So 4 products were sold instead of ZERO!

 

And that is the whole point, there are many different types of customers, with different purchasing habits. Often times people buy a product ONLY because they can get a good deal on it. If they had to pay full retail, they would pass on it completely. If you think cutting off online sales will make those same online customers migrate 100% into a brick and mortar store you are completely clueless.

 

Think about the initial foray in to Scum and Villainy faction. I'll bet I wasn't the only one who looked at it, said to myself "I already have lots of Imperials." and took a pass, only to pick a few ships up later when there were some sales.

 

And guess what happened after I purchased those items? My DM in my other gaming group wanted to do Star Wars too, and he went out and purchased a bunch of Edge of the Empire stuff from a lgs. So without these "crazy deals," ffg and the lgs would have seen jack **** of our disposable income.

Edited by Vulf

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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.

It's almost like new technologies and changing cultures results in some businesses becoming unable to compete.

Should all Netflix subscribers also pay a surcharge to keep video rental stores open?

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I purchase from both.

And I still fail to see how you think this can have any positive effect for you. Raising prices shrinks the customer base. Customers who may come and play at your store. Less customers, smaller community, less opponents.

 

 

 

 

Stores stock what sells.  If a store isn't selling X-Wing because most of its customers are buying it cheaper online, they'll probably stop stocking X-Wing.  If a store isn't stocking X-Wing it doesn't really have an incentive to provide space to play X-Wing; it would probably be better off using that space to run a Magic draft or something similar.  I have absolutely seen games driven out of a store to make room for a game with players who will actually buy products at the store and I have seen stores fail despite being popular because they weren't actually selling anything.  Generally table fees are the first red flag, because if you play with any regularity, table fees are way more costly than you save in the online discount (and it crippling to anyone buying in store) and as said elsewhere, people who aren't willing to pay more in the store aren't going to pay to play either.

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I purchase from both.

And I still fail to see how you think this can have any positive effect for you. Raising prices shrinks the customer base. Customers who may come and play at your store. Less customers, smaller community, less opponents.

Stores stock what sells.  If a store isn't selling X-Wing because most of its customers are buying it cheaper online, they'll probably stop stocking X-Wing.  If a store isn't stocking X-Wing it doesn't really have an incentive to provide space to play X-Wing; it would probably be better off using that space to run a Magic draft or something similar.  I have absolutely seen games driven out of a store to make room for a game with players who will actually buy products at the store and I have seen stores fail despite being popular because they weren't actually selling anything.  Generally table fees are the first red flag, because if you play with any regularity, table fees are way more costly than you save in the online discount (and it crippling to anyone buying in store) and as said elsewhere, people who aren't willing to pay more in the store aren't going to pay to play either.

 

I'll shed crocodile tears because I play on my kitchen table. All the lgs closing down won't effect me in the slightest except curb my impulse shopping when I step in to browse.

 

Let me tell you a little secret about retail enterprises. Stores like to draw customers in by providing a little area for them to play, because even if they don't purchase the ships they put on a table at that store, they might purchase something else there. You need to get people inside your doors before they can become customers.

 

Why do you think stores host free games of Dungeons and Dragons?

 

I certainly won't give a **** when the local shop that ups the price on mtg products goes out of business. I make a trip to an lgs to browse the products, see they are selling an MSRP $30 commander deck for $70, then I head right back home. I'm not exaggerating, this has happened in reality, on more than one occasion.

Edited by Vulf

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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. 

 

It kind of seems like you don't buy online, I've never seen prices that good outside of used deals on ebay. Beware of Hyperbolie lest you become the monster, or something like that.

 

 

Here is the skinny. I recently purchased rpg books for Force and Destiny.

 

My first purchase was the FaD beginner game, I had a $5 off coupon for being a frequent customer at a local game shop, so it softened the blow.

My group liked it.

 

So my options were as follows:

 

1. Purchase the rulebook from the lgs for $64, and the adventure book for $32

2. Just keep playing the games we have for free without spending anything. (DnD, Shadowrun)

3. Purchase them online for $45 and $20

4. Download them from a pirating site even though downloading data is illegal because people can own a series of 1s and 0s (lol)

 

I never rule out #4, but I didn't think the value was there for number 1. Me, personally, I looked at what was being offered for that price and I judged it wasn't worth that relatively minor investment for the materials.

 

But at #3, at THAT price point, I felt there was a reasonable amount of value. And because it was a good value, I also purchased an additional source book for another 20. So instead of 2 products, 3 were sold. And then I threw a TIE Punisher in to the cart because it was on sale and I wanted another Extra Munitions card and TIE Mk2 mods. So 4 products were sold!

 

And that is the whole point, there are many different types of customers, with different purchasing habits. Often times people buy a product ONLY because they can get a good deal on it. If they had to pay full retail, they would pass on it completely. If you think cutting off online sales will make those same online customers migrate 100% into a brick and mortar store you are completely clueless.

 

Think about the initial foray in to Scum and Villainy faction. I'll bet I wasn't the only one who looked at it, said to myself "I already have lots of Imperials." and took a pass, only to pick a few ships up later when there were some sales.

 

I have a bigger version of this post on page 7 of the thread, but yes I'm pretty much local store only. Miniature Market looked cheaper but between exchange rates and shipping I ultimately ended up waiting and paying about the same. Been a while now but I recall the price being very close but I lost the convenience of having it immediately. 

 

I'm not as upset with people being unhappy at this change as my original post may imply. They don't want to pay more, I get that. I've been raising the black flag every time I want something that I feel is too expensive or too difficult to find. Mostly I was frustrated by the number of people equating an unknown increase in prices and/or decrease in sales to FFG/Asmodee straight up blocking all online sales. That and people treating this like an deliberate insult or act of disrespect from FFG when it's a business decision. You can think it's a smart one or a stupid one, but to assume it's being done to spite the players is stupid in ways I'm not allowed to properly describe on these forums. 

 

Honestly I'm just frustrated with the way that nerds (and yes I consider myself a nerd) have a tendency to get really worked up over things. This might be horrible, it might be nothing. Bit early for the torches and pitchforks. A lot of this is lingering frustration from the panic and nitpicking that inevitably happens when things are spoiled, like those two threads hailing Kanan as the harbinger of the end times. But as I said in my second post I honestly don't care unless it actually does hurt the player base enough to have an impact on me.

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Call this a rabbit trail if you must...

But the first time I wandered into a LGS to play X-wing with some strangers from a Facebook group, I asked who was picking up the table rental fee. I just naturally assumed such a charge was necessary for the business model of such a place.

I would gladly drop a couple dollars for table fees. Just saying.

My FLGC operates under this model; everyone pays a moderate cover charge (about the cost of a good sandwich) to play for 3 hours at a time (or in the case of X wing club evenings, all evening), which charge is lower if you're ordering food/drinks, and lower again if you're doing so at off-peak times (i.e. weekdays before 5).  They also offer minor discounts to RRP for games.  Seems like a solid business model, but only if you have enough local gamers to support it.  It also helps to have an absolutely MASSIVE library of games to play, which I'm presuming are or were the personal property of one of the owners.

 

I honestly wouldn't mind paying to play / a subscription based model. Would be preferable over the usual mark up on prices you seen to get here at LGS.

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MajorJuggler, on 22 Dec 2015 - 11:38 AM, said:

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 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.

 

Spot on this is a greedy money grab by Asmodee. Asmodee doesn't give a care about this gaming hobby. Its money bottom line. Their greed is only going to get them more money, not help local gaming stores as some people fantasize. Most local stores literally stink from no ventilation, almost always have poor game selection, and poor service. The hordes buying online at discount aren't going to suddenly go to these hellholes and spend their top dollar.

MSRP is a price I seldom buy at. Groceries, clothes, cars, games who the hell buys at full MSRP all the time? Its idiotic to say we must buy at MSRP.

If Asmodee was anything but a greedy corporate monster it would make it easier for consumers to purchase their products, not harder.

Come april if I see any significant changes in Cool Stuff and MM prices online for FFG products I will simply no longer purchase any FFG, Asmodee or days of wonder products.

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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.

It's almost like new technologies and changing cultures results in some businesses becoming unable to compete.

Should all Netflix subscribers also pay a surcharge to keep video rental stores open?

 

 

Demanding stores operate at a lower gross margin and with a higher sales volume is very much different than a shifting of the product landscape. 

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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.

It's almost like new technologies and changing cultures results in some businesses becoming unable to compete.

Should all Netflix subscribers also pay a surcharge to keep video rental stores open?

I completely agree with this, why are people so precious about brick and mortar stores? If they can provide a service people want they will survive, if they can't then they won't. Pretty simple.

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