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Interview about new FFG policy. Yes, they're jacking up online prices.

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Asmodee is a business that needs to make business decisions. If they were raising the MSRP by 30% you might have a conversation. That's not the case here. This is just entitled millennials having a tantrum because their discounted pricing is going away.

If people never bought at MSRP, that number is meaningless for them.

Asmodee is making a move that increases the amount of $ the consumer needs to pay in order to get the same product as before. Why should it matter for the average consumet if it's a MSRP increase or not, as long as the end result is the same?

But a ton of their products are in fact purchased at the full MSRP and not at heavily discounted rates.

Although I have purchased my fair share of expansions at discounted prices from both CoolStuff and Miniatures Market I kind of wish they never had access to those discounts because I think it's only served to cheapen the value of their product.

Let's be clear about one thing: I believe wholeheartedly that the notion of looking out for game shops to be partially (mostly?) untrue and a PR move. This decision was mostly about profit. That's not to say that profit is a bad thing, it is in fact crucial for any good company that you would like to see continue to produce high quality products. Far too many people around here waive the word "profit" around like its a filthy word. Without profit it's game over for X-Wing.

All of that being said this decision does stand to benefit game shops in the long run. Without steep discounts online the local shops should see more sales in the future. The Board Game industry has exploded and shows no sign of slowing down. Well run shops serve a wide cross section of people. Not every game shop is filled with dirty Magic players. Times are changing and the industry is along with it. Asmodee knows this and sees an opportunity to position themselves better for the future.

I know it stinks for new players trying to catch up and for people that don't have good local game shops but keeping online prices much closer to MSRP is definitely a good thing for the majority of businesses involved. I would rather see both Asmodee (and other game companies/publishers) along with local small businesses benefit rather than a couple online retailers like MM and CSI sell at significant discounts and bank on a very small margin on high volume sales.

The net result to the consumer like you and I as quite small in reality. And the argument about Epic ship pricing rings hollow too. Those ships are worth their MSRP from a value standpoint. I still might never purchase a Blockade Runner but thankfully FFG has figured out the best manner to market capital ships since that one came out.

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You do know that FFG isn't required to give you ANY discount, correct? Be thankful you still get the privilige of paying below MSRP.

 

Forgive me sir, but please assume I am almost as intelligent as you, so yes I may have thought of that fact in passing.   

 

But, if you read my post, which was neither argumentative nor pandering,  then in this one case you may missed my point in its entirely.  

 

Edit    And (to use your sentiment)  I think it is also my "privilege" as a loyal and avid consumer to make a small point here on their boards.

 

Be that as it may when do this pricing take effect?

Edited by Imperial Advisor Arem Heshvaun

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Let's be clear about one thing: I believe wholeheartedly that the notion of looking out for game shops to be partially (mostly?) untrue and a PR move. This decision was mostly about profit. That's not to say that profit is a bad thing, it is in fact crucial for any good company that you would like to see continue to produce high quality products. Far too many people around here waive the word "profit" around like its a filthy word. Without profit it's game over for X-Wing.

 

 

I agree 100%. The more profitable X-Wing is, the better the quality and amount of new releases will likely be, so (almost) everyone wins  from a more profitable game.

 

 

The net result to the consumer like you and I as quite small in reality. And the argument about Epic ship pricing rings hollow too. Those ships are worth their MSRP from a value standpoint. I still might never purchase a Blockade Runner but thankfully FFG has figured out the best manner to market capital ships since that one came out.

 

As I live in Europe (well, technically at least) I'm in no way directly affected. Even if I did live in the States, I would probably not care (much) as the limiting factor for me is time, not money (I buy roughly as many X-wing ships I feel I have time to play, usually no more than two-three thought out lists at a time), more ships would simply add to the 'I'll probably never get to play this' pile

 

Corporate bull kinda annoys me though, and I feel this 'support the FLGS' stuff is 90% corporate bull.

Edited by LordBlades

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slider_tacos_2_2013.png

 

 

"Yes, Lord Vader. I've reached the main power generators. The shield will be down in moments. You may start your landing."

 

:D

 

As to the main topic at hand, I'm not sure how it'll affect me in the UK. But I hope that overpricing by individual sellers can somehow be addressed. I don't fancy paying £40 for the Scum and Villainy box set when its MSRP is £30. That's no fun at all!

 

QS =D

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RookiePilot, on 05 Jan 2016 - 09:48 AM, said:

While we're getting all balled up over where the reduced discount money is actually going, I would like to point out that if online prices are closer to MSRP there is a very good chance I will start purchasing more than I already do at my FLGS. So, while it may not have been the primary driver, the new pricing might help the brick and mortar store a bit. Go figure...

 

Price sensitive folks will still be pushed towards the cheaper alternative by a large margin.  It looks already like the Asmodee change to say Cool Stuff Inc is going from 35% off to 25%. 

 

The real question is were is Amazon going in this.  Currently they still have the same discounts on xwing materials in the 25% up to 40% off some ships.  Asmodee wont have much real leverage over Amazon and they will have to let Amazon do what they want or discontinue selling on Amazon.  It seems unlikely they will do that.

 

People who are on limited budgets and price sensitive will still find the cheapest stores to get their goods.  That's basic economics.  You may be more inclined to shop locally but its unlikely you will be followed by throngs of ex online buyers.

 

In that scenario the only real group who benefits is Asmodee getting more by selling direct at a higher price to large online stores.  Which in fact their real goal.  Sugar coating the PR statement with its helping local stores simply doesn't hold up to any amount of analysis.

 

 

This has pretty much been my point all along.  I know ANA/FFG is trying to spin this as "helping out brick and mortar specialty retailers" but there are two reasons why I can't see this as being the true reason for this move:

 

1.)  Per the PR statement and follow-up clarification, there will still be "specialty online retailers".  Their discounts might be decreasing by around 10% but they will still have significant discounts.  So there will still be no incentive to shop at a "brick and mortar specialty retailer" if your main concern is price.

 

2.)  Also per the same PR statement and follow-up clarification, ANA/FFG is not changing their sales terms to mass market retailers which includes Amazon.  Indeed, this will be its own, separate sales channel.  And lately, first party Amazon prices on board games have gotten VERY competitive.  Even better deals than on the bigger "specialty online retailers".  Right now, Imperial Assault is being sold on Amazon for $60.85...or 39% off (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616619902?keywords=Imperial%20Assault&qid=1452127525&ref_=sr_1_1&s=toys-and-games&sr=1-1).  That is better than the discount currently offered at MM and CSI (where it is also out of stock last I checked).  And with Amazon Prime factored in, that gives them the advantage in both price AND convenience.  

 

So really, I have to ask, what exactly is changing after all of this other than that ANA/FFG will sell their products at a slightly higher wholesale price to a few retailers?  I still don't see any legitimate strategy to drive more consumers to shop at "brick and mortar specialty retailers" (in the form of increased price breaks on wholesale prices in addition to what they give now, paying for events at local stores, paying for local store marketing, local sales managers, etc.).  And given that, more and more, online retail is displacing brick and mortar stores in general (look at how badly Best Buy has fared over the past year: https://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:BBY),it becomes obvious that this policy change was really done by ANA/FFG in order to increase profits as they know full well that online sales is a significant portion of their total revenue and that they needed a way to squeeze more out of it without just an across the board price increase...which would upset all retailers and consumers alike.

 

So, with the realization that this is just a price increase and nothing more, we, as their customers (who in many cases have already sunk thousands of dollars into their products) have just as much right to be unhappy and complain about being forced to pay more for their products as ANA/FFG has in forcing us to pay them.  Or, to look at it another way from a purely business/consumer standpoint, ANA/FFG owes us nothing and we owe them nothing in return.  

 

That being said, I will continue to support FFG.  I still think they are one of the best hobby game publishers out there and their products are always top notch.  I don't mind paying a little more to support them.  But, at the same time, as a consumer and as a hobby gamer, I don't have to just accept that the value given for a product via an MSRP is always legitimate or is the same value I would place on the same product.

 

Only time will tell as to who will ultimately come out on top in this fight...

Edited by Otakuon

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RookiePilot, on 05 Jan 2016 - 09:48 AM, said:

While we're getting all balled up over where the reduced discount money is actually going, I would like to point out that if online prices are closer to MSRP there is a very good chance I will start purchasing more than I already do at my FLGS. So, while it may not have been the primary driver, the new pricing might help the brick and mortar store a bit. Go figure...

 

Price sensitive folks will still be pushed towards the cheaper alternative by a large margin.  It looks already like the Asmodee change to say Cool Stuff Inc is going from 35% off to 25%. 

 

The real question is were is Amazon going in this.  Currently they still have the same discounts on xwing materials in the 25% up to 40% off some ships.  Asmodee wont have much real leverage over Amazon and they will have to let Amazon do what they want or discontinue selling on Amazon.  It seems unlikely they will do that.

 

People who are on limited budgets and price sensitive will still find the cheapest stores to get their goods.  That's basic economics.  You may be more inclined to shop locally but its unlikely you will be followed by throngs of ex online buyers.

 

In that scenario the only real group who benefits is Asmodee getting more by selling direct at a higher price to large online stores.  Which in fact their real goal.  Sugar coating the PR statement with its helping local stores simply doesn't hold up to any amount of analysis.

 

 

This has pretty much been my point all along.  I know ANA/FFG is trying to spin this as "helping out brick and mortar specialty retailers" but there are two reasons why I can't see this as being the true reason for this move:

 

1.)  Per the PR statement and follow-up clarification, there will still be "specialty online retailers".  Their discounts might be decreasing by around 10% but they will still have significant discounts.  So there will still be no incentive to shop at a "brick and mortar specialty retailer" if your main concern is price.

 

2.)  Also per the same PR statement and follow-up clarification, ANA/FFG is not changing their sales terms to mass market retailers which includes Amazon.  Indeed, this will be its own, separate sales channel.  And lately, first party Amazon prices on board games have gotten VERY competitive.  Even better deals than on the bigger "specialty online retailers".  Right now, Imperial Assault is being sold on Amazon for $60.85...or 39% off (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616619902?keywords=Imperial%20Assault&qid=1452127525&ref_=sr_1_1&s=toys-and-games&sr=1-1).  That is better than the discount currently offered at MM and CSI (where it is also out of stock last I checked).  And with Amazon Prime factored in, that gives them the advantage in both price AND convenience.  

 

So really, I have to ask, what exactly is changing after all of this other than that ANA/FFG will sell their products at a slightly higher wholesale price to a few retailers?  I still don't see any legitimate strategy to drive more consumers to shop at "brick and mortar specialty retailers" (in the form of increased price breaks on wholesale prices in addition to what they give now, paying for events at local stores, paying for local store marketing, local sales managers, etc.).  And given that, more and more, online retail is displacing brick and mortar stores in general (look at how badly Best Buy has fared over the past year: https://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:BBY),it becomes obvious that this policy change was really done by ANA/FFG in order to increase profits as they know full well that online sales is a significant portion of their total revenue and that they needed a way to squeeze more out of it without just an across the board price increase...which would upset all retailers and consumers alike.

 

So, with the realization that this is just a price increase and nothing more, we, as their customers (who in many cases have already sunk thousands of dollars into their products) have just as much right to be unhappy and complain about being forced to pay more for their products as ANA/FFG has in forcing us to pay them.  Or, to look at it another way from a purely business/consumer standpoint, ANA/FFG owes us nothing and we owe them nothing in return.  

 

That being said, I will continue to support FFG.  I still think they are one of the best hobby game publishers out there and their products are always top notch.  I don't mind paying a little more to support them.  But, at the same time, as a consumer and as a hobby gamer, I don't have to just accept that the value given for a product via an MSRP is always legitimate or is the same value I would place on the same product.

 

Only time will tell as to who will ultimately come out on top in this fight...

 

 

Very well said.

 

I continue to support FFG as well and enjoy top quality products.  If they sell direct to online stores themselves and increase the cost to those stores it is a price increase pure and simple.  We as consumers are well within our rights to be unhappy about this, or not in some cases.

 

Asmodee recently purchased Catan from Mayfair games.  They really are just trying to maximize their profit margins to continue the buying and growth spree they are having.  Not evil, but not necessarily in the interest of the consumer. 

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I'm not sure about the changes but I know that certain ebay stores have stopped selling ffg because they can't get anymore and it's directly related to sales politcis that have changed lately. Like this last 2-3 weeks.

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I only buy my stuff from brick and mortar outlets so the increase of online retail prices aren't a factor for me.

While it's an unfortunate situation for those who are looking for the best deals or who only purchase at discount, I do believe as others do that this will ultimately help hobby stores(and thus the game in general) in the long run.

Edited by Casanova Frankenstein

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I'm not sure if this is still an issue for people but since it's been necro'd, I'll add what i know. 

 

I work at a game store, our cost for a $99.99 MSRP Imperial Assault or Armada core set is $57, Miniature Market was selling it for around $65 (now $75, not much of a price hike really) with about $6 S/H and no sales tax. If we sold it at that price we'd only be making around an $8-10 dollar profit, you can't really keep a brick and mortar store running with that.

 

But without stores like ours these game doesn't grow or thrive because they need a community of players, and we provide a free space for people to meet and play games, then others see the games being played and want to try it/ buy it. Over the past 6 months the X-wing group has gained at least 8 new players, and a bunch of other customers bought the game after seeing us playing it. So keeping the LSGs in business keeps the game alive.

 

I'm not against buying online, at least half of my collection is from MM (before i discover my store), I just think need to put the issue into perspective is all.

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I'm not sure if this is still an issue for people but since it's been necro'd, I'll add what i know. 

 

I work at a game store, our cost for a $99.99 MSRP Imperial Assault or Armada core set is $57, Miniature Market was selling it for around $65 (now $75, not much of a price hike really) with about $6 S/H and no sales tax. If we sold it at that price we'd only be making around an $8-10 dollar profit, you can't really keep a brick and mortar store running with that.

 

But without stores like ours these game doesn't grow or thrive because they need a community of players, and we provide a free space for people to meet and play games, then others see the games being played and want to try it/ buy it. Over the past 6 months the X-wing group has gained at least 8 new players, and a bunch of other customers bought the game after seeing us playing it. So keeping the LSGs in business keeps the game alive.

 

I'm not against buying online, at least half of my collection is from MM (before i discover my store), I just think need to put the issue into perspective is all.

but physical stores do get money from tournament and league fees yes? if you provide a service then you can get paid for those services. 

 

the truth is that many physical stores prefer to sell 2 boxes at full price instead of 10 boxes at a discount, even though overall profit may be larger for 10 boxes at a discount. so they don't like online stores's competition. it's the typical "capitalist" free economy view from Asmodee and some physical stores. Asmodee shouldn't manipulate and discriminate towards physical vs online stores. businesses like free capitalists economy until they don't because someone is out-competing with them. like banks who don't like government regulation but do like government bail-outs.

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RookiePilot, on 05 Jan 2016 - 09:48 AM, said:

While we're getting all balled up over where the reduced discount money is actually going, I would like to point out that if online prices are closer to MSRP there is a very good chance I will start purchasing more than I already do at my FLGS. So, while it may not have been the primary driver, the new pricing might help the brick and mortar store a bit. Go figure...

 

Price sensitive folks will still be pushed towards the cheaper alternative by a large margin.  It looks already like the Asmodee change to say Cool Stuff Inc is going from 35% off to 25%. 

 

The real question is were is Amazon going in this.  Currently they still have the same discounts on xwing materials in the 25% up to 40% off some ships.  Asmodee wont have much real leverage over Amazon and they will have to let Amazon do what they want or discontinue selling on Amazon.  It seems unlikely they will do that.

 

People who are on limited budgets and price sensitive will still find the cheapest stores to get their goods.  That's basic economics.  You may be more inclined to shop locally but its unlikely you will be followed by throngs of ex online buyers.

 

In that scenario the only real group who benefits is Asmodee getting more by selling direct at a higher price to large online stores.  Which in fact their real goal.  Sugar coating the PR statement with its helping local stores simply doesn't hold up to any amount of analysis.

 

 

This has pretty much been my point all along.  I know ANA/FFG is trying to spin this as "helping out brick and mortar specialty retailers" but there are two reasons why I can't see this as being the true reason for this move:

 

1.)  Per the PR statement and follow-up clarification, there will still be "specialty online retailers".  Their discounts might be decreasing by around 10% but they will still have significant discounts.  So there will still be no incentive to shop at a "brick and mortar specialty retailer" if your main concern is price.

 

2.)  Also per the same PR statement and follow-up clarification, ANA/FFG is not changing their sales terms to mass market retailers which includes Amazon.  Indeed, this will be its own, separate sales channel.  And lately, first party Amazon prices on board games have gotten VERY competitive.  Even better deals than on the bigger "specialty online retailers".  Right now, Imperial Assault is being sold on Amazon for $60.85...or 39% off (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1616619902?keywords=Imperial%20Assault&qid=1452127525&ref_=sr_1_1&s=toys-and-games&sr=1-1).  That is better than the discount currently offered at MM and CSI (where it is also out of stock last I checked).  And with Amazon Prime factored in, that gives them the advantage in both price AND convenience.  

 

So really, I have to ask, what exactly is changing after all of this other than that ANA/FFG will sell their products at a slightly higher wholesale price to a few retailers?  I still don't see any legitimate strategy to drive more consumers to shop at "brick and mortar specialty retailers" (in the form of increased price breaks on wholesale prices in addition to what they give now, paying for events at local stores, paying for local store marketing, local sales managers, etc.).  And given that, more and more, online retail is displacing brick and mortar stores in general (look at how badly Best Buy has fared over the past year: https://www.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:BBY),it becomes obvious that this policy change was really done by ANA/FFG in order to increase profits as they know full well that online sales is a significant portion of their total revenue and that they needed a way to squeeze more out of it without just an across the board price increase...which would upset all retailers and consumers alike.

 

So, with the realization that this is just a price increase and nothing more, we, as their customers (who in many cases have already sunk thousands of dollars into their products) have just as much right to be unhappy and complain about being forced to pay more for their products as ANA/FFG has in forcing us to pay them.  Or, to look at it another way from a purely business/consumer standpoint, ANA/FFG owes us nothing and we owe them nothing in return.  

 

That being said, I will continue to support FFG.  I still think they are one of the best hobby game publishers out there and their products are always top notch.  I don't mind paying a little more to support them.  But, at the same time, as a consumer and as a hobby gamer, I don't have to just accept that the value given for a product via an MSRP is always legitimate or is the same value I would place on the same product.

 

Only time will tell as to who will ultimately come out on top in this fight...

 

 

Very well said.

 

I continue to support FFG as well and enjoy top quality products.  If they sell direct to online stores themselves and increase the cost to those stores it is a price increase pure and simple.  We as consumers are well within our rights to be unhappy about this, or not in some cases.

 

Asmodee recently purchased Catan from Mayfair games.  They really are just trying to maximize their profit margins to continue the buying and growth spree they are having.  Not evil, but not necessarily in the interest of the consumer. 

 

 Asmodee is all about the $$.  This is NOT to help us or any stuggling stores it simply helps Asmodee make MORE MONEY.

 

Not evil and NOT NICE either.

Edited by Tokyogriz

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I'm not sure if this is still an issue for people but since it's been necro'd, I'll add what i know. 

 

I work at a game store, our cost for a $99.99 MSRP Imperial Assault or Armada core set is $57, Miniature Market was selling it for around $65 (now $75, not much of a price hike really) with about $6 S/H and no sales tax. If we sold it at that price we'd only be making around an $8-10 dollar profit, you can't really keep a brick and mortar store running with that.

 

But without stores like ours these game doesn't grow or thrive because they need a community of players, and we provide a free space for people to meet and play games, then others see the games being played and want to try it/ buy it. Over the past 6 months the X-wing group has gained at least 8 new players, and a bunch of other customers bought the game after seeing us playing it. So keeping the LSGs in business keeps the game alive.

 

I'm not against buying online, at least half of my collection is from MM (before i discover my store), I just think need to put the issue into perspective is all.

 

Put this into perspective -

 

Any business needs to adapt to be more successful.  Guess what?  Gas stations dont make much money off gas.  They  make 95% of their profits give or take a bit on the snacks drinks and other items in their stores. 

 

ADAPT your business model and actually learn to be a real business person.  Sell snacks, drinks, throw events for money etc.

 

One other tidbit -

 

FFG/ Asmodee SCREWED many brick and mortar stores by demanding you ONLY sell in person and NO ONLINE SALES!

 

Ya they really care about you guys!  LOL NOT!   Many stores sold excess inventory old games etc online. 

 

FFG doesnt give a crap about you.  They simply want to control their brands and MAKE MORE MONEY by selling games at higher rates to a huge chunk of the market that is online sales.

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Put this into perspective -

 

Any business needs to adapt to be more successful.  Guess what?  Gas stations dont make much money off gas.  They  make 95% of their profits give or take a bit on the snacks drinks and other items in their stores. 

 

ADAPT your business model and actually learn to be a real business person.  Sell snacks, drinks, throw events for money etc.

 

One other tidbit -

 

FFG/ Asmodee SCREWED many brick and mortar stores by demanding you ONLY sell in person and NO ONLINE SALES!

 

Ya they really care about you guys!  LOL NOT!   Many stores sold excess inventory old games etc online. 

 

FFG doesnt give a crap about you.  They simply want to control their brands and MAKE MORE MONEY by selling games at higher rates to a huge chunk of the market that is online sales.

 

 

There is a legitimate concern with stores overbuying, in order to get a bigger discount, and then using their ebay stores to liquidate what doesn't sell. There is valid concern that such practices lower the value of their games. I just think that when 30-50% off MSRP becomes the "fair" price, the industry has issues. 

 

But, this is a macro vs micro, short term vs long term, type discussion. 

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When I asked an eBay seller (that I've bought from in the past) why he doesn't have any Imperial Assault or X-Wing stuff available, this is what he said today:

 

"FFG was bought out by Asmodee and they have changed FFG's sales policies and now completely forbid the fulfillment of any online sales.
Thanks for checking in!"

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