Does the early bird always get the worm?

I’ve come across a board game podcast just recently and it’s very down to earth. I like the 3 hosts, Jeremy, Brian and Richard. They’re honest, they’re nerdy, they’re real. In this podcast Brian and Jeremy state their point of view on Early Birds in Kickstarter campaigns. You can watch the video edition of the podcast on TheForbiddenLimb YouTube channel. Good podcast by the way. Easy to listen to without being heavily fact ridden. I shared my perspective with the guys in the comments, so I figured I’d share it with you here on ADLi as well.

 

I’ve Just came across this today and they speak to me as I am a new self publisher and designer of tabletop games.

I hear what you guys are saying. Jeremy, great points and as a backer at your level of dedication early birds make no sense. As you can see in the comment by TriColoredTiger , sometimes there ARE people who won’t back without early birds. This conversation is more about your audience habits than your tactics as a publisher. If some has statistics on backer behaviour for the Games genre in KS, please share it. If a survey can be run to query the habits of board game backers on KS, then share it. I’d love to know. Your opinion is primarily rooted with your experience other the experience of a selected few… again, unless you can provide substantial evidence through statistics.

There are ways around the ‘early bird’ syndrome without labeling it as early bird. I personally think your game campaign on KS should already be discounted form retail because it’s a ‘direct to consumer’ product. No major markup because no middle man. Now if you’re telling me I don’t understand retail and cost of production based on that, then your perception of my business sense is skewed. Dictating the value of any game itself is somewhat arbitrary (based on benchmarks) so lets get that out of the way. I’m all for making a dollar but it’s not about making money on KS. I misconception that I think a lot of KS campaign publishers seem to have. I’ve seen it and heard it at conventions many times. The money making comes from retail, self published or not.

Self published cats like Brian bank in interest. His stance in that alone justifies his early bird support. Interest has a direct relation to price WHEN the product is attractive. Game looks good, campaign reads well, tiers are flexible. At that point a $3-$5 discount is a definite tipping point, minor as it may be. If you as a backer want to give him the full cost because you respect the work and the publisher, pat yourself on the back. Early bird is for the money-conscience backer. For those that just buy what they like without price being the bottom line, which to me sound a lot like Jeremy, early birds reek of desperation because it’s it’s a ploy to just collect money. You are both right in your arguments. It’s a two way street and in the end your can only put up signs. Your audience chooses to drive your success so on a case to case basis it’s nice to provide them more avenues to travel. Brian’s opinion comes from a conservative standpoint and experience which he can quantify with numbers. I can’t knock him or any other new publisher for wanting to sweeten the pot with a discount.

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