Friday, January 27, 2017

Kickstarter is No Way to Run a Business, Part Two

In February 2014, Goodman Games launched their first KS for their DCC World Tour.  I cannot go into what was offered because  I can say it was projected to deliver May 2014 and it appears to have delivered on time on target.  It raised $13,333 from 109 backers.  These numbers are skewed by one pledge level that was $1500 and another four each at $1000.  Therefore, 104 backers for $7833, or $75.32/backer. 

In March 2014, they launched there 2nd KS.  Wha?  You just had one and you haven't even delivered it and you launch another one to fund your first KS book?  Here's where the flag should go up.  And what was their 2nd KS?  Oh, only a reprint of the very first SF RPG.  The basic buy-in for the book was $80.  $83,264 from 624 backers is $133.43/backer, but again 5 pledged $1000/each and 17 pledged $350/each, so $72,314 between 602 backers = $120.12/backer.  Projected delivery was September 2014.  Again, for a book, a roughly 5-6 month window to print, handle, and ship.  I can't comment tremendously on this as I did not back it; however, I can find some things.  First, 67% of the books alone had shipped in December 2014.  At that point, the stretch goals and add-ons were at the printer.  Second, it looks like everything had shipped by May 2015.  So at least 7 months after projected.  It appears it didn't go to the printer until July 2014.

Third was the Chained Coffin.  This was actually for a regularly printed module, but with a lot of upgrade and add-on options (it turned into a boxed set and I feel they lost a lot of money fulfilling this one).  It ran for the month of May 2014 with a projected delivery of August 2014.  This is one that I wanted to back, but lacked the money.  Basic buy-in of $10 for the standard module, which is what it streeted for, but the majority of backers were at the $30 level.  Total raised $38,238 by 729 backers, or $52.45/backer.  Again, 119 backed at a $60 level, so that's $7140 subtracted leaving $31,098 between 610 backers, or $50.98/backer.  It would have been my first KS backing, but I had one Indiegogo under my belt.  It went to the printer at the end of October 2014, began shipping after Christmas 2014.  The last relevant update appears to be February 2014.  6 months late.

The next 2 aren't DCC, but may illuminate more information.  Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng for Age of Cthulhu ran for just over 3 weeks in June 2014 with projected deliver of October 2014.  It was a hardcover book that appeared to be ready to ship at the end of August 2014.  Basic buy-in was $25.  $10,536 raised by 341 backers; $30.89 per backer.  The last update stating everything was shipped was the end of December 2014.  That's 2 months late; for Goodman it's good and for damn near anybody it's good.

Next we have Maximum Xcrawl for Pathfinder.  It ran for 30 days from the last week of June 2014 thought the first 3 weeks of July 2014.  The basic pledge for the print book $40, but 167 pledged at the $60 level.  There were also 74 who only backed electronically.  $18,847 raised from 378 backers or $49.86.  Let's eliminate the digital crowd, so 304 backers gave $16,817, or $55.32 for print backers.  Estimated delivery was October 2014; that's 2 KS projected to be shipped in the same month.  Ballsy.  The official starting date of shipping was November 2, 2014.  Shipping was complete before Christmas 2014.  However, it appears there were stretch goals that weren't completed until January 2016.  Yes, 2016, not a typo.  In my opinion, that's 15 months late.  For these first 5, one was delivered on time, one 2 months late, and the other three were 6 months or more late.  At least 60% late.

The sixth KS was the first I backed:  Peril on the Purple Planet.  We'll continue our discussion next time.

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