As you all know, we’ve seen excellent growth for Guild Ball with the PVC 6-man boxed sets for the Farmers and Blacksmiths and more than few of our community have expressed an interest in seeing the older teams also being made available in the new format. We also agree… but often there’s a massive difference between someone saying they want something and then actually parting with $100 to get it.
After sunk costs (sculpting, artwork etc.) converting an existing team into PVC is effectively the same cost to us as a brand-new team. Obviously, our new teams will generate much greater demand and sales numbers than our repacks so its pretty difficult to justify an $80k+ outlay to remould an old team and produce a minimum order quantity number of units just to see if there is a market for this product after all.
We conducted several surveys with a view to see if there was enough empirical evidence to support that it was worth risking the $80k (per team!) or not but the results still left us with questions on how to bring this product to market in a fiscally responsible way.
So, we have looked at this from multiple angles for quite some time now and feel that the product is either 1) simply killed as an idea (as not being tenable) or 2) we test the market with our oldest teams to see what the demand is. We could have gone with an internal pre-order system but chose to go to Indigogo as a platform because it doesn’t function in the same way as Kickstarter, there’s far less demand for stretch goals and ever-increasing value to be squeezed into the proposition…instead it can function as a recognisable 3rd party pre-order system that gives backers some degree of security and which still allows us to discover if there are enough people from our current community to support the funding of this project.
Our Indigogo campaign is going to be capped at 800 backers, which is the minimum amount we need to break even on the set-up costs for each team and to place an order for the minimum order volume. This means the project can go ahead but we do not make any profit until this product goes to retail – this ensures that our LGS will have a wealth of customers eagerly anticipating and wanting this product when it hits due to the limited nature of the campaign.
As you all know, at SFG we are always trying new things to help drive traffic into local game stores (LGS exclusive models, personal store visits from SFG staff to interact with your communities, driving qualifiers for our Nationals into stores, creating launch kits for each major release (to be fully revised to generate more interest starting with the Ratcatchers), our popular slow-grow OP kits and beyond this a kit targeting the non-competitive players in the shape of Rookie campaign kits coming this year too…beyond all this our constant messaging to our community about how getting into their local store is important to us.
This conversion to PVC is another example of us trying to help grow the Guild Ball communities across the world. Ignoring the actual costs to make it happen for a second, we can obviously see a potentially viable product in the shape of PVC legacy teams that lower the barrier for entry for new players, are visually very appealing, with low-time soak investment for players to just start playing etc. We’ve had feedback from our distribution partners to this end, but we simply can’t justify such a large financial outlay on just the potential of this maybe being viable, we need to know for sure.