As I gear up for Deme‘s first play tests, I find it useful (if intimidating) to look past the initial design phase to what its future might hold. If I choose to publish Deme as a boxed-and-ready board game, I’ll have in mind Ben Kuchera’s recent piece for the Penny Arcade Report. Kuchera interviewed James Mathe of Minion Games about the realities of using Kickstarter to fund a board game.
“Mathe said that his fulfillment company stated that out of 80 new products in 2012, only 22 of them sold over 500 units at retail. That’s a sobering look at the reality of the board game business, and it’s a business with a heavy cost in terms of production and shipping. In contrast, Mathe gets production quotes assuming runs of 1,500 to 2,000 copies of each game. ‘You’re not going to sell more then [sic] that on Kickstarter and through distribution unless you have a real hit of a game,’ he explained. ‘Which is rare, though everyone thinks their game is great.'”
Publication and distribution issues are still a way off for me. Still, they will be waiting as soon as I feel that Deme is ready for release. Should I go digital? Should I release Deme strictly as a rule set? Should I maintain a stock of pre-fab game sets for demos? The sooner I get people around the table, the sooner I’ll know.