Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eminent Domain Kickstarter Progress

I found out about Kickstarter on July 20th, and have been suggesting that we utilize it to fund Eminent Domain (or some other game) ever since that date. As you know, we have finally started that process, and in the first few days of the Kickstarter campaign I must say that I am VERY surprised and VERY impressed by the progress so far! As I write this, we are about 3.5 days into our 30 day campaign, we've got 85 backers, and we've raised $5,745 toward our $20,000 goal! That's about 28% of the way there already!

Despite the fact that we've not done such a campaign before, and therefore didn't really know what to do or what to expect, I feel like we're doing very well. I also feel like we were a little under-prepared and could have done even better! It may be premature to call the campaign a success already, but we're doing better than I thought we would. I attribute this to a couple of factors:

* We studied previously successful Kickstarter projects and tried to learn from them.
* I crafted rewards specifically for various archetypal consumers that I expected to see.
* Michael has built a network for direct marketing, and has set up several avenues to disseminate information throughout that network.
* We are offering a product that doesn't suck!

It remains to be seen whether we reach all the way to our somewhat lofty funding goal, but I think we cobbled together a fairly strong Kickstart. I have been particularly surprised by the fact that in the first 3 days we're almost sold out of the $200 reward - the ability to name one of the technology cards in the game. I figured we would sell 2, maybe 3 of those over the course of the campaign. But it turns out we've sold 12 of the 15 available already. That means 12 people laid down $200 apiece to support our cause and the opportunity to name a card. They also get a Limited Edition copy of the game (with a special LE cover) and 3 regular copies, each with a set of exclusive Prestige Planet cards which won't be in the regular game (but might be in a future expansion). I'd be very interested to know if the people pledging that $200 amount are doing so primarily because of...

* the fact that they get to name a card,
* the fact that they get a Limited Edition copy of the game
* the fact that they get a total of 4 copies of the game

I would like to know this for the next time (if there is a next time) so I can optimize rewards better for people. I'd also like to know how many of those people would still have pledged if it were $250 instead of $200, or if they only got the LE copy and not 3 other copies of the game, etc.

I'm a little surprised that so many single copies of the game have sold rather than people finding a buddy and going in together for the $60 2-copy bundle - but not really. Many people just shop for themselves.

And finally, I'm a little surprised that we haven't seen groups of people overseas getting together for a 6-game bundle (because otherwise the stupid shipping premiums make it cost too much). but it's early yet - I wouldn't be surprised if we see some of that later in the month.

I doubt anybody will go for the $2500 reward where Mike and I fly out and host their game night, but I wanted to include that because I think it's fun to think about, for me as well as for people who read it and think "that would be cool, but I am not in a position to pay for it." I think it represents our attitude toward our customers, which is that we like them and want them to have fun, and would like to come hang out with them.

Anyway, I'm excited at the progress we've made, and I have reason to believe more orders will be forthcoming. I just hop it's enough to hit our funding goal!


Doug Orleans said...

I am hoping to put together a 6-game pre-order, but I don't have enough people interested yet. (Again, having a playable prototype would help...) I may end up just doing it on spec and try to sell the extras afterward.

I wonder if people are preferring the 3-game bundle because it is limited editions (which I think I don't care about), plus you say "best value" even though it's not...

Seth Jaffee said...

Well, it's the best deal if you consider that the limited Edition is worth something. If it's not worth something to you, then maybe it's not the best value for you.

Originally I had listed the 6-game bundle at $200 (including shipping) for overseas fans - but Mike lowered it to $150 not including overseas shipping (which makes sense). That brought the price per game below the 3-game bundle. But the LE stuff above still applies I think. ;)

Doug Orleans said...

By the way, assuming the Kickstart reaches its goal, when do you expect the game to be finished? And what will the MSRP be?

Seth Jaffee said...

I expect the game to be out in April. That's about the fastest it could possibly happen, and I don't see what would hold it up.

I believe Michael posted the MSRP on the Kickstarter campaign, and I believe it's $39.95.

Jeff said...

Good to see that it's going well so far! I think you're definitely seeing good evidence of Tasty Minstrel brand loyalty at work (*), and to have built that after just two releases is a great accomplishment and bodes well for future success of the company.

I would say the one aspect of your campaign that was a good idea is to have all of the rewards center exclusively on copies of the game. I really feel like t-shirts and artwork and stuff like that would have probably felt like clutter; you're essentially using Kickstarter as a pre-order system with options and price incentives for multi-game orders, and that seems to be a good model. Good show!

(*) Not that the game is without merit; rather I think at this point it's still something of an unknown quantity with limited BGG buzz, and no artwork yet. I think people are mostly buying it sight unseen and that so many people are willing to do so is a good sign for TM!

Guy Srinivasan said...

I chose the single game rather than a pair even though I think it's decently likely I could find someone else who would fund/buy a copy. This is because I know from experience I am very unlikely to return and actually purchase something when I've decided to purchase it, then back out, for any reason. I don't know if anyone else has the same... characteristic. :)

Seth Jaffee said...

It's probably worth noting that I think they let you upgrade your pledge, so if you did find someone else to go in with you, perhaps you could upgrade rather than each purchase separately!