When Global Gaming Factory News broke the news that Eurogamer.net was closing down their headquarters as well as cancelling their popular Food Fight competition and related events, we immediately started to think: this is somehow connected to the soaring shipping prices. The vessel costs incurred by a game publisher due to freight has risen three times over in recent years.
Global gaming is doing well. For some publishers, this means aggressive sales tactics are being introduced to stoke demand, leading to store shoppers being won over with products designed to get your attention. Other publishers are happy to sell simply on the basis of their titles selling best in categories, saving the lower-margin sales of action and adventure games for solo sales of books and other merchandise.
Global Gaming’s Joyride was one of 2016’s top sellers
Many board games need just one, good idea, but one problem prevents publishers from having many or many strategies for maximising their profits, and that’s the shipping costs associated with shipping their game designs around the world to places in need of a game that needs getting out. Transporting games is expensive. Steam and other digital marketplaces have made ship costs more attractive, but even with remote servers that stream games back-and-forth from servers in remote areas, ship costs are on the rise. Global shipping is expensive, as is shipping.
Global game distributors are being starved of new game ideas, and many are going out of business entirely because of it. Global gaming is doing well. For some publishers, this means aggressive sales tactics are being introduced to stoke demand, leading to store shoppers being won over with products designed to get your attention. Other publishers are happy to sell simply on the basis of their titles selling best in categories, saving the lower-margin sales of action and adventure games for solo sales of books and other merchandise.
Many publishers are wondering why a game they’ve spent months or years developing hasn’t sold well on Steam or other digital marketplace—why they have such a low market share that some publishers have fallen to negative press, why they have such small sales, and where those sales are coming from. Loading up all these publications about them is potentially stimulating sales of products that most in the industry believe to be irrelevant to the true economy of the games industry. In other words, they should be focusing on why their game has become so unpopular, why there are so few players, and why their game’s style or unique features didn’t hook enough players to cause mass wave after wave of sales (even if some publishers don’t speak in such terms).
Of course, the extreme examples of global market domination are outrageous examples, yet a staggering proportion of publishers that have failed in their purpose have focused on a hodgepodge of market strategies that appear to be equally out of date as they are dangerous. It’s time for publishers to grow up and learn what consumers want, and we know that those consumers won’t simply sit still for innovative, edgy, and stunningly original titles that don’t sell well.
The industry is begging for it. The players of the board games industry are in need of global market leaders that aren’t simply focused on how to dig games in the shadow of a near-sudden, furious surge in prices, but who are creating unique concepts and concepts that will open up the world of games to a whole new class of players, enable new social and cultural ways to connect, and increase game sales by motivating content creators to push ideas forward.