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Discussion Thread for DRM and Exodus Wars Kickstarter

 Post subject: Re: Discussion Thread for DRM and Exodus Wars Kickstarter
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:33 am 
Swarm Tyrant
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Kyrt wrote:
I don't know what discussions Tom has had/is having behind the scenes, but like CS this is something I have been thinking about myself. I expect there are some clear product lines from EW that should be able to support a viable business, provided the costs can be controlled. And there is also a need for a EU distributor for Onslaught - whether those things need to be in the same business is not certain of course. A vertically integrated business (manufacture, distribution & sales) could be efficient, but also risky and hard to set up.

With respect to mictator, I don't think diving into Kickstarter is the right way. From your post, it sounds to me like your idea is to raise money to fund the startup of a company that will sell 3D printed models based on designs you do not own, at lower prices than specialist 3D printing companies. There is a lot wrong with that... However even if the IP can be bought from Steel Crown, there needs to be some careful consideration of how best to do this, ideally we would concentrate our support in one direction. There are good reasons why these products are made available in metal, and to not do that because you don't have the skills/knowledge/interest is the wrong way of thinking about it: rather, the best outcome for the community is to have people with the right motivation and expertise to run things shrewdly. If, of course, they are willing.

I do think there is scope for a community-backed project to acquire the IP, review the product lines with a market review and continue a high-quality production capacity (almost certainly in metal). For commercial reasons I think we need to think carefully about the structure of such a company and whether the capital it has available should be public information... i.e. investors/donators need to have assurances and legal recourse to ensure that the money is being used effectively, but the value of the IP needs to be assessed on a commercial basis not "however much money the kickstarter raised". It is no good owning the IP if you can't afford to make it available for sale at a price people are willing to pay. Once the groundwork has been laid, it could however make sense to raise capital to acquire the IP/moulds and re-start production via kickstarter, based on prior negotiations with Steel Crown.

Is anyone interested in discussing this further/might be interested in getting involved? Or perhaps you already have some plans yourself?

An interesting post. I can only speak to my own pipe dreams.... In effect, the design of EW products are done, and the manufacturing is in place to produce these in metal. (I dont know for sure, but I assume that these are outsourced for casting and not done in house.) In this case, the upfront purchase of the lines would include the license/IP/designs, and any and all masters and casting materials and moulds for them. Likely, these reside currently at the casting company, and could theoretically stay there, even if ownership of these would change.

I do think that this would be viable as a Kickstarter or similar project. If the cost of the IP and all attached materials (casting products, license, IP, designs, etc) is spread across the first batch of ordered minis, and these are sold 'at cost' it would mean that anyone running this campaign would be doing it for 'free' with their payment being the transfer of the rights to produce the miniatures from that point onwards. I think that it would need to be done across limited lines (by race, for example) and the more mini purchases required to meet the funding goal, the thinner the additional property costs are spread across these purchases. Its a model that Troublemaker Games have been proving can be moderately successful.

In a perfect world, there would be a number of miniatures that need to be sold which would balance out the numbers so that the previous price including the small profit for SCM prior, would be the same as the cost of production and additional property costs, so that these could be offered at the same prices as SCM were, but at zero profit/property purchase costs paid. Anything above this amount would translate into 'excess funds' which could then be put towards stretch goals or the next campaign to grab the next race/line of minis. However, I do think that the minimum number of miniatures that need to be sold to balance out the (previous SCM profit = cost of purchase of license line) would be..... significant.

The problem here is if there is a race/line that is less popular, and the numbers simply dont balance. From a business point, thats not terrible, as the campaign fails, no money is spent and the minis remain with SCM and are not transferred to any new owner, but it would be a shame.

Anyway, this would all need to be agreed with Tom/SCM and we dont know what plans he has or even what he would be happy to have happen with his IP. Regardless, I would be interested in being a part of any discussions on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Discussion Thread for DRM and Exodus Wars Kickstarter
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:16 pm 
Brood Brother
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Very interesting topic indeed!

I also think there could be an opportunity here to avoid the SCM range from disappearence. However, I think that the only viable way to make that happen is, as you were saying, with a very careful analysis and planning. And, in my personal experience, that only works if it is done from a business point of view.

I would be interesting in discussing it further of course.



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 Post subject: Discussion Thread for DRM and Exodus Wars Kickstarter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:45 pm 
Brood Brother
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I PM'd Tom but he's not replied as of yet, I expect he is plenty busy. I don't have his email or number though, perhaps that would have been better.

The problem I have with kickstarter is not with the platform per se or the mechanism of raising the funds - in fact it is the model I consider most likely to succeed and absolutely ideal from the purchaser's point of view. The way you describe it is exactly what I had in mind (ie do the kickstarter at cost to acquire the moulds). It is just that a lot of things would have to align and be agreed up front with Tom, yet we would have nothing to offer Tom in terms of guarantees. Let me give an example:

To run the kickstarter we need to be able to do a calculation of a minimum total funds required to acquire the IP for a given set of models, manufacture and deliver them. That means negotiating binding prices for options to buy the IP up front, but without any commitment to actually buy it. Tom can't sell it until everything is concluded. If I were Tom I would have to consider the chances of the money for all the IP being successfully raised and whether, if only some ranges are, acquired, it makes it harder to sell the others. Maybe Tom isn't really worried about this as there are no other offers on the table, I don't know. It also puts a fairly rigid value on the IP: ie profit margin x number of models sold. If the margin was large, we wouldn't be having this conversation...

In terms of cost expectations, I do think people would be very annoyed if they contributed more for the kickstarter than their eventual retail price. That said, there may be scope to raise prices in some lines. [hides from hail of tomatoes]

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