Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

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dice4hire
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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by dice4hire » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:59 am

There is a bit of doom and gloom if I do say so myself.

But I agree, DF is very likely to make Wildlands huge, maybe too huge.

I am not really willing to buy huge any more, so DF please do not do huge. Awesome and Great can be done without Huge.
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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by kodiakbear » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:19 am

I expect KS7 will be huge, perhaps not KS6 huge but likely around KS5 huge. Then by next summer the US with be in recession so in 2021 KS8 will be much smaller, between the size of KS2 and KS3.

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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by kitenerd » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:21 am

A couple of random points...

Stefan always cries gloom and doom - it is part of his PT Barnum act - i am pretty sure KS 6.66 did just fine

Worse comes to worse DF could fire the entire production team and sell the same static product line until the end of time - seems to be working for Chessex

Seriously though - smaller is safer, offers less exposure - excess production capacity can be used to restock

We all worry, but DF knows what they are doing - they are a bunch of grown ups who fly around the globe playing games and doing what they love - do you honestly think they would screw that up???
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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by dice4hire » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:07 pm

Worries about DF's sustainability have indeed been around for a while. I worry about it also. To me it seems that they are doing as much as they can as fast as they can and damn the torpedoes. That is a fun ride, but it will have to end at some point. I hope DF is planning for that lower time when they have to sell less and watch their budget more. It just does not seem they are doing that much now.

But again I am a non-business guy looking in. And DF paints their windows really black so not much escapes.
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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by DWChancellor » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:55 pm

AnimeSensei wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:40 pm
It's been a constant fear on these forums since KS3 that DF is putting too much risk on these kickstarters hitting a certain threshold, and if they don't the company could be in jeopardy. So far they've been ok, but when they require something like $2-3 million to "break even" it sure is humbling to think about if they ever put out a dud that doesn't sell.
One has to wonder seeing all of Stefan's posts about his new house. Something must be going very right!
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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by Talistran » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:33 pm

AnimeSensei wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:40 pm
It's been a constant fear on these forums since KS3 that DF is putting too much risk on these kickstarters hitting a certain threshold, and if they don't the company could be in jeopardy. So far they've been ok, but when they require something like $2-3 million to "break even" it sure is humbling to think about if they ever put out a dud that doesn't sell.

Ways to mitigate that are 1) smaller kickstarters 2) less upfront development with more done after the KS 3) changing to presales instead of KS. I'm sure there are others (factories, materials, staffing, compensation, etc.) but those are things we're not privy to or are none of our business really, even as customers.
They could also do more market research prior to developing things and gather customer input significantly earlier so that they can be sure of a market before the KS.

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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by AnimeSensei » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:40 pm

It's been a constant fear on these forums since KS3 that DF is putting too much risk on these kickstarters hitting a certain threshold, and if they don't the company could be in jeopardy. So far they've been ok, but when they require something like $2-3 million to "break even" it sure is humbling to think about if they ever put out a dud that doesn't sell.

Ways to mitigate that are 1) smaller kickstarters 2) less upfront development with more done after the KS 3) changing to presales instead of KS. I'm sure there are others (factories, materials, staffing, compensation, etc.) but those are things we're not privy to or are none of our business really, even as customers.
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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by John D » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:18 pm

Hmmmmmmmmm. I'm thinking I probably don't have enough behind-the-curtain insight to really say, but...

While larger KSs offer something for everyone (potentially), isn't that exactly what bankrupted TSR in the 90's?
They flooded the market with all those different settings (Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, etc) at such a pace that it was impossible to keep up with. Sure, there was a lot to choose from, and Creatively a high point for the company, but they spread themselves too thin and dug their own grave.

I notice 5e books are very carefully released - we're not seeing 25 books a year, more like 4~5. So it takes a bit longer to amass the settings, guides, and adventures we want, but it seems (overall) a healthier approach. While TSR's 90s burst was impressive, the end came Very quickly (there were other factors, but overextending certainly contributed). I'd hate to see history repeat itself, when the lessons learned could help avoid it.
My personal opinion is that, in the long run, DF would benefit more from focused but Robust campaigns, over sprawling ones that try to appeal to everyone at once.

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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by ilionblaze » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:26 pm

One thing I'm still curious about is Stephan's remark near the end of 6.66 that the Kickstarter might not break even, even though many of the stretch goals had been smashed by that point. It wasn't anywhere near the total of KS6, but then it was a smaller campaign. Was it due to the different technology upping costs? I'm okay with smaller, frequent KSes, but they need to be profitable for DW as well.

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Re: Splitting Wildlands? Great idea!

Post by Gargs454 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:09 am

For me, size of the KS in and of itself doesn't really matter because my budget is likely to be small enough each time round that I'm not even going to come close to going all in. Multiple KS in a year though does make it a little bit easier to spend a little bit in each, but then I also like to grab stuff from the webstore too. Ultimately for me it comes down to what works best for DF from a profit margin standpoint? Obviously if DF isn't making a profit, then th system isn't working. Or even, if DF is making a smaller profit margin, then its not really working. If the profit margin went up with 6.66 though, then that's a good thing for DF and ultimately, us the customers.

So going forward, assuming the customers in general want smaller KS'ers and assuming that the smaller KS is also equally or more profitable for DF, then I do see a couple of ways to break them up (using past KS'ers as an example).

1. Limit the themes to one or maybe 2 per KS. With DoD (my first DF purchase) the shrine was obviously a bit different from the main dungeon, but it did at least more or less fit in. Burrows, while interesting, just seemed as though they were a square peg being shoved through a round hole. In both cases it was easy for me, as a first time customer, to skip and forget. That said, had my budget been larger, burrows would still have been the last thing to look at just because of how niche they were. They do feel as though they could have fit in decently with a Wildlands o Caverns (a bit) as a kind of transition zone. To be fair, I think they are significantly unique that fitting them in anywhere was always going to feel a bit forced. Ultimately I think DF was right to put them into a larger KS rather than a KS of their own though. For Caverns Deep, Dreadhollow looks cool, but again would have been pretty easy to push into wildlands. CD maintaining its focus on underground would have been a good way to keep it somewhat contained.

2. Limit the paint schemes. Ok, I'll admit that as a general rule I buy unpainted to save a few bucks. That said, it has been explicitly stated that the multiple paint schemes are causing a problem with the factory and necessarily driving the costs up. Perhaps a middle ground could be worked (though again, not sure how this affects profits). Just go with a standard scheme but perhaps showcase in videos alternate paint schemes for those that like painting their own. It doesn't help those who have no desire to paint their own stuff of course, but it might keep prices and SKU's a bit more reasonable. To me, this feels a bit like the "Alternate Builds" that they have done with some of the encounters previously. A great way to showcase how you can make what you have more versatile.

Just a couple ideas. As I said, a lot really does depend on the profit margin that DF is maintaining with the current KS models though.

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