The Secret Costs of Manufacturing a 25 lb. Game
Since the beginning, we’ve said that Ogre Designer’s Edition is Steve’s gift to everyone for the years of support that you have given us. On the Kickstarter page, Steve says:
“We couldn’t sell this for $100 if it weren’t for the cash that Munchkin has brought in (thank you, Munchkin). But it’s something I want to do.”
In this update, we are going to share what it costs to print Ogre. I’d like to thank Steve, our partners at Grand Prix International (and in China), and everyone in the office who listened to my reasons to share this information: I feel that it’s important to peel back the secret veil of game manufacturing just a little.
What‘s Not Included in These Numbers
The costs given below are for manufacturing only: setup and per unit costs. The numbers do not include our in-house (and freelance) development and production costs, or the safety testing. Also not included is shipping, which is significant. (Fourteen 40-foot containers of games are not inexpensive to ship around the world, not to mention shipping thousands of individual games to backers.)
First, though, I again have to thank Grand Prix International for going out of their way to help us make this game and for their generosity that got us a fantastic deal on manufacturing. I still remember the first time I started discussing the game specs with our rep, David, and how many times since then we have both marveled over the size of the game -- a game that kept growing as all of you started supporting the Kickstarter project. Without your help this edition of Ogre wouldn’t be what is.
Have we mentioned how huge this is? (The ruler in the lake is 6".) The maps are handmade prototypes -- the seams and finish will be much better in the final product. There is another GEV map not in this shot!
Film. Dice tools. Diecut molds. All of these are vital to manufacturing Ogre. All of them cost money -- sometimes a lot of money. At this time, setup is roughly $13,000. If the plastic trays work out well then we should be okay, but if there are issues with the trays then we may find ourselves spending a little more.
Each copy of Ogre -- the edition going into hobby stores near you -- costs roughly $38 to manufacture and assemble. The Kickstarter edition, which comes with even more goodies, costs slightly more per unit. When we started outlining the project back in 2008, I knew it was going to be expensive to print, but not once did I imagine how much it would be.
Selling Ogre to Stores
We do not sell our games directly to retailers. We prefer to work through our excellent distributors, who buy games from us and sell them to retailers. The hobby game market’s distribution system makes our lives much easier: I hate to think about how many new employees we would need if the distributors weren’t there helping us.
Distributors pay us roughly 35% of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP, better known as the price tag printed on the box) for each game they buy. (That 35% is an estimate; the exact percentage varies.)
Retailers provide a valuable service by giving all of us a place to buy (and play!) games. The next time you are in your favorite local game store, please thank your retailer for me. Every game you see in the store got there because the owner was willing to take a chance that you would want to buy it.
Thank You, Munchkin
Hopefully these numbers help you better understand just how big of a project Ogre is and explains what we mean when we say “Thank you, Munchkin.” Munchkin -- and all its wonderful fans -- has been great to us. It’s great to be in a position where we can give Steve’s first game design such an awesome treatment.
-- Phil Reed