I have to agree with the previous two posts. Kickstarter doesn't charge you a dime unless the project is fully funded. Worst case scenario, the goal isn't met and no-one is out any cash. Best case scenario they get overfunded, in which case Kickstarter allows you to set "stretch goals" that could allow for further goodies if they hit $X+Y instead of just $X for their funding.
The only place I could see this being a bad idea is the possible bad publicity of being seen somewhat like asking for donations, but thanks to multi-million dollar kickstarter projects from larger names like the Wasteland 2 (I think that's the name. I may be wrong though), Shadowrun, and Steve Jackson's O.G.R.E. kickstarters, I don't think that'll be a big issue (It'd be a different ball of wax if it was something like GW or maybe PP trying the kickstarter though).
It's not the size of Mantic which is the problem, it's their business model. They're not releasing a one-off project with large start-up costs, nor are they a small minis company needing to raise a few grand to get a few metal minis out when they'd otherwise not have the funds to release anything. Mantic have an ongoing product supported by ongoing releases which sell well enough to allow them to keep going. A Kickstarter project for Mantic would essentially just be a pre-order with a few extra things thrown in/a little bit cheaper and they already did this. It was called Mantic Elite.
Mantic Elite is the exact opposite. It doesn't just fail to provide the demand information in a timely manner, it fails to provide it at all. If someone buys a Mantic Elite package, it does not tell you which parts of the package they most want.
Its a decision they have to make anyway, but putting it up to the public isn't a smart one. If it doesn't meet the funding target then what do they do? They still have to find a way of generating those funds to finance the set that at least some people wanted, as well as bridging the gap if thats whats required.That argument is completely without merit. Guess what? This is a decision that Mantic has to make anyway! The only thing a Kickstarter/Indiegogo project would do is make the decision easier, by giving them more information.
Given that Mantic are in every FLGs and online store, sell huge boxed armies, and have recently signed a distribution deal with revell, I don't understand why there struggling to fund plastic in the first place. If there in a position where there struggling to fund a plastic kit, then a kick starter really isn't going to help the situation.
Project Pandora on the other hand, would have gone down a storm on kick starter and it could have been used (looking at the success of Zombiecide) to fund a proper corporation plastics sprue.
So you're advocating Mantic use crowdfunding purely as a market research tool? Rather than plan out a release schedule they should just drop a Kickstarter every month and see what sells? We in turn switch to ordering and paying for all our Mantic stuff six months in advance. Except for the people who don't crowdfund, they can wait and buy what the rest of us have decided should get released when it comes out. Doesn't seem a very smart way to run a business, especially one which is maintaining a healthy and ongoing release schedule.
Crowdfunding is best for one-off releases or for when a company couldn't otherwise release something. Neither of those things apply to KoW or Warpath. They could use it to try and fund a one-off plastic release of an army that they could only otherwise do in resin but this is where the problem of not hitting the target comes in. The start-up costs of three+ sprues for a new plastic army are considerable and not hitting that target on a fundraiser is not necessarily an indication that the army wouldn't sell enough once it went on general release. It's not like asking for $5k and knowing you can do extra when you get more. They'd be looking at a six figure sum they'd need to raise and there's no guarantee of getting that on a fundraiser.
Last edited by redben; 07-05-2012 at 20:22. Reason: bad spelling
Actually, Kickstarters are precisely what will help the situation. They are in the position they are in because they made things like the Elves which, as Scarletsquig has said in the past, still haven't made back their tooling costs. Kickstarter is a way to distinguish between products that will make back their tooling costs and products that won't, by posting greens and asking people "If we made these models in plastic for $X a set, how many would you buy?"Given that Mantic are in every FLGs and online store, sell huge boxed armies, and have recently signed a distribution deal with revell, I don't understand why there struggling to fund plastic in the first place. If there in a position where there struggling to fund a plastic kit, then a kick starter really isn't going to help the situation.
Once again, you don't understand how Kickstarter works. If you know you're going to make Project Pandora you do not post it on Kickstarter, because all you're doing is cutting Amazon in on the deal for no benefit. You do post your proper Corporation plastics greens on Kickstarter, because this is where the information gathering aspect of Kickstarter is actually relevant to your decision-making process.Project Pandora on the other hand, would have gone down a storm on kick starter and it could have been used (looking at the success of Zombiecide) to fund a proper corporation plastics sprue.
If Mantic thinks they need $200,000 in sales to justify a new plastic kit, what they need to do is decide on a volume of pre-orders (say, $50,000) that they believe translates to that number of sales. If they don't get enough pre-orders, they know that it will be dangerous to their company if they go ahead with it.Crowdfunding is best for one-off releases or for when a company couldn't otherwise release something. Neither of those things apply to KoW or Warpath. They could use it to try and fund a one-off plastic release of an army that they could only otherwise do in resin but this is where the problem of not hitting the target comes in. The start-up costs of three+ sprues for a new plastic army are considerable and not hitting that target on a fundraiser is not necessarily an indication that the army wouldn't sell enough once it went on general release. It's not like asking for $5k and knowing you can do extra when you get more. They'd be looking at a six figure sum they'd need to raise and there's no guarantee of getting that on a fundraiser.
Anyone want to suggest to Mantic that they take advantage of this "conditional pre-order" system, or shall I?
Last edited by AlexHolker; 07-05-2012 at 20:53.
I think Zombicide shows he does know how Kickstarter works. That was a completed and fully playable project which only Kickstarted to raise funds for a larger production run. Because it was such an advanced project it was able to raise over $700k when a vague "here's some artwork, give us some money to make this game" would have raised a fraction of that. You're hung up on Kickstarter as a marketing tool for Mantic to determine which minis to make and can't see past that. You assume that Mantic's consumer base will all switch to making their purchases on Kickstarter six months in advance instead of when they get released. Not everyone will support a crowdfunding project and of those that do many, like myself, will not support a project that isn't well advanced already with a product to show me. I'm not going to order a product based on some greens you've knocked up.
Mantic can't just churn out a kickstarter per plastic kit, with a vague idea in the hope that people go for it. They'd need to have something to show off and in most cases that means the miniatures themselves. Now GCT studios have just done a kickstarter for there new faction however they've clearly stated that there happy to wait if it doesn't get funded (this is just a means of increasing the production schedule) and there doing it off the back of a lot of good publicity in the wake of Salute.Wrong. If it doesn't meet the funding target, then you don't make the kit. You either take it back to the drawing board to turn it into something people are actually willing to buy, or you write it off completely and go work on something else. If you are not setting your funding target to whatever number makes you think it is worth giving the go-ahead, you are doing it wrong.
The reason I cited project pandora is because it has a lot of elements in common with the hugely successful Zombicide. Mantic could have set a stretch goal of turning the vermyn and/or corporation troopers into plastics, killing two birds with one stone.
I think your frequent referance to it being used as a marketing tool shows that you don't understand how it works. See successes such as Warploque miniatures various 'cast up's, the current Tor venture, or miniwargamings skirmish game. Miniature companies are definitely not using it as marketing.
By "frequent" you must mean "non-existent". I have repeatedly referred to its use as an information-gathering tool, and not once as a marketing tool.I think your frequent referance to it being used as a marketing tool shows that you don't understand how it works.
This conversation is getting bogged down with too many what-ifs and assumptions about the minor details.
The key point I wanted to address that "crowdfunding could fix" is the following:
Mantic needs money, we want plastic sprues and have money. Mantic can't make plastic sprues again until it can afford them and can make sure that they aren't just a ridiculous gamble that loses them money (remember, the elf sprues haven't broken even yet).
To get the money it has to either:
- Release resin plastic kits for a while until enough sales are made to grow the company to the point where it can afford to make plastics profitable (the current strategy).
- Take a shortcut, and use crowdfunding get the money directly from the people who would buy X product right away in hard plastic.
The first approach will work *eventually*, but won't move anywhere near as fast the second potentially could.
I think it'd be worth a shot. There are games companies that have had nothing but art and raised $90k, just for a simple skirmish game!
I agree that a board or boxed game is much more suitable as an overall pitch.
For instance, a new KoW or Warpath starter set would be a great idea... low initial goal with "resin plastic everything" as the target goal... then as more money gets added beyond that, more of the kit gets turned into hard plastic instead, allowing Mantic to include more models in the set. Pandora definitely would have worked great in the manner that Gomex describes.
That doesn't mean that just making miniatures with no game or anything to back them up never works either, I have seen plenty of successful kick-starters for cool minis with nothing but 3d renders. Also worth noting that Wargames Factory runs their entire business using this model of getting people to pay up.. even before moulds are cut, or any concept art is made!... for them crowdfunding is, and always has been, the default.
Mantic are a lot more serious than WGF, so I'm confident they could do a better job of it. Take plastic goblins as a concept.. they've already got the sculpts done in metal, a pic of those saying "you will get plastic versions of these!" is massively substantial and could easily form the "show us what you've got" base of the fundraiser.
Last edited by scarletsquig; 07-05-2012 at 22:06.
If you play any of Mantic's games, check out my Battlescribe project for KoW and Warpath.
I'm all for crowd funding for mantic. Even if they just used to to fund the sprues.
For example. 10 plastic corporation sprue with a second command sprue (like the skellies) RRP £13.99
Offer them on kickstarter for £10 a box at the lowest pledge. Then offer things like multi buys for higher pledges and maybe add some other stuff (I don't know what, this is all off the top of my head) then set the goal for something like £40,000. Only 4000 people would need to pledge, which if it were sci fi troops in plastic, I'm sure they would.
I'd be happy enough if they did 4 kickstarters a year for full, 10 man sprues that are up there with the skeletons.
Whose Gomex? He sounds devilishly handsomeFor instance, a new KoW or Warpath starter set would be a great idea... low initial goal with "resin plastic everything" as the target goal... then as more money gets added beyond that, more of the kit gets turned into hard plastic instead, allowing Mantic to include more models in the set. Pandora definitely would have worked great in the manner that Gomex describes.
But yes, I agree, kings of war starter is a no brainer. They could use the undead that they already have, and whack in the humans too - that why they've essentially crowd funded two projects rather then one.
Really? I thought that there recent WW2 and Samurai stuff had all been done without pre-orders. Or at least, not for the bulk of production anyways.That doesn't mean that just making miniatures with no game or anything to back them up never works either, I have seen plenty of successful kick-starters for cool minis with nothing but 3d renders. Also worth noting that Wargames Factory runs their entire business using this model of getting people to pay up.. even before moulds are cut, or any concept art is made!
I think Goblins, abyssals and corporation plastics are obvious units that could have a lot of hidden interest for a kickstarter.
There's all sorts of stuff they could do as tiered incentives.
Signed copies of the rules, stuff normally only available from the mantic points range, maybe something like a free "limited edition, kickstarter only" hero model for anyone who goes for $100 or more, then for higher pledge amounts, stuff like "your name printed in the rulebook", exclusive resin-cast miniatures, collector's range 3-ups exclusive to the kickstarter, set of miniatures pro-painted by Golem. Sprues cast in a different colour like they did with the white dwarf stuff.
All things that wouldn't cost much but would represent a cool little something extra beyond the cost of the miniatures.. agree with decker, better to add incentives and extra goodies and cool "freebies on top" exclusive stuff for wealthy backers rather than offering an upfront discount on RRP. Free international shipping would be good to include though, just to make things less complicated and having to add "pay more if you live in X country" exceptions.
A lot of this isn't much different from what Mantic does already with it's blind pre-orders (you know, the ones the internet likes to whine about, while a solid core of Mantic fans quietly spend several hundred apiece on them), although the key difference would be allowing them to get the money upfront so that tooling the injection moulds isn't such a barrier for them like it currently is.
I'm convinced that a lot of Mantic fans would pledge at $500... only takes a few dozen of those to chip in and you're already well on your way. Most of the crowdfunding projects seem to get most of their money fom lots of people pledging at the $100 level though, so Mantic would be looking at having roughly an army box's worth of models for that amount + exclusive metal hero, and needing about 500-1000 people to bite.
Something has to be done about hard plastic being seen as too much of a gamble to be worth going for compared to the commercially safer, but less consumer-friendly options of restic or hybrids. I've seen a lot of enthusiasm for Mantic drop off over the last 6 months and I think a lot of it is to do with people just plain losing interest in Mantic when there's just a trickle of somewhat-pricy restic and metal coming out of the company instead of the hordes of cheap, high-quality plastic which really made people sit up and pay attention in the first place.
Last year at the Open Day, someone asked a question at the seminar. - "Any chance of skeleton archers in plastic?", to which Ronnie replied "Would they sell?".
I sat there thinking about this, and initially thought "Well you'll never know if you don't sell them", but then thought "If you do make them and they don't sell then that is terrible, you really need to know if they'll sell or not before you start making them... you need a crystal ball".
Crowdfunding can be that crystal ball and take away the "Spend tens of thousands of pounds, cross your fingers and hope it works out" risk element that is inherent to plastic injection moulded miniatures.
In the event that everything goes well, and it gets funded really quickly, stretch goals could involve putting more components on the sprue, improving the product for everyone.
I'll conclude by leaving you all with an example of a potential kickstarter/ indiegogo project that would be pure dynamite - Hard plastic power-armoured humans.
Last edited by scarletsquig; 08-05-2012 at 08:56.
If you play any of Mantic's games, check out my Battlescribe project for KoW and Warpath.
I think $100 is the sweetspot for pledges. Zombicide has proven that, as well that with some optional addons, backers can easily be raised to a final pledge within the $200-$300 range. There's no way I'd pledge $500 on a project, even for Mantic.
I also think that the interest level in Mantic has decreased ever since the Warpath release, which I still believe failed to draw as many fantasy fans to the scifi genre as they had expected. Not having any fantasy releases to speak of since last fall isn't helpful in keeping those fans interest.
The higher prices for the scifi mini's especially the crossover sculpts of the dwarfs and orcs disappointed a lot of people. From what I can tell from the various forums, it's only now with the Veer-myn, and especially The Corporation, that Mantic is starting to win back some hobbyists that they were in danger of losing.
My own personal feeling is that Mantic really needs to get back to fantasy with a new, non human, and non ratman army. Something that is truly their own, just to see how that plays out for them.
I think the biggest mis-step Mantic has made though was not pursuing a Zombie game. They have some of the best zombies and ghoul sculpts out there. Ever since Mantic offered Hasslefree's various Zombie Hunters miniatures for sale in their online store, folks have been asking for a zombie game from them. I mean they had the mini's, they had the game designers...Zombicide is the game that Mantic should have made over a year ago. All I know is that's 3/4 of a million dollars that Mantics not getting.