Saturday, September 1, 2012

Theater vs. Netflix (Kickstarter)

As we explore what Kickstarter means for brick and mortar game stores, various analogies come up. The one that stuck with me this week was new Kickstarter games compared to new movies. In this model, Kickstarter projects go out to the core audience willing to support it early, we figured roughly the sales we would see in the first 30 days of a release or around 20% (some products types are much higher, but we'll ignore those for now).

This would be akin to movie theaters getting the latest hit films. Part two would be the retail trade getting their copies, as in Netflix with their DVD/On Demand offerings. This second tier would account for the other 80%, the remainder of the products lifetime sales.

Again, this is a great deal if there's new blood, if the pie is growing. For example, I'm quite grateful for games like Flash Point: Fire Rescue and Miskatonic School for Girls that started as Kickstater projects. They might not have happened otherwise. However, for established publishers, the Netflix model would be devastating to brick and mortar stores, which is why the success of Reaper is a wake up call.

I don't think the increase in new blood is likely to offset losses from established publishers. If you took away opening day and the first month of sales from most movie theaters, you would be left with a much smaller subset of theaters that have this as their business model (by at least half in the movie theater trade).

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