One benefit of publishing games for over four decades is that we have access to a lot of manufacturing, shipping, and sales information. When we set out to reprint the Cthulhu Dice game, the costs felt extreme relative to my memory of what the game should cost to manufacture. Based on the expenses – both a dramatic increase in manufacturing and the excessive shipping costs – we were forced to push the game's MSRP to $9.95. Higher than we would have liked, but it was either that or not reprint the game.
As curiosity took hold, I checked the costs of the 2010 printing of the Cthulhu Dice game. Oh, how I miss those days.
Today's Cthulhu Dice reprint cost us almost three times as much to manufacture as the 2010 edition of the game. We limited the impact on the MSRP to double the 2010 price, but unless something changes dramatically in terms of manufacturing and freight, this may be the last printing of the game.
Until the public's perception of game price vs. value changes in some substantial way, and as long as costs keep climbing, we may see a market shift away from low-price, impulse-buy filler games, at least for the indie and small publishers who don't have the advantages of scale that the bigger game and toy makers enjoy. It is times like this that I do miss the years when costs were not spiraling out of control.
-- Phil Reed