file Cost for printing cards (PoD/LCG/...)

21 Nov 2012 14:27 #41335 by extrala
Since the VEKN survey thread is a bit derailing towards the cost for print of demand cards, I have opened up this thread and done some research on cost and sale prices (huge difference!)

== Regular Trading Card Game ==
VTES Booster -- 11 Cards -- $2.99 -- 27.18 cent per card
MTG Booster -- 2013 Core Set Booster -- 15 cards -- $3.99 -- 26.6 cent per card

== Living Card Game ==
Fantasy Flight Games (Living Card Game) -- store.fantasyflightgames.com/showproducts.cfm?FullCat=107
* (Example) AGOT LCG: Calling the Banners Chapter Pack -- 40 cards -- $9.95 -- 24.875 cent per card
* (Example) AGOT LCG: Called by the Conclave -- 60 cards -- $14.95 -- 24.5 cent per card

Fantasy Flight Games ("Print On Demand") -- store.fantasyflightgames.com/showproducts.cfm?FullCat=274
* (Example) Warhammer FRPG: Dreadfleet Captains POD -- 40 cards -- $9.95 -- 24.875 cent per card

== Print on Demand Shops ==
Guild of Blades -- www.guildofblades.com/podcards-pricing.php
* Base pricing is 7.5 cent per card, but it is important to remember that actual pricing is per set of 9.

Game Crafter -- www.thegamecrafter.com/
* 100 cards -- 0.936 cent per card

Superior POD -- www.superiorpod.com/product/poker-size-custom-card-decks
* 90 card deck -- $7.55 -- 8.72 cent per card

More links on game & card manufacturers: www.silcom.com/~tomjolly/design2.htm


As a footnote: Card sizes can be problematic for PoD since they are somewhat different different:
* Poker sized playing card is 2.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall (64 × 89 mm)
* Bridge sized playing card is 2.25 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall (57 x 89 mm)
* MtG/VtES sized card is 2 15/32 inches wide by 3 7/16 tall inches tall (63 x 88 mm)


For the me the goal of a print-of-demand program is to provide new players with cards/decks. When you compare costs for a 90 card deck you come up with this:
90 cards
10 Cent -- $9,00
15 Cent -- $13,50
20 Cent -- $18,00
25 Cent -- $22,50
30 Cent -- $27,00
40 Cent -- $36,00

And I think, 20-25 cents per card is the absolute max. a new player will want to spent.
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21 Nov 2012 15:13 - 21 Nov 2012 16:12 #41336 by Boris The Blade

extrala wrote: Fantasy Flight Games ("Print On Demand") -- store.fantasyflightgames.com/showproducts.cfm?FullCat=274
* (Example) Warhammer FRPG: Dreadfleet Captains POD -- 40 cards -- $9.95 -- 24.875 cent per card

It seems that it is not PoD as we understand it here: you still cannot choose what is in your pack. It is more like thematic boosters, something that could be done for VTES too.
Last edit: 21 Nov 2012 16:12 by Boris The Blade.

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21 Nov 2012 16:07 #41338 by extrala
The term Print-on-Demand is interpreted/applied really differently by the various companies. In this case, FFG just produces these fixed sets apparently only on demand, whereas with the LCQ they produce a fixed number of (also fixed) sets before they start selling it.

Also most of the manufacturing companies only offer to produce one to many copies of a fixed sets, a few offer a randomization of sets.

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21 Nov 2012 16:31 #41339 by johannes
So you think players would want to spend LESS per card even if they can chose exactly what they get? Makes no sense to me. How do you come up with 20-25 cents?

Also print cost is interesting but only partially relevant since it doesn't figure cost for operating a website,
Licensing, development, artwork, product management, free prize support etc.. But it serves as a good indication that 20 cents is totally unrealistic when the printing costs already half of it.

Also do the POD costs use blackout card stock? If not totally unusable for VTES (too transparent). This adds several cents per card!
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21 Nov 2012 16:47 #41340 by brandonsantacruz
I'm sure there are several factors that can affect the cost of printing cards.

Any time people can order ala carte, the cost is going to be significantly more than some fixed set xX copies of that set. If we're talking about just printing the new cards that come out, you'll be missing your Villeins, Giant's Blood, Parity Shift, etc. Will it really make sense at that point to order ala carte with a 40 card set? If there aren't booster packs, packaging costs should go down. I don't think that many people will want to pay something comparable to retail price when there is no retail store, plus shipping.

What are we talking about anyway, printing any card or just new ones?

Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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21 Nov 2012 17:08 - 21 Nov 2012 21:21 #41341 by Izaak

So you think players would want to spend LESS per card even if they can chose exactly what they get? Makes no sense to me. How do you come up with 20-25 cents?


That's not at all what Ralf's saying. He's saying that if you put the model to work to get players with little cards or returning players that quit in 2000 with a bunch of cards, 25 cent per card would translate into 22.50 for a deck.

And that's where you need to determine what you're trying to do. From my perspective you basically have 3 options:

1) Provide (disgruntled) existing players with 5 Enkil Cogs and 20 Ashur Tablets each and turn the game into what's basically a complicated, hard to get a group for, not mainstream, unsupported Magic. If I were in your shoes, I'd not opt for this, as then you will basically lose half your already dwindling playerbase in exchange for really nothing as well as kill off the secondary market. I understand you have your own business and therefore you are obviously aware that if your product is worthless, then so is your entire business.

2) Provide existing players with actual paper cards of the to be released new set. In this scenario, a costs of 30-35 cents per card seems reasonable. Given a set of 30 cards, most of which you need 5-10 of, you'd be looking at an investment of a little under $100. Entirely reasonable. If I were in your shoes, I'd try and make this work as that is the thing that will keep tournaments alive the longest, especially if new cards manage to spawn new archtypes or end up being able to mess with existing ones in the long haul.

3) Provide a way for new players to get tons of staples. In this scenario, more than 25 cents per card is simply too much. Think about it - how many cards do you need to get started? I'd have a hard time convincing someone to start an obscure, fan-driven game if they'd need to spend $100 upfront. There's a reason starters were $10,-
Last edit: 21 Nov 2012 21:21 by Izaak.
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