Lessons Learned #3 : Why Do Board Games Cost So Much?

Quite simply, the short answer to this common question, “Why Are Board Games So Expensive?” is because it costs lots of money to make them!

Just like most things in life, right? Nothing is free! But considering the amount of time, money, and people needed to design and develop each game, produce the artwork and play-test it, not even counting the marketing and physical manufacturing of the game, the price tag of the game rises quickly.

First, there is the actual development of the game. Here, finances are needed for designers and artists. Next, there is the publisher, distributor, retailer, and possibly even a fulfillment company, artist, or other miscellaneous entities that need to pay employees. Everyone gets a piece of the pie.

From this, the MSRP or manufacture’s suggested retail price is established, which is the actual price to purchase the game. This can be approximately 5 times higher than the manufacturing cost for the game. Why? Well, this is best understood through an example: the price of a game may be $10 to the publisher, who then sells it to the distributor for $20, who in turn sells the game to the retailer for $30, who sells it to YOU for $50!  Of course, any of these parties may take a higher or lower percentage of the profit depending on various considerations such as needs, deals, or bulk rate.

Something called “group rate” or “bulk production rate” is one way to decrease game costs. Another way to keep game prices low is to skip one of those steps in the above theorized example. For instance, buying directly from the distributor versus the retailer can save a lot! Also, there are print-to-play versions of games that can save money, yet some desire the real thing.

As a small family business, we want to communicate this information to you, the consumer, so that you would be aware of and understand why games costs so much. Yet as consumers and gamers ourselves, we are sensitive to keep the costs of our games as low as possible. However, if we give discounts and lean too much on the side of charity for our products, then we risk not being even able to continue producing games. On the other hand, if our game prices are so exorbitant so that our game production is quicker, then we will have slim sales. There is always a struggle for balance.

Overall, the goal of our company, and as family members, friends, and gamers, is to make games as economical as possible so that the most people can enjoy and play.

Thank You!

-Legends of Ravenhall

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