So unless you’re living under the proverbial rock, you’ve probably noticed how out of control shipping costs have gotten lately. In the past week, several hobby channels have covered the topic, tackling it from all angles. Quackalope did a video on why you should plan on every Kickstarter being late because of the issues currently surrounding the global supply chain. But i think the one question that needs more attention is this one.
What, if any, impact will all this have on you the consumer?
And I think the short answer is…it depends.
For fear of being labeled non-committal with my answer, let me elaborate. If you’re a big crowd funding consumer, then yes, you can very well expect to see a delay in campaign estimates and when they will reach your front door. And not only that, but game publishers have only a few options on how to handle the rising costs we’re seeing. If they’re big enough, they could possibly eat those costs themselves (at a loss to them), or they can pass them on to you, the consumer.
We’re already seeing the latter. And not just the shipping costs themselves, but production costs might soon see a trickle effect, making its way to that side of the manufacturing process as well. Which would mean higher overall costs. From the business side, I think smaller publishers and retailers are going to get squeezed the most from this. Their margins are already razer thin, and this will only decrease that margin further.
But back to you the consumer (because it’s always about you isn’t it?)
I’ve got several crowdfunded titles in the queue, with an expected delivery date in 2022. But at this point, we might see some if not most of those push into 2023? So I’m taking the stance that I’m going to be patient, understanding that pretty much all of this is out of everyone’s control. Global pandemic was on no one’s Bingo card. And for that reason, I’ve put those mentally up on the shelf for the time being. When they get here, they get here. I’m not going to worry about it otherwise. And I would recommend you do the same.
Now as far as any future crowd funded titles, that’s where the real question marks come into play. If you’re looking at backing moving forward, I would do so with the caveat of understanding that it might be quite a bit longer on getting product. Having a handle on how long this current state of supply chain woes will last is anyone’s guess. So plan accordingly.
All that said, I still have a good number of titles in my library that need some table love. So maybe this is a good time to look inward for my hobby fix. Even as much of a collector that I am, moderation is always a good thing. And I could always use some when it comes to the FOMO of crowd funded world. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to stop backing campaigns. Far from it. As always, you do you.
But maybe this is a good opportunity to tap the brakes just a bit?
Ultimately, how you choose to navigate all this is entirely up to you. I would just recommend caution and being informed as you can when doing so. I think eventually we’ll see this ship right itself (dad pun alert) and thing will settle back down. But until then, make sure as a consumer, you’re making the wisest choice when it comes to your purchases.
As always, leave a comment with your thoughts. Until next time, LLAP!