Let’s say you’re making a board game. Kickstarter’s an awesome place to get published.
The publishing model is great for crowdfunding, and Kickstarter got first mover’s advantage.
But – and I say this as a serial Kickstarter backer myself – the platform’s not really built with board games in mind. It was built in 2009 before the big board game boom.
So what if you want to launch somewhere that’s built by gamers, for gamers? That’s where Gamefound comes in.
That’s why I’ve brought on Alex Radcliffe, the Chief Marketing Officer at Gamefound, a company that specializes in crowdfunding for board games.
This transcript was generated with AI and may contain occasional minor errors.
Brandon Rollins: Let’s say you’re making a board game. Kickstarter is an awesome place to get published. The publishing model is just a great fit for crowdfunding and Kickstarter. Of course, first mover advantage on actually making crowdfunding a popular thing that people do. But and I say this as a serial Kickstarter backer myself, the platforms aren’t really built with board games in mind.
Brandon Rollins: It was built back in oh nine before the Big Board game boom. So if you want to launch somewhere that’s built by gamers for gamers, well, that’s where gaming comes in. That’s why I brought on Alex Ratcliffe, the chief marketing officer at Game Phone, which is a company that specializes in crowdfunding for board games. We’re going to cut right to the interview in just a minute.
Brandon Rollins: But real quick. My name is Brandon. This video is brought to you by Fulfill, Right? We ship orders for crowdfunding campaign, so if you want more details, click on the link below. Quotes are always free. Now one last quick note we edited with a light touch on this interview because we want to keep it simple and a bit low.
Brandon Rollins: Find nice and honest. Just like two professionals on a Zoom call. So with that in mind, let’s cut to the interview. So thank you very much for joining me, Alex. I really appreciate it.
Alex Radcliffe: Absolutely. Thanks for having me on.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So my very first question I wanted to ask you, how exactly did game time get started?
Alex Radcliffe: So I have the game plan history. I don’t actually have all the dates, but game found Game font started with from where Week and Realms effectively awaken Realms, as you know, large board game manufacturer. They had a lot of board games and they created their own in-house solution. I want to say maybe 2014, 2015, but they create their own in-house solution to manage all the things that Kickstarter didn’t effectively, that they had all this extra level of prep that had to be done past the campaign itself.
Alex Radcliffe: And so they brought their own in-house tool to the surface to be able to do that. Then I don’t know exactly when it happened, but they started having friends within the industry who were like, Hey, we’d love to use your tool. And they were like, We we can have a conversation with them. And so they started sharing it with friends informally.
Alex Radcliffe: And then at some point again, I want to say I think 2016, maybe 2017, they actually branched out into the saying, you know what, we’re not going to be sharing this with like in friends, the industry, We’re going to create a full fledged manager system so that others can actually benefit from this infrastructure, from this software, from there.
Alex Radcliffe: They did that successfully for several years, getting to 100,000 backers in 2019, I want to say. And then in 2020, I believe again, my data not perfect on this, but they eventually said, you know what? We sat here and we built this platform to be a solution for the things that typical crowdfunding doesn’t do. But why do we just have to be that we can be the entire package from start to finish.
Alex Radcliffe: We can be not just a pledge manager to help people run all the things out of the campaign. We can be the entire ecosystem as opposed to forcing people to use separate tools to get the job done. As they jumped into crafting with a bang, they had hundreds of thousands of users. I think if I recall correctly, they had around 150,000 active users at that time.
Alex Radcliffe: They’ve recently crossed a million users on the platform. Now, like with the timing issue, crowdfunding full for full, fully all all ships ahead or whatever it is. All I feel is an expression not using all steam’s. I don’t know, there’s some attraction, but they jumped into it fully and they they’ve been actively and successfully crowdfunding campaigns for the past several years now, continuing to take a larger and larger chunk out of the market every year.
Alex Radcliffe: They grew 70% from 2020 to 2021, and 2023 is likely even higher than that. We’re hitting a lot of milestones, having a lot of big projects, but effectively it started as a passion project for realms. It’s split off and it’s worth noting at this point as well that the the ownership is completely separate. They have the ownership. They have shared ownership stake in realms, but completely separate companies outside of that.
Alex Radcliffe: A completely separate employees. They communicate, obviously, but it’s at this point when they branched off into doing their own pledge manager, they recognize even then the potential issues and they can start a completely separate company with completely separate people running that company.
Brandon Rollins: That makes a lot of sense. And I think there’s a couple of things that are really interesting about this. First being like I’m hearing of more and more companies that are starting with kind of soft launches by creating in-house the thing that they always which existed like period, they create their own software because it’s like the best possible option they’ve got and then they show it to some friends and then they show it to some friends of friends or maybe a handful of people in the industry.
Brandon Rollins: You just sort of heard about it. And then after that they go for a soft launch and then they go public. I think that’s interesting because I don’t even know that that was a thing like ten years ago. It just seems to be something people are doing more and more of these days and it’s like it’s cool. The game time is just another instance of that kind of slow, gradual slide into a bigger business model.
Alex Radcliffe: Yeah, I’m a customized after degree and like I’ve gone through that. I’ve worked with companies that do Code IV code in the past and like I built an entire bartering system that my partner wanted to like franchise and sell outside to other people. And it’s always a delicate balance when you where do you have enough of a framework that it could be useful to others versus when are you custom coding solutions that are just for you and it won’t be perfect.
Alex Radcliffe: Everyone else?
Brandon Rollins: Mm hmm. Yeah, there’s probably an XKCD comic strip down there that shows like this on a graph or something like that to Yeah, I think another really interesting thing and we’re going to obviously cover this in depth, but I’m just going to put some context out there for somebody who just finds us on YouTube and is like kicking around the possibility of crowdfunding for the very first time.
Brandon Rollins: The status quo, which is only really starting to change very recently, is like you crowd fund and then you you basically have to have another form of software to help you handle the pledges after the fact. Like you can use Kickstarter survey tools to collect addresses and that kind of thing, but it doesn’t work very well. You can’t cross.
Brandon Rollins: So if people try and change their addresses, that’s a mess. It’s got to be handled by like direct messages. And there has been for years this kind of third party software that handles that backer kit, proud of that sort of thing. Game time does that all in one. Basically, it’s like you have your crowdfunding and you have your pledge manager and you just roll from one to the other.
Brandon Rollins: I just thought that would be some useful context to throw out there for some folks who might have just stumbled across this, which almost enters my second question a little bit, but also still plenty. Anyway, which is what’s has game found apart from other crowdfunding platforms.
Alex Radcliffe: So game found, game found. I mean, the most biggest thing is going to be that ultimately, like you said already, there’s there’s tools, variety of tools out there that will help you run your campaign post crowdfunding. The biggest thing that will start game kind of argument is that we do crowdfunding and we do play strategy. We are an entire all in one solution.
Alex Radcliffe: We handle your marketing, we handle your crowdfunding, we handle your late pledge, and there’s even future plans as well to add even more to the long tail end of of of just full e-commerce, of being able to complete handle everything for you from start to finish. And so that’s before we get into the features, there are a bunch of features as well that are just features we don’t see on other platforms.
Alex Radcliffe: I, I would argue that game found is the cutting edge of development in the space right now that I think that there are other platforms Kickstarter back yet they are adding things but I think at this point if you just follow the if you follow what’s out there, it looks like game form for the most part. And obviously I am biased, I work for game hunting center account.
Alex Radcliffe: But if you look at the objective data, the game found is consistently adding features every single week, and those features sometimes are being mimic or copy where they can be and other times the behind being added in 2023 was Stretch Me the idea of having installment payments or crafting, which is a natural fit for crowdfunding. And it’s been a huge, huge early adopter by the community and it’s one of the things you want to be responsible back, only what you can afford.
Alex Radcliffe: But it is one of those things that has been a good tool for creators and backers alike. We have the most payment methods from any of the platforms. It’s a PayPal which I don’t believe any other platform takes profile yet, but we take PayPal as part of crowdfunding. Yeah, we just recently out of that’s been a large uphill battle to get.
Alex Radcliffe: That is not the nature of PayPal within the crowdfunding ecosystem is very unique and very different. PayPal often has very strict terms around crowdfunding, but we’ve actually been able to utilize and incorporate that into the system, and that’s an instant requested by the community for four years from the systems, from the various ecosystems out there. And that’s pointing out two of dozens and dozens of features that I think do make game found stand out from the crowd.
Alex Radcliffe: Again, we are an all in one solution. We cover you from start to finish, but past that generic aspect of things, which is far from generic, we have a ton of features, a ton of things that I think making found. I mean, one of the things that will set us apart to a degree again back at recently started doing it, but I think back it might be only one is even within the crowd, even within the pledge manager aspect of things.
Alex Radcliffe: Place managers for the most part don’t usually let you browse them to see what’s out there usually have to be coming at them with a link game account. Treat it like a store. We treat it like, Hey, by the way, a bunch of pledges over here. You want to come to the platform and see what you may have missed?
Alex Radcliffe: We don’t. She does like we don’t do counseling as an ecosystem that exists for two and a half weeks that’s done. We treat like a complete long tail. It’s there, it’s available, it’s part of the process. And so you can find things without having to, like, hunt down a link for something else. You can look and browse active open pledges on the platform.
Alex Radcliffe: Again, so many, so many ways against this, but there’s just a handful of key features.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. And can people like launch on Kickstarter and then use game founders and pledge manager.
Alex Radcliffe: 100%? Yeah, we, we and just to be very clear on the answer, you can launch on Kickstarter and then use game plan as a pledge manager. We don’t let you launch on Kickstarter and then launch the same thing on game found as crowdfunding. We do want what you think the table to be unique to what extent you can come back a year and a half later with a reprint and expansion and all that stuff, but we don’t.
Alex Radcliffe: We had some people who want to run a campaign on multiple platforms. We currently don’t let that happen. The long consequence to why and how we just don’t think the ecosystem. We think we think the way crowdfunding operates. Focus is best for right now. It’s obviously like any like any policies. Obviously they will monitor and keep in touch with.
Alex Radcliffe: But as far as a place manager, you can launch on any platform you want on the market, on Kickstarter and on Game Bound and then use game found for the pledge manager.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, no scheme can still 100% for games.
Alex Radcliffe: No, I’m going say no to board games, although the question of what you count as board games. So again, for our current reasons.
Brandon Rollins: Like board games and accessories and stuff that are related to the industry, there we go, like tables. Like what you got in the background is exactly.
Alex Radcliffe: It has tables, it has accessories, it has RPGs, it has board games. We don’t I don’t think we’ve done comics yet, but we are I think we are in talks to do comics around board games. I think so. Like it is very focused on the tabletop industry. We are open to expanding it to a degree, but we are.
Alex Radcliffe: We are very much a focus platform. We’re not looking to just do generic crowdfunding and even within I would say our focus is likely geek focused more. I say that’s more of a focus and board game focus. So like, you know, geek, the geek category tabletops that not videogames will get to a second, but anything that might be in generically in that umbrella, something we’re open to.
Alex Radcliffe: Like we’ve talked with creators about doing cosplay content, for example. That’s something we would consider doing, but we’ve done escape room things. That’s kind of a game. Video game is something that we’re very, very cautious about because of the high failure rate on. We want crowdfunding to be a safe place. We want it to be as safe as possible.
Alex Radcliffe: We can’t control everything. Ultimately, the creator is who has the obligation to you, but we want to cultivate an atmosphere and an environment that has a high degree of return. We don’t want it to feel like you’re gambling your money away. We want it to feel like you’re actually paying into it, supporting a project to bring it to life, but getting what you were promised to.
Alex Radcliffe: And unfortunately video games just have a very high failure rate on them. And so we don’t we are very mindful about whether video games is or isn’t a good avenue to dive into. It may happen one day, but we are taking it very seriously and right now we’re not doing it. Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. And then that makes sense. Let me think. So what are some of the big, big projects that have launch on getting found through this?
Alex Radcliffe: So many to go through. But I’ll just I’ll, I’ll hit on a few. I mean, the biggest one this past year was the Elder Scrolls from a chapter of games that, you know, I think it hit was a 4.7 million. Five was a million did very high. I don’t know exactly where it went to, but it was one of the higher prices we’ve had in the platform ever in general.
Alex Radcliffe: You know, we’ve had we had Andromeda’s Edge did fairly well. We had, you know, kind of unknown. Did great. We had Scarface 1920. There are so many projects that have crossed that million mark and then some on the platform both this year, previous years we had we obtained two Grail Kings of Moon on the platform. We recently had Stalker Stalker from Waiting realms that did around 3 million.
Alex Radcliffe: And Dragon Eclipse right now as we speak, is trending towards that 3 million mark as well. So it’s been a lot of Firefly. Firefly was a very much a surprise hit. I think that was one that I do a lot of the internal projections of the company. And so I know I have a good sense of where Project Will head will end up just for my my time in crowdfunding.
Alex Radcliffe: I’ve spent a long enough year that I have a good sense where project lined up, regardless of what the ecosystem is on platform was on. But I would say that Firefly is definitely one that surprised me, that wanted significant about an unexpected crossing $2 million. And so there’s been a lot of smash, smash, just like smash successes, Smash hits on the platform this year, last year, hopefully next year as well.
Alex Radcliffe: But it’s been it’s been very fun to watch the platform grow.
Brandon Rollins: If for you, are you talking that to the early 2000 TV show they’re looking for a second season. You know, that’s what they’re doing. They’re going they’re going for the second season.
Alex Radcliffe: They had a collector’s edition board game from it’s a ten year, it’s a 10th anniversary edition of the board game. And they brought it to the platform and did very, very well.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, that I mean, that’s a three million’s a little surprising on an old franchise. On a franchise about two decades old. But now anyway, yeah, that’s a that’s a ridiculous amount of stuff that’s raising in the multi-millions now. Probably sounds like a did you guys notice a big boom during like pandemic days back when that was really getting started up?
Alex Radcliffe: It’s hard to say because crowdfunding in general definitely saw, but it was actually surprising some of the things that wasn’t necessarily expected. But crowdfunding in general saw a bit of a boom and it’s gone a bit down since then. The tricky part to gage with game found is as a as a still newer platform, it’s always hard to to see exactly what effects things, meaning Kickstarter has a long enough track record that you can just say, Oh, look at the new thing that happened and how it impacted things.
Alex Radcliffe: This is Game Found has been growing consistently started. So did we see a boom? Yes, but we’ve been seeing growth nonstop since we started. So how much of that is pandemic? How much of that is, you know, the general fact that we are still I mean, only two or three years old at this point. And at this point, like we’re out of the exact sense of the market share.
Alex Radcliffe: We have available job gains, but we have a very satisfying percentage from from where we are. But again, it’s very hard to it’s very hard to say what was affected by what I would say. The pandemic had an effect only because I know it had an effect on crowdfunding in general.
Brandon Rollins: But it’s just unknowable how much are normal.
Alex Radcliffe: And then there’s a tailwind curve. Does it, Helen curve that as well. The issues that never caused the increased freight, the the additional shipping charges, they’re they’re rolling rolling delays and asks asking backers for more money had a additional effect on the tail end that brought things down. There’s less confidence in crowdfunding is one of the reasons we introduced the stable pledge on game found it a commitment from the creator that prices won’t change by more than 10% or you get a refund.
Alex Radcliffe: And it’s an option program. But it gives us an additional confidence that the creator can’t just change things without offering the refund on the table. And that was partly in response to this. The the uncertainties we were seeing in crowdfunding because of the pandemic.
Brandon Rollins: It makes a lot of sense. So I guess kind of in a different direction. So our question here, what kind of pros and cons you see for first time creators who are thinking of using game found.
Alex Radcliffe: First time creators are a tricky, tricky conversation and pros and cons are the key word there, because I’m a big fan of being transparent with the strengths, but also the areas where game found is a little weaker. And for first line creators, that’s going to be the biggest area where we are potentially weaker. There’s still many reasons to engage in the platform, but I’d also be very mindful meaning effectively Game Fan comes in with, I believe and again our four game plan, take that into account throughout this entire conversation.
Alex Radcliffe: But I believe Game Plan has the best suite of tools compared to any platform out there, just period. And I will die on that hill. I will fight you on it. I’ll go through it, I think is the best platform. But what it doesn’t have is it doesn’t have the longevity and therefore the user base of Kickstarter. Kickstarter has more active users.
Alex Radcliffe: We’re growing quickly. We just crossed a million active users. We have around 2 million have 2 million unique visitors every single month. So we are a very large platform, but we still don’t compare to the scope and scale of Kickstarter. And that means Kickstarter tends to have more drive by traffic versus I think, gain function versus at a higher rate, which is basically short for if you are able to drive an audience to games.
Alex Radcliffe: On if you able to bring an audience because maybe you have a large IP, maybe you already launched, maybe already did seven other projects and you have an audience already box or games, whatever the reason is, maybe your advertising is creating a large advertising budget. You’re able to ratable there. If you have enough of a reason why people are checking out your project, I believe Game fan will convert at a higher rate than Kickstarter.
Alex Radcliffe: But the flip side of that is if you don’t have those things, if you are a smaller creative something for the first time and you’re hoping for more than drive by traffic, you might have a better time on Kickstarter initially just because of that larger user base. If you don’t have the tools to drive the audience yourself and so that’s always a tricky conversation where with first time creators, I like to have more nuanced conversations about what their plans are.
Alex Radcliffe: Sure, you’re a first time creator, but what is the draw of your project is to drive your project you’re working with? A large IP still may well be a great fit for game found, and a big part of it as well is, especially with the growth of the industry and the way things are shifting Game around is capturing a larger segment of the market every single year.
Alex Radcliffe: So you want to look at the strengths of launching and getting found is you’re launching on the platform that I do believe. I believe that the vast majority of tabletop crafting will be on game found over the next five years. I think we’ve done a credible job growing where we are and things only continue to grow and we are continuously putting time, effort and energy into a dedicated sector.
Alex Radcliffe: We are dedicated towards the needs of tabletop crafting that is our entire audience. And so we’re able to focus on that. And so I think that every time you launch a project, you are building an audience on that platform. I think jumping in on game found now as it continues to grow, as it continues to be the default place means you don’t have to wrestle with a decision through years now about whether to move or not.
Alex Radcliffe: You started there and you’re growing there. But again, I think there are mindfulness aspects. I always want to be very clear with the creator when it when I’m confident that game found the right choice, which does happen when I am confident Game Hunt’s the wrong choice, which also happens. And then when I’m just unsure and frankly, it’s your risk to take like we’d love to have on the platform, but I don’t want to.
Alex Radcliffe: I never want to sell someone on a solution that they don’t need.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, absolutely. Ideally, we try and take the same approach here. It’s like if you if you go signing a big deal with somebody and it’s not actually going to work and it doesn’t like every everybody ends up losing as a result of it. So it’s better to kind of act as like a matchmaker. I think the one interesting thing about crowdfunding, it’s like you you do make an interesting point that is easier to get discovered organically on Kickstarter.
Brandon Rollins: Now that might very well change as more and more people start to just check game found for like board game specific news that I think that is already happening to some extent already. And like the calculus could be totally different for a first time or three or four years from now.
Alex Radcliffe: Yeah, very much. I think I think it is. I think we’re talking three or four years from now. I think it’ll generally be the right choice. I mean, it’s not impossible to predict the future, but I we are just growing in a large space and it’s becoming a big part of it is where do people go to find the board games, if you will?
Alex Radcliffe: Naturally I commit to game found. Is that where they understand where it is or are they still just Kickstarter users first and foremost? And again, that conversation is going to change every single year. Consistently. For right now, I just want to be equally mindful of our strengths as I am of our weaknesses.
Brandon Rollins: And that my With that in mind, how do the fees for games on compare to costs on other platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo?
Alex Radcliffe: So I don’t have the fees and structures for everything offhand, but I will say that we have the same rates as Kickstarter. So, you know, 5% of what you raise on the platform is crowdfunding then, plus of course, payment processing fees, which I believe are about par. And then and then so this is what passes a crowdfunding, which compared to game found compared to Kickstarter, we are at the same general area.
Alex Radcliffe: And then there’s the pledge manager, which I think I mean, coach manages 5% across the board, but it’s only on what you raise through the platform. And that’s what’s trickier to compare. Like so for example, this is in fact as one example, backer charges a larger percentage, but they also charge on everything you brought in from Kickstarter as well.
Alex Radcliffe: So they’re charging on the initial raise. And so usually and we usually we usually tell creators, okay, we’ll work with you on whatever, but I believe usually our fees are once you do the full math and our fees are equitable or less than that, yet we try not to be more. Every platform can have its own fees and there’s like seven of the pledge managers and whatnot.
Alex Radcliffe: So it’s hard to compare against all of them. But our goal is to be our goal is always to be competitive, you know, to to be offering, you know, someone else is charging much less. We want it to be very clear that bringing much less to the table, we don’t want to be perceived as the expense of crowdfunding platform.
Alex Radcliffe: We want to be either reasonably priced or cheaper.
Brandon Rollins: MM Yeah, I think that makes sense to me. And I also think it’s worthwhile to remind people if you’ve like, if you’ve never done a crowdfunding campaign before, there is a 3% plus whatever amount per pledge that is charged by credit card companies and they are set by credit card companies. And that’s not something like even though the payment looks like it’s going to kickstart, looks like it’s going to gain pound, it’s actually going to Visa, MasterCard, American Express, all these other folks that like actually set that charge limit.
Alex Radcliffe: Perceptually, I see a lot of people who think that Kickstarter charges 10%, and that’s because they’re getting charged around 8%, 5% for the platform and 3% from the fees. So like, it looks like, oh, yeah, Kickstarter takes 10%. No, it takes 8% and only 5%. Really?
Brandon Rollins: Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s about right. It’s like if there’s something weird, it’s like $0.29 plus 2.9% of a credit card or something. It’s like, depending on the price of your product, they can look like Kickstarter is taking nine and a half percent. Sometimes it can just look like a smidge over 8%. That’s it’s weird because like when you go, look this stuff up online, people are like 10%.
Brandon Rollins: It’s not the right answer. Yeah. Anyway, so what additional support for resources this game can offer to help creators succeed, particularly when it comes to like marketing.
Alex Radcliffe: So marketing is going to be a big one often, but I’d say in general we have we have dedicated people available to help. Any time you’re always talking to a live person, we have a support team, you know that it’s you usually have a direct rep depending on your campaign or you have a team you can reach out to.
Alex Radcliffe: In marketing, we have an entire marketing team that you can choose to utilize or not at your discretion, whatever you, whatever you prefer, whatever your preference is. But we’re there to help you run your ads and manage your ad spend and basically take the expertise we’ve developed across running. You know, dozens of million dollar campaigns and applying that towards the success of your campaign.
Alex Radcliffe: If you have your own personal marketing team that works for you that you’ve enjoyed using and you like, great, you can use them to you can work in tandem with a marketing team without a marketing team or exclusive to the marketing team. Our goal is to be a resource to you at all times. We are. We are very motivated by the success of the product on the platform.
Alex Radcliffe: Our interests inherently align with those of our creators. I mean, if we’re trying to grow our crowdfunding space, it’s in our best interest as all of our projects do incredibly well. And so we definitely chase that incredibly well as much as we possibly can.
Brandon Rollins: Aside from that, can you also talk a little bit more about the pledge manager? What kind of features does it have?
Alex Radcliffe: So the pledge manager is interesting because it’s a fascinating evolution because at one point it’s our bread and butter, but then at one point and the pledge manager for the longest time was free, we offered as a free service. The tricky part is once we pivoted to adding crowd funding, coffee was a paid service. We started putting all our time, effort and attention into crowdfunding because that’s what was paying for the employees effectively was this.
Alex Radcliffe: The pledge manager started to get left by the side is the wrong terminology, but it was less prioritized. And so eventually we decided that the part of the solution to that was we made the place manager have fees built in as well. And then we put our time after an attention to continuously making sure that there’s more service, more attention, you know, more service, more absence, more features there.
Alex Radcliffe: But as far as the pledge manager, the first the most basic thing is going to have is going to have I mean, I mean, this is like there’s so many things to get into. I’m going to focus on certain ones, but it’s going to manage manage your budget. So you got be able to input all your pledges, track everything they’re run everything, they’re insurable, getting what they need, pricing out, shipping, using our shipping calculators and different ways to be able to manage that shipping process to ensure that people are paying for their add ons.
Alex Radcliffe: A big part of it in place management in general is the use of having add ons. You may have have new things in the new place. Levels are new add ons that weren’t even there in your company campaign, and that’s all going to be built in there, of course, of using us as a crafting service. Porting it over is going to be significantly easier and less work than Kickstarter, but the way we can manage that for you, we recently added some other features that are been so highly sought after in crowdfunding to the pledge manager.
Alex Radcliffe: So if you want to pay in PayPal the payback check, if after paying in the paper on the pledge manager is there yet, I know we’re looking at I don’t know if it was added yet, but stretch pay was out as well. A ton of payment features. We have a lot of localization and payment features. I think we have the platform with the most payment features out there.
Alex Radcliffe: One thing that people don’t often realize is there’s a lot of countries that credit card is not the default way of having, and we’ve really added a lot of local payments across the world. And it might be 1% of your backers and 1% of your backers, but you do that three or four times and you have an additional 4% of reach for your crowdfunding that you didn’t have in another platform.
Alex Radcliffe: And we’ve had a ton of those, a ton of local payment methods that are very specific, but have communities, have audiences that are backing and are using these payment features. We have Apple Pay, we have Google Pay, We have a lot of a lot of ways to try to lower the barrier to entry as much as possible. Plus, of course, there’s I mean, it’s a ton of things is once you use our pledge manager if used for crowdfunding as well, you’ll you’ll be all your people all your backers who use this even pledge manager will be notified when you start new campaigns.
Alex Radcliffe: There’s a lot of that as well is there’s a lot of a lot of things going on to help you making managing your project better. We have a analytics dashboard set up so you can just track what’s going on, both doing crowdfunding and Pledge Manager. Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Plus all the additional benefits that just come with pledge managers in general. Easy surveys, of course, the ability to cross-sell on upsell, like all that stuff. That doesn’t really work well with crowdfunding, but those like really useful for that transition into e-commerce and perhaps even retail distribution after the fact. So with that in mind, what comes next for Game Pound.
Alex Radcliffe: Next the game found so so we haven’t heavily gotten into this, but we have we are constantly improving everything we do. We’re constantly improving our pledge manager, our constant improving crowdfunding or improving our marketing. If we do something, we want to be the best at it in general. But we’re also looking past that. We’re looking into what the ecosystem is and we think the next pivot for the forecasting in general is treating it like an ongoing e-commerce store.
Alex Radcliffe: To a degree, this has been in game pounds submissions since the very beginning, since when they started crowdfunding, but almost treating it like a essential hub, like a steam database or like like a steam store or epic games store. But it’s more than just crowdfunding, but also e-commerce in general. And so we are looking into that as a continued, you know, next step of the platform, like, hey, you know, he sat there and you have your campaign and you have all that audio of your campaign that was on crowdfunding did incredibly well.
Alex Radcliffe: Then you had eight months of the pledge manager, then you finally shipped Why waste all that? So why waste all that presence? Why not also continue to sell that game on the store as an e-commerce platform? And so we’re looking at that next evolution of crowdfunding, of having a having a hub, a hub for board games that is a central place, not that dissimilar from a board game store except us, the creator responsible.
Alex Radcliffe: We’re not selling and buying your products and selling that external retailer. We’re giving you an opportunity to connect with people continuously and not just doing a certain phase of your product lifecycle.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, that that makes a lot of sense. I mean, people already kind of treat crowdfunding like a store in a way anyway, especially in board games because it’s like kind of a de-facto publisher is not quite the right word, but it’s like it’s taking the place of a lot of traditional publishing functions in some ways. So it’s interesting that nobody is actually trying to marry that with the actual distribution and e-commerce arm of it.
Brandon Rollins: It’s like you set up ecommerce and then like the literal only thing left is like order fulfillment. You like have got the entire process start to finish figured out pretty much.
Alex Radcliffe: Yeah, yeah. There’s a lot, there’s a lot of stuff going on there. And then that management as well, when they even talk about the whole I should mention this earlier, I think the what makes game fans stand out is like we have full on bat handling, you know in general for crowdfunding for that’s huge. It takes a lot of the burden off of creators to try to take care of a whole bunch of stuff.
Alex Radcliffe: It’s very hard to learn on the sand and we just process it for you as a marketplace. We are marketplace to recognize as a marketplace in the EU. And so like that means we can take care of all of that for you. Let’s put all that forth. So the crowdfunding for the place manager and possibly for whatever e-commerce steps happen next.
Brandon Rollins: I don’t want to let that one slip by. This is like really important actually, because Kickstarter and I think most of the other platforms, they don’t actually do this like maybe the pledge managers do, but like definitely the crowdfunding platforms don’t. They don’t account for the VAT or anything like that. You have to figure that out. Customs same thing.
Brandon Rollins: It’s like you can use software avalanche, a tax jar to kind of manage this stuff, but that is that’s another software to get in the mix that someone else to pay. That’s like that’s more software, more complicated stuff. It’s like having another system to handle that for you. Huge, huge timesaver.
Alex Radcliffe: Yeah, it’s a big deal. We’re very, very proud of. It’s been part of the part of it we’ve done since the beginning. Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: So one last question for you, and that is if there’s one message you’d like potential creators to take away from this interview, what would it be?
Alex Radcliffe: Whoo! Ooh, that’s a good one. The easy thing to say is huge game fan. This is insane. But I let’s, let’s be trying to be a bit more nuanced than that, I think. I think crowdfunding is still growing. We’re ten years into board game crowdfunding and it’s still growing and still evolving and it’s still constantly changing. You do have to make sure to find the solution that’s right for you and this is not right for you is going to be a wide, wide series of questions of the audience, the type of game it is.
Alex Radcliffe: You know, who that game, what type of audience there is for that game. How expensive is that game? What are your long term plans for the space? I think the biggest thing that I would caution any critic to take away from this, which is not really the focus of where we were, but I think it’s a big focus is know what you’re getting yourself into.
Alex Radcliffe: Crowdfunding is is very tricky because you’re effectively getting a payment upfront for a whole lot of work over the next year or two years, whatever it is. And it’s always tricky to balance that. And so you want to make sure you’re set up for success as much as possible. And that means, well, more than just choosing the right crowdfunding platform, it means choosing the right partners, things like people in the space, getting advice to understand what the actual things are.
Alex Radcliffe: Don’t sign up for something that seems like a good idea and it’s too late before you find out it’s not. And part of that part of that is choosing the right platform. And so that and I’ll say use game found but are only part of the messaging.
Brandon Rollins: Mm hmm. I feel like a lot of a lot of what crowdfunding has always been pitched at as as an entire industry has been like, all right, looks like fund the dream. That’s the idea In reality, it’s more like it’s a product validation machine. You do less work than the traditional business would have to do to make a thing.
Brandon Rollins: You don’t have to do the manufacturing yet, but you have to, like, prototype it and get a good. And in order to succeed, the idea has to be like valid enough to get a critical mass of people behind it. And it’s like that’s still a huge amount of work is still starting up an entire business. It just means that you get the money one step earlier and you get to mitigate just a little risk.
Brandon Rollins: I feel like that somewhat gets buried. So knowing what you’re getting into I think is definitely good advice.
Alex Radcliffe: Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a it’s a lot. It’s a very fun space to be in, but a space you have to work hard to be in.
Brandon Rollins: I completely agree. Now, at this point in the interview, I will say that anybody who wants to learn more about game down, I’ve got all the links. They’re all down there in the description game found website game found dot com. I mean that’s right as a matter of game found that yeah yeah if game found dot com as far as all the social media that we’ll all be down there in the description and really all I have left to say at this point is thank you very much for your time Alex, I really appreciate it.
Alex Radcliffe: Thanks for having me.
Brandon Rollins: Thanks for watching this interview. I appreciate it. I knew that Alex game found us, too. Details on both our companies are in the description. And just in case you missed the name earlier, my name is Brandon here on behalf of full seller, if you need help shipping your orders, go to fulfill right dot com and request the quote we’ve shipped for thousands of e-commerce companies before and we’re happy to help you to the quote doesn’t cost a thing.
Brandon Rollins: So if nothing else you get some good information about pricing link in the description. Now if you enjoyed this video, please take a moment to like and subscribe. Don’t forget to slap some postage on that bell so we can expect ship New video. See us soon as they drop. Last but not least, if you have any questions, leave a comment below.
Brandon Rollins: I will personally do my very best to answer as many as I can. Thank you for watching.
You’ve done everything by the book. Your Kickstarter campaign is almost ready to launch.
You made a great product. Built an audience. Set up a campaign page.
But how do you ship it?
We put this checklist together to help you get started. It's free.