As a board game company, we rely on doing a number of releases—usually 4 or 5 every year in order to keep the doors open. In the past, we've done most of our major releases through a combination of Kickstarters and Pledge Managers.
While this is a great system, it's not perfect for every project.
Small games and true expansions aren't great fits for Kickstarter.
In the case of many licensed games, our licensors don't like us to run Kickstarters.
More and more, we're tending towards projects that are smaller and self-contained, without stretch goals or tons of add-ons. These projects are healthier for our company, but they aren't a great fit for the Kickstarter model.
However, we still want to offer Kickstarter-like benefits such as reduced international shipping and small content bonuses for our die-hard fans.
For these reasons, we're starting up a new program on our website, Launch 99!
Launch 99 will be our platform for pre-ordering games direct from us. It has a few perks over a normal pre-order:
- Games will be available as bundles with a discount and/or other special perks, similar to a Kickstarter Pledge Bundle.
- These bundles will be shipped to our fulfillment hubs in Asia, Australia, Europe, the UK, and Canada, so you'll be able to get your games without additional duties and with greatly reduced shipping fees.
- Get involved with the game's community through launch events hosted on social media and Discord.
- Stay up to date on project status via email and individual project blogs, which are accessible directly from the project portal pages.
We're still working out the details of some other Launch 99 features, but we look forward to rolling out our first Launch 99 soon!
We will continue to use Kickstarter where it makes sense—especially for new large-format projects and reprints. Launch 99 will be a way for us to streamline and improve the pre-order experience for those games which can't, won't, or shouldn't Kickstart.
Thanks so much for being a part of Level 99, and I can't wait to share our first Launch 99 with you soon!