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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 3:47 pm
  

Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:14 pm
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Okay the dust has settled the project has failed, so I wondered about looking at that failure from a slightly different perspective.

My question is that given thast the costs of wave one, according to the figures quoted to us by Palladium effectively drained the RTT kickstarter funds, should that wave have been allowed to proceed or should the plug have been pulled?

As it stood, the only way wave 2 was ever going to arrive was if there had been some sort of miracle retail sales of wave 1 product, which in itself was more than overly optimistic, given the majority of early buyers wil have already bought into the kickstarter. This then begs the question of why the decsion to go ahead and green light this massive overspend was authorised.

With hindsight surely the more prudent decision would have been to pull out of production and review what was needed. Could the route be via softer less expensive plastics, potentially dramatically reducing parts counts and costs - there will of been at this point at least two versions of the prototype files so enabling a new factory?

If after review there was a clear indication that the project could not be fulfilled, it would have menat at least $1 million was available for direct refund to the backers. Of course we can debate having cash or a lot of effectively useless tabletop models.

Any thoughts about this ?


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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:11 pm
  

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Knight

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wilycoyote wrote:
My question is that given thast the costs of wave one, according to the figures quoted to us by Palladium effectively drained the RTT kickstarter funds, should that wave have been allowed to proceed or should the plug have been pulled?

Speaking as someone with a fair amount of professional experience in project management and process improvement, the Robotech RPG Tactics project really should have called a halt to look at cost reduction measures when the manufacturing and shipping quotes came back way above what they'd budgeted.

When you're working with a fixed budget, you have to watch your expenditures like a hawk to make sure that every expense the budget is paying for is absolutely necessary and unavoidable. That PB just plowed ahead with an "it'll all work out" attitude despite production and shipping costs being way above projections was a straight-up suicidal move. There was no realistic way that they would be able to recoup the greater costs from Wave One sales, so this wasn't even a gamble... this was just a reckless, self-destructive move.



wilycoyote wrote:
As it stood, the only way wave 2 was ever going to arrive was if there had been some sort of miracle retail sales of wave 1 product, which in itself was more than overly optimistic, given the majority of early buyers wil have already bought into the kickstarter. This then begs the question of why the decsion to go ahead and green light this massive overspend was authorised. [...]

TBH, the whole project seems to have been predicated on a massively exaggerated view of Robotech's brand awareness and selling power.

Almost every bad call seems to have been excused with the idea that they were going to get massive sales... despite all evidence suggesting that the vast majority of people who would buy the game already bought it as a Kickstarter preorder.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:27 am
  

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Knight

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Seto Kaiba wrote:
wilycoyote wrote:
As it stood, the only way wave 2 was ever going to arrive was if there had been some sort of miracle retail sales of wave 1 product, which in itself was more than overly optimistic, given the majority of early buyers wil have already bought into the kickstarter. This then begs the question of why the decsion to go ahead and green light this massive overspend was authorised. [...]

TBH, the whole project seems to have been predicated on a massively exaggerated view of Robotech's brand awareness and selling power.

Almost every bad call seems to have been excused with the idea that they were going to get massive sales... despite all evidence suggesting that the vast majority of people who would buy the game already bought it as a Kickstarter preorder.

This is where I was at on the whole thing: The majority (say 80 to 90%) of the people who wanted to play this game, ORDERED this game. Leaving only a handful of folks who may have wanted to purchase said game. Giving Palladium a small but healthy overage to purchase, mainly to fix any product errors (sprue destruction).

Instead from what I have heard throughout the whole project, Palladium purchased more than what was needed with the concept of "Let's have enough, so we don't need to make more", and the limited sales to move onto Phase 2.

Looking as an outsider, I think there were quite a bit of issues with this project:
  1. Having to redo the Production Files
  2. Not Resourcing Manufacturing Plants
  3. Piece Counts and Bad Planning
  4. Over purchase of Phase 1
  5. Banking on sales of Phase 1 to pay for Phase 2

And I am sure there are about 2 dozen more problems that I am not fully aware of.

But Robotech has always been a 'Tragic' love affair with its audience. Only a small niche group love and adore the full saga. The remaining semi small niche group only care about Macross. And even though they are an active group that has monetized their obsession, it's not a growing group.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:43 pm
  

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Knight

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Tiree wrote:
Instead from what I have heard throughout the whole project, Palladium purchased more than what was needed with the concept of "Let's have enough, so we don't need to make more", and the limited sales to move onto Phase 2.

IMHO, the sheer consistency of the terribly shortsighted decision-making that dogged this project to its early grave would tend to rule out any pragmatic motive behind the over-ordering of Wave 1 retail stock. Looking back at it from a project management standpoint, it looks much more like the notorious optimism that is the status quo at Palladium led them to mistake strong performance in preorders for strong overall demand for the product. It's not an uncommon mistake to make, and is a big part of why many Kickstartered products ultimately fail in the retail market. They went over budget early on due to poor planning, and plowed ahead anyway because they figured retail sales would make up the shortfall. They ordered all that retail stock using the last of the budget because they really, truly believed it was going to sell... and it ended up collecting dust in the warehouse.

They shot themselves in the foot at the outset by not having a realistic view of the market and demand for the product. You need to have extremely strong brand recognition to succeed with a licensed tabletop game even as a well-established publisher. Games Workshop struggled with Lord of the Rings, and we all know how big THAT was and still is. "Robotech" is better known as a line of pool cleaning machines or a Japanese adult novelty item than as a TV series outside of South America... the brand recognition just wasn't there. With HG in danger of losing its own license just a few years in the future, shelling out for a new Robotech license was a spectacularly bad call. The brand is a ticking time bomb, which is why every remaining licensee is rushing to get cheap merch into the market before that timer counts down to zero two years from now.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:15 pm
  

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Champion

Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:52 pm
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In hindsight, or just viewing things with caution at the time, I think they should have dropped it like a hot potato when they realized ND wasn't doing all the work like they thought, because they weren't familiar with anything they'd need to be familiar with. And then also should have dropped it when the factory started charging to remake the files and retool their factory, I firmly believe that factory took them for a ride, because they didn't have a clue about how things worked. And also should have dropped it or raised a notice with the backers that shipping was going to be way more and offered a choice for refunds or option to pay shipping.

They thought the market was going to be stronger than it was and that it would all come through, but even if there had been some hype initially that could have lead to a larger boom for the line, it had cooled by the time wave one rolled out.

Ultimately, while I am happy with what I received, I'm more forgiving than most, and others not being as forgiving is the biggest harm this has done. It's a shadow that is going to hound any hope for future projects.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:21 pm
  

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Wanderer

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:47 pm
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Comment: Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Fan
Doesn't matter with ND did or didn't do. Palladium was in charge. They are responsible.

They never should have produced the number of core boxes that they did. That wasn't what those dollars were for. Sure, if you can afford it after paying for _all_ the content they owed backers, go ahead and order more. But they didn't do that. That's Palladium's fault and they need to own it.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 4:50 pm
  

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Demon Lord Extraordinaire

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LtPebbles wrote:
Doesn't matter with ND did or didn't do. Palladium was in charge. They are responsible.

They never should have produced the number of core boxes that they did. That wasn't what those dollars were for. Sure, if you can afford it after paying for _all_ the content they owed backers, go ahead and order more. But they didn't do that. That's Palladium's fault and they need to own it.


:ok: :ok:


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:57 pm
  

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Knight

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LtPebbles wrote:
Doesn't matter with ND did or didn't do. Palladium was in charge. They are responsible.

Precisely. As project lead, Palladium Books was ultimately responsible for the direction and outcome of the project.

They'd be in the hot seat for the problems even if they weren't the ones who made practically all of the contentious or obviously bad calls.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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