CMON Play Retailer Program Announced

By Polar_Bear
Mar 17th, 2017

I’d been hinting and alluding to a lot of things over the past couple months. Stuff that I couldn’t rightly talk about. One of those things was that I had been playtesting A Song of Ice and Fire. The other thing is that I’d been doing pretty much all the writing for the new CMON Play Retailer Program. Ok, so maybe that’s not as exciting to you as A Song of Ice and Fire. But I still think it’s cool.

About the program:

CMON Play is our outreach program to North American brick and mortar retail stores. We want to have a strong relationship you, and have created this program specifically with your store in mind. It includes many exclusive products and opportunities designed to bring customers to you and have a great time playing games together.
There are four pillars of the CMON Play program:

– Game Night Kits
– Pre-Release Access to Highly-Anticipated New Games
– Discounted Demo Copies of Standalone Games
– CMON Kickstarter Retail Pledges


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  • Matt

    Congratulations on working on the copy for the retail program and I assume being in some of the meetings to determine its effect for the company and associated retailers. It is a job that is so often thankless but it is important and hopefully will be successful.

    If so I am curious how it eventually grows to support the miniature side of the company as opposed to the stand alone game side. Good luck.

  • Michael Dee

    This is hilarious. You want to have a strong relationship with B&M stores? So you Kickstart all your products, not that you need to, but because it makes CMON more monies. This program is totally designed to bring “customers” to your B&M store, after they bought the product from CMON on Kickstarter? Child Please.

    • One of the parts of being part of CMON Play is that retail stores will be able to make Retail Pledges to Kickstarters. This means that customers will come to the store, say what they want in a Kickstarter, the store orders it, and the product is shipped to the store. It will be at the same cost as directly participating in the Kickstarter, as well as come with all Kickstarter exclusives.
      Plus, the store is only charged a small fee when the Kickstarter finishes (not the full cost for their order). They can then let their customers do the (paying the store a small portion of the total, if they want). The rest of the total isn’t due until the product ships. Thus, the store makes the sale, as opposed to coming right from CMON.

      • Michael Dee

        Damn dude the B&M is being charged more money to “participate” in giving CMON yet another sale. WTF? Wow CMON greed knows no bounds.

        • odinsgrandson

          Dude- stores always get charged money to ‘participate’ in selling stuff.

          They aren’t being charge “more” for it- just normal retail prices (PB just said that they can split this up).

          CMON has seen the hole in their business model- Kickstarters get the word out, but most gamers only want the KS version, so it cuts out the B&M retailer (which limits their post KS sales).

          They’re just trying to do something to appeal to the retailers (and eventually achieve world domination).

          • Michael Dee

            No. The way PB wrote it, it can be inferred that there is another fee.

            We also have no idea how much, if anything, the B&Ms will be making off of this. This is CMON we are talking about, they have zero need to Kickstart a product, yet they still do. $26,000,000.00 “raised” on Kickstarter. Go look at Rising Sun currently on Kickstarter, $2.8million over 22,000 backers. CMON doesn’t care a bit about B&M stores. In fact passing the burden off onto B&M to get the monies from customers makes it easier on CMON.

          • That was my bad for the first bit of typing.

            As for the “how much will they be making?” it’s basically equivalent to what they’d get buying the games from a distributor. Just, in this case, it’s coming with Kickstarter extras that they won’t be able to get from the distributor.

            As for “making the B&M deal with getting the money” … how’s that different from a B&M “getting the money” form their regular customers for regular sales?

          • Michael Dee

            You are making B&M follow all pre-order sales are final.

            You are making B&M follow yet another lets call it ‘distributor’

            If the ‘deal’ at the retail pledge isn’t as good for the consumer, why in the world would the consumer even bother going through the local retailer? You do realize you are talking about Kickstarter, the place that completely bypasses the B&M?

          • Ghool

            By having the pledge available at the retailer it does a few things:

            1. It supports the LGS, and the local economy.
            2. It allows customers to order now pay later, which KS does not.

            If those local consumers want to buy games at the store, but can’t justify it due to exclusivity, then by allowing the store to make profit, those people will go to the store instead.

            #2 is probably the best reason for going through the LGS. But, so is also wanting to support your local retailers.
            Seems like a solid plan to me.

          • Michael Dee

            1. Supporting the LGS is selling product through normal distribution channels. CMON doesn’t need to KS everything they make. They do it because it makes them more money.
            2. So what. If a person is that bad with their money, should they be ordering something?

          • odinsgrandson

            1- What you’ve been saying is that the LGS is in the buggy whip business and can’t offer anything to CMON. So, CMON should either just ignore them and make lots of money, or charitably make a lot less money and prop them up.

            I don’t think that’s the case. I think that an LGS can offer things to CMON- and so CMON is trying to offer things to the LGS.

            There have been a lot of game companies trying to find a nice balance between Kickstarter and Retail. No definitive answer exists yet, so they’re trying something.

          • Michael Dee


          • odinsgrandson

            Then I don’t get what you meant.

            You said that CMON don’t need the LGS and make more money when they use kickstarter and circumvent the LGS to make a lot more money.

            Then it sounded like you think that they should go through normal distribution channels to support the LGS and make CMON less money.

            That sounds to me like charity work, you know?

            If that’s not it, then what do you think CMON should be doing?

          • Michael Dee

            Ghool said
            1. It supports the LGS, and the local economy.
            I responded with
            1. Supporting the LGS is selling product through normal distribution

            CMON doesn’t need to KS everything they make. They do it
            because it makes them more money.

          • odinsgrandson

            What are you saying that they “should” do?

            You clearly disapprove of the hybrid business model they’re creating here (cutting in the LGS on the Kickstarter profits).

            You clearly think that CMON makes more money on KS.

            You don’t think that CMON should keep doing Kickstarters to make themselves maximum profit?

            And you don’t think that they should do normal distribution to support the LGS even though it makes them less money?

            Again, what shoudl CMON be doing in your opinion?

          • Michael Dee

            Nothing, that is what they should do. Nothing. Keep their status quo. Why even bother with this “outreach program to North American brick and mortar retail stores”?

            The whole “outreach” is a joke.
            This is doing nothing but making it easier on CMON.

            Remember this “The goal, truly, is to connect with retailers.”
            The F&#$ it is.
            This is CMON trying to force me to go through them (at a smaller margin in case you forgot)

          • odinsgrandson

            The reason to bother with the outreach program is because the LGS represents a “showroom floor” for gamers (not all of them are kickstarter backers- for whatever reason).

            Retailers are skiddish about KS games- especially ones with lots of exclusives. So CMON is trying to offer incentives for retailers to stock their games, and they’re hoping to reach a wider audience.

            It is an experiment, and I’m interested to see how it goes.

          • I’m failing to see how a voluntary, free-to-join program “forces” you to do anything. If you don’t want to be part of the program, fine, there’s your “status quo.” *shrugs* Even if you’re part of the program, if you want to go straight through Kickstarter for your pledges and not do the Retail Pledge, you can. Later on, when the game is made available for general sale, you can still buy it through distribution as you do now. The only actual products that are exclusive to CMON Play are the Game Night Kits. You can still buy copies of games (though not the demo copies, which are the same as the regular game, just at a lower price with a stamp/sticker on them showing that they’re a demo copy), you can still order all of their products through distribution, you can still participate in Kickstarters (just, obviously, not the Retail Pledge).

            You clearly and repeatedly have shown you absolutely loathe, hate, abhor, detest, and despise this program. So… don’t be part of it. Again, there’s your “Status Quo.” You’ve done it.

            As for other retailers who /are/ interested in it, I hope that they are able to see that yes, the program was designed with them at the forefront and the desire is to make the LGS the place to get CMON products. This is done by giving them pre-release opportunities, special event prizes, the ability to have Kickstarter sales through their store, and by giving them the ability to get a super-cheap copy of core products to have in their stores for their customers to try out.

          • Michael Dee

            Come on PB you’re enough of a gamer.
            This is nothing but Corpspeak given to Wage-slaves.

          • Andrew Franke

            So are retailers getting a discounted price on the Kickstarter product. Example if a game is $100.00 for a regular customer. Is the Retailer pledge $60.00 per game.
            If this is the case then the retailer will make money. If not then he is incurring expense for no profit. This makes no sense for me as a retailer, I can already carry CMON after market products.

            Also offering me a “DISCOUNTED” game to run your games in my store is a bit of a joke. Companies like Privateer Press provide me with a person to run the game and the required game for no charge so I can build a following in my store. This has been very successful. Games Workshop offers a program that is similar.

          • The way it works is: when the pledge manager goes up, stores that are part of CMON Play will get an e-mail with a special code that lets them in. They will be able to purchase base pledges as well as add-ons for the Kickstarter. There is a discount for purchasing that’s like purchasing a game from a distributor.
            When the pledge is made, $100 of the balance is due right away (basically a down payment), with the rest being due when the product ships. This lets stores decide if they want to collect from their customers right away or wait until later. The product, when ready, is then shipped to the retail location and backers can pick it up as with a regular order.

          • Michael Dee

            Is it the same discount or not? ‘Like’ doesn’t mean anything.

            Still not seeing why I should bother. It’s not like CMON product is a big seller in the stores.

            With the inevitable delays, do I really need yet another group of gamers bitching at me about things out of my control?

          • Well, being part of Play is 100% voluntary. If you’re not interested in it, you can just skip it. You won’t have access to any of the exclusives offered there, obviously, but you can still purchase games through distribution and sell them as you have been.

          • Michael Dee

            What I figured, it isn’t the same.

            What exclusives?

            – Game Night Kits

            – Pre-Release Access to Highly-Anticipated New Games

            – Discounted Demo Copies of Standalone Games

            – CMON Kickstarter Retail Pledges

            – We already have game nights. What is your kit going to provide that we already don’t?
            – Seems odd to be able to get Pre-Release copies, doesn’t it? That that a guarantee? Didn’t think so.
            – A further discount then what I already receive? Didn’t think so.
            – Sorry being a sub distributor for you, doesn’t make my life easier. It makes it more difficult for less profit.

            Why should I bother? Sorry PB this program is doing nothing for me.

          • Andrew Franke

            Hang on,
            I think we need to give the CMON people a real opportunity to answer the questions and NOT just accuse them. From what Polar Bear posted My store will be signing up and from other information we have received.

            CMON games sell very well and the play nights I have for them do very very well. I think they should think about having people like press gangers in the future but let’s not forget they are taking JUST the first step. I want to support them as a B&M store because they are reaching out to me and saying we want you to succeed and evangelize our product lines.
            If I can do well with them Fantastic! If I don’t then people in my area may not be interested(Not the case) access to these exclusives saves my customers from having to invest site unseen right away and I know I can sell the KS extras as part of the original KS together.

            Polar Bear thank you for the work you are STARTING on. Please contact me!

          • CMON does have a volunteer program. They’re called the Legion.

            As for some of the details that I’ve not elaborated on, it’s because it’s still a new program and I’m waiting on specific answers. The last thing I want to do is type up something wrong and then mislead you by it. Some of the very specific details are just being polished.

            But what I can say is that CMON Play is free to join. If you want to, you can check it out and, if you don’t like it, just don’t participate in any of it.

            I can also say that I’ve been in on the process since just after the beginning. This is something that’s been in the works since last year. The goal, truly, is to connect with retailers. Each piece of the program has been looked at in order to give the retailer the maximum benefit we can. So, things like the Game Night Kits have exclusive content to bring people into your store. The Demo Program lets you buy games at a greater discount than usual wholesale, so you can have it in your store for people to check out, or have as part of a game library. The pre-release program lets you sell our most-anticipated titles 2 weeks before online retailers can. Retail Pledges let you be the place customers come to for Kickstarters, instead of directly from the site.

            Every store is different. And we tried to have enough different options available to fill the needs of all those different stores.

          • Andrew Franke

            Thank you Polar Bear for all the hard work you have put in. I was not aware of the Legion and will look forward to having them run games for us. This is really exciting news!

          • Pete Shirey is in charge of the Legion. You can contact him at [email protected]. He should be able to help out.

          • odinsgrandson

            You seem like you have a hostile attribution bias about them.

            There is simply no way that it is easier for CMON than just filtering all sales through kickstarter (they get less money per product than direct KS sales at very least).

            Obviously, this isn’t out of the kindness of their hearts- they want to sell more games (like everyone) and probably they are trying to prolong the longevity of the sales cycle on their games (B&M stores stocking their products can help with that).

            So they are offering KS versions of their games to B&M stores. There’s nothing evil going on here.

        • There’s no “extra fee” to be part of a Kickstarter Retail Pledge. It’s just that, say, you make an order worth $500, you’re only charged $100 of it right away, with the other $400 being due when product ships. So, you can either charge your customers right away for the full amount, or nothing, or some part of that $100, and collect whatever’s left when the games ship. There’s also no fee to join in with CMON Play.