OPINION: All the gifts, or not…

Resident Evil™ 2 – The Board Game: Great Kickstarter Campaign or Elaborate Honey Trap?

A few years back, my family and I visited Paris and on our first evening out, looking for somewhere to sit down and eat, we strolled idly along the market streets checking out what was on offer. We were tempted by one business after another under the promise of free this and free that. One particular waiter —evidently keen as the rest for our business— ushered us through the doors with an endearing charm and the promise of our first drinks free and a free garlic bread, too. Our curiosity (and appetites) thus piqued, we accepted his hospitality and chose to give that restaurant our business for the evening…

Those already ten steps ahead can probably guess what ensued, given that we now know this is what is often referred to as ‘a honey trap’ — our first drinks were indeed free, as was the garlic bread starter, but when we ordered a couple of soft drinks later that evening (just cokes, I think), we didn’t know at the time that those drinks were going to set us back €6 (Euros) a piece (approx. £5 GBP or $7 USD)… It was a lesson well-learned, and to be frank, we were grateful we’d received it so early on in our trip.

So… on the 25th Sept 2017, Steamforged Games’ campaign for Resident Evil™ 2 – The Board Game (accompanied by the B Files Expansion Set) began on Kickstarter. You can check out the campaign yourself here: Resident Evil™ 2 – The Board Game

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The product looks great, promises much, and was available at the bargain price of just £65 for those taking out Early Bird pledges — 2350 of which were snapped up double-quick, as expected: the £150k target was achieved within the hour. At time of writing (12th Oct 2017), 3500+ further pledges have also been logged, at the slightly higher but nonetheless still wallet-friendly price of just £70. I’m sure the campaign will easily smash the £750k mark by the time it ends on 23rd Oct 2017. All told, it’s a smart, well-crafted campaign, and to be fair —if they deliver everything as promised— very few backers are likely to have cause for complaint, and that’s fine, really it is.

Why mention this particular campaign, then? Because it typifies an increasingly popular trend that I’m not completely sold on: launch a cracking Kickstarter campaign, offer backers so much, and at such a knockdown price (especially for those getting in early), and they will come… Then see what else you can sell them as add-ons. This makes good financial sense, I guess, as seen by the successful funding of so many similar campaigns, right?

But… (you knew there’ll be one, didn’t you?), let’s look a little deeper at this offer…

For the bargain price of £70 (compared to a retail value of £130 apparently), you’ll get the core game with 20+ miniatures, the B Files Expansion Set with 12 or so miniatures, and a selection of 30+ additional miniatures all ‘unlocked’ by the success of the Kickstarter campaign. All good, right?


Have you checked out all those additional optional purchases, though?  The Malformations of G Expansion, the Retro Pack, the Extra Dice set, the two extra Monsters Boxes, the 3D Doors, the Alligator Expansion — Wow! So much additional content, none of which you really need, but all of which would be desirable, and set you back a further £110 if you wanted the ‘complete’ set… Call me a cynic, but £180 sounds like the kind of money I’d expect to spend if I was looking for a potential Kingdom Death: Monster replacement, and even then I fear that kind of money buys several alternative games that are not likely to end up on the shelf after just a few plays.

As always, you pays your money, or keep hold of it. The choice is yours…

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