Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fantasy Flight Games Experiments with Print on Demand Support for Death Angel

Since I purchased Death Angel at last year's GenCon the game has received a decent amount of play time from my gaming group and between regular gaming sessions. The game is well balanced, fun, and plays quickly. This allows it to fill time gaps that come up when waiting for players who are running late, or on an evening when you have a half-an-hour gap between the shows you like to watch. Eric Lang's Corey Konieczka's design on the game is very good, but even good design must abide by product life cycle trends. If a game doesn't have support materials, it tends to fade away as gamers consider it to be a "dead" game. There are rare exceptions to this rule, but even Monopoly gets official new versions every now and again.

In order to provide support for Death Angel, Fantasy Flight is moving to a print on demand model that provides expansions for the game at a reasonable price. Typically, when I see the words "Print on Demand" I know that the products will be a little more expensive than I would normally expect. Print on Demand, by its very nature, means smaller print runs and smaller print runs mean higher production costs. For this reason, I was surprised when I saw that the two Death Angel expansion packs were coming in at $4.95 each -- exactly what I would have expected with a full print run.

These decks, in particular the Space Marine deck, should have some interesting affects on play and I just ordered my copies. We'll see how the PoD model works for FFG. If all goes well, we might see support for some of their older games using the same model.
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