Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, international freight shipping costs have skyrocketed, leaving many board game makers and publishers fighting for survival.
According to a new report from Kotaku, despite shipping times being delayed anywhere between two to six weeks, fees have actually skyrocketed by 300 to 400 percent, leaving many board game manufacturers to either suffer big losses as margins decrease. In one particular example, freight costs went up as high as nine times the original amount pre-COVID for one publisher. The majority of those most affected by this surge have been companies that manufacture their games in China, but European producers are also feeling the heat.
While the increase in shipping fees doesn’t directly affect players and consumers, publishers that are struggling to stay afloat have no other option but to increase the price of their board games, meaning part of those costs end up being paid for by those who purchase the game in the end. The companies are also looking at other areas where they can cut costs, including features like localization. The hope is that as the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, supply lines and shipping routes will stabilize and be able to meet demands again, allowing prices to slowly correct themselves and return to more normal levels.
Elsewhere in the gaming industry, Cryptic Studios has pulled the plug on Magic: Legends just four months into its open beta.