Rolling for Initiative--Pandemic 'Plaints and Meeple Monthly's Move
Column by Scott Thorne
Published: 02/11/2013 01:33am
Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University. This week, Thorne looks again at the early release of Pandemic in one channel and the launch of a new distributor magalog.
The annoying thing about the early release of Pandemic 2nd Edition to Target is that unlike broken street dates on Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! products, theoretically Z-Man Games had much more control over the release of the second edition game and therefore should have managed to keep the February 6th release date. Wizards of the Coast and Konami both have a number of distributors to deal with regarding street dates and each distributor has hundreds of stores to deal with as well. In the Pandemic case, Z-Man had only one distributor with which to work and that distributor only had one account carrying the product. I am not privy to the inner workings of that particular channel of distribution but I would imagine it not too difficult to make certain that Pandemic did not arrive in Target's distribution center until just before the release date, or even after.
I really doubt the amount of sales generated by the extra week of early release amounted to even a fraction of a rounding error on Target’s income statement. Meanwhile, it cost stores in the game channel sales, generated negative publicity for the company, and likely annoyed to no end Alliance Distribution, Z-Man's official distributor to the specialty game channel, and likely the recipient of hundreds of emails and calls from perturbed retailers wondering why Target had the hotly anticipated reprint a week ahead of the scheduled release whilst they did not.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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