Home Board Game News Marvel Zombicide Backers Get Sticker Shock in the Pledge Manager

Marvel Zombicide Backers Get Sticker Shock in the Pledge Manager

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About 3 months ago, CMON’s latest Kickstarter campaign wrapped up. This was for their 5th or 6th Zombicide themed game (not counting expansions). Previous iterations have included modern day, fantasy, scifi, and even a licensed horror movie version. But this most recent iteration was the biggest blockbuster. Combining the popular Zombicide gameplay with the Marvel universe was a win for CMON to the tune of $9,000,000 and almost 29,000 backers.

Fast forward almost three months and the pledge manager has finally opened up for backers to complete their order. Yet all is not well in the world of Zombicide as shipping costs have gone through the roof. High shipping costs shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. There have been news reports aplenty of port congestion, container prices, and shipping backlogs. But I’ve yet to see a Kickstarter with costs this high for shipping.

Base Pledge Level
The shipping costs for the core game and stretch box only.

Take the Resistance Pledge, which was the most popular pledge level not including the giant Galactus statue. Backers choosing two wave shipping (getting the core box in October 2022 and the rest of their pledge in June 2023) are looking at close to $115! If you are patient and ok waiting for 1 wave shipping, then your total is around $67. Switching to the All-In pledge level, which includes the giant Galactus statue, comes with a cost of $155 and $200 for single and two wave shipping (respectively). And that’s just for shipping in the USA. Europe and Australia are reporting shipping prices even higher than that! If I wanted the all in pledge with two wave shipping, I’d be looking at a total cost of around $800+.

Needless to say, backers waited no time in storming various forums to lodge their complaints. CMON is defending their prices, stating the rising costs of shipping and containers worldwide. It’s unclear if CMON is simply passing 100% of the shipping costs on to backers or if there is some padding going on. Looking at the numbers, something definitely feels a tad odd. Just getting the base pledge with no addons, it’s about $60 to ship the core game and $50 to ship the stretch goal box. Even factoring in fulfillment costs, $60 to ship one normal sized game box feels pretty steep.

All In
The shipping cost for the all in pledge

One also could argue that backers are right to be upset about the unusually high shipping prices. The Kickstarter page had clear shipping estimates, and the pledge manager prices are at least 40% higher! This isn’t a case of a campaign that funded 2 years ago being shocked at the rising costs of shipping. The campaign closed not even 3 months ago. You can’t tell me shipping has changed that much in two months. CMON had to know the state of global logistics at the time. The cynic in me thinks that they might have been hoping to lure in backers before socking them with costs in the pledge manager. But there is no evidence of that.

Estimate
Campaign Shipping estimate

So, what’s a backer to do? Personally, this is where I’ll continue to advocate passing on being a completionist. You don’t need everything. See my post on How Kickstarter Killed the Completionist in Me. The best option for gamers is to just wait for retail. The core game and all expansions, except the Sentinel one, will be in stores. Sure, you’ll miss out on tons of minis here and there. But, frankly, there is plenty of gameplay in these boxes, probably enough to satisfy most gamers. Unless you are the type of person that only buys a couple of games per year and plays them non-stop, you should be quite satisfied with what you get. Buy it from Cool Stuff or Miniature Market at a nice discount and get free shipping to boot. Your wallet will thank you.

And finally, this is a good time to remind you that being a $1 backer is always the best option. If you backed this at a pledge level, you are kind of stuck, unless you want to ask CMON for a refund (which you can do at a 10% fee). But if you were a $1 backer, you only lost a single buck. That’s a much easier pill to swallow.

While he will play just about anything, Tony loves games that let him completely immerse himself in the theme. He also is a bit of a component addict.

11 COMMENTS

  1. One issue is that the world container index and the Chinese index price trackers report that shipping freight containers has dropped 12% since this ks ended and continue to trend down. It feels like these prices are to make up for previous loses. $69 for a single core pledge to Oregon is crazy. If CMON is not profiting or over charging for shipping for another reason, prove it with some transparency.

  2. My $25 playmat for the Dice Tower Kickstarter is $43 to ship (finished just a couple of weeks before the CMON campaign). My resistance pledge (3 boxes) is $112. So I can’t say it is CMON specific to have thees high costs in shipping….

    • Not sure why that happened. I pledged for the same playmate and a promo pack bundle. The shipping for both was $14 flat.

      • Though that’s shipping to the States… I’m assuming you are shipping international so yeah. That makes sense.

      • I was planning on adding the Guardians expansion to my base pledge but after seeing the $50 shipping cost I had to skip it.

  3. It’s not the first time cmon have been using padding in their shipping. The last box for 1st edition zombicide ( ultimate survivors or something like that 8-10 minis) was something like 30$ shipping to Europe. Insane

  4. I’m a bit shocked that this caught anyone off guard. Supply chain issues have been going on since before the Kickstarter ran and all the board game pundits were talking about how shipping costs would likely make the all-in pledge come in at close to $1k. It’s several boxes full of heavy, plastic minis being shipped half-way around the world during a global shipping crisis–of course it’s expensive! Perhaps outlets like Kickstarter and Gamefound should start requiring campaigns to list an estimated shipping cost and include that in the pledge price. It seems like it’s necessary these days despite the issues it might cause.

    • I think that’s part of the problem. The shipping costs were estimated on the campaign page (3 months ago) and now they are 40% higher.

    • I’m a bit shocked, euthia is 26 pounds and over two feet of game boxes. Free shipping.

      It does not cost 50 to ship a box that size and weight from China to your house. The world economy would collapse.

      And if your dead set convinced it does cost that much, you should think about saving your resources for that crash.

  5. I was expecting the high S&H, but still caught off guard by another issue that makes me think all is not right with CMON.

    I pledged for the top tier and billed on completion of the campaign like everyone else, but was out of touch while moving unexpectedly from the middle east back to the states (and going through some major life issues) causing me to miss the pledge manager deadline by a few weeks. After explaining the situation to CMON and requesting to confirm my pledge and lock in the S&H was told:

    “At this point, as the pledge manager is now closed and locked (and we are not able to unlock it), it is not possible to get a pledge. We were very clear that if you did not pay for shipping and confirm your pledge by the pledge manager deadline, you would not receive a pledge.
    As stated, your options for your pledged funds are as follows:
    1.) Leave the funds where they are to use toward a future CMON Kickstarter.
    OR
    2.) We can refund your pledged funds, minus 17.5% (for Kickstarter and production fees and for being pas the window for a full refund as detailed on the campaign page). Please let us know if you would like this option”

    They did have this in their emails, which I’ve never seen in any other Kickstarter. My question is, why am I pay production fees if my pledge isn’t being produced? And what is driving a deadline for getting a refund? Last I checked Kickstarter only charges a 5% fee to producers and refunds can be done at any time, even years after a Kickstarter, from my experience. Not sure what’s driving this, and without knowing this situation reeks of greed. I can’t even get a reduced pledge level?

    The top tier is $615. I had to think long and hard before making that pledge. CMON wants to keep ~$107 for fees and provide nothing because I was late paying S&H.

    • Oh, and they were all for taking late pledges back in April, apparently all the way till June. (Campaign closed is February and the pledge manager suspense was end of June, for perspective).

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