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How to Get Me to Pay More For Your Board Game
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Monday, Nov 16, 2015

Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here. Those of you who track down and watch every single second of video footage that I produce - which is, I assume, all of you - are probably aware that I grew up playing Risk. Even though it has long been surpassed by other games, it will always have sentimental value to me.

That’s why I was excited for Star Wars Risk, which actually has more in common with the highly praised, but long out of print, game, The Queen’s Gambit, than it does with traditional Risk. Real thought seems to have been put into this game, instead of just pasting a popular franchise’s logo on the box and calling it a day. Good job.

What’s more, two versions of Star Wars Risk are available. The standard edition, plus a limited Black edition, which contains additional and upgraded components. Well, I was just about to buy the Black edition, but then, I discovered something that made me pause.

Amazon was selling the standard edition for $24, and the Black edition for $50, more than twice the price. Woah. Am I really willing to spend that much more just for heavier cardboard and more plastic pieces?

But then, I started wondering what was actually stopping me from placing my order. I mean, I purchase board games that are $50 or more all the time without even batting an eye. What was different here?

I realized that the problem wasn’t the Black edition’s price. It was the jump between the two prices. I didn’t perceive enough of an increase in value for the Black edition to justify its price difference.

If the standard edition was $40, even $35, then I wouldn’t have thought twice about paying an additional ten to fifteen bucks for the Black edition... even though the price of the Black edition remained exactly the same. But the leap from $24 up to fifty was so substantial that I noticed it, giving me an opportunity to become skeptical that the Black edition actually contains $26 more value than the standard one.

Perceived value. That’s what it’s all about. Whether it’s a popular IP branded onto the same old game, a deluxe version, a legacy game designed to only be played 18 times, or a puzzle game that comes with three hours of gameplay in the base box with additional modules sold separately -- each of these products is the right choice for somebody. And that somebody is anybody who perceives its price as being appropriate for the amount of satisfaction they predict they’ll receive from it. And every consumer is going to perceive that differently. And that’s to be expected.

So, is the Black edition of Star Wars Risk worth its price? Well, I’m not going to tell you what conclusion I came to. Instead, I’ll leave that up to you to perceive.

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