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Replicating games in quantity outside the USA
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=17116
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Author:  tepples [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

This remark and recent political events got me thinking: With certain countries' heads of state threatening a trade war, the duty for importing a U.S.-manufactured NES game into Europe may rise. It's already sky high in Brazil. In addition, a small business outside the European Union that ships to EU customers may not be able to afford to appoint a Designated Representative within Ireland or another EU state to comply with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that takes effect in May 2018.

Say someone wants to distribute an original homebrew game through Infinite NES Lives in North America but wants to save on customs when shipping to customers elsewhere. What companies outside North America are capable of replicating and distributing NES games affordably?

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

Part of the same trend, i think: As of February 2018, the customs of Sweden demanded an action plan of all postal service providers to make sure duties are paid on delivery. It's the same laws as before, but for the first time we're seeing that they're actually being enforced. Parcels get a big orange "duties are to be paid" sticker now to cure people from thinking otherwise :lol: This is in response to the volume of all the micro orders people have started putting in from ebay, aliexpress, etc.

I'm not aware of any game distributor within the EU, except conceptentertainment.se which released Quest Forge: By order of Kings. It's their only release, and it's probably because the game was made by two members of a swedish indie game studio anyway.

I've pondered if the time is right to set up an EU-based distribution since maybe a year back, still being somewhat indecisive about it. If US homebrew sales is a niche market, the EU is a fraction of that. It *might* increase if customs and shipping aren't in the way, but then again maybe not.

I just ordered a test print of a few nes boxes from a local printer to evaluate their quality. A small first step...

Author:  infiniteneslives [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

In my experience shipping costs are just as much, if a bigger problem than customs fees with international. With recent changes to USPS you effectively have to keep the package weight below 8oz helps keep intl package cost down to what we're used to ~$12-15. Going to 9-15oz nearly doubles the shipping price getting you into the $20-30 range.

So there's significant benefit sticking under that 8oz mark. From what I've found a typical CIB with cardboard box can just barely stay under that if your smart about packing supplies and still keep a sturdy box. Bitbox releases push past that by a few ounces. Adding a clear traditional CIB box protector also pushes past that 8oz threshold, so I may stop offering that option just because it ends up costing $10+ because the 8oz threshold is exceeded because of it.

Other unfortunate thing is it removes most of the saved shipping expenses by purchasing multiple copies at once. A single loose cart is well under 8oz, but a second loose cart pushes past that nearly doubling shipping fees.

But I'm still investigating other options such as DHL. I've thought about having a second European distributor, but I doubt it's worth the hassle at homebrew release numbers. And the cost of shipping twice will easily consume most shipping savings.

It doesn't really solve the problem, as there's always going to be a base people who want a physical copy. But there's always digital release options if one wants to avoid import fees and shipping costs.

Author:  calima [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

Dragonbox.de has Genesis production capacity, but not sure if they can do NES.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

FrankenGraphics wrote:
Quest Forge: By order of Kings

This cart was made and sold by Piko Interactive, though, who I believe are located in Texas, USA.

Also, the Quest Forge cart I have was made out of a repurposed multicart board.

Author:  FrankenGraphics [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

Yeah for clarity, concept is a distributor and used games curator; not a publisher. The version they're selling is the same as the one from piko interactive. Whether their stock is directly from china or via piko as a proxy is anyones' guess.

Quote:
With recent changes to USPS you effectively have to keep the package weight below 8oz helps keep intl package cost down to what we're used to ~$12-15. Going to 9-15oz nearly doubles the shipping price getting you into the $20-30 range.


It often comes down to dumb luck. Last i checked, int'l shipment from here has a treshold at 8.81oz (250g) at an ok price of 9.6 eur. The next (250-1000g) adds 4.9 euros so you might not want to send something weighing 251g, but if you could fit 4 CIB:s under 1kg, then that's a very fair price.

Many services provide lowered rates against a subscription (i guess that's what you're looking into with DHL?). Where the point of viability is seems to differ a lot from partner to partner.

Fulfilment companies are most likely out of question because they expect you to ship 100+ items / month to consider it worth making a deal through them.

Author:  calima [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

Here we have companies that offer storage, shipping and returns for web shops. They use the fulfilment companies, and pass the shipping savings to their customers, and since they have enough volume, you don't have to.

Author:  Fisher [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

I know of at least 2 guys that have business building and selling repors here in Brazil.
But unfortunatelly, altough their cases are good and have nice labels they don't seem to care about level shifters. :shock:
Maybe if I start studing now, in a few years I'll be able to produce FPGA based replacement parts to retro consoles that these guys' clients will sure need!

Author:  tokumaru [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

Fisher wrote:
I know of at least 2 guys that have business building and selling repors here in Brazil.
But unfortunatelly, altough their cases are good and have nice labels they don't seem to care about level shifters. :shock:
Maybe if I start studing now, in a few years I'll be able to produce FPGA based replacement parts to retro consoles that these guys' clients will sure need!

This sucks, man... The whole point of making new cartridges is to extend the lives of everyone's retro consoles, but then people go and make cartridges that will actually DAMAGE/KILL the consoles that are in use...

Author:  Ice Man [ Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

That's why I avoid any repro from Aliexpress and rather make my own with proper chips or level shifting. I don't know why people would use the Coolboy Carts or other crap boards just to save money. I'd rather pay more and have a good quality.

Either way, I don't know anyone who could make games in a large quantity. I can't. I know that DragonBox/Everdrive (Germany) is selling newly released NES/SNES games every now and then but that's it. :/

Author:  Fisher [ Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Replicating games in quantity outside the USA

Sadly, I have questioned these guys a sometime ago (sorry, I couldn't find the social network posts, probably they were deleted), pointed them to this article and for what I understood, they think this is bullshit.
Well, if there's a group of engineers / enthusiasts with proper knowledge doing tests and pointing it as harmful, I'll sure trust what they say, specially if they're using scientific methods.
I'm sorry that these guys seems to be only interested in money, pure "easy money". :-(
They don't have even a fraction of the passion that INL has...

Although I'm sort of a repro enthusiast, I generally get the parts form discarded stuff, so my "production capacity" is extremely low.
I prefer it this way, building games from me to me, or how some friends joke about I "transform old thrash into newer thrash". :lol:

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