We have been distributing games for other publishers since we got started back in 2014. When we split off from SchilMil Games, we got the rights to Raid the Pantry and Granny Wars, both of which we shortly reprinted under the Cheeky label, but we also made an agreement with Amanda of SchilMil to distribute the titles they retained: Komodo, Kenakalan, and Manifest. When AuZtralia and its expansions came along, we were also able to add them to our catalogue.
Meanwhile, our first forays into distribution for people we didn't already know came in 2016. We took a supply of the Kickstarted game Karmaka, and also signed on to distribute the educational game, the Dragon Games, having helped Creative Maths of Christchurch to get it manufactured.
Through the years, it's been good to have additional games to offer retailers besides our own. We have fairly strict criteria of what constitutes a Cheeky Parrot Game, like smaller box, relatively simple game-play, and family friendliness. Games we distribute have enlarged these parameters, lending more variety to our catalogue. Most of our retailers deal with more than one game distributor, but the few who only do business with us know that there is something in our lineup for virtually every customer.
Cheeky Parrot Product Line as of 2017
I often comment that board gaming is a terribly incremental business, as the profits from one title need to be invested in the next or in reprints. When distributing for others I do pay more per title, but since I am neither obliged to pay for artwork and other game development costs nor royalties, sometimes the profit per unit exceeds that for my own titles, especially for bigger box games, where there is more room for third parties to clip the ticket.
Distributing for other Kiwi publishers is also a way for me to support the industry here, particularly for first-time designers who may have used Kickstarter to fund their print run. Manufacturers usually require print runs of at least 500 if not 1000-2000 units, but it is the rare Kickstarter campaign that attracts pledges for close to these quantities, so there are usually a few hundred copies left over. Very handy to turn over the sale of those units to a distributor who already has a retailer network and can sell your game alongside others.
Recently, we've signed distribution deals with two new Kiwi designers. Mark Kaneko of Flat Cap Games attracted 271 backers on Kickstarter for his two-player cooperative, Lindyhop. This will be the first solely cooperative game we've stocked, as well as the only two-player, so it will be helpful for Cheeky Parrot to see how Lindyhop is received in the market, given that we have our own cooperative game in the wings. The other title we're looking forward to distributing is Ovation, by fellow expat American Kiwi Kirsten Lunde of Looking Glass Workshop, which raised three times its target on Kickstarter thanks to 923 backers. Ovation is a starter to medium Euro-style engine builder and will fit in nicely alongside Komodo and Galilean Moons.