Publishing lessons

Board games & crowdfunding

Reducing minimum order quantities for variants

9th February 2023 2

All manufacturers have minimum order quantities (MOQs) and usually they’ll either be 1,000 or 1,500 units. If you want to work with a specific manufacturer you will need to produce at least their MOQ for them to be willing to work with you.

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume your chosen manufacturer has a MOQ of 1,000.

With modern crowdfunding it is not unusual to have a retail version of a game and a deluxe version of a game.

The deluxe version allows people who are interested in your game and supporting you to spend extra money and get upgraded components.

The retail version allows you to offer a better price point to distributors and stores and will often be more popular after your campaign has fulfilled.

The problem many creators then face is instead of raising the money to produce 1,000 copies of a game, they are now tasked with producing 1,000 retail versions and 1,000 deluxe versions.

The solution is to make the deluxe version an addition to the retail version, rather than making it a completely unique product.


Let’s assume you want to produce 350 retail copies of your game and 1,000 deluxe copies.

As 2 separate products your manufacturer may be unwilling to produce 350 copies of a game, and even if they were the costs will be extremely high.

My approach would be to produce 1,350 copies of the retail game.

I would then ask my manufacturer to produce:

  • 1,000 sets of deluxe components
  • 1,000 stickers

I’d ask them to then pack the 1,000 sets of deluxe components into 1,000 copies of the retail game, leaving 350 copies as is.

Finally, I’d request a sticker to be placed on the back of the shrink wrap (not the box) of these 1,000 copies so they can be identified. The sticker would have a unique SKU, barcode, and other identifying information.

The result of this is you are producing 1,350 of one product and 1,000 of another, rather than 350 and 1,000.

To conclude

If you want to offer multiple versions of your game then I recommend each version offers upgrades to the retail version rather than changes, allowing you to stack MOQs using the method above. This will help bring your costs down and make printing multiple versions much more affordable.

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Mathue

    9th February 2023 at 8:06 pm

    Great advice, I always struggled with the best way to pull this off. I appreciate all the blog post you put out!


    • Frank West

      9th February 2023 at 10:09 pm

      It’s my pleasure Mathue!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *