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Return to Dark Tower board game retail price increased due to shipping woes

Continued lack of containers causing costs.

Return to Dark Tower board game gameplay
Image credit: Restoration Games

Return to Dark Tower, the long-awaited sequel to the original 1980s board game, will be sold at a higher retail price due to current shipping issues.

In a recent update on the Kickstarter campaign page, Restoration Games - the publisher responsible for releasing the upcoming board game - admitted that costs associated with obtaining shipping containers was partly to blame for the increase in MSRP to $190.

Though the studio confirmed that it would not be asking backers to provide any additional funding - unlike the Kickstarter campaign for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice, which requested backers pay shipping costs on top of their pledge - the retail price for the game has seen an increase as a result of the rapidly rising cost of shipping containers, which have reportedly risen from $5,000 per container to upwards of $20,000.

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“Some of you have asked about how the rise in container cost will impact the project,” said Restoration Games, “This was one of the factors in raising the MSRP to $190.”

The Kickstarter update outlined Restoration’s issues with finding somewhere to store components for Return to Dark Tower whilst waiting for shipping containers to be freed up, leading to the company having to rent an off-site warehouse for the meantime.

“At this point, we have a steady stream of completed games that will be coming off the line,” confirmed Restoration, “so really it is now a matter of when we can get containers to ship them in.”

Restoration’s shipping issues have been echoed by several other tabletop publishers such as Leder Games - the studio behind titles like Root and Oath - whose creative director, Patrick Leder, commented in an article for Dicebreaker on how shipping containers have significantly increased in price due to industries and shipping ports being closed down in response to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Return to Dark Tower board game gameplay
Image credit: Restoration Games

“In a typical year we would pay US$5,000 (£3,600) per container in the weeks surrounding late January,” Leder explained, “We bid US$19,000 (£13,750) for a container and did not get one. That was the moment I knew we were going to have a problem.”

Return to Dark Tower - which was co-created by Gloomhaven designer Isaac Childres and Pandemic Legacy: Season One co-designer Rob Daviau - is a sequel to the 1981 fantasy board game that sees players becoming heroes who are attempting to save the world from a horde of monsters originating from the monolith itself. A tabletop title with an electronic tower that will react to player actions and provide atmospheric sounds and effects, Return to Dark Tower features resource collection, combat and exploration.

Besides Return to Dark Tower, Restoration Games is most well known for publishing board games based on once forgotten franchises and designs, such as Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar and Downforce, alongside the skirmish miniatures series Unmatched.

It is not yet confirmed when backers will receive their copies of Return to Dark Tower, with retail sites such as Zatu listing the title as arriving in stores next month.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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