Amid reports that Gil Hova’s game The Networks had been discontinued, the designer recently took to his blog to state that this is in fact not the case. Though the game’s entry on Amazon’s website was recently updated to reflect that it had been “discontinued by manufacturer,” the designer blames this mistake on Amazon and what reads as a counter-intuitive maze that publishers must navigate if they want to sell products using the popular online service.
The issue, according to Hova, has to do with the ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ service, which allows any retailer with a product in stock to change (in this case incorrectly) the item’s status, availability, or other details. Unfortunately, however, afterwards only that seller can correct this mistake. It appears that this is precisely what happened with The Networks. The designer notes that his game is still available, though admittedly in short supply. He adds that he has reached out to retailers who carry The Networks and sell through Amazon to discover who made the change so that it can be corrected.
“After Bad Medicine, I swore to not use Amazon FBA to fulfill any more Kickstarters. I was lucky to discover Funagain just before I fulfilled The Networks, and they helped me keep my promise. At the same time, I figured I would try to use Amazon FBA to at least move some stock of my game.
But I’m likely going cold turkey with Amazon FBA from here on in. It’s just too difficult to deal with, and too much work. I’d rather spend my time building relationships with distributors and publishers than have to do all the screaming into the void that a relationship with Amazon FBA requires.”
Gil Hova notes that he has fewer than 400 copies of The Networks on hand, leftover from 5,000 initially printed. He expects to sell through these remaining games following BGG.CON later this month. Afterwards, the designer hopes to have more copies in February, which will hopefully be more readily available.