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Physical Copies Shipping Explanation

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Physical Copies Shipping Explanation -- 11/7/2013 2:00:00 AM
We note that from time to time discussions over physical copies of our games comes up in the forums and with the imminent release of World in Flames we thought it worth giving you a short explanation of the process and our current situation.

Some of you may be aware that a few months ago the company operating our warehousing and shipping facility for the European territories closed their European operations without any prior notice. You can imagine the disruption that this has caused internally, including shipping everything to our US Warehouse, but in the main the interim measures that we have put in place seem to have worked reasonably well. At least we have not had any complaints arising from this.

However, we are pleased to announce that we have now resolved this issue and our new European Warehousing operation will be back in action by February/March next year. It is not an insubstantial task to set all of this up and ship the products back across the pond.

The main part of the warehousing process is to print, box and pack copies of the games on demand, using specialised printing machinery. However the game manuals have to be printed in bulk using traditional printing methods. We have not found any print on demand system that can create versions of the books or manuals able to stand up to the regular use that these get without falling apart. Consequently we continue to print all books; maps, manuals etc in the Far East and ship them across.

So how does all this affect our customers? It may interest you to know that between 20% to 40%, depending on the title still want a full boxed copy to go with their instant Digital Download version. We work extremely hard to negotiate shipping and postal rates and I can tell you that we pay substantially less than the normal rates, and the savings made are passed in full to our customers.

The question of what happens at Customs is often asked and to be honest this is the hardest detail to get your head around. There is simply no consistency here whatsoever. Customs import charges, sales duties and VAT are levied on an erratic and inconsistent way. This is dealt with differently from country to country and even within countries it can depend on the port or destination and even the staff on duty. Even at the highest level of inspections in the most robust jurisdiction we estimate that around 1 in 6 packages are inspected and in some territories not at all. Smaller packages are less likely to be scanned or inspected than larger ones.

We are very aware of the impact that this may have on the World in Flames bundles due to the size and weight and how these packages are categorised by individual authorities. Are they books, stationary, video games, board games or what? It is therefore impossible for us to forecast the ratio of inspections that may occur, but what we can tell you is that our research would seem to indicate that duty, sales or VAT charge from your authorities, if levied, should be no more than $20 per package. This of course can vary dependent on taxation and levy rates in each country.

We thought that it was worth bringing as much of this, far from certain situation to your attention, as we possibly can before the release of World in Flames. This is by far the most unusual product we have ever released.

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