D&D 4th Edition [Goodman/Dancey on 4E] RPGs in the 21st Century - towards another "generational peak" - Page 4





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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomlib View Post
    When I overhear businessmen at lunch talking about their Dwarven Warrior and teen girls at a friend's daughter's birthday party excitedly talking about Blood Elfs then I cannot believe any excuse for poor sales.
    WoW is the mass market version of D&D.

 

  • #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggroy View Post
    I vaguely remember back in the early-mid 1990's, when text based muds were more popular than today.

    MUD - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Muds have largely been supersceded by MMORPGs).

    Posters/pundits on various usenet newsgroups from that time period were guessing that TSR would eventually produce their own mud. I don't remember TSR ever producing a popular D&D mud, unless it was a total failure that went away under the radar in a fly by night manner.
    Well, there was the original Neverwinter Nights, which wasn't text based (it was based on the gold box engine) but it preceeded the real MMOs. It ran for a long time so I'm assuming it was respectably profitable.
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  • #33
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    ° Ignore ggroy
    Quote Originally Posted by Spatula View Post
    Well, there was the original Neverwinter Nights, which wasn't text based (it was based on the gold box engine) but it preceeded the real MMOs. It ran for a long time so I'm assuming it was respectably profitable.
    I never played Neverwinter Nights back then. (I never used AOL back then either).

    Besides various arcade and console games, the only rpg-like video game I played in those days was Nethack. (The versions of Nethack in those days resembled "ascii art", more than anything else).

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  • #34
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    To compete in a videogame saturated market and if WOTC is to build up to a "3rd wave" of popularity, the only real choice is to ramp up the eyecandy by several degrees. That may even mean shifting their focus mechanically with a heavier emphasis on terrain. If you look at the relative success of Heroscape or many of FantasyFlight Games offerings, the core sell point is jaw dropping "on-the-table" presentation. I'm not talking rinky-dink poster maps, splash art, badly painted figures, or gimmicky digital hybrid apps, I mean a full fledged, tangible, true 3-D assault on the eyeballs.

    While the core game system is absolutely important, I think too much emphasis is placed on it as the soul savior of the D&D brand. Obviously I'm extremely bias due to the business I'm in but to me the formula is simple; Overwhelm their ADHD, knee-jerk, visual "need it" center to get videogame players in the door and then get them hooked on the deeper content. All they need is the right streamlined, visual push and I think a heavy focus on terrain could do that for them.

    I mean, what kid wouldn't want a WOW equivalent sitting on their kitchen table?
    Last edited by Denny; Monday, 22nd June, 2009 at 09:34 PM.
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  • #35
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    ° Ignore ggroy
    Quote Originally Posted by Denny View Post
    To compete in a videogame saturated market and if WOTC is to build up to a "3rd wave" of popularity, the only real choice is to ramp up the eyecandy by several degrees. That may even mean shifting their focus mechanically with a heavier emphasis on terrain. If you look at the relative success of Heroscape or many of FantasyFlight Games offerings, the core sell point is jaw dropping "on-the-table" presentation. I'm not talking rinky-dink poster maps, splash art, badly painted figures, or gimmicky digital hybrid apps, I mean a full fledged, tangible, true 3-D assault on the eyeballs.

    While the core game system is absolutely important, I think too much emphasis is placed on it as the soul savior of the D&D brand. Obviously I'm extremely bias due to the business I'm in but to me the formula is simple; Overwhelm their ADHD, knee-jerk, visual "need it" center to get videogame players in the door and then get them hooked on the deeper content. All they need is the right streamlined, visual push and I think a heavy focus on terrain could do that for them.

    I mean, what kid wouldn't want a WOW equivalent sitting on their kitchen table?
    One day there will be a holodeck version of WoW or Forgotten Realms!

  • #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denny View Post
    I mean, what kid wouldn't want a WOW equivalent sitting on their kitchen table?
    Two questions:

    How many parents want to spend the money required to recreate WoW on their kitchen table?

    How many parents have the time to recreate WoW on their kitchen table, assuming they purchase the tools to do so?
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  • #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    Two questions:

    How many parents want to spend the money required to recreate WoW on their kitchen table?

    How many parents have the time to recreate WoW on their kitchen table, assuming they purchase the tools to do so?
    Two good questions but its how WOTC would approach the problems of cost and ease of use that are key in finding a way forward. There are many ways to keep things "easy" and at a low production cost while still looking amazing. They can give me a call if they want some ideas...lol
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  • #38
    A caveat: I am not personally much interested in whatever may happen with WotC's business. The D&D I prefer to play has already -- as is the case with traditional historical wargaming -- been abandoned by Hasbro, and taken up by hobbyists able to sustain it without a big corporation's concern for return on investment. As the hobby was started by hobbyists, and most of the best works (in my view) have been published by such small firms as TSR was in its early days, I regard that as a probably healthy return to norm.


    I think consideration of the fad aspect is probably spot on. I seem to recall a couple of booms in arcade games, since which the proliferation of actual arcades appears to have been a passing fad. The dedicated cabinet console has gone the way of the pinball machine -- not vanished, but much less common than formerly. Video games are now well established, though, as home entertainment on specialized or general-purpose personal computer systems.

    Likewise, I see paper-and-pencil RPGs as having enjoyed a fad in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I think WotC would probably profit from having something that really fills the same niche as the old Basic sets, but I doubt that any strategy is going to bring back the good old days when D&D was almost as hot as disco (well, as close as something so geeky could be).

    The hobby never was as big as the Grateful Dead, and I don't think it -- much less D&D alone -- ever will be.

    One reason perhaps is that it's tied to genre fiction, and by the time something becomes a genre it's already moribund. We have seen the stages of rigor mortis from clichÚ to parody. The carcass today has largely been consumed, and "fantasy" -- in a much broader interpretation -- is pretty much the new "mainstream". Genre fandom never dies, it just fades back into its customary place at the fringes of culture.

    Commercially, what seems to work for Wizards is getting ever more revenue from a stagnant or even contracting market. D&Ders who use miniatures, and those who are into published game settings and their fiction lines, spend more. Those who routinely "upgrade" with the latest supplement -- and eventually with the latest game -- spend more. The "new edition" routine can be counted on for a periodic burst of sales, as well as providing an opportunity to sell the same "intellectual property" all over again.

    What seems the next obvious move is to leverage that brand loyalty into the computer software field. Wizards seems to me not to have a very good track record in that department so far, but getting into online services (in which D&D Insider is just the first step) is clearly the new frontier.

  • #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedgeski View Post
    This is a reason *never* to change, never to try a new approach, never to innovate, and never to take risks. It's easier for me to say this because I like the new edition a whole lot, but I'm glad of the changes.
    There's a difference between making changes and alienating an audience that just got hooked on a previous edition. Obviously I think WotC crossed the dividing line there.

  • #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    Two questions:

    How many parents want to spend the money required to recreate WoW on their kitchen table?
    Have you seen my son's LEGO collection?

    How many parents have the time to recreate WoW on their kitchen table, assuming they purchase the tools to do so?
    If the kids aren't doing it themselves, it's a failure.

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