another rpg industry doomsday article (merged: all 3 "Mishler Rant" threads)




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    another rpg industry doomsday article (merged: all 3 "Mishler Rant" threads)

    Last edited by ggroy; Friday, 17th July, 2009 at 05:28 PM. Reason: placing links onto first page

 

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    That's fascinating. Thanks you for the link.

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    Good catch ggroy. Interesting read.

    I'm not sure if I buy entirely into his doom and gloom predictions (for example, he totally blows off younger generations as being only interested in Britany Spears, despite the fact that teen readers are actually buying books and reading in record numbers in the US currently) but, his basic point is very solid.

    Gaming is too cheap. He's not the first to say this. Everything he says about trying to make money on RPG's is, IMO, spot on.
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    I almost stopped reading when I realised he was guessing on 4e's success based on amazon rankings. Makes me wonder how much of the rest is just pure guessworked pulled out of his rear.

    But was a fun read.

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    All I can say is the 4e core books cost me slightly more than the 1e core books did when I purchased them back in the mid 1980s, in currency unadjusted for inflation, or for the fact I, along with a big chuck of the graying RPG market, have a lot more disposable income now than we did as adolescents. That's not a sustainable pricing model.

    Good read. Some dumb curmudgeonly remarks about the 'kids of today'... but still, a good read.

    I think the future of RPG's is found right here; in Internet communities, fan creations, and cottage/vanity industries --with very different distribution models that aren't-- that, for the most part, people's primary source of income.
    Last edited by Mallus; Wednesday, 15th July, 2009 at 05:12 PM.
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    It was an interesting read.

    1. He misses one potential solution (or mitigator). You can trick consumers into paying more by selling them multiple books instead of one really thick book. Consumers who would never, ever pay $100 for a big, thick hardcover book with high production values will in fact pay $100 for three medium sized hardcover books with high production values. This probably extends to other types of products as well.

    2. While I agree that the pdf "race to zero" is going to have an effect on the overall market for RPG materials, he seems to be directly and specifically blaming Paizo. I'm not sure that's warranted. :-) Consumers were going to demand cheap pdfs relative to book costs whether or not Paizo led the way.

    3. The "blame young people for being too lazy to game or even hang out with friends" thing is moronic. If I ever start doing that, I hope my wife has me put down.

    4. I don't entirely agree with his assessment of the initial days of 3e- I think that reviving a flagging product line was as much or more of a factor than bringing back older former gamers.

    5. He doesn't address the whole "competition with WotC" thing. WotC's ability (and the ability of other larger game companies) to sell in bulk and set prices based on bulk sales sets not only expectations, but also sets the cost of products with which a small publisher's products must compete. Willingness to pay a set MSRP isn't based solely on things like "entitlement" (whatever the heck that is), but also on what you could purchase instead for the same money. The rise of big game publishers is going to, by its nature, have an effect on smaller game publishers. Its no different than Borders pushing out your local privately owned book store.

    6. I do not believe that edition wars are instigated by an unconscious desire to tear down other game companies so that your favorite one can survive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    Role-playing gaming as an avocation will survive, as a vocation, not so much.
    Yes. This right here. We, as fans, should worry about the survival of the hobby, which as far as I'm concerned isn't in any real doubt. The industry is only there to support the hobby. I think too often in discussions of these types, people get that reversed, and the tail wags the dog.

    I sometimes see people saying we need to buy product to keep the hobby healthy. I think, a lot of the time, your money might be more efficiently used by supporting sites like this one, funding local gaming clubs, and other hobby-building activities.
    <exasperated DM> "Underlying what? ... motivation? Do you want to play Dungeons & Dragons or not?"

    <drama obsessed player> "How can I narrate my character's co-mingled sense of alienation and ennui towards modern society in this second-rate dungeon hack? My character returns to the surface and uses his remaining gold to start up an organic coffee shop that caters to left-wing revolutionaries... and hot elvish chicks."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Good catch ggroy. Interesting read.

    I'm not sure if I buy entirely into his doom and gloom predictions (for example, he totally blows off younger generations as being only interested in Britany Spears, despite the fact that teen readers are actually buying books and reading in record numbers in the US currently) but, his basic point is very solid.
    I would have liked to see actual numbers and market research to substantiate everything after the seemingly informed info on publishing costs. For example:
    Third Edition did not succeed based on new acquisitions in the youth market; the bulk of their market was in gamers returning to the fold.
    That's a big claim. Without significant market research, I don't know how you can claim it correct. His "4e is really WoW on the tabletop" trolling wasn't much better either.

    Gaming is too cheap. He's not the first to say this. Everything he says about trying to make money on RPG's is, IMO, spot on.
    That I can agree with. I just got an old copy of Against the Giants off of ebay. Comparing that to what you get with a modern module, the modern modules have much better art direction, layout, quality of paper, etc, yet the inflation adjusted prices are almost the same.
    Looking to start a new 4e group in Louisville.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadfan View Post
    3. The "blame young people for being too lazy to game or even hang out with friends" thing is moronic. If I ever start doing that, I hope my wife has me put down.t believe that edition wars are instigated by an unconscious desire to tear down other game companies so that your favorite one can survive.
    Oh dear god yes. If you want to make a "kids these days" argument, you have a very high bar to clear. It was wrong when Hesiod made it in almost 3000 years ago, it was wrong when everyone said that about Gen X, it'll probably be wrong in the future. The inability of older generations to specifically not learn from their elders says something about the older generations, not the current youth one.
    Looking to start a new 4e group in Louisville.

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    I almost stopped when he said comparable products have increased at a much higher rate than RPG books. I don't think that's true. I've been buying paperbacks as long as I've been buying RPGs, and they've paced each other fairly well, I think. Which makes sense, as in a sense, they have most of the same cost inputs.

    Comic books, on the other hand, have increased in cost tremendously, but then again, so have the inputs. Full color (as opposed to 4-color) and shiny, quality paper as opposed to newsprint; my old comic books are really, really noticeably different than today's comic books.

    Anyway, CPI hasn't increased by that amount either. I right away got the impression he was just pulling numbers out of thin air. The rest of the article didn't convince me otherwise.

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

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