Forked from WotC Layoffs: Industry Size
Page 1 of 8 12345678 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 71
  1. #1
    SILVER DEFENDER
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    Khur's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Kent, Washington, United States
    Posts
    457

    Forked from WotC Layoffs: Industry Size

    Forked from the thread about my cohorts and me losing our jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack99 View Post
    Considering the state of the 3pp business today, what companies other than WotC are likely to hire fulltime? Goodman Games perhaps?
    None, really, if you're talking about third-party people who make D&D-related or d20 derivative RPG materials--including 3e stuff and d20-era spinoffs. It seems to me, without any snark intended, that many people here and on other boards have a, shall we say, highly optimistic view of the size of tabletop RPG companies and who actually competes with who. Most are tiny, and darn few have the wherewithal to do more than hire freelancers on a per-job basis. (That's better than nothing, of course.) Even those that seem to have a decent "fulltime" staff sometimes have that staff spread across the country in what amounts to a collective of regularly employed freelancers. (Nothing wrong with that--it's cool people can work this way nowadays. And some of my favorite people have done so--such as Rob Schwalb with Green Ronin.)

    And this leads me to dispel another myth I often wanted to chime in about. Despite popular speculation, nobody really "competes" with Wizards and D&D in the tabletop RPG pool, as long as we define "competes" as "taking meaningful market share from Wizards." I mean nobody. Fortunately, one doesn't have to compete on that level to be successful. That's a good thing in my opinion, allowing games such as Pathfinder and Mutants & Masterminds/True 20 to do well (I hope) financially for creative folks at small companies.

    Although I know some fans see it as a battle, we designers are fairly amicable and part of a small group, definitely with strong opinions. Even if I don't know another designer, I probably know someone who knows him or her. We've probably even had a drink with such folks at GenCon or whatnot. I wrote a little d20 book for Silverthorn Games, and got to meet Goodman at D&D Experience last year. I've had the privileged of meeting Chris Pramas and company through my association with Rob Schwalb, for example. I once did a little work with Sean K. Reynolds before he went to Paizo, and I shake his hand every time I see him. I've never managed to sit down with Jason Bulmahn for a beer, but I meant to and would in a heartbeat. I hope these people do well so they can keep doing what they love.

    That doesn't mean they do or need to actually compete with Wizards. And my statement doesn't mean I think nobody can or will compete on that level. It just isn't really happening now. The real competition for Wizards and everyone else is other forms of entertainment, especially video games.

  2. #2

    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

    Klaus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Posts
    12,726
    Quote Originally Posted by Khur View Post
    Forked from the thread about my cohorts and me losing our jobs.

    None, really, if you're talking about third-party people who make D&D-related or d20 derivative RPG materials--including 3e stuff and d20-era spinoffs. It seems to me, without any snark intended, that many people here and on other boards have a, shall we say, highly optimistic view of the size of tabletop RPG companies and who actually competes with who. Most are tiny, and darn few have the wherewithal to do more than hire freelancers on a per-job basis. (That's better than nothing, of course.) Even those that seem to have a decent "fulltime" staff sometimes have that staff spread across the country in what amounts to a collective of regularly employed freelancers. (Nothing wrong with that--it's cool people can work this way nowadays. And some of my favorite people have done so--such as Rob Schwalb with Green Ronin.)

    And this leads me to dispel another myth I often wanted to chime in about. Despite popular speculation, nobody really "competes" with Wizards and D&D in the tabletop RPG pool, as long as we define "competes" as "taking meaningful market share from Wizards." I mean nobody. Fortunately, one doesn't have to compete on that level to be successful. That's a good thing in my opinion, allowing games such as Pathfinder and Mutants & Masterminds/True 20 to do well (I hope) financially for creative folks at small companies.

    Although I know some fans see it as a battle, we designers are fairly amicable and part of a small group, definitely with strong opinions. Even if I don't know another designer, I probably know someone who knows him or her. We've probably even had a drink with such folks at GenCon or whatnot. I wrote a little d20 book for Silverthorn Games, and got to meet Goodman at D&D Experience last year. I've had the privileged of meeting Chris Pramas and company through my association with Rob Schwalb, for example. I once did a little work with Sean K. Reynolds before he went to Paizo, and I shake his hand every time I see him. I've never managed to sit down with Jason Bulmahn for a beer, but I meant to and would in a heartbeat. I hope these people do well so they can keep doing what they love.

    That doesn't mean they do or need to actually compete with Wizards. And my statement doesn't mean I think nobody can or will compete on that level. It just isn't really happening now. The real competition for Wizards and everyone else is other forms of entertainment, especially video games.
    Chris, just wanted to chime in and say I regret that we didn't manage to work together. Hopefully we will in the future!

  3. #3

    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    10,230
    Quote Originally Posted by Khur View Post
    Forked from the thread about my cohorts and me losing our jobs.

    None, really, if you're talking about third-party people who make D&D-related or d20 derivative RPG materials--including 3e stuff and d20-era spinoffs. It seems to me, without any snark intended, that many people here and on other boards have a, shall we say, highly optimistic view of the size of tabletop RPG companies and who actually competes with who.
    Heck, as far as I know, WotC (as opposed WotC as part of Hasbro) was pretty much on the bubble between a small and mid-sized company by standard definitions. And a lot of WotC is M:TG and other non-RPG business.

  4. #4

    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    11,511
    Hell, look at Noonan - he's not even in the tabletop biz. He's working for an MMO!

    Which does show there's options out there beyond polyhedron rolling companies.

    Although I know some fans see it as a battle, we designers are fairly amicable and part of a small group, definitely with strong opinions. Even if I don't know another designer, I probably know someone who knows him or her. We've probably even had a drink with such folks at GenCon or whatnot. I wrote a little d20 book for Silverthorn Games, and got to meet Goodman at D&D Experience last year. I've had the privileged of meeting Chris Pramas and company through my association with Rob Schwalb, for example. I once did a little work with Sean K. Reynolds before he went to Paizo, and I shake his hand every time I see him. I've never managed to sit down with Jason Bulmahn for a beer, but I meant to and would in a heartbeat. I hope these people do well so they can keep doing what they love.
    Heh. I got a similar take from Rodney Thompson - we had lunch earlier this year, and he told me that the week previous, he and some other WotC folks went over to someone from Paizo's house to play boardgames all day, and that there was a backyard barbeque where designers from both companies hung out. The message was: the Seattle gaming industry is small, and everyone are friends.

  5. #5

    Time Agent (Lvl 24)

    Mistwell's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Van Nuys, CA
    Posts
    13,991
    Thanks for commenting Chris.

    I don't suppose you could tell us how well 4e is doing, relative to how well 3.5 and 3.0 did?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
    I don't suppose you could tell us how well 4e is doing, relative to how well 3.5 and 3.0 did?
    Better not. That can turn ugly rather fast.

  7. #7

    Lama (Lvl 13)



    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    931
    Quote Originally Posted by Khur View Post
    The real competition for Wizards and everyone else is other forms of entertainment, especially video games.
    And that to me is the biggest damn shame ever. The entire entertainment industry could in fact be made to bolster the D&D brand and RPGs as a whole if it were made to.

    Just look at how far the comic book industry has come since the near-collapse in the nineties, which actually followed a very big boom and numerous third-party companies opening shop and then folding within the span of a few years (Malibu, Valiant, etc.). The parallels to the RPG industry are actually rather astounding as these companies were headed by ex-Marvel and DC people, including the surviving Image Comics which was born out of a unification of creators tired of corporate policy and lack of rights/respect.

    In those days, comics really were facing extinction. They had to evolve beyond print. That required an assessment of what they had to offer, and the answer was very simple, ideas. Marvel is even called the House of Ideas. Ideas and history. Both Marvel and DC could offer intellectual properties that would go on to become blockbuster movies, Saturday morning cartoons, DVD/BluRay releases on 6 month schedules, various apparel ranging from infants to adults, console video games, action figures, games and toys, theme parks, electronic comics and audio books, among others. And all of that stabilized and strengthened them as publishers, allowing for the healthy and incredible comic industry that we have today.

    Why in the hell isn't Hasbro utilizing this proven, successful strategy with D&D? I mean they've managed to net millions upon millions with other properties like Transformers and G.I.JOE. They have the means to do so, and it's something that would ultimately generate growth within WotC, more products for all of us, and in the long run a healthier RPG market and more game/hobby stores. Call that last part a jump in logic, but any sort of exposure to D&D be it a movie, cartoon, comic or otherwise draws attention to the original game. Those are potential players who may find a liking in the hobby as a whole.

    I don't believe those abysmal movies from a few years back to be an inescapable curse, nor the terrible Dragonlance animated movie. Crap, yes, but that happens in entertainment and you move on. Batman and Robin was a horrendous flick, but does that stop you from enjoying The Dark Knight?

    I also don't believe in the nerdy basement stigma over D&D and hobby games, either. I've never suffered any sort of persecution for my hobby choice and I've actually gotten plenty of people to try it out, including high school kids, college kids and working adults. This is the age where World of Warcraft is cool and acceptable as a pass time. Remember that there was a stigma over video games, and now the video game industry eclipses both the music and movie industries combined in revenue (or something close to it). There was a stigma with comics, but now they're 'cool' and mainstreamed. Stigma is just BS in my mind, partially fed by the people who think they are victimized by it. It's able to be overcome, if it exists at all.

    Now I already see some moves being made to reconcile the RPG industry with other entertainment, and in fact utilize it for growth. Green Ronin and their partnership with Bioware to create Dragon Age the RPG to coincide with the video game is a great example. Those sort of moves are what the industry needs now, especially from D&D/Hasbro. They could not only halt the shrink, even despite this economy, they could grow the whole market exponentially.

    That's it. I'm applying to Hasbro! I'll fix this guys!

  8. #8

    The Size of Paizo

    Hey y'all:

    While Chris is spot on that nobody is really the size of Wizards in both market share and number of employees, I do want to point out that Paizo has 26 full-time employees (and we are hiring still) who work in our 7,000 square foot office with a 16,000 square -foot warehouse. They get very competitive salaries and Paizo pays all of their medical and dental insurance as well as that of their spouses/domestic partners and their children. I just don't want people to think that Paizo is some sort of fly-by-night company working out of somebody's garage. We have a full-time accountant, two customer service reps, two warehouse guys, and a heck of a lot of full-time designers. WotC may be the 800 lb. gorilla in this industry, but Paizo is at least a 400 lb. gorilla.

    Btw, I was the first employee at WotC back in 1991, so I know a bit about growing companies. At one point, when we had the retail stores, WotC employed almost 2,000 people.

    There are a lot of companies being run as people's hobbies in this industry. Heck, that is how both White Wolf and Wizards of the Coast got started, but Paizo is the full-time job of 26 very talented people, who don't have time for hobbies!

    -Lisa Stevens
    CEO
    Paizo

  9. #9

    Guide (Lvl 11)

    catsclaw227's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    4,173
    Thanks for the info Chris.

    EDIT: And Lisa! I had guessed that Paizo was a nice sized group. Especially with having their own warehouse. BTW -- who gets to double as HR?

    It would be great to hang out among that group in Seattle. Companies may be hard-hearted, but the people there certainly aren't. I imagine that they're all just gamers that wish that everyone could wash off their bias and roll some dice together.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by catsclaw227 View Post
    And Lisa! I had guessed that Paizo was a nice sized group. Especially with having their own warehouse. BTW -- who gets to double as HR?
    That would be me. But in reality, we split lots of the HR duties up amongst the managers, but when it comes time to edit the employee handbook or sit in on all of the reviews, that would be me putting in the time. I'd love to have a full-time HR person, but that really isn't practical unless you have a much larger company, say 100+

    -Lisa

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. WotC's Annual Xmas Layoffs
    By Morrus in forum *Pathfinder, Starfinder, Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, OSR
    Replies: 232
    Last Post: Wednesday, 11th January, 2012, 02:06 PM
  2. Unconfirmed: More Layoffs at WotC
    By davethegame in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 284
    Last Post: Thursday, 13th May, 2010, 01:12 AM
  3. Forked Thread: layoffs? Randy Buehler's last column from today
    By Admiral Caine in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: Thursday, 4th December, 2008, 08:07 PM
  4. Reasons for WOTC's layoffs
    By mhensley in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: Friday, 15th March, 2002, 11:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •