companies staying away from rpg gamers - Page 23




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  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    It seems to me there's a bit of unsubstantiated assertion going on.

    "We had a bad experience trying to build for RPG players," does not clearly extend to, "Bad RPG people like this a major reason the RPG audience doesn't get much attention."

    It would seem to me that the more argument would be that tabletop RPG audience doesn't get much attention because it isn't all that big a market. I don't argue that some of us behave poorly, but the generalization seems poorly supported.
    Except that I don't recall him saying anything about the size of the market, but he did basically say that RPG people are viewed as "toxic" and don't get much attention because of it. The RPG market is small, so I don't think any large company is going to base their success on marketing to us regardless of how they perceive our behavior. The article seems to be a cop out on a client's failure to gain a significant profit from marketing to RPG players.

 

  • #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyan Basterd View Post
    If the collective "we" don't care how non-RPG products are delivered to us, why do "we" have such a negative reputation for raging against the results (LotR, X-Men movies, etc)?
    Just who are "we" here? Are "we" RPG gamers? Or Comic Book Guys? Or just hardcore fans of any given thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMyth View Post
    It sounds like you feel that media-related tie-ins to the game do not in any way expand the brand awareness or provide the potential for new players. I'm not sure what I can say to convince you otherwise. I would think it self-evident that more awareness of the game, especially in a positive light, would only help to draw in more players, and I think most marketing research would support this.
    That's not how tie-ins work. Tie-ins are a way to extract more money from hardcore fans of the main property. They are driven by the popularity of the main property; they do not drive it to any significant extent.

    In rare, exceptional cases, a tie-in may explode in popularity and become a success on its own merits, but as I said earlier, that's not something you can plan for. And if it does happen, I really doubt that a handful of "toxic gamers" are going to derail it.
    Last edited by Dausuul; Wednesday, 23rd June, 2010 at 06:23 PM.

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  • #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking View Post
    At which point, "'You gamers should shut up and drink the corporate kool-aid like everyone else" becomes a very understandable reading. If you ignore that marketing lens, then the blog entry may look spiffy keen. If you do not ignore that marketing lens, it may look less spiffy keen.
    So, "everyone else" drinks the corporate kool-aid and consumes silently? And people wonder why we have a reputation of being arrogant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Just who are "we" here? Are "we" RPG gamers? Or Comic Book Guys? Or just hardcore fans of any given thing?
    "We" are all RPGers. And we have a negative perception from those outside the hobby. My personal experience tells we that this perception is unfounded in the majority of RPGers, but also my experience shows that the perception is held disproprotionately by outsiders.
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  • #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggroy View Post
    Not every 1E AD&D grognard thinks this way.
    Perhaps not, but then, the people you know personally sound unlikely to be concerned with whether or not new products are marketed to them, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by pawsplay View Post
    I'm unconcerned with the business decisions of producers who lack resolve, ideas, and long-term vision.
    +1.

    I care far less about the quantity of products available, and far more about the quality. I'd rather fewer marketers with better ideas. Remember the initial product glut of 3.0? Should gamers have been uncritical? Did criticism lead to the survival of the better producers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Ahh, well, that's the rub, isn't it? The D&D movie wasn't well done. D&D players did not flock to see it in large numbers because a) it was bad and b) we simply don't have large numbers. And if you're wondering why Hollywood isn't eager to make more D&D movies, you need look no further than that. (Although it did make enough money to justify one direct-to-DVD sequel.)
    Indeed!

    This is the key question. I can't speak for anyone else, but I at least am not looking for novels and movies and transmedia and so forth from D&D. The comparison between RPG materials and an artist's paint and canvas is quite apt; neither the artist nor anyone else is interested in "Paint and Canvas: The Movie."

    Give me new and better paint, canvas, and brushes. Give me better ways to reach potential viewers and fellow artists. Increase the number of artists and viewers. That's all the "cool stuff" I want from RPGs and the companies that make them.
    Exactly so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyan Basterd View Post
    If the collective "we" don't care how non-RPG products are delivered to us, why do "we" have such a negative reputation for raging against the results (LotR, X-Men movies, etc)?
    I am not at all sure what you are saying here. Who is the collective "we" you are talking about? Gamers? Movie goers? Fans of comics? Fans of Tolkein?

    Regardless, I would suggest that "we" have such a negative reputation from the producers for raging against the results because the other option is for the producers to accept that criticism of the results is valid.

    This is not unlike being unable to sell a product to a market, and then blaming the market for not buying your product.

    (And this does not necessarily mean change -- criticism that Han Solo wasn't such a nice guy because he shot Greedo first is valid. But that doesn't invalidate Han Solo's character growth throughout Star Wars. Nor, IMHO, should it have been changed.)

    I am very happy with RCFG so far; I would be a moron if I therefore thought that the community should adopt the game "just 'cause". Many fair criticisms can be levelled against the system. Some have informed my revision; some miss the mark for what I am trying to accomplish.

    I've had some negative reviews for short stories I've had published, too. I could decide that was the fault of the fault of the story, or that the story and the reviewer just didn't click. And, sometimes, I believe one to be true, and sometimes the other, depending upon the review. What I don't believe is that it is the fault of the reviewer -- that he is "out to get me" or "acting maliciously". He may be, but there is no profit in that assumption.


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  • #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking View Post
    I read something more like this:

    1) Here is a story of something that happened to a client of his. He wanted to sell a product to gamers, but as those he ran into among the online crowd were hostile to this product and difficult to sell this product to, it was a better direction for the company to try and move entirely away from them.
    Except the post isn't referring to gamers that are hard to sell to. He is saying that in the story, it wasn't a problem that the gamers weren't buying his pitch, it was that they were "bad for business", and it was better in the long term to actively stop attracting that crowd.

    Later on, he explains that "There are customers out there who can faithfully buy from you and still run your company into the ground."

    Nowhere does he say these people want these gamers to just stop criticizing and buy their stuff. He's saying they want gamers to buy their stuff without driving away other consumers, or proving to be a hassle or hindrance in some other fashion.

    That's what is frustrating me, here. There seems to be a goal of trying to break this down into "Us" vs "Them", the "Gamers" vs "Corporations and Marketing".

    This idea that there couldn't actually be gamers out there who are acting like jerks - that it had to be the company's fault, that they are to blame for producing a shoddy product... I mean, it could be true. It certainly could be.

    But having this expectation that gamers could do no wrong, here, and that this is all about corporations and marketing just trying to brainwash them... again, the more we focus on 'us' vs 'them', the more insular that makes the gaming community.

    This article isn't about gamers who he has a hard time selling a product to. It is about gamers who buy a product, join a new community attached to it, and then drive others away. At which point the companies realize that even if the gamers themselves are willing to buy the product, they cost the company in the long run.

    Whether this claim is legitimate or not remains up for debate. But avoiding addressing it entirely, and saying this is all about evil corporations trying to brainwash the consumers, and that gamers are too smart to fall for that...

    Again, I just don't see it.

  • #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMyth View Post
    I would think it self-evident that more awareness of the game, especially in a positive light, would only help to draw in more players, and I think most marketing research would support this.

    For me, that is why we should care.
    Then, if the goal is to have "more awareness of the game, especially in a positive light", wouldn't that be better served by better product, rather than mere uncritical acceptance of whatever is produced?

    It seems clear to me that every product along this line to date, with the exception of the novel lines, has been based on the hope for mere uncritical acceptance of whatever is produced, because of the D&D logo.

    That dilutes the D&D logo, and is ultimately damaging to awareness of the game in a positive light.

    IMHO. YMMV.


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    EDIT: It is in the interest of marketers to convince you that your hobby is all of this "cool stuff".

    It is not always in your interest, nor in the interest of the hobby.
    Last edited by Raven Crowking; Wednesday, 23rd June, 2010 at 06:49 PM.
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  • #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyebeams View Post
    You seem to be under the impression that your opinion can influence my income, when the truth is I can say whatever the hell I want to you precisely because it doesn't.

    Get some grounding. Consider that a site choked with contextual advertising, a banner promoting paid membership, and popups exhorting mobile users to buy paid apps is where you believe you're taking a stand against evil commercial influence. You're fighting for freedom with the backing of the head of the second largest company trying to sell you things.
    What ads? I run with AdBlock Plus and NoScript. I see no ads and get no popups. I refuse to waste money on things that I can get for free. I know that I am far from alone in my Web browsing practices. I find your position to be that of a sucker, which is disappointing because I figured you to be wiser and smarter than that.

    Flat out, I don't need you. I don't need any publisher. Because of these two facts, you have to work really hard to give me a reason to buy- go learn from Trent Reznor, because he's already figured this out. I can roll my own, I have rolled my own, and I increasingly find it difficult to justify spending money on stuff that I can get for free elsewhere. Setting material? Wikis and YouTube vidoes are fantastic for this sort of stuff--one evening of Ancient Aliens clips on YouTube, which I don't pay a dime for, and I'm set for an indefinite period of time--and are free for the taking. Hell, combine the reading of a Wiki with listening to an audio clip from YouTube and I can make even better use of my time (and can do it on a lunch break, coffee break, etc. so I can fit other time commitments into it). Plenty of weblogs out there can, and do, provide useful information and content without all of the crap that you want out of it- and all without ever going near the matter of PDF piracy.

    Art? As in drawings and paintings? Google Image Search with relevant key words solves that problem. You're far more likely to find imagery that you'll want to use in other media, including non-fiction (especially non-fiction for certain genres). Sites like Deviant Art will handle the rest. Storytelling? Writing forums and 'blogs, and that's just the start of what's available for free. TVTropes alone covers so many bases that it's become my go-to place for any issue related to storytelling in its practical form. Design? The Gaming Den, where Frank Trollman puts out in clear, concise language what does and does not work (and why, and shows his work) is just one of many places where folks looking to roll their own can quickly get up to speed- and in similar time learn to master principles and thus become competent at it.

    The tabletop RPG hobby is now in a place where it can again become a haven for tinkerers and craftsmen. More and more players are aware that publishers aren't providing a sufficient reason to buy, so they aren't going to do so until that happens. They know that you need them, and that they don't need you. The retro-clone movement, while itself small, signals a larger reawakening of the very qualities that made tabletop RPGs take off to begin with: as a participatory, shared hobby of productive creativity. The publishers that grok this and feed into it are doing just fine, whereas the rest are choking on their own waste with no sensible folks lamenting that fact.

    What are you doing to justify your existence? As things are you look like whiny middlemen facing your own extinction, and if that is all that you are then go die in a fire and good riddance to you. Once you're producing something of actual value--and too few of publishers do--then you will actually be worth spending money upon. Until then, get back to work. You shan't be missed if you wish to quit.

    "then go die in a fire"? In what way do you think that is appropriate language to use in a discussion? Your out of this thread. ~ Plane Sailing
    Last edited by Plane Sailing; Wednesday, 23rd June, 2010 at 10:12 PM.
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  • #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    That's not how tie-ins work. Tie-ins are a way to extract more money from hardcore fans of the main property. They are driven by the popularity of the main property; they do not drive it to any significant extent.

    In rare, exceptional cases, a tie-in may explode in popularity and become a success on its own merits, but as I said earlier, that's not something you can plan for. And if it does happen, I really doubt that a handful of "toxic gamers" are going to derail it.
    I admit, I'm not an expert here. But I was really under the impression that helping to raise awareness of the brand could help bring in new consumers. If kids watch a D&D tv show, and like it, and then see the game in the store, they would be more likely to try it out.

    If adults see a D&D movie that actually does well - that stands on its own, and convinces them the game isn't about devil-worship or whatever other misconceptions they have, but actually has something interesting to offer - that helps the game in the long run. Even if those who see it don't immediately start playing themselves, it at least makes it something more conventional to them, more accepted. When their coworker mentions playing the game, it doesn't seem as weird and unusual as it would if it remained completely alien to them.

    And honestly? My very first connection with D&D? Dragonlance novels, and the SSI Gold Box games. I didn't even realize they were D&D when I played them - I just enjoyed the stories in the games, and when I found out some of my friends were playing a game that all these were based on, I leapt to get in on it.

    I'm not saying any one product is going to change the world. I simply don't agree with any outlook that says we don't need or want such media connections. Even if they haven't been done well in the past, I think they offer potential to attract new gamers and bring D&D more into the cultural mainstream, both of which are good things for our hobby in the long run.

  • #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyan Basterd View Post
    So, "everyone else" drinks the corporate kool-aid and consumes silently? And people wonder why we have a reputation of being arrogant.
    Well, make up your mind. Are we like everyone else, and hence not any more toxic than anyone else? Or are we different? You can't have it both ways.

    Clearly, the blog entry suggests that "everyone else" drinks the corporate kool-aid and consumes silently, and that we have a reputation of being toxic because we do not. Do you disagree with this assertation? Your posts do not make it seem so.

    (And I, for one, would rather have a reputation for being arrogant, than a reputation for being a patsy. Both are liable to be overstated. The person folks claim is arrogant is often just not easily pushed around. The person folks claim is a patsy is often just a bit too easily pushed around. I have no desire to be easily pushed around.)


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  • #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMyth View Post
    Except the post isn't referring to gamers that are hard to sell to. He is saying that in the story, it wasn't a problem that the gamers weren't buying his pitch, it was that they were "bad for business", and it was better in the long term to actively stop attracting that crowd.

    Later on, he explains that "There are customers out there who can faithfully buy from you and still run your company into the ground."

    Nowhere does he say these people want these gamers to just stop criticizing and buy their stuff. He's saying they want gamers to buy their stuff without driving away other consumers, or proving to be a hassle or hindrance in some other fashion.
    Much of the problem lies in the bullet points that open the article. Those bullet points include "pursuing concrete goals instead of social conversations," which hardly sounds like an objectionable thing; plus "relating cynically to content" and "resisting desired (money-making) behaviors," which sound an awful lot like the reaction of consumers to bad product in the first case and a poor business model in the second.

    At that point, a lot of folks concluded that this was bellyaching from somebody who couldn't figure out how to make money off us, decided it was somehow our fault, and then turned his own failure into a sweeping indictment of the gaming community (or some "toxic" subset thereof) as consumers in general. The rest of the post does nothing to lessen this impression.

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