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Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:11 AM #251
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
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Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:11 AM #252
Those who are trying to come up with timelines to "prove" WotC caused 4e's sales decline are missing the boat. WotC was proud of 4e, genuinely believed it would hold the vast bulk of the gaming community together, and planned to give 4e a standard 7-10 year run before introducing a new edition. WotC invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in R&D, advertising, etc for 4e. The fact that they pulled the plug on it years early, nullifying much of the huge investment they made, *is* the smoking gun that lets us know 4e sales were falling through the floor.
Hitting the panic button isn't done lightly at a company like WotC, which almost everyone acknowledges is an incredibly slow-moving entity most of the time. Nor is publicly admitting mistakes WotC's forte. But the one thing WotC does have is the best marketplace data in the industry, and you can bet they act based on that data to maximize $$$ for themselves. There is absolutely no way they would throw away their 4e investment unless their data told them with absolute clarity that they'd do even worse if they kept to the status quo, with a possible future in which D&D actually finds itself displaced as the default option around the gaming table.
The alternative theory that 4e was doing well sales-wise until WotC ham-fistedly sabotaged it just doesn't make sense. It's inconsistent with how WotC has previous operated, but more importantly, it's something that would cost them a lot of money and compel them to admit past mistakes -- things they would never do unless forced. Much as I hate to say these words, WotC isn't the villain here, twirling its moustache after having tied 4e to the train tracks. They're simply hoping to regain D&D's once-dominant position around the gaming table, and that should be a goal with which all of us can sympathize, in my view at least.
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:18 AM #253
Defender (Lvl 8)
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:20 AM #254
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
If a 7-10 year run is the "standard", a standard which only actually applies to two editions (1e and 2e) btw, how is starting a new edition at 5 years a "smoking gun"? You're only talking two years shorter for a new edition.
And, at a guess, I'd say your hundreds of thousands of dollars is off by a zero. It's millions of dollars to release a new edition. Heck, your payroll alone would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range and that doesn't count anything else.
But, just because they've rolled out a new edition to coincide with the 40 year anniversary of the game isn't exactly a huge leap here.
The rules don't give the DM their authority. The consent of the players does. - Mallus
RPG's are filled with Potential Stories in the Making (PSitM).
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:23 AM #255
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:36 AM #256
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 03:46 AM #257
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Rouse's comments in another thread, months ago....
Yes I did say that and at that point in time anyone on the D&D team would have said the same thing. The publishing goal was (and should be) to have the edition last 8-10 years and we truly believed that would be the case with 4e.
There are a lot of things that happened with 4e that violated the communities trust (failure to have DDi tools at launch, the GSL vs OGL) but after all that has happened with 4e is a shorter edition life-cycle really going to be the thing that turns you away from the opportunity of a better game that 5e offers? 4e is broken as a game and business and it needs to go away. The "they broke their promise" argument sounds vaguely familiar of the "they are killing my 3.x game" that was all over the boards when 4e was announced.
Edit for the sake of clarity that I am talking about the game as it stands now:
My statement about the game being broken is more a commentary on the environment in which 4e currently lives (play & business). The audience is fractured among a few D&D systems, the GSL did not accomplish what it was supposed to do (create broad 3pp support for the system), the designs has evolved over time (class changes, monsters etc), Essentials was/is confusing to new(er) players and veterans. If 4e was healthy we would not be talking about 5e right now.
And for the record, I am not bitter AT ALL. I enjoyed my time at WotC, I am proud of what I accomplished there, I still have a ton of friends that work on D&D and I hope 5e is a smashing success. To add to that, I am a pretty big 4e fanboi. It is my favorite D&D rules system and I wish I had more time to play in a campaign.
Now Scott goes to great pains to clarify his statements so that no-one gets the idea that he dislikes 4E or the game-play experience he provides, and I certainly believe him wholeheartedly. So, when someone says, "4e is broken as a game and business and it needs to go away." and they don't really mean gameplay or how much fun they personally find it, it stands to reason that an ex-brand manager just might mean that it really was not successful in the market place and/or drove a whole lot of people towards the competition, to the extent that Pathfinder currently outsells D&D at games stores (at least according to ICV2 data for Q2,3,4, 20011...take that for what it's worth, right? ).
Not only that, but he does come out and say that they really did originally plan for an 8-10 year lifespan for 4E.......
Anyhoo, I think that that particular quote by The Rouse is required reading by both sides in the edition war.....
Last edited by 13garth13; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 03:49 AM. Reason: Damn....blue was really rough on the eyes....
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 04:11 AM #258
Last edited by thecasualoblivion; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 04:15 AM.
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 04:42 AM #259
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Look, I love (LOVE!) anchovies, but I'm not daft enough to think that everyone else should therefore want some of those salty little treats on their 'za just because I think they're the cat's meow. 4E for better or worse is like anchovies; there's really nothing wrong with them at all, and for people like me, they are particularly yummy, but if I'm making a pizza to appeal to the greatest number of people, I'd really want to think hard about how many slices they appear on, yeah? Clearly anchovies are popular enough that pizza joints offer them as a traditional add-on, but that doesn't invalidate the notion that a substantial proportion of the population doesn't want them any where NEAR their pie. Now, frankly, I think that attitude is a bit much, but personal tastes are personal tastes, and if enough people feel so strongly about those little fishies, then their inclusion in a pizza for everyone should be done tactfully and in a fashion that doesn't scream, "Remember those toppings that you absolutely loathed that drove you to eat calzones rather than pizza? Well, they're back and a BIG part of what we have in mind for supper tonight".
My prior post was addressed towards posters such as Hussar above (sorry dude, I'm really not picking on ya, yours is just the most recent post of its kind that I've seen over the last few months) who somehow want to act as if the early roll-out of 5E is not a big deal in regards to what it says about 4E's success in the market. Heck, some don't even want to say that it is an early roll-out.....
So, to sum up, yes 4E fans need to be sought as a part of 5E's target audience, but in terms of the (in many ways completely separate issue) notion as to whether or not 4E was a success in the marketplace and whether we can even glean some indication of this from the early release of the latest edition...well, I think that that issue should be considered done and done.
Last edited by 13garth13; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 05:01 AM. Reason: I sounded snarky/condescending
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 05:15 AM #260
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
The strength and problem with the Anchovies analogy is that the idea of 5th edition being modular is a lot like having a broad selection of toppings to choose from at a pizza joint. You want to retain the most customers, so you offer the most topping options to try and please as many potential customers as possible.
The issue is, bowing too far to the folks calling for the removal or exclusion of 4e elements from the next edition of D&D would be like refusing to even offer anchovies at your pizza parlour because some people don't like them. I think we can all agree that that doesn't make sense; how does offering anchovies as an option hurt the people that don't want to eat them on their 'zza?
Answer: it doesn't.