Ben Riggs Interview on the Death of the Golden Age


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GrimCo

Adventurer
Yes and no. In Zagreb, capital city with almost million people, we have 2 game shops. In Slovenia, i know about 1 game shop in Ljubljana (capital). Austrian and italian game shops in big cities like Vienna or Milano have better selection cause they operate on bigger markets. But, online shopping and good old Amazon are here so we can order anything basically (if you are willing to pay shipping, and shipping from USA can be more expensive than actual products). Brick and mortar game shops are more prevalent in USA thou. You know what we don't have? Enforcement of laws against acquiring things on high seas of internet (if you catch my drift).
 

dragoner

KosmicRPG.com
Yes, sounds reasonable. I know in the old days, beyond there being no internet, that there was often difficulty getting currency exchanged, now everything is in Euros.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
You would of course see a broader section of the gaming community than do I, but anecdotally I'm not sure I can think of anyone who came to D&D via videogames. I can, however, think of some who went the other way.
Eh, from my own experience with my sons and their friends, I would say its not a direct chicken and egg situation. Certainly, nearly everyone in my sons' generation played video games first. TTRPGs and video games have adjacent fandoms with a lot of crossover. But I can't think of anyone under 20 who started with TTRPGs and moved on to video games. I can totally believe a lot of young people could be brought to D&D through Baldurs Gate 3. Most of kids I see don't just play the games they like, but watch twitch streams, youtube videos, and read social media. They are going to hear about the TTRPG that inspired it and may, in turn, be inspired to try the TTRPG.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It’s under monetized because D&D is free for 80% of people who play it and exceedingly cheap for the 20% that buy books. While at the same time 3rd party token designers, map artists, streamers, subscription VTTs, and patreons make regular incomes in small pieces from folks that are otherwise paying next to nothing for the core product and can therefore afford to pay for extras.

However if WotC started releasing 24 VTT token monster sets or maps for $5 each they like Devin Night or Heroic Games (all excellent products by the way) they would be accused of ripping off community with micro-transactions.

I feel for them. The community can be so toxic it’s a miracle they release anything.
Well that is what the WotC VTT could help address. If the platform is good and makes it easier and more enjoyable to run the game, I'll happily pay for adventures with prepped maps, tokens, etc. For those that don't like their VTT, you can buy licensed content for Fantasy Grounds, Roll 20, and now Foundry. If you are allergic to all of that, you can still buy the core books, a chessex dry erase mat, and some dry erase markers. There will always be people complaining about the pricing, but I've not seen anything but upsides. And if I decide I don't want to spend money on TTRPGs, there is plenty of free and very low cost alternatives.
 


mamba

Legend
But, online shopping and good old Amazon are here so we can order anything basically (if you are willing to pay shipping, and shipping from USA can be more expensive than actual products).
I would expect the German or Italian Amazon to have the books as well, not that I ever checked. At a minimum UK should have them
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And yeah, there's no marketing. I get so many TTRPG related ads on my various feeds, so algorithms know the market exists, and they know who their customers are, but none of those ads are ever for WOTC related games. Sometimes MTG, but never D&D. Humblewood, Ghostfire stuff, Elderbrain's massive campaign book, which I'm really tempted by.. But I get all these targeted ads for 3rd party content (Not to mention all the garbage like the dropshipped dice and notebooks and stuff)
I think partly wotc doesn’t feel like it needs to advertise much or that ads will benefit it much, whereas there is a mindset that “all roads lead to D&D” by which I mean, ads for Humblewood or the Avatar game bring people into the hobby from other fandoms or interests and/keep people excited about the hobby, which will always benefit the biggest mover in the hobby.
Microtransactions are coming. Really, you should plan now to embrace this reality.

The whole point of a digital VTT of their own is to monetize transactions.

And I don't blame them for it.

So, I'm a mid-40s GenX gamer who's way into TTRPGs, CRPGs, FPS games, and sports video games. I just barely, last year in the fall, finally took a stab at Rocket League, which as a game is COMPLETELY FREE on Epic Games store. I could literally play Rocket League for $0 dollars forever . . . but just last week, I decided to "splurge" and spend $5 for some COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY COSMETIC stuff for the game just because it was fun and looked cool.

THAT'S the monetization Hasbro wants --- They want you/me paying $5 for the "Ultra Bright Forest Elf Archer" customer art pack, and the "Underground Dwarven Rage Warrior character pack", and the "Menzoberranzan 10-maps plus assets GM story pack."

Why?

  • There's ZERO printing or shipping overhead to create this stuff.
  • It's essentially endlessly reusable / reconfigurable
  • It's "evergreen," meaning if they totally rip and replace the core rules of the VTT in 10 years, your art packs are still good.
  • It creates a sense of ownership, personalization, and frankly taps into our general lizard-brain love of new shiny things.
Sounds great.

There isn’t any way to do “pay to win” so unless they do really dicey blind box type stuff I don’t see much room for “microtransactions” to even be a bad thing.
 


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