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Old 02-14-2018, 04:07 PM   #1151
David Johansen
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Well, I've been wondering what metric would be considered a success for Dungeon Fantasy and apparently selling out fast isn't good enough.

Oh well, I like the box and the format but it's an expensive format really. It was something worth trying anyhow. I think it proves the will is there to kickstart GURPS stuff. Maybe there's a way to fund some new books that way or something.

What about a kickstarter for Magic revised, Martial Arts, Ultra Tech, Vehicles, and Bestiary? ;)
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:27 PM   #1152
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Originally Posted by David Johansen View Post
Well, I've been wondering what metric would be considered a success for Dungeon Fantasy and apparently selling out fast isn't good enough.
If the product had come out on its original budget and matched original sales estimates, presumably it would have been a success, as would various combinations of being better than estimates in one category while worse in another. However, it seems to have come out worse in both categories.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:29 PM   #1153
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I was happy to see Car Wars 6th is on the agenda to get some love this year, but those bits about Ogre stung. I wasn't expecting it to be the top of the sellers chart, but with all the energy around here I also didn't expect most of the line to be down in 'Single run and done' territory either.

Hopefully Battlefields can be paired with the flagging Reinforcements to become a "6E to GEV Conversion Kit" of sorts, and gives it a nice shot in the arm that way.

As the guy from Asmodee wrote in his interview...the market is really weird right now, facing a glut of new product and feast-or-famine receptions to the same. Can't take anything for granted.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:39 PM   #1154
totalfailure
 
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The state of the industry is certainly a cause for concern these days. While things superficially look greater than ever, there is so much competing for a gamer's attention every day now it seems, to the degree even being a good, quality product is not enough anymore. Gamers seem to have developed a 'goldfish memory', immediately dropping something for the next shiny thing that comes along a few minutes later. A lot of product is being sold; how much is being played at all, or more than once or twice, is a question.

I hope the slip in Munchkin sales/print status is not a pointer to the future, as anyone can see how much Steve Jackson Games relies on this franchise. It is probably inevitable for it to cool off at some point, but I hope it does not hurt the company as a whole.

The fate of Dungeon Fantasy was not surprising, but still unfortunate. I would like to have seen it be a roaring success, but it is apparent that it is just too costly to produce for printed material like that in today's environment. It took up a lot of time and effort for what it brought in, that might better have been spent on something more profitable.

That brings me to the subject nearest to my heart, Ogre. I was not surprised, but disappointed, to see so little representation in the top 40, and the fate of Reinforcements. It was expected, though. Not long after release, I saw online places trying to sell it off for $7-$10 :( At least the Kickstarters went well enough that hopefully we can expect some support down the road in the form of an occasional Kickstarter for new material. Not ideal, but way better than nothing.

Good luck to SJG in 2018. I hope the Munchkin CCG does well, and that Car Wars can get its motor revving in a form that can be presented.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:13 PM   #1155
Andrew Hackard
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

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Originally Posted by totalfailure View Post
I hope the slip in Munchkin sales/print status is not a pointer to the future, as anyone can see how much Steve Jackson Games relies on this franchise. It is probably inevitable for it to cool off at some point, but I hope it does not hurt the company as a whole.
We've seen it coming for over a year and have been building plans around it. We have to be careful in our development and printing decisions, but that's good policy regardless. Really, the biggest change is that some Munchkin games and expansions that were automatic reprints before are going to be allowed to go out of print, for a while if not forever, and that more Munchkin releases are intended as "one and done" than in the past.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:08 PM   #1156
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Again, fascinating to read and to then compare to previous years reports. I feel like I could comment on so many aspects, despite only really having a singular passion on Ogre stuff, but instead I'll limit myself to two aspects.

1. Global market.
I know Mr Reed has been kind enough to provide insight before, on the economic difficulties of getting your product out of the USA. There's even been recommendations on non-USA customers seeking out 'other fulfilment methods'. It is indeed a right royal pain, as I know a fair bit about international trade and the current trends and constraints being experienced by many US producers. But other US games producers seem to be less affected than you. I know the likes of FFG are major players now with considerable weight, but perhaps someone like GMT might have some handy pointers you could tease out of them?

I ask UK-based games sellers about SJG product and nearly every time they won't have it in stock. And so you resort to a certain global seller (that infamous South American river) and it's available, it's cheap in price and shipping costs, and there's a really fast delivery time. I accept you won't ever be able to compete against that. But is there any way you can take advantage of it?

There is no quick fix, but I have to say that the latest developments on the recent Ogre KS project (OM Set 2) where non-USA customers were dissuaded from participating was disappointing. (And what was the Battle Box Rules PDF??! As a non-backer, what was that all about?) To me, that sent out the wrong kind of message - and I know I wasn't the only one to feel that way. I don't really want to see you continue down that route, as I suspect it could lose you fans and future purchases. But, it's fair to say that you are not yet in a position to tackle this in the long-term, which is worrying, but it does then lead me to the second aspect.

2. Company Processes & Operations.
There were various comments in the 2016 report that touched on similar concerns. It seems from this latest report there are internal pressures making the situation worse. For instance, last year's report mentioned the new marketing set-up and that you needed closers, and that procedures are out-of-date and incomplete. And now, from the 2017 report, you're straying from schedules, missing deadlines for completion, too much time seems to be spent micro-managing, as you still don't have the right protocols for your staff to refer too, so valuable time is lost with higher management chasing up the basics.

It's not hard to see where this is going. You have a good grasp on what needs fixing and how to go about that, but instead, you're spending valuable time in fire-fighting and spot-mopping. Failure to address the root causes only means the current issues will continue to hinder progress, maybe even derail you at some point. And I would suggest that you probably need an outsider to shake-and-bake the operations manual. That may be radical, but new eyes often provide fresh perspectives and crucial objectivity that then lays down a far better foundation for your business.

So I'd say that better business operations really should be in that list of 2018 priorities.

Is it time for some tough prioritisation, in order to park some things, so the house can be put back in order maybe?
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:01 PM   #1157
wolf90
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmishStig View Post
I was happy to see Car Wars 6th is on the agenda to get some love this year, but those bits about Ogre stung. I wasn't expecting it to be the top of the sellers chart, but with all the energy around here I also didn't expect most of the line to be down in 'Single run and done' territory either.

Hopefully Battlefields can be paired with the flagging Reinforcements to become a "6E to GEV Conversion Kit" of sorts, and gives it a nice shot in the arm that way.

As the guy from Asmodee wrote in his interview...the market is really weird right now, facing a glut of new product and feast-or-famine receptions to the same. Can't take anything for granted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by totalfailure View Post
That brings me to the subject nearest to my heart, Ogre. I was not surprised, but disappointed, to see so little representation in the top 40, and the fate of Reinforcements. It was expected, though. Not long after release, I saw online places trying to sell it off for $7-$10 :( At least the Kickstarters went well enough that hopefully we can expect some support down the road in the form of an occasional Kickstarter for new material. Not ideal, but way better than nothing.
This is frustrating for me as well. Ogre is a passion for me, as it is for many of us. The issue is we don't seem to be connecting with the next generation. The current market certainly plays a role, and with the immense quantity of options flooding the market, both good and bad, it is difficult to attract and maintain the interest of a new player.

Which brings us to Kickstarter. It is serving as an effective medium (at least, so far!) for getting Ogre material out to our dedicated fans in a manner that can be both profitable to us as well as responsive to you. But it is not generating new players, cursing Ogre to live on the "one-and-done" periphery.

I've said this before and will keep saying it until they pry my Mark V from my cold, dead fingers . . . we (the players) are the sole emissaries of the game. I still believe the game sells itself if we can get people to sit down and play it. Perhaps I'm naive, but it is a great game.

Also, we (SJGames) need feedback on the releases. Feedback serves two beneficial purposes: first, it allows us to gauge what's working and what isn't - what you like and what you don't. It does not help anyone for us to produce material that no one wants. Second, it creates "buzz" about the game. A perfect example is Ogrezine - I believe this to be a well-received supplement that has already been viewed as a win by those who backed the KS, and we haven't even sent you the final product (which you're gonna love!). BUT . . . almost no one is talking about it on our, or BGG's, forums. Without the chatter, others who did not participate in the KS have no clue as to what they're missing. I want to produce a second issue - am I alone in that desire?

So yes, we have more coming your way. Battlefields is nearing completion and Nightfall is moving back into my focus. But we . . . I . . . need your support and advocation. I've a number of ideas that I'm pitching but they are easier to sell as potentially productive concepts if the support for the current material is strong. Long live Ogre!

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Old 02-14-2018, 10:31 PM   #1158
Jetman
 
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Good news about Car Wars.

I was surprised there wasn't any mention of Illuminati, given the playtest and all. Does that mean it's a 2019 or later project?
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:51 PM   #1159
Tom H.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rknop View Post
. . .
I can't help but suspect that DFRPG was predetermined to be a failure before it was released, and that no rate of sales could have saved it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Joy View Post
. . .
Yes, DFRPG being #6 in “Dollar Volume” yet listed as a failure is perplexing. My guess is #6 in “Dollar Volume” <> #6 “money maker”?
These are interesting comments.

I can understand if there may not be unbridled market demand for the new Dungeon Fantasy RPG.

I'm not sure I fully understand the negative tone regarding its overruns.

Years ago, I stopped trying to follow the progress on the new edition of Car Wars.

I am patient and do not begrudge the wait.

But for whatever reason, it does appear that some delays are deemed more forgivable than others.

Last edited by Tom H.; 02-15-2018 at 01:01 AM. Reason: Grammar and clarification.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:59 AM   #1160
philreed
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Originally Posted by Jetman View Post
I was surprised there wasn't any mention of Illuminati, given the playtest and all. Does that mean it's a 2019 or later project?
The new edition of Illuminati is in excellent condition (and looking spectacular!) and on track for release this year. The priorities listed do not cover _every_ project we have in the works. Those are intended as big, umbrella guidelines.
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