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Old 02-15-2018, 02:13 PM   #1171
David Johansen
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

It seems to me that the take away on DFRPG is that existing GURPS fans will back a kickstarter but that the boxed set format isn't an effective way to market GURPS and won't draw in waves of new fans.

So, while I suspect we'll see continued GURPS and even Dungeon Fantasy support, that kind of premium product is probably off the table for the foreseeable future.

As somebody who's agitated for an introductory product for over a decade, I'd like to thank Steve Jackson Games for at least giving it a shot.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:52 PM   #1172
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

I've always enjoyed reading the Stakeholders Report - it's a window into the industry for a hobby that I've had all my life.

The part I found scary is that it sounds like the boardgame / physical game industry is starting to face the challenges that the computer game industry ran into several years ago - product flooding distribution channels, problems with quality, etc.

I hope it doesn't end up where computer games are now - a few big winners, a bunch of games that have found their niches, and thousands of games a year that get lost in the churn, or were never worth considering in the first place - games published to make a quick buck (either by taking advantage of a fad or brand confusion), dream projects done by people who find themselves in over their head and which should have never seen the light of day in the first place, or games that are just simply bad for all the reasons games go bad.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:58 PM   #1173
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Traditionally, we’d say the industry is in need of a shakeout. But with near zero barriers to entry and no (or low) overhead for most participants, is that even possible?
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:00 PM   #1174
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Upon discussing DFRPG at 2 different stores here in Austin (the home town of SJ Games), I learned both times that management had never heard of it. One of the stores decided to order a copy based on the look and feel of the product once he held it in his hands. This was a guy who when I first mentioned DFRPG said "It's too hard to sell against D&D and Pathfinder, I don't order other RPGs". The demo I ran at another store got people who weren't even a part of the demo to buy a copy just from looking at the material.

This game may have had a chance to take off if it had been given more time to build a bit of word of mouth steam or some marketing dollars. It's only been in retail channels for 4 months so far right? Why are you calling it failed with so little time to build any buzz? There are ways to generate buzz before the product hits the market, but, I never saw any marketing for the product outside of GURPS fans and authors pushing the product. I saw facebook posts, by SJ Games, but never did I see targeted advertising, despite the fact that my digital footprint makes me an *easy* target for DFRPG advertising.

The market for RPGs compared with other types of games is somewhat different. They take more time to produce, to learn and to play. RPGs have a different life cycle. Treating the DFRPG box set the same way you treat Nanuk or Revolution limits its ability to succeed and prevents the wider GURPS world from growing as well.

Personally, I'd ask you to reconsider the decision to never reprint. It's an excellent product and I'm proud to be able to show off the products in the wild. It gets difficult to Demo a DF GURPS game at my FLGS if most of the material I'll be using, they can't sell.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:13 PM   #1175
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuljita View Post
Upon discussing DFRPG at 2 different stores here in Austin (the home town of SJ Games), I learned both times that management had never heard of it. One of the stores decided to order a copy based on the look and feel of the product once he held it in his hands. This was a guy who when I first mentioned DFRPG said "It's too hard to sell against D&D and Pathfinder, I don't order other RPGs". The demo I ran at another store got people who weren't even a part of the demo to buy a copy just from looking at the material.

This game may have had a chance to take off if it had been given more time to build a bit of word of mouth steam or some marketing dollars. It's only been in retail channels for 4 months so far right? Why are you calling it failed with so little time to build any buzz? There are ways to generate buzz before the product hits the market, but, I never saw any marketing for the product outside of GURPS fans and authors pushing the product. I saw facebook posts, by SJ Games, but never did I see targeted advertising, despite the fact that my digital footprint makes me an *easy* target for DFRPG advertising.

The market for RPGs compared with other types of games is somewhat different. They take more time to produce, to learn and to play. RPGs have a different life cycle. Treating the DFRPG box set the same way you treat Nanuk or Revolution limits its ability to succeed and prevents the wider GURPS world from growing as well.

Personally, I'd ask you to reconsider the decision to never reprint. It's an excellent product and I'm proud to be able to show off the products in the wild. It gets difficult to Demo a DF GURPS game at my FLGS if most of the material I'll be using, they can't sell.
We ran targeted ads for Dungeon Fantasy, using most of the RPG metrics as potential parameters, as well as unboxings, frequent articles and promotion via the social media channels. The Kickstarter campaign itself is one of the bigger ways to push the marketing buzz for a game that are out there; building in an audience and generating a desire for those that didn't take part in the campaign. We also ran a lot of back end support for it through retailers; if they don't know about it, they don't care or aren't looking, most likely the former based on what we've learned about FLGS stocking habits when it comes to RPGs.

4 months is an eternity in the gaming world currently, as Phil pointed out in the report and on the thread, this isn't a slow-burn market we're working in. We're talking 6 weeks for games to make an impact; 4 months is generous. We never say never, so who knows, but it's highly unlikely we're getting one any time soon as per Phil's info.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:49 PM   #1176
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johansen View Post
It seems to me that the take away on DFRPG is that existing GURPS fans will back a kickstarter but that the boxed set format isn't an effective way to market GURPS and won't draw in waves of new fans.

So, while I suspect we'll see continued GURPS and even Dungeon Fantasy support, that kind of premium product is probably off the table for the foreseeable future.

As somebody who's agitated for an introductory product for over a decade, I'd like to thank Steve Jackson Games for at least giving it a shot.
I also would like additional starter sets. Perhaps just a book, no boxed set would lower the costs and end up on more nook shelves.
If not a physical product maybe a PDF release will generate enough buzz.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:49 PM   #1177
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Originally Posted by wolf90 View Post
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.
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Well, it seems that the relative success of Designer's Edition and the other Ogre Kickstarter projects is deceptive in some ways. I have seen myself a lack of success in trying to talk up the game, give away freebies, etc. and get people interested. My success rate seems to be a mirror of the Ogreverse as whole - not much to show for it right now.

Not to be alarmist, but we may have reached that tipping point, where new recruits are hard to find, and grognards throwing themselves under the Mk. Vs tracks is not going to be enough forever. I'd have to imagine Ogre is one of the older skewing SJG titles. I am 48, and may be one of the younger of that core of fans keeping things running so far.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hardly going to give up the CP without a fight, and pledge to do my best to keep a game I love alive. But I can see that without some growth and new blood, we are on a path that only leads to one place...
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:58 PM   #1178
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johansen View Post
It seems to me that the take away on DFRPG is that existing GURPS fans will back a kickstarter but that the boxed set format isn't an effective way to market GURPS and won't draw in waves of new fans.
Speaking as an existing GURPS fan who didn't back the Kickstarter. The reason I didn't was that I couldn't figure the damn thing out. You see, to get the box you had to pledge a certain amount, $50 IIRC, then there was shipping which was murder, $50 or $75, I'd have paid that. However there was some mystery $20 added onto all this, and I could never get an answer what that $20 was meant for. When I buy stuff I like to know what I'm paying for.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:14 PM   #1179
David Johansen
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

It seems to me that a gardening analogy, that of perennials verses annuals might be apt. Some products are constant sellers, sure a new supplement or edition will help it move and keep it on the customer's mind but it's a staple of the industry. Others bloom once and die. Some never even sprout.

Personally I think Dungeon Fantasy has the potential to become a perennial. Sure, SJG is feeling cautious about the rpg market these days. Rpgs usually need to justify themselves against D&D in some way to find their market. DF offers a cheaper point of entry, more flexible and realistic rules, and a bit of self aware humour. I don't think it's quite enough to close the deal for a new player who doesn't know GURPS but I don't know what it would be. I think the boxed set game feels more like a game but perhaps a book would be a cheaper product and a Space Opera or Supers introductory book would be a feasible second attempt. I'm pretty sure GURPS fans would crowd fund it but I don't know if the profits from such a venture would be enough to convince SJG to attempt it.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:32 PM   #1180
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Default Re: Report To The Stakeholders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Speaking as an existing GURPS fan who didn't back the Kickstarter. The reason I didn't was that I couldn't figure the damn thing out. You see, to get the box you had to pledge a certain amount, $50 IIRC, then there was shipping which was murder, $50 or $75, I'd have paid that. However there was some mystery $20 added onto all this, and I could never get an answer what that $20 was meant for. When I buy stuff I like to know what I'm paying for.
I don't remember any mystery cost with the kickstarter. And after a quick look, I didn't find anything either.
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