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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Business is Bad Because of "Tournament of Rapists" Backlash


Just some basic observations:

- Tournament of Rapists went up at the end of last week and the social media backlash was mostly over the weekend.

- Yes, some small publishers pulled their products from OBS

- Yes, some customers declared they were no longer going to shop at OBS - I saw one go so far as saying he was deleting his account (backups gone - ah well)

- I suspect the small dip in sales (or the small cliff they went off of) is barely noticeable (if it IS noticeable) and all will be back to normal in a week or two.

- In the case of Gareth, I would expect the backlash would have been over Far West, the never shipped pre Far West Buckaroo Bonzai game and his never ending series of excuses

- Or is this now an excuse as to why printed copies of Far West will be forever delayed - ToR killed the cash flow

Well played Gareth. Well played.

Edit: There isn't enough time to link a drop in sales to Tor at this point. Someone is crying about the wrong wolf.

32 comments:

  1. I will step up and state that the month of August was the WORST sales-wise for NUELOW Games since we started going through RPGNow/Onebookshelf. That's even taking into account the early days when we just had two or three releases available. The "Tournament of Rapists" dust-up had nothing to do with it.

    However, Skarka is right; there are dweebs who are misdirecting their outrage in their desire to "make them pay (as one delightful person put it in the comments on this blog). And a lot of independent writers and artists may pay for something they had nothing do with.

    From where I sit, these self-righteous crusaders are more worthy of contempt than a publisher with poor sense and even poorer skill at crafting sell-copy.

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    1. I suspect that a downturn in sales was far more likely caused by the hacking of the OBS site. A number of customers have had to replace credit/debit cards and are probably far more wary of purchasing (at least I know I am).

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    2. Dealing with credit card bullshit was enough to make me rethink it. And I am a fan of DriveThru.

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    3. Yeah me too.

      The kerfuffle over Tournament of Rapists and the usual bleats of the volunteer thought police have little to do with DTRPG's woes.
      \
      This is the second or maybe 3rd time a breech has happened and it makes me jittery . I still buy from them occasionally but now only use cash cards . This basically means no impulse buys which is bad for the bottom line

      Also there really aren't a lot of "gotta have it" products released lately , that too has an impact on sales.

      Also I suspect a few people might be angry over the Gamer Gate card game being pulled for political reasons more than anything. I'm letting it be for now but suffice it to say, I am not happy with Evil Hat who appears to be the perpetrator here or with DTRPG for kowtowing to the SJW's . That however is another story and won't at least in my case spill overmuch into DTRPG's bottom line

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    4. Yeah. Evil Hat has had a track record now for being fairly shitty to anyone they don't agree with.

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    5. Is *that* where my card got compromised, then? Been wondering about that...

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  2. I think we need a few more weeks' sales to have a better picture of this. The outrage has had what...7-10 days at the most?

    Call me suspicious, but as a general rule of thumb, I've found that those with the most outrage on the internet are also the most likely to pirate anyway, so I doubt a lack of sales for Skarka's products is because of the people making the declaration. I do think this Summer's been in a slump --I've had low sales for the last month but that started before this drama, and nothing I sell will even remotely appeal to the kind of person who's going to get pissed off at a shoddy, offensive product anyway. Also, there's been a lot of shovelware flooding rpgnow/dtr lately, which makes it harder to find the gems as a buyer.

    There's reasons for this....but I don't think it's the medley of righteous activists out there, unless I'm just not looking in the right places.

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    Replies
    1. Y'know, I'm going to back my position up a tad: while I don't know that it has been problematic, the OBS response on twitter was more likely to cause problems (and backlash) than random rpg.netters deciding to boycott a site I doubt they buy from anyway. So, having remembered what was tweeted, I'll just say "jury is out" on this one.

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  3. Some sellers in other markets make a living selling through Amazon, if Amazon does something douchey and customers go elsewhere those suppliers will be hit. Should those customers feel compelled to purchase through Amazon? Likewise if customers feel OBS handled the ToR situation badly then boycotting OBS is a perfectly legitimate response ( a bit OTT IMO but it's their choice). Hopefully those customers will seek out those suppliers through an alternative source. No alternative source? Then I guess that's the downside of taking the exclusive deal.

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  4. I expect it's debacles like offering Buckaroo Banzai for preorder and never delivering and the mess he's made of Far West that have more to do with any Skarka sales downturn. It took me years to get my BB money back.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was thinking that the 200+page thread post about Far West on rpg.net and the Tenkar Tavern scrutinizing blog posts are more likely to impact his sales than anything else.

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  5. Interesting that people would be calling for a boycott when they are not only working for a company with a competing pdf store, but one that also carries several articles by the same publisher.

    Oh, and accusations that "it took so long to get a response, why won't you answer my twitter on the weekend" are apparently also fine when it's your own employer who doesn't get back to you.

    (As to your main point, yes, Skarka appears to leap at any imaginable excuse for his own problems.)

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    Replies
    1. Aw, no fair using inconsistency or hypocrisy against someone.

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  6. Doesn't he need to finish writing something before he worries about selling it?

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  7. "The hundreds of us who did nothing wrong..."

    I guess he means "nothing wrong" BESIDES taking fifty grand and delivering a hundred tons of fertilizer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If he'd delivered 100 tons of fertilizer that would at least give backers something to sell to recoup some of their loss....


      Oh METAPHOR nm

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    2. I enjoy the fact that pictures of Far West and Buckaroo Banzai are still prominently displayed on Adamant's web site.

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  8. What amused me about Far West most recently was him saying he couldn't issue refunds because the money is needed for production. But he budgeted for 5k and got ten times that much. So he's 45k in profit, and surely could issue refunds? :D

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  9. I'm blood-spittingly angry this came anywhere near my field of vision.

    DriveThruRPG is 100% implicated at the moment at which this trash came anywhere near their IP address(es). The onus is on them to prove that they're worth any of our time anymore. Maybe they don't monitor submissions that closely, but now it's time to start a formal review process.

    I won't give DriveThruRPG a cent of my money until they can clearly demonstrate they aren't white trash pieces of shit. I need a clear policy in order to continue using the website. Full stop.

    As for the author of this... thing... I'll be very, very careful about my comments about what I expect could happen to this individual, given a karmic balance in the universe. I expect that 100% of the readers of Tenkar's Tavern will agree with me. Anything less than 100% agreement will be considered a failure of our community.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think I'd want to be in 100% agreement with you if you weren't coming off like a bigoted asshole. But I don't see why attacking one group for creepy behavior exonerates us from doing the same in reverse.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Waves as the obvious troll is obvious.

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    4. You're right, I was duped by a troll.

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    5. The community here is made up of independent voices. 100% agreement on ANYTHING is probably a failure more than a success.

      But trolls will be trolls.

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  10. Another data point to consider - this afternoon I got an e-mail through OBS from Lamentations of the Flame Princess, saying in essence that James Raggi expects to be chased off the site next. Could be paranoia, but these days . . .

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    Replies
    1. Raggi is posturing. Sure he brings in a lot of money, but this is exactly the type of self-promotion he has built his brand on. I am not faulting the guy; fuck it is brilliant.
      But even if he leaves he will be fine and so will OBS.

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  11. As others pointed out, I suspect sales were bad in August due to the credit card fiasco. I was on holiday, with bucket loads of time to kill and impulse buys highly probable, what was I doing? Facing a self-imposed online buying hiatus as I had to cancel my credit card and wouldnt have a new one till I got home.

    I also think the drama was overblown, sure it was a dipshit product and clearly offensive, but how many thousands of products have they had over the years that never came close to this. Put simply, they had a low cost system that worked, but wasnt foolproof. thats how the world works, a more rigorous system will impose higher costs and we will all pay more on every product we buy.

    personally, in this case (when we are not talking road safety, or nuclear weapons security) I prefer a low cost, imperfect system that is not disroportionate to the potential harm. My 2 cents

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    1. I do think the failure was more in the poor social media response than prevention up front.

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  12. Still haven't received confirmation that Erik Tenkar finds this kind of material 100% reprehensible and that he 100% agrees to the statement that he expects better from the community at large.

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    1. By "this kind of material", do you mean games about rape or Skarka's $50,000 vaporware? Both are pretty reprehensible IMO.

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    2. Good luck, I've been waiting years for 100% confirmation that Erik Tenkar is 100% NOT a lizard person. Nothing so far.

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