Monday, February 14, 2011

How Important is Producing Product for a Game Line?

I ask this, because WotC is apparently planning to release less 4e products. At the same time, if you look at the Underdark Gazette blog, OSR products are being released more often then ever before. Heck, even Tunnels & Trolls has been hitting a release or so a month recently (I'll be doing a mini-review on the latest tonight).

Is there a sweet point? Is more always better? Is a line that is suffering cuts (4e) being trimmed to a healthy state, or is this the beginning of the end?

The hobby suffered from the D20 Implosion in the recent past. Can it prevent the same from happening again?

One plus that rarely gets mentioned about PDFs, and even Print on Demand (PoD) publishing, is that neither will fuel another D20 Implosion - there won't be a glut on gamestore shelves. Then again, with a switch to PDF and PoD publishing, there won't be many games at all on gamestore shelves.

Is the future of the RPG industry linked to the internet for good or ill?


  1. I think the internet is where all niche hobbies go when they fade from the mainstream.

  2. I prefer more product over less, but I sometimes have a hard time staying ahead of the new releases.

  3. I can only speak for myself, but I preffer a properly pound and good-looking book over PDF's. I know this is connected to the fact that I don't own a good ebook reading device, and that my stance may change when I do get one.

    As for WotC's decrease in publishing, I would think this is connected to their, imho, lack of respect for the D&D-legacy. Their product seems to alienate a large part of their potential buyers, and that is bad for business however you look at it. I cannot build this on hard facts, but it is my understanding that the dislike of 4E is more widespread, and more uncompromising, than what was the case with the previous editions.

    As for whther the hobby is shackled to the internet, I would say that, yes, I think so. These days, sub-cultures and interest-groups find and communicate with eachoter via the web. WotC has tried to use this to get more control over the market, but I guess we'll find out if that was a good strategy within not too long.

    Lastly, for my own part, I now rarely purchace a new RPG book, mostly because there are no lines I wish to follow in production. I use a few core books from the few games I count among my "games of choice", and don't give a rodent's tail about the majority of the fluff- and rule-books habitually pumped into the market.

  4. I think the future of the professional RPG industry is linked to the internet - big web domains, i-pad apps, virtual tabletops etc. The semi-pro/amateur publishers are also defined by internet - design blogs/forums, PDFs and POD.

    The future of the Hobby - and I'm not talking about design but Play - is still localized groups forming to get their game on. Email has it's place but it's more about face-to-face.

    Stuff like mini-cons and getting fanzines into game stores as a way to support and bring a commonality to a budding scene is still the way forward.

  5. @Higgipedia - thank God for the internet then ;)

    @A Paladin In Citadel - I am way behind on products I'd like to review.

    @Harald - eh, there is some very good fluff being published, along with 'eh and fairly bad. It' still fun to find the good. By big problem with e-readers is psecific to RPGs - I like to flip around almost randomly, which isnt easy on an ereader ;)

    @geordie racer - I'm all VTT these days. It's a shame NYC is pretty poor Con wise...


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