Tenkar - I see the OSR as an underserved market that deserves more respect. 5e is huge for the OSR because writing product for 5e and converting to the OSR is much easier than going from 4e or Pathfinder. There is synergy between 5e and the OSR. Some folks want to see new clones - I want to see new hacks. Hack SWL or the Black Hack or some other OSR game and give us a western, supers, space opera, sci-fantasy, godzilla monsters - whatever! I think the future of the OSR is finding new genres and not new systems. Or I could be totally wrong. But I think the OSR is just going to grow in the number of players at this point and we have 5e to thank for it.Now, if you firmly have your feet set in the DIY (do it yourself) corner of the OSR that very well might be true. Because really, what do you need besides some random tables and some time? More time than many of us have but time none the less.
Jensen - Underserved? Huh, I don't think that's a word I would've used to describe the OSR market; I often wonder how much 'product' the OSR market can actually bear. I'm not sure it's all that much.
However, the OSR as a whole is a largely untapped market. 5e is certainly bringing players in to the OSR fold and they are not mutually exclusive rulesets - you can play both and can certainly enjoy both.
Forgive me for saying so, but the OSR largely consists of older gamers who, by my experience, have more disposable income than younger gamers. The market is there, so why isn't it being targeted as much as it could and probably should be?
Well, there is the perception that OSR gamers are cheap. We want our gaming inspiration and material for nothing, or close to it. I personally think that is approaching things from the wrong direction. I think content creators for the OSR are extremely generous. As a community, we have evolved with community driven (and written) rulesets that can be grabbed for free in PDF (and occasionally print). I can say that my experience with the OSR Extravaganza Sale is that OSR gamers WANT OSR gaming material but no one bothered to cater to them prior. No one said "Hey, we know you are a tight community, here's a sale aimed and your wants and desires."
Sale numbers suggest to me that the OSR has been overlooked and underserved. Maybe that will change going forward. I sure hope so.
If the OSR is to continue to grow - and if we look at convention attendance of conventions such as Gary Con, NTRPG Con and Gamehole Con over the past few years, you see the number of attendees is steadily increasing each year, the OSR market should take the opportunity to grow along with it.
I'm not suggesting we need the glut of the D20 era, but with POD that's impossible anyhow - today's OSR market is largely PDFs and POD. Having a warehouse full of goods might be doable by the larger companies, but smaller publishers don't need that overhead nor investment, and that is good.
Do we need more rulesets? I dunno. As I said above, I want to see genre hacks of existing rulesets, but in the end, the community will decide. You'll be surprised at how far a little respect goes. I'm sure RPGNow / OBS is happily surprised at how well the OSR sale went.
Here, I'm going to make an open suggestion to the powers that be at OBS - you know how you have tracks for Hottest Titles, Newest Titles, Hottest Small Press and the like? Well, add a track for Hottest OSR and you will see sales jump for OSR releases. Often, OSR releases get lost in the noise of general releases.
No need to thank me. Just doing my service to the OSR Community ;)
(if you think I'm full of shit or off my rocker, feel free to add your thoughts. Heck, add them even if you do agree, as I doubt you'll agree on all my points)